Digasi's Trek to Alaska: Planning Stage

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Digasi, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

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    Jul 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    After reading various ride reports and watching rides on you tube, the adventure bug has finally bit me. I am ready to start and go on my own epic ride. My first destination came to me easy, Alaska. While it has been done before by countless others and I have even made the trip by land, sea and air, I have not made this trip on motorcycle my self. For me the ride up, going to places I have never been and being able to re visit memories all pull me towards going North. So after talking to my wife, I got the go ahead to start my planning. :clap

    So below is a basic plan I have set up. From here I will ask question that I haven't found answers too and as well to just include everyone in my planning.

    When: My plan is set a little ways out at 2014 or 2015. I really want to go in 2014 to celebrate my 10th year riding. Figured It kind of fit and well what better excuse to use?

    Bike: Well for right now I plan to use the bike I have. Which is a 09 Suzuki SV650SAF. This might change, but something tells me it will not. I love the SV and well I know she will serve me well. So this choice might effect the route I have listed.

    Time: I plan on spending 24 days for the trip. But this depends on several factors, like will the wife let me go for that long and will work let me go. So what time I have might dictate changes to my route below.

    Route: Here is my basic, high level route plan http://tinyurl.com/clbkx7m. This of course assumes I have the time needed and bike.

    Lodging: Well my plan here is to camp for most of the trip. When possible, I plan to stealth camp. I already have the needed equipment for this because I regularly back back for fun and hunting. So all the stuff I have for this is already small and light because it all fits on my back, so fitting it on a motorcycle shouldn't be to hard. There are locations in which I plan to stay at places. Thinking once in Fairbanks I will stay at the university. I will want to find some camp grounds on the way that are cheap as to get access to some facilities. So maybe $100 to $200 here. Yah, I want to keep is cheap.

    Food: Well I plan on carrying some basic food. Breakfast stuff, some can food and mountain house. I figured maybe carry a 4 day or so supply and stock up when I can. Then there is getting snacks on the way plus eating. I also plan to eat out at least once a day. Here I am budgeting $40 a day figuring this would get me one probably two meals. So for 24 days, that is $960.

    Gas: I estimate that it will be a 7555 mile trip. So be safe, round it to 8,000 miles for estimation. Research says gas gets expensive up north, so I think worst case I am looking at $6 a gallon. Hopefully will never see it, but by planning on this amount I will ensure I have enough funds for gas. Better to have more then not enough. So looking at $1200.

    Tires: Given the distance and research I figured I will need to get a set of tires on the way. I will arrange this when the time gets closer, but probably looking at $350??? Hoping this is a high estimate.

    Oil: I will be changing my own oil.

    Equipment ->

    Camping:
    I already have everything for camping. I will try to list everything.
    tent
    sleeping pad
    sleeping bag (rated to 0)
    pot
    stove
    water filter
    tarp
    dry bags of various colors and sizes
    head lamp
    fork,spoon, knife

    Bike:
    Here is where I need some work. The bike will be services before I leave (new tires, oil change, chain and sprockets evaluated and what ever else is needed). Listed is what I think I will need. Some stuff I have the rest I am getting between now and when I leave
    A 12v adapter
    Tire repair kid
    Tire pump
    Heated grips and/or coat
    Hand protectors
    Side bags
    Tank Bag
    Tail Bag
    Spare clutch, brakes, and shifter levers.
    zip ties
    Tire Iron

    Me
    Helmet
    All Weather jacket
    All weather Pants
    Water proof boots
    Summer and winter gloves
    Few sets of cloths.

    Other:
    Cell phone/Music
    Camera
    Laptop
    GoPro

    Well I guess this is all I have so far for plans. As time goes by I will be updated this, thinking of more things I need and such. Of course, feel free to give suggestions and answer any questions I my ask later on. Thanks all for reading and I hope you follow along. Hopefully I will start a ride report in over a year :)
    #1
  2. OfirMX

    OfirMX Sierras' Gatekeeper

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    So Digasi is going adventurer, huh?



