First trip: Mechanical Engineer on a mission, Toronto to Alaska and back!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Bambooda, May 9, 2013.

  1. TigerXC

    TigerXC Adventurer

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    Vancouver, BC
    Nice RR, good to see that you are hitting all the highlights of Northern Ontario, Wawa Goose, Dryden Moose...

    Having spent a few hours in the Thode Library many years ago, its good to hear that a newly minted Mac MechEng graduate has a job and is spending a couple of months exploring the country on two wheels.

    Looking forward to the continuation of your report.
    #41
  2. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    Dec 5, 2003
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    Nice report - like your style , and is heartwarming seeing that bike people still want to help ...

    We've done it more than 20 years ago, but I think that the "Forestry Trunk Road #40" that goes north from Morley/Bow Valley should still be gravel - if you have already seen the rockies and glaciers may be a fun alternative.
    Don't remember if there was fuel before red deer - but our 1988 bikes had 600+ kms autonomy .
    #42
  3. TheMechanic

    TheMechanic Been here awhile

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    Manitoba, Canada
    That was a good ride. You should post that video of that hill climb.

    Good luck on the rest of your trip. Don't forget the bear spray
    #43
  4. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    Here we go again!....
    [​IMG]
    Headlight and taillight not working, discovered this when my heated grips also ceased to keep my fingers nice and toasty warm. I'm suspecting its a fuse, will let you know when figured out! This bike has been keeping me busy! Not enough time for a full post; sorry folks!
    #44
  5. prophog

    prophog Adventurer

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    Modesto California
    I'm in:1drink
    #45
  6. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
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    Location:
    Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!

    Did you do the fuse upgrade to the blade type fuses? I believe they also recommended changing the headlight fuse from a 10amp to a 15amp, stating that the fuse can blow if the switch gets knocked a bit and the high and low beams end up on at the same time?

    Good luck and keep with it!!
    #46
  7. Mr. Bagel

    Mr. Bagel n00b

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    May 14, 2013
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    Scenery looks rustic. Where are you?
    #47
  8. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    Fixed the bike! Turns out it was a blown fuse, and I think Lappeman was right, I have the tendency to hit the light switch when I mount the bike and it is possible I hit it to the middle. I also have the heated grips on that circuit so it makes sense this would fry the fuse. Here is the original fuse box:
    [​IMG]

    Here is the upgraded setup:
    [​IMG]

    As you can see I also switched the 10A to a 15A fuse (thanks Lappeman, good idea especially since I am running heated grips too)

    I have to say thank you to GISdood for hosting me and letting me use his tools. Another fantastic host on my journey!!! :)
    #48
  9. TOTim

    TOTim Been here awhile

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    I am only saying this because I am an electrician, but the fuse is there to protect the wire and all connected to it. It's fine to up the size by 50% if you also put in a larger size wire. 10 to 15 amps is a big jump.
    #49
  10. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    The tire change was nothing special, pretty seamless, lots of soap and water etc... but I wanted to do a little review on the tires since there was not much info on them when I was doing research.

    Mitas E-07 Dual Sport Front, 90/90-21 $89.95
    Rear, 130/80-17 $129.95
    from MX1Canada, free shipping.

    Very similar to the Mefo Explorer. I estimate I got around 7000-8000km on the Mefo's, but I am not totally sure because they were on the bike when I bought it.

    Here they are mounted on the bike next to the Mefo's, the Mitas tires are a bit wider than the Mefo's and they also have a flat strip right in the middle of the tire unlike the Mefo's. I expect this will greatly increase the life of the tire once the tread in the center begins to wear thin from all the highway driving.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The tires are shown in their respective mounting directions. The Mefo's mount with both the front and rear tread facing the same direction, whereas the Mitas tires mount with the front and rear tread in different directions. This makes sense seeing how the rear tire is primarily in charge of pushing forward, and the front tire in charge of pushing backward.

    The max air pressure for the tires is 33psi, so I run 30F/30R for the highway.

