San Francisco to Deadhorse to on a BMW K1600GT?? Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Blackfin31, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Blackfin31

    Blackfin31 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    26
    I only have one bike....and it's a 750 pound pig...Am I crazy for even thinking about this?....Should I just bite the bullet and get a GS just for this trip?...My experience...rode dirt bikes in the sand and hills as a kid...Had Honda's, Triumphs, Harley's as a kid....Quit riding for 40 years after I started Medical School, a family and practice.

    Started riding in earnest again in the past 5 years, had a R1200GS, R1200RT and now a K1600GT...Put 50,000 miles on the K16 in three years, and 20,000 on the GS and RT...I like to ride...


    San Francisco to Deadhorse on a BMW K1600GT...What do you think?


    Paul
    #1
    MidWestern likes this.
  2. keith in alaska

    keith in alaska Valley Gruver

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    728
    Location:
    Iditarod Trail, Alaska
    Park your bike in our warehouse and ride one of our bikes to deadhorse. The K1600 can do it under ideal conditions, but the conditions are rarely ideal. One trip will age your bike 5 years!
    Keith
    RentAlaska.com
    #2
  3. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,980
    Location:
    Silver City, Montana
    Keith is a genius. Mind him.
    #3
    HeidiHo and See-Double-You like this.
  4. interiorak

    interiorak Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    Alaska
    Yes ! Wise words.
    #4
  5. JagLite

    JagLite Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,350
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Any bike can make the trip.
    Full dressers, baggers, hard tail choppers, scooters, mopeds, sport bikes... it's all been done.
    The question is if you want to ride your bike on the haul road up to Deadhorse and beat it up while coating it with calcium chloride.

    I agree with the others that it would be much better in all ways to park your bike for a few days and ride a properly set up rental.

    Other than the long dirt road up to Deadhorse your bike will be excellent for the trip. :thumb
    #5
    CavReconSGT and HeidiHo like this.
  6. HeidiHo

    HeidiHo Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,505
    Location:
    Omnipresent
    Paul, I have to agree with my colleagues above......your K16GT will make the ride.....but at what expense ? As Keith said, leave it in their garage, and use a better suited...more reliable bike...that won't be damaged to the tune of several thousands of dollars by riding just from Fairbanks up to Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse.

    Oh, as a fun jab...if you rode MORE reliable bikes, you would be able to ride MORE miles than what you have listed in post # 1. :jack

    Now, get out there and ride....dang it. :ricky
    #6
    CavReconSGT and Tewster2 like this.
  7. oclv454

    oclv454 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    313
    I have to agree with the comments already posted. Your K1600GT will certainly get you to Deadhorse if you pick good weather days and don't meet too many water trucks and road graders. The offer to leave your GT and rent an F800GS or similar would be a lot more fun. Plus you could go over Hatcher Pass, go to Circle and Manley. Then take the mighty GT to Valdez, ferry to Whittier, ride ride through the tunnel and down to Seward and Homer. Kick back on the Homer Spit for a couple days before you head back home.

    In 2012 I rode every road in Alaska (that's connected to a road) to the very end. I was on my F800GS and I can tell you that it would have been hard for me to subject my K1300GT to that kind of environment. The dirt/mud is unlike anywhere and is very hard on all things mechanical. Lots of nice blacktop roads in Alaska that your GT will enjoy.

    Have fun.
    #7
  8. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,130
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Its just a BMW, they will make more.......:D

    Rode my Vision to Deadhorse (2012) and Inuvik (2015).

