Sport-Touring the Dalton Highway?

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by rick3foxes, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Been here awhile

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    Sounds like we did cross paths along the way as I was heading north and you where going south. The first night, June 19th for me I made it to Wakefield, Mi and camped only to have that storm in Duluth to deal with the next morning. That was some of the hardest rain I have rode through in a long time. I had a local out taking pictures of the flooding spot me and ask where I was headed, to which I replied north or west, I need to get to Alaska. Here was my gps track trying to get out of the Duluth area the next morning.

    [​IMG]

    My entire ride to AK and back. Due to limited time I had to take the same way on Route 2 from Minot back home.

    [​IMG]
    #81
  2. dukedinner

    dukedinner Been here awhile

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    How true..it's not the type or make of bike...it's the attitude of the person in the saddle that makes dreams come true or not...you can be on a dualsport, a road warrior, or even a bicycle to go on the adventure of a lifetime

    Great job Rick..saw your links on COG and have now watched all seven videos. You have great videography and editing skills. Thanks!!
    #82
  3. EmpireExpeditions

    EmpireExpeditions n00b

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    Watched your videos yesterday in one sitting!

    Great job, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    On my todo list but looks scarily slippery!

    You mentioned 240 miles from Coldfoot to Deadhorse (love the names!), is that the maximum fuel range you'd need ;plus a reserve of course) or are some parts further apart?

    Looked a comfy bike for the trip!

    I need to go when the ice roads are there so I can chat up Lisa Kelly..,
    #83
  4. telejojo

    telejojo Been here awhile

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    I may have missed it in the vids but did you change tires somewhere ?:ear 12k miles is a lot of miles on a set of tires
    #84
  5. Ironheadziggy76

    Ironheadziggy76 What the hell?

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    Rick, thank you for posting this excellent trip report! :clap
    I made the trip back in 2009 on a 650 V-Strom, and am planning to go back in 2015 with a good friend of mine. He is trying to decide what bike to take on this trip as I don't think he will want to take his new Street Glide on this trip. :lol3 It looks like they have paved a little more of the Dalton since I was last there.
    #85
  6. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    Yes - the 240-mile strech is the longest one. I added a couple of bottles of gas when I left Coldfoot just in case, but didn't need them. There are a lot of miles without fuel, so it's a good idea to "See gas, Buy gas". :D

    I wisely used the first day of my trip to determine my exact tank range.... :rofl

    Good luck finding Lisa.
    #86
  7. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    I was getting concerned after the first 2 weeks about the tire wear, but after I got off the gravel, they seemed to stop wearing! By the time I got home and rode to work a couple of weeks, I had 15K on the set. (Includes about 900 miles before I left).

    Michelin PR3 front
    Michelin Commander II rear
    #87
  8. duckman44

    duckman44 Been here awhile

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    Sorry but did you say what helmet camera you used. I am about to pull the trigger for a Go Pro and want to know if that is what you used.
    This is the best report I have read(watched) so far.:clap
    My trip starts this year in June and covers almost the exact route you took.
    Thanks for keeping me pumped up about my future adventure!
    #88
  9. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    Yes - there is a stretch of highway starting at Coldfoot heading north that was freshly paved for 20 miles.

    Nearly Zero traffic, pristine new pavement with bright white lines, no highway patrol, unlimited visibility....
    Max Speed? No comment... :eek1
    But that may all change in the next 12 months, the way the weather attacks the pavement up there.

    I did see a guy on an ElectraGlide on the south end of the Dalton.
    According to the staff at the Yukon River station, he went down when he hit the "construction area mud". He didn't get hurt, and was able to go as far as the Arctic Circle.
    #89
  10. Ironheadziggy76

    Ironheadziggy76 What the hell?

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    Rick, Alaska owes me one as I didn't make it all the way to Deadhorse!

    [​IMG]

    Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from my trip, the Arctic Circle Campground.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks again for posting this wonderful RR, I'm going to make sure my buddy who is going with gets all the links to this.
    #90
  11. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    I just watched the first six, and then had the same message for #7.. I'm on a iPad also..
    Rick, these are fantastic videos. I've wanted to go to Alaska for years. We are heading up this summer. I'm already losing sleep think/dreaming about it. Your videos (at least the first six, only increase the anticipation!)

    I noticed you seem to just cruise on over the metal grate and plank bridges, wet or dry. I've been over a few and had the same approach, but in many of the Alaska RRs, posters have discussed how challenging they are. Were they as "puckering" as described?

