My motorbike adventures, & my Wisconsin to Alaska run (June 2012)

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by AJ990R, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    June 25
    Mon

    Famous photo #1
    About to thrash my new BMW coat, awesome coat, full fore arm & back protection, waterproof!
    came up on two guys with F800GS bikes with euro plates at this sign, 9am ish, there english wasn't very good, we all took photos of each other, left our helmets on because the mosquitos were BAD right here. Was gonna peel off & stick my "don't f*ck with Wisconsin" sticker to this sign, but now you can see they've added extensions to the sign & the thing was 10ft in the air.(*the RCMP was staring at that sticker when I got my ticket)
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    This is the fuel pump after the big wood paved bridge, that most people find to be out of fuel, before the arctic circle rest stop. Got fuel here but didn't need it. The guy on the trike was only going to the arctic circle rest stop & turning around.
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    famous photo #2, couldn't let go of my bike or it would have fallen over due to this was a slight hill. Nice couple took this one of me
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    Coldfoot Camp, restaurant/truckstop, lots of college kids stay up here in the summer
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    brand new Triumph 800, guy rode here from Florida! rode with him for a while but the katoom needed to stretch her legs after awhile
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    Atigun Pass
    elev 4700ft
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    my fav, was cool & damp up there, all day up to this point was 50f, now dipping down into the upper forties range
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    As soon as I descended on the northern side, rode in this for almost 2 hrs & it was now a solid 45f
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    there is a small stretch that is paved way up there...re-fueled here somewhere with my aux tank to make the last 240mi leg. Katoom almost at the top of the world:D
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    famous photo#3, at the top of Alaska, it was 11 at night & no one was around. 37f outside now! Since it never gets dark, & was very chilly, decided to turn back for now, was not tired yet, was an amazing day so far & didn't want it to end yet.
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    todays ride so far from Fairbanks
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    My trip thus far, this is my exact route, approx 4200mi with the D2D poker run
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    covered in calcium chloride @ the Deadhorse pumps
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    this guy was just roaming around up there(again never looking at me). I saw a Muskox as well on my way up but couldn't zoom in on it enough to make anything out.
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    heading south now, some random carnage
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    rode till almost 3 in the morning, came back through Atigun pass & the temperture went back into the mid forties
    I must have rode 670-700mi I figure this day :D
    #41
  2. Butcho

    Butcho Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    312
    Location:
    Wisconsin SE
    Up and back on the Dalton in one stretch. "Saddle up or Shut up" Nuff said :bubba Man, the GS was trashed.....Rider was ok...:eek1
    #42
  3. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    thanks, that was by far the highlight of my trip. The "saddle up or shut up" slogan came from dinner the previous eve with Justin(& Justins lovely girlfriend, whom he met on his South America trip & moved here to be with! Justin was originally from Minnesota) & Parrish, it was on the underside of a beer bottle cap(some beer from Montana). They said I had to keep it with me for good luck (I currently have it glued on my panniers:deal) They laughed at me, when I told them I had to be home in week or so. :D They also helped me plan a route home, they said I should ride the Denali hwy, but if I hit rain, it would really slow me dowm on that route.
    Yeah there was twenty guys around inspecting Hackymoto's GS after that incident, A lot of them there, & Alaskans in general, love their BMWs & couldn't believe it. But that GS had very hard life from what I understand.
    *I also should note that I twisted my ankle pretty good, going like 5mph & pulling off the hwy for a break in very loose gravel on the side of the road, the front end slid out & I saved it by putting my left foot down....hurt for several hours. Coulda been worse but someone would have found me if it was :D
    #43
  4. vfrpilot

    vfrpilot Stress Relief Rider

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    750
    Location:
    Decatur, Illinois
    Don't stop now ..... You've got my attention! :D
    #44
  5. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    June 26
    Tues