    Sent from my left shoe using TapTalk
    #2
  3. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    that got me thinking, about when I get started planning the nitty gritty particulars of my trip, I would probably arrange for professional maintenance, but if I do any of my own oil changes (I anticipate 4, my round trip will be 15k-17k miles) what would I do with my drain oil ?
    #3
  4. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

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    I figured that I would take it to the local recycling center in Fairbanks http://co.fairbanks.ak.us/solidwaste/

    I am sure other large cities will have something similar.
    #4
  5. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

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    Yes, yes I am.
    #5
  6. blue72beetle

    blue72beetle Look at my Wee

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    Awesome :thumb

    I've been following your thread on SVR.
    #6
  7. OfirMX

    OfirMX Sierras' Gatekeeper

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    SVR gathering! :freaky
    #7
  8. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

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    Thanks for following :)

    Hopefully I will not be the only one learning from this. I plan to share everything I learn before hand and afterwords.

    For those interested, here is the link to my SVR thread http://www.svrider.com/forum/showthread.php?p=2655931#post2655931
    #8
  9. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

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    So another thought came to me.
    Fuel.

    If I do the road to Prudhoe Bay, it is 240 miles from Coldfoot to Prudhoe Bay. SV range is 200 miles at its best (I have seen 220 on mine [​IMG]. If I go with my estimate of 45 miles a gallon, I have a range of about 180 - 190 miles. That is 50 to 60 miles short. So I figured I will need 2 gallons on me if I make this run. This will give me a range of 277 or worst case 250 miles.

    My first thought was MSR bottles, but realized I would be carrying 6 - 9 of them in order to make the trip.

    Then I stumbled on RotopaX. They have some solutions that might work. My first thought is to simply get the 2 gallon container and just put it on the seat and just put my tank bag over it and secure it to the bike.

    If I need it more secure, I was thinking of finding a spare seat or cowl and mount the mounting bracket they have to it. Secure the tank to that and tail bag over it. This obviously adds to the cost.

    The more expensive solution would be to get side racks for my SV. Then get two one gallon containers and mounts and mount them to the side racks. Then my saddle bags go over them. This is the most expensive route, but would keep bags off of the bike.

    Thoughts?
    #9
  10. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    Some thoughts

    Oil changes. Where you buy the oil have them accept the old oil. This way you don't have to have a drain container - they supply it, nor do you have to take it some where. Higher price than a supermarket but much more convenient.

    Have ALL your stuff at least a month before you leave and test it. Includes tires, chain, sprockets etc. This way you avoid early failures on the trip - they happen at home! Do an over night camp say 3 weeks before you leave with ALL your gear. This test it and you and the bike.

    Don't over plan - have some flexibility. I 'plan' 1 day in 6 'free' for staying put, doing the washing etc.

    Fuel. As in more of. Some gas stations will only let you fill up 'authorized containers'. You can get around this by draining your tank into the containers you have (have some method for draining your tank). Then (with those containers covered) go fill your fuel tank. Some people use old oil containers, you only use them once.

    Have set contact times/points with the wife. Plan them for a day or two after you should get there - this allows for delays that can occur? If you do run late - contact her.
    #10
  11. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

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    It would be nice to find a place that would help me. Keep my ears open in case I do hear something.

    I plan to do some runs this summer and then one last one before the trip. I want to get things down before I start this trip.

    Most of my planing is probably going to be what I have on me, setup of bike and such. I have my ideal route and vague plan to get through it. My plan to start is just to follow my plan and make changes as needed. I have no dates to meet other then when I have to be back. I probably will have some idea of when I will be at a certain location for contact reasons.

    Fuel, my previous post goes into my plan on this. I figured an extra 2 gallons will get me where ever I want to go.

    As for communication with the wife, I was planning just to have some sort communications schedule with her. Would like to do daily, but I don't think cell coverage will allow this. So probably list out some places where I think I will be and have contact made at those points. Probably update that when needed as I go along.
    #11
  12. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Prince George, BC
    Hit me up when you firm up your travel dates. Assuming I'm home and not on the road with the wife somewhere, you're more than welcome to cut some costs by staying with us in Prince George.

    Lots of room to camp in the yard or a spare bedroom if you prefer. Also have a decent selection of tools for general maintenance, covered parking, nice quiet rural setting just a few minutes outside of town.

    I've also held packages for other inmates as they've come through on their way to AK... tires, sprockets, chains, etc. So if the timing/mileage is right for a tire change or service as you get here, you're more than welcome to send stuff ahead and not pile it on with the rest of your luggage.

    Good luck with the rest of your trip planning! Cheers! :beer
    #12
  13. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

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    Thanks. I will have to give you a PM when I know my dates are set. I will be passing through Prince George on my way up and back.
    #13
  14. OfirMX

    OfirMX Sierras' Gatekeeper

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