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. keith in alaska

    keith in alaska Valley Gruver

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    728
    Location:
    Iditarod Trail, Alaska
    I wondered when Rollin' would show up! Yes, you can get to Deadhorse on just about anything... bicycle, wheelchair, on foot, or by crawling. Some make an error and pay a hefty price. Some get lucky. Having the right equipment and skill set improves your odds of a successful trip.
    #9
    Rollin' and HeidiHo like this.
  10. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,980
    Location:
    Silver City, Montana
    My favorite is the Japanese man that walked to Deadhorse in the Winter while pulling a large trailer. In mid-December his trailer was found abandoned along side the Dalton and, if I recall correctly, a search was made. Nothing was learned from the search, but in mid-January he reappeared and completed his walk to Deadhorse. The reason for his disappearance was that he had gone home to Japan for the holidays. Hitched a ride to Fairbanks and flew home. Quite the guy.
    #10
  11. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,980
    Location:
    Silver City, Montana
    Second favorite is the two 70 year old women who stayed on campus in 2008 or so. They were headed to Deadhorse, two-up on a Vespa. They rode up from the states and were headed to points unknown. The two grannies made it back from Deadhorse without any drama and continued on their way. Interestingly, on the day they left for Deadhorse a young guy on a big KTM also headed north. By the afternoon he was back at the dorms and said the Dalton was I unrideable.
    #11
  12. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,095
    Location:
    DeLand Flatistan
    Hahahahahaha.....every time I go up I'm passed by folks on big adventure bikes hauling ass....when they get to Deadhorse there's always bunches of Harleys and Goldwings already there....some folks think you need a howitzer to hunt for squirrels :lol3
    #12
    Blackfin31 and HeidiHo like this.
  13. BlackdogADV

    BlackdogADV Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,800
    Location:
    Puget Island WA, The Dalles OR
    If your a capable rider take the 1600. Any bike can make it. Go in Jun/July
    #13
    Tewster2 and HeidiHo like this.
  14. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,884
    Location:
    Eagle River, AK
    What's the common saying up here?

    I'd ride "your" bike to Deadhorse?

    Just the construction zones put enough calcium stains on my 500 from my '14 trip that they're still on it and I only made it to the beginning of the Dalton! Waited in the dorm through 4 days of pouring rain talking to broken riders with broken bikes saying Do Not Go North!

    Put it on next time list... Well, now I live here instead of frigging FL so it'll most likely be next summer.
    Get your KLR ready Jack!

    EDITED: OK It wasn't just construction zones, I did Top Of The World, Denali Hwy, three crossings into the Nabesna Road, Telegraph Creek Road, and a couple other interesting places someone my age wouldn't put a 450+lb bike without help around so I did go places that MOST sane people could NOT take a big touring bike. Please read carefully before trying to give me crap about that statement. Thank you.
    #14
  15. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,095
    Location:
    DeLand Flatistan
    Yep...it's not the bike, it's the rider for sure :thumb
    #15
    HeidiHo likes this.
  16. Gezerbike

    Gezerbike eeny meeny chili beany the spirits are about to

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,928
    Location:
    Everybody knows this is nowhere......
    The stuff gets everywhere and bakes on like concrete. Took me a year to get it all out of the nooks and crannies after my ride across the Denali. Speaking of which, they are using chloride on the roads around here now and it has literally eaten its ' way thru the sealer on my concrete garage floor. Ride up and get a rental for the Haul road.
    #16
    keith in alaska likes this.
  17. keith in alaska

    keith in alaska Valley Gruver

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Oddometer:
    728
    Location:
    Iditarod Trail, Alaska
    Fun factoid...
    The Denali Highway is 120 miles long.
    Fbx to Deadhorse is 1000 miles round trip!
    #17
    HeidiHo likes this.
  18. Gezerbike

    Gezerbike eeny meeny chili beany the spirits are about to

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,928
    Location:
    Everybody knows this is nowhere......
    And when we got off the Denali, we headed for a campground in Copper Center that had a pretty high powered hose at the fish cleaning station. Even 10 mins with that couldn't get all the crud off...some nasty shit !
    #18
  19. demonio

    demonio Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    79
    I agree with those who say that the trip to Deadhorse will age your bike by 5 years. I rode up this past summer on my Stelvio, and the motorcycle now looks like it is 10 years old. It was raining non stop, and if I could go back in time, I wouldn't do it again. It was reckless and stupid given the weather conditions, and I was lucky. It has been 5 months and I guess I would need to get a chisel to really remove all that shit that is caked to my motorcycle. Mind you, I actually don't care that the motorcycle took such a beating, and it aged like a good leather jacket. But if you are one of those that can't stand your motorcycle getting scratched or tarnished you will be a very unhappy person. Especially if you get rain on your way up.
    #19
  20. legion

    legion Ancient Chinese Stir Fry Tool

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,814
    Location:
    61*N
    A wise friend of mine was asked...

    Would you ride your (insert bike model here) to Deadhorse?

    He said "no, but I'd ride yours".

    The best bike to take is the one you've got and if the ride gets completely out of hand and it seems like a good spot for the craftsman to blame his tools just wheel back into town, grab a rental KLR and hit it. :thumb
    #20