    Pulled over into a field south of Atigun Pass a ways, set-up my tent due to I needed to sleep. I didn't see as much wildlife as I thought I would on the Dalton. Saw moose wading in a marsh across the hwy from where I camped. Slept with bear spray in one hand and a buck knife in the other this night:D Didn't wake up & get moving till 11am
    Tried to camp on top of a hill & in a open field, so the mosquitos were not bad
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    Rode the 300mi today back to Fairbanks, ate lunch & fueled up only once at Coldfoot on the return run, used my aux fuel & got back into town, first order of buisness was to pressure wash my bike(& me). My bike had over 5000mi now on the oil and I figured Fairbanks was the best place to change it. Kept hearing good things about Adventure Cycle Works, & there open 24/7! A father & son team. Called him up at 9 at night, and he said "come on over":clap I carried 1qt of oil & a oil filter with me, planned on buying oil & doing my own oil change somewhere but this was MUCH easier
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    He said it was the first KTM he had seen with the CJ Designs oil drain hose kit. He also pointed out my rear pads were metal to metal!:huh No prob, he had a set:clap He also had a brand new rear solid rotor from a 950adv:deal but I passed on the rotor because I knew my dealer would take care of it at home. But I did buy a extra rear tire because I was told you could not really get any tires, anywhere in YT & upper BC areas. He also has a pressure washer! I spent $10+ at a car wash. Hung out here for hours till late, shot the breeze & watched him work on some other guys bike. Hoteled it that night & ordered a pizza. Never did end up staying at the university Dorms, I didn't want to go there cause it was so late that night, shoulda though, it would have been much cheaper...
    #45
  6. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    June 27
    Wed

    Slept in again, my sleep schedule was now messed up, was woke up by housekeeping:D I decided I was not gonna do the Denali hwy and start to head home, I was planning on doing the Cassiar hwy towards home. I still wanted to give my bike a personal once over & clean the chain, it was covered in mud from the Dalton yet. Found a auto parts store & set-up shop, bought wd-40 & a wire brush, sprayed wd-40 all over my bikes engine, chiseled the mud out of my skidplate, I know I know, I need a real skidplate:D
    Parrish just happen to be riding by on his GS during his lunch break, he stopped, & we got to chat one last time
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    my bike all clean & set for the ride home
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    riding towards TOK
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    ended up getting a hotel in Tok cause the rain

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    #46
  7. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    June 28
    Thurs

    Tried to get a early start this day and started motoring south down the Ak hwy back into Canada and wanted to at least hit the Cassiar hwy, I knew I had to start clicking miles off towards home. The day started out with drizzle but stopped quickly after hitting the road. But at least I was riding a section of the Ak hwy I didn't take up & heard the Cassiar was very scenic.
    loaded ktms, retired couple from Europe somewhere, we ended up eating lunch at the same place
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    I did finally drop my bike on its side at a rest stop, picked it up by myself :D
    camped at the end of this day
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    #47
  8. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    June 29
    Fri

    Slept In due to rode late into the night, knew I wasn't gonna be able to make it back to work on time for Monday. I saw by far the most wildlife on this trip in BC, there were little black bears everywhere. Really would have liked to stop in Hyder, Ak
    But there are millions on welfare that depend on me
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    Just south of Dease lake I got pulled over, he was driving towards me in a white SUV & I was on it in the awesome curvy road! He was super cool, warned me to slow down
    little black bears everywhere, they were scared of the Katoom
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    & got pulled over again for barely going over the limit outside a small town before getting to Smithers:eek1, got let off with a warning
    465mi day, hoteled it in Smithers
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    #48
  9. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    June 30
    Sat
    the Cassiar was a awesome, now riding hwy 16 to Banff national park. Lots & lots of mountains
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    Did get to see a little of the Glacier in Banff
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    was looking for a camp spot, but all the campsites were full because Canada day was tomorrow. stopped here for fuel & they had rooms as well, splurged on my last night in Canada
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    640mi
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    #49
  10. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    July 1
    Sun
    Got up early & was going to try and do an Iron Butt run home from here on out. My back tire had a small spot on it showing cords:eek1 It wasn't gonna make it back, wasn't sure what to do about it, but just kept trucking, had a spare tube & tire...
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    Made it into Montana, stopped at a grocery store & bought some dish soap for tire lube, the rear tire was looking real bad, rode hwy 2 west across Montana, set-up shop in front of a small town auto repair shop, knew what had to be done, had to beat the rear axle out with a big rock due to was practically seized in its place. Took me 2hrs, but got her done, I had the right tools for the job! 7800+mi on a rear Heidenau, last pic of my journey home too, plus I used up the entire can of chain lube I brought with by now too,chain started to look rough quick after that
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    Drinking 5hr energy shots, rode late into the night & just slept on a picnic table at a rest stop in North dakota
    795mi run
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    #50
  11. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    July 2
    Mon