    The tread pattern is AWESOME for gravel roads, it grabs nicely during acceleration and deceleration and provides predictable results when cornering, and works well in light-sandy conditions. At 30 psi it is absolutely USELESS for mud, and it gets real squirmy on grass as well. Dropping the pressure will likely have a drastic impact on this. The tire gives very little road noise (I can't hear anything over the sound of the engine and wind) and provides confidence when cornering and braking on pavement. Haven't experienced anything sketchy during riding in wet conditions, and I've hit the brakes fairly hard (as hard as the KLR will allow with stock brakes.....)

    If this is rated a 50/50 tire, I would rate the Kenda K270 as a 60dirt/40street tire, just to give some reference.

    It mounted on the rim really easily and the fit seems to be perfect. I don't have too much to say about the wear yet, but I have around 1500km on the tire yet and it is apparent there is wear, but nothing significant. No signs of cracking or chunking anywhere.
    I think they are a great tire for the sort of trip I am doing and would highly recommend them for this type of application. As mentioned earlier they reach their limits very quick off road though.

    ALSO....My bicycle pump broke... (there is at least a dozen people reading this right now thinking "I friggen' told you so!") I know, I know...You were right.
    But, I took some of your advice and here are the results:
    [​IMG]
    I bought the cheapest pump that Crappy Tire had $20, and tore it down. The results are wicked, inflates a rear tire from 0-30 in about 2 min or less. If I were to do this at home, I would chop the cigarette lighter end off and replace it with an SAE male/female connector thingy on both ends of the long cable so that it can be removed from the motor in order to pack easier and smaller.
    #50
  11. willys

    willys Long timer

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    2,904
    Hey buddy, keep going, these little bugs in the system are there to test you....lol. As if a blown fuse was a test...lol. You should mount those fuse holders somewhere where you can get at them without having to take the bike aprt for ease next time. I like under the sidestand safety switch cover in front of the batter on the lefthand side.......that is after throwing the switch away there is a conciderable amount of space there. Those tires look great also.....above my price range....lol....I'll be very interested in the amount of miles you get on them for sure. I like the tread pattern for sure!

    :freaky
    #51
  12. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Prince George, BC
    That was in my carport/woodshed here in Prince George. Jeff arrived here Monday afternoon and stayed a couple nights as the weather Tuesday was abysmal, and he wanted take care of the maintenance he posted about and do some laundry. He should be on his way to Dawson Creek today under sunny skies later this morning.

    It was great hosting you, Jeff! Hopefully the weather holds for you as continue north. Have a great ride and definitely hit us up on your way south as you return home - we'll keep the spare room open for ya!
    #52
  13. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

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    Jan 24, 2010
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    Location:
    Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!

    The way I understand it, the KLR's existing wires are already capable of 15 amp, it's just that someone figured that 10amps would work with the headlight...and it does most of the time.
    #53
  14. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
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    Location:
    Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!

    How do you have the grip heaters hooked up? They should be on a separate circuit and fused by themselves, running straight from the battery or a fuse block.

    This is all very interesting...cause I went out an bought an 03' to set up for long distance riding...see what you did now!! :evil
    #54
  15. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    Apr 7, 2013
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    Toronto
    Ok...so the posts are getting a little out of order here because it takes me a couple days to find some time to do it right...so just have a bit of imagination and bear with me :D.

    The journey through the Rockies began with entering on Trans-Can from Calgary and travelling through Banff. Of course...it was raining!!! This also meant I had to pull off the highway in order to pack my road GPS so that it would not get cooked. When I pulled on to the shoulder I guess I was a little too comfortable from riding and forgot that I needed to put a foot down when you stop...
    [​IMG]
    The scenery was so nice I had to snap a photo:rofl A couple from BC pulled over just as I was in the process of triumphantly lifting the bike, and looked very concerned. They though the bike was broken; it was a wonderful gesture but gave me a good chuckle inside:jack

