Riding experience how much do I need?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by albany-dave, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. albany-dave

    albany-dave n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1
    Yes, I too have wanted for many years to ride to and experience Alaska. Now as I read the forms I am becoming very aware to the serious of the trek. Some ride reports make it sound fairly easy and some make it sound like deep slimy mud for 000's of miles. Maybe the truth is in the middle, or just dependent on weather and luck.

    The main question is at this point how much off road experience will I need. The facts of the trip would be limited to roads and not single tracks out there. I would plan on swapping out my K1200GT for a GS. My traveler / trip experience to date would include two cross country, lots of BC, as well as long distances on the east coast.

    Looking forward to your thoughts and any saged advice.
    #1
  2. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    25,130
    Location:
    out and about
    I think you are worrying too much.
    If you are comfortable on a bike for long runs, you will adapt to changes and be fine.

    All you need to do is release the the ball, and then go chase it...
    #2
  3. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone Innocent culprit

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    10,573
    Location:
    Mountain Home, AR
    +1

    Go ride.
    #3
  4. roglsa

    roglsa Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Yes you are worrying too much. The roads are what they are when you get there. Drive to the conditions.
    #4
  5. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,910
    What does BC stand for in your post Baja California or
    British Columbia ? In and en route to either of those two destinations it
    is safe to assume that you must have hit some road construction ,unpaved
    road and detours and wet weather combined with that .
    Going to Alaska will be no different , just an extension of
    theCanadian BC . You can do an entire tour to and from Alaska
    on pavement and throw in a bit of good gravel like Top of the World
    Highway if the weather suits you.
    Lone Rider said it well +1
    The muddier expeditions are intentionally sought out by those
    who feel they must" challenge " themselves so that they afterward
    can tell the tale with relish . No need for that if you don't want to .
    You can do it on anything fom moped to a Goldwing
    #5
  6. nuttynu

    nuttynu NuttyNu Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,068
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    i had majorly street ride / paved road experience, got to the Dalton highway, first few mile was a bit Skippy. then i got use to it..


    JUST DO IT . it ain't as bad. take your time, see what you bike likes and handle in the mud/off road and you'll be good..

    oh and i'm on a sport bike..

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    DOnt let Alaska scare you.!
    #6
  7. Sliverpicker

    Sliverpicker Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    South of Bend
    Yeah=====You will be alright. Just don`t pack to much crap so you are like a whale going down the road !

    Good tires will be the your savoir .
    #7
  8. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Chicago (sort of)
    It's easy, don't even think about it. Just go. You do NOT need a GS, you'd be fine on your K1200. I'm serious. You can do it on ANY bike. You DO NOT need a giant E&C-approved beheamoth of a "dirt bike".

    Alaska isn't hard, especially if you stick to the Alcan. It's just like any other paved two-lane road you'll find anywhere in North America. There's a spot of construction here or there, but it's no problem.

    I headed up there a couple years ago with a motorcycle license that was a month old, riding a '97 Yamaha Virago 750. I took that thing to Prudhoe Bay and all kinds of other places that a low-slung cruiser with butter-smooth street tires is never supposed to go.

    Seriously. It's not hard.

    STOP OVER-THINKING IT AND JUST GO. It'll be amazing!
    #8
  9. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    Chicago (sort of)
    This man speaks many truths :)
    #9
  10. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    25,130
    Location:
    out and about
    You 'do' want to do that route...if weather allows, like he said.

    We are here to fart around and have some fun. It's pretty simple.

    Just be well equipped for wet weather that can get into your bones...:)

    Plan, ride, be super happy...
    #10
  11. nuttynu

    nuttynu NuttyNu Rider

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,068
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska


    *internet HIGH five +

    :clap


    oh and don't be scare of dirt!!
    just be prepare for a 30 mins so bike-pressure wash once your finish. :rofl

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,558
    Location:
    Alaska
    #12
  13. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,289
    Location:
    No Fixed Address (originally Toronto)
    This is ADVRider, so all the Ride Reports seek out the gnarliest roads to ride and take pictures of.

    In terms of the roads, Alaska is just like every other state in America. There is smooth blacktop that will take you to 99.9% of all the major towns and cities in the state. You never have to touch a single dirt road if you don't want to, and can take a full dresser Harley if you really wanted to.

    *HOWEVER*, most of the really amazing scenery is off the beaten path: Atigun Pass on the Dalton on the way to Prudhoe Bay, Top of the World highway, etc. Those are the pictures you see on ADV, and is probably why you have those misconceptions.

    This is the Alaska Highway, and is indicative of almost all of the roads in the state:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just have to add that this is fun as well, though:

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. YukonTracker

    YukonTracker Ride your Way

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    250
    Location:
    Yukon
    Totally agree that about any "road" can be conquered on any bike. But... yes up north, you can find yourself in cheek squeezing situations easily and common sense and riding skills and techniques can get you a long way.

    Even on tar, there is unpredictable climate to deal with, idiotic rv-drivers, kamikaze wildlife encounters and frost heaves. No need to get scared, but its smart to be sensible about the conditions you are riding in.
    #14
  15. Herr Bae M. Vae

    Herr Bae M. Vae Insurgent Squirrel

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    Neither here nor there.
    If questioning whether one is up to remote long distance motorcycle trips I think the question is often misplaced in evaluating prior riding experience. Of course it is ideal to be a skilled off-road rider. But it might be better to instead ask yourself whether or not you are prepared to be self-reliant enough to deal with likely mishaps if assistance is unavailable. Most trips don't require very advanced technical riding skills, but most any trip could require you to be able to do things like properly diagnose and repair common mechanicals on your bike or deal with an unexpected get-off of yourself or a riding partner. Hopefully you have considered these aspects of your journey as much as you have the actual riding of the bike. If you are sufficiently prepared for the unexpected, then by all means get going, because the only way to become a better rider is to go out and ride.
    #15
  16. MountaineerWV

    MountaineerWV Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    293
    Location:
    West Virginia
    How uncoordinated and fat are ya?

    With damn near zero riding experience I bought a DR650 and rode the TAT summer of 2011, and the followed that with another 35,000 miles through Mexico, Central, and South America into 2012. I was always on the slow side when it came to riding in groups, but there was rarely a trail, hill, mud pit, or river I couldn't get through.

    It pretty much rained every day from the moment I entered Guatemala to the day after I crossed into the Chilean Atacama Desert (yes - it rained on me in one of the driest places on Earth). We purposely set out on the shittiest, most remote trails we could find - with the hopes of good scenery.
    #16