    Woke up, ate breakfast at a truckstop & called into work & said i wasn't gonna make it in.
    It was the start of a month long heat wave in Milwaukee this day, traffic was terrible going through Minneapolis. I was soo hot I bungee corded my jacket on to my bike. Started to get a bit crabby. The chain was just completely smoked by the time I hit Wi. Was the longest day ever, stopped & took breaks every 100mi, made it home by 9pm, in one piece :D
    the end!

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    *conclusion

    the R model adventure only comes with a 12mo/12k warrenty, mine went out of warrenty right as I got back in the states:deal Odometer showed 13300mi when I got home. Southeast sales got KTM to warrenty my rear rotor & rear shock splash guard(cracking):clap Put on a new chain, skidplate & rear rack, by fall the KTM had well over 17kmi on the clock.
    My 2013 big Ktm plans are to attend CADVR, & the Ktm rally in Colorado, I'll be riding the COBDR into Steamboat springs. Gonna explore one state at a time now!
    tried to "custom groove" the rear Heide for better rain traction:lol3
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    Be Cool
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    AJ
    #51
  12. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    103,439
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    :thumb

    Great adventure, see you at the rally.
    #52
  13. one2ride

    one2ride Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Wi
    Thanks for sharing.
    Do you wish you had set aside more time? How much?
    #53
  14. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    Glad you enjoyed my terrible photography skills :D
    Ideally 21-24 days would have been nice. Coulda hit up the Denali hwy, Hyder Alaska on the way back & not had to ride late into the evenings. Would have liked to check out the "into the wild" bus, since it is one of the few books I have read, which is a little ways outside of Fairbanks & I believe you have to hike to get to it.
    Be prepared to ride in the rain, rained a little almost everyday except when I was in Dawson city, hence that made me pop for the new coat, which was worth every penny. Was very cool that it stayed light out all the time up there this time of year, but my sleep schedule got all messed up & I was sleeping in til noon a lot.
    The Cassiar hwy, hwy 16 & BC in general had just some awesome views
    But next time through, I will check it all out

    AJ
    #54
  15. Butcho

    Butcho Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    312
    Location:
    Wisconsin SE
    Thanks for sharing. Its a big task to assemble these reports. But we enjoy them so much! See ya at the rally :freaky
    #55
  16. prime

    prime Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    kamloops, BC
    Awesome report Aj. I just relived a lot of my ride reading your report. It was good hangin with you up in Dawson.
    Hopefully we can cross paths again!
    #56
  17. ADWrider

    ADWrider AKA Acorn27

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    S/E Wisconsin
    Great report man, looks like you had a good ride!
    #57
  18. oscar23

    oscar23 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    39
    Just awesome- Ride and Report
    Could you have done the Alaska ride on the Wee?
    #58
  19. clint_l

    clint_l Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Germantown, WI
    Awesome write up AJ! Lets retire and ride the world!
    #59
  20. AJ990R

    AJ990R motorcycle guy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    MKE,WI
    Absolutely....honestly, the v-strom had a comfier seat/sitting position. I did a ton-up on the wee(650 twin pwr!) fully loaded as well, gps indicated:deal I put so much heat in the tires on curvy mtn roads on the wee, looked like a tire from a sportbike @ a trackday. Plus better fuel mileage. I did go 1 tooth bigger on the frt sprocket, so she cruised better @ hwy speeds, still had ample power with this heavy set-up I ran.
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    A big thing that bothered me on these trips were my knees after hours upon hours on the bike, hwy pegs would have been nice on the wee...but the Katoom sits so high, I can stretch my legs while riding & sitting, I'm a good 5'10" & tippy toe on the katoom (anti monkey butt powder was a must for both these trips:D)
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    #60