    The drive up the Icefields parkway was pretty crummy at first, so I needed something to get the blood going again. I pulled into a gravel parking lot to make an adjustment and spotted a big snow drift on the opposite side. I had fun driving through it again and again going deeper each time to see if I could make it through :D
    [​IMG]
    At the point where the ammo boxes were dragging through the snow I decided to stop before I had the unfortunate experience of actually discovering the limit of the bike and I had to wait for a tour bus of...tourists...to help me drag her out:lol3. I'm sure if that had happened I would not have gotten any help without posing for at least 178 pictures...lol

    About half way up towards Jasper the weather lightened up and the views were incredible!!! Here is an attempt at me being creative with a camera!
    [​IMG]

    Once in Jasper I had a look for accomodations; my searched turned up: a campsite in the park $27.50, a bunk in a hostel in the mountains $26.50. Easy decision, off to the Hostel. I grabbed a 6 pack and headed over. Being the long weekend, I was lucky to get a spot because the place was packed. Luckily there was a good crowd of people my age which were there. I became friends with a German girl, French guy, and another Canadian couple and we shared stories around a campfire. It was a good ol' fashion great time! Sleeping was kind of interesting, the shared dorm consisted of roughly 20 bunk beds all lined up side by side in a big room. I was on a top bunk. Things are a bit interesting being in a bunk after drinking a 6 pack right before bed...Getting up and down wasn't really a problem, but having to piss 3 times in the middle of the night was a real B*&^%! I'm also weight 210, and lets just say these bunks have seen better days. Regardless, it was a good time and I'd totally do it again!

    Off to Prince George!!!...
    #55
  16. NightProwler

    NightProwler Adventurer

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    cincy ohio
    priceless!! I am enjoying your report so far and looking fwd to my trip down the same path in about 5 weeks . hopefully my stop at kellys doesnt have maint involved :1drink Hows the strapped down gas can working for you ? I have the same idea for mine ?
    #56
  17. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    The strapped down can is working well, I haven't had any concerns yet, I have been keeping my eye on the bungees every time I strap it down and so far no signs of wear (from abrasion or over-stretching). I locate it on the box I access most frequently since it is very easy to take on and off (more so in hot weater). I think the solid rubber bungees work best for this, as oppose to the covered ones, because they are incredibly sticky against the plastic of the can. I have a larger one (21" I think) around the top, and a 15" for where the handle dips down. I imagine your lengths will vary depending on mounting points. Since the can is empty it stays in place no problem, things may be different once it's full, but I have extra bungees (thanks Dryden rider). Something I meant to do before I left which I never got around to was gluing pieces of old inner tube to the bottom of the can. For 2 reasons: to prevent the can from sliding along the top of the box, and to eliminate damage to the can by abrasion from the vibration of the bike.

    1gal (3.82l) Pax fuel system (can and mounts) = $80
    5l Jerry can and 2 bungee cords $8.80.

    If I wanted I could probably rotate the can 90deg and mount 2 atop 1 box.
    #57
  18. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    New addition to the family!!!
    [​IMG]
    I was lacking space for food on my setup, so I stopped in at Corlane sporting goods in Dawson creek. I was helped by who I think was the owner, also a fellow rider, and we talked a lot about previous trips and things I should do while up north. He was very helpful and kind. The bag is a 15l dry sack which was $17. Perfect size for my stuff and I also picked up some dried food.

    Awesome place to go if you need to pick something up along the way!!!

    (Also TONS of guns and accessories for those of you interested in that sort of thing)
    #58
  19. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    In Bucking Horse River, at the Bucking Horse Saloon, mile 175 of the Alaska Highway about to eat the Buck Burger. 2 patties, bacon, ham, cheese, mushrooms, lettuce, onions, relish, mustard, mayonnaise
    [​IMG].
    Frig yeah, lets do this.
    #59
  20. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    BOOM!!!!
    Man: 2 (remember the bolt?), wicked awesome scary burger:0
    [​IMG]

    Alright, better hit the road! Maybe I'll bump start it this time just to burn off some calories :D
    #60