    Thanks again for posting! Fantastic. :clap:clap:clap:clap
    (Yep, I'll be almost 59, when we get to Deadhorse.. We're not getting any younger.)
    Jeff
    #91
  12. eemsreno

    eemsreno Long timer

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    Rick
    I’m on video 2 now, very good job, It brings back good memories . I have a slow internet connection so I do a lot of waiting for the video to load. Thanks for taking all the time to make videos like this. Steve
    #92
  13. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    No, not really... I never experienced any "wandering"on the steel grate bridges, especially compared to the slick mud. Somebody pointed out that I didn't do the "look-down" thing with the camera on the Mackinac Bridge.
    I think that's because it was the first one I crossed that actually had traffic.
    And the GoPro camera seems to exaggerate the speed a bit. I wasn't really going at normal highway speed on the wet ones.

    I've looked at Part7 and I get the same message on the iPad, but it works fine on the PC.

    When I uploaded the videos, I got some YouTube warnings on Part1 and Part4: "Your video may include music that is owned by a third party."
    But Part7 has a comment that says "Video blocked in some countries".
    I guess it has something to do with the way Apple filters that stuff.

    Anyway, I was just too lazy to go back and remove all the music and start uploading again... :puke1
    #93
  14. vfrpilot

    vfrpilot Stress Relief Rider

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    I just finished watching all 7 videos. There is only one word for my take on them.... "ÄWESOME!"
    We're leaving in June. Can't wait!
    #94
  15. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    Yes, I used a GoPro HD Hero2 for all the riding video, and an iPhone for some of the stationary bits.
    I just got a Wi-Fi BacPac for Christmas, which is awesome: with a free app, I can see the video preview before shooting, and I can change all the camera settings with a touchscreen instead of the 2-button dance on the camera.

    Unfortunately, The camera + the WiFi BacPac + the extended housing is a brick when attached to a helmet.
    I now have it on eBay, and will be looking at the new Hero3 with a smaller, lighter frame, and built-in WiFi.

    BTW... When I left home, I had the camera mounted to the side-bar of the bike as in the first 10 seconds of the actual film. That nearly destoyed the camera with vibration.
    When I realized the housing was gouging the camera, I removed the camera and left the empty housing attached to the bar. After reaching South Dakota, I looked down and found that the empty housing had broken off somewhere in the previous 6 states. :eek1

    If I had left the camera in the housing, there woudn't even be a video from this trip!
    I stopped in Prince George, BC and bought a new housing. That's why there is no GoPro footage from the western states on this trip.
    #95
  16. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

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    Rick,

    I'll join the chorus of praise for your great trip, excellent riding skill and fabulous videos. Inspirational. Like others, I agree that your terse overlay commentary and subtle mix of video and stills with non-intrusive music makes for a great package. I'll be stealing a few of your tricks myself.

    I've now vibrated two GoPro mounts to death. Sadly they just aren't as good as the rest of the camera setup.

    Happy riding

    Nick
    #96
  17. findlj

    findlj How much fun is that

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    Rick - congrats on one great RR! I'm 56 and just retired and planning a very similar trip. Your videos and report are really informative and motivating. Thanks a lot for sharing. :beer
    Can't wait to take my Tiger up there.
    #97
  18. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Nick!
    I see that you've done the Trans-Labrador Highway. That's on my short list - I've gone as far as the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton, but didn't have time to do Newfoundland and Labrador. If I head back up that way again, I'd like to do the TL-HWY.

    I think when I was looking into it a couple of years ago, there wasn't yet a road all the way from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Blanc-Sablon. So that's been completed now?
    #98
  19. nick949eldo

    nick949eldo Long timer

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    Rick,
    Its a through route now, and the section from Happy Valley to the Labrador coast is the best part of all IMHO, although 389 from Baie Comeau north to Labrador City is very pleasant - typical Canadian Shield 'rocks, trees and water'. They are paving the TLH like crazy, but there is still plenty of the gravel that you love so much and nothing that's a patch on what you rode of the Dalton.

    Compared to the mountains of the west, the scenery is - well, an acquired taste. I love the endless muskeg and the stunted spruce forest, and even the inevitable blackflies are part of its character, but its not for everyone. There is a huge push to develop Muskrat Falls, near Happy Valley for Hydro power, so you could set yourself an agenda to see it before its ruined. I saw the Rupert River (James Bay Road) http://www.rupertriver.com/ before its flow was diverted, and am darn glad I did.

    I wouldn't bother trading the Connie for a GS or a KLR. With your skill and experience, you'd be just fine.

    All the best

    Nick
    #99
  20. solorider40

    solorider40 Been here awhile

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    Rick,

    That is one of the best video ride reports I have watched so far! You have inspired me. I still have kids in school, but in a couple of years I'll have the time to be able to take some long trips. Alaska is one of my destinations. Great job and hope to see some more ride reports from ya. :clap