Tewster's Traveling Circus 2018 (Alaska planning stuff)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Tewster2, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. migilito

    migilito Perpetual NooB

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    Ah crap! My plan was to have really good tires to make up for my really mediocre skills
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  2. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    Lots of good comments about tires and such...much appreciated.

    The post I put up about the Michelin Pilot Road tires was from last year's planning thread. That ride's all done. This year i'm only running Mitas E0-7's and since I'm not going over to Labrador after Alaska then one set will be just fine (probably). I pack light and ride slow so 12k miles should not be a problem. But if they are wearing faster I'll just get some tires along the way. I don't worry too much about tire availability....I've got plenty of time if I need to wait a few days to get some.

    If I do need to get a another rear to make it home I'll just get a cheap Shinko 705 and slap'er on.
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  3. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    Hey thanks for the offer of a place to change tires. I'll be checking the wear on my Mitas and if I think I"ll need another rear I'll surely give your tire machine a workout :thumb

    Never ridden Hatcher so it's on my list for sure this time.


    I have a buddy who lives in Eagle River....plans at the moment are to visit him when I'm in there area. If that doesn't work out I'll grab a place in Wasilla. Good to have choices :thumb
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  4. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    I'm not that smart....

    "What you really need is to spend some time learning to ride your bike on whatever tire you choose. That latter is undoubtedly far more important than all those other variables put together".

    ....that quote, sums everything up perfectly, is not mine but came from one of the masters of Alaska riding, Alcan Rider....hi Jack :wave
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  5. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    Sometimes I like to ride fast, sometimes I like to ride slow,
    But, on a trip like AK I like to ride “fluid”... it’s that feeling where your comfortable and not pushing yourself or the bike. The edge of safety is a sharp one. One minute your ok and in a blink of an eye the next second your not. On these roads the initial crash, if one happens, is not the worst part, it’s what you then carry into, and that is multiplied by the speed your going and usually involves a turn. If your fluid, the bike is well into it’s zone of stability and you are within your range of capabilities. In other words the bike the rider and the road are all in harmony. It is only at that time you can achieve “bliss”. There’s an old saying “ ride your own bike”. Your instincts will tell you if your pushing too hard or falling asleep from boredom with your pace. Riding with others can lead to compromise. I will ride with others and if everything gells I’m ok. If they are too fast, I let them go. If I’m faster I wave goodbye. There is no insult in this. Have a great ride.
    Sobova, Bacca, HeidiHo and 6 others like this.
  6. Dan Lorenze

    Dan Lorenze Been here awhile

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    Speaking of tires, we are going with the Motoz Tractionator GPS on both bikes. I know a guy that knows a guy at Motoz. lol I've yet to read anything bad about the tires, all great reviews. We're not doing a tire change ether, should be fine.
    HeidiHo, djroszina and Tewster2 like this.
  7. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    I've had my Klim Badlands Pro jacket and pants for five years now....still perfect. But the new 2018 jacket has MUCH better venting and has many improvements I like...so...Revzilla gave me 10% off...so...my new one will be here in a few days.

    Badlands-Jacket_black_1.jpg
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  8. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    What are ypu doing with the old one? And what size is it?
  9. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    It is a large/black....perfect condition. This is the one I have.

    41d-QHSdIBL._SX425_.jpg
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  10. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    I currently have an older Latitude and wear an XL. Its sizing is just right for my electric Kanetsu jacket underneath. Someday I may upgrade to a Badlands.
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  11. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    Yep, I looked at dozens of jackets from many makers. The Klim stuff I bought years ago has served me well.

    The way I look at it, I buy new riding gear about every five years or so...so...the $1500 investment I made 5 years ago cost me .82 cents a day to own and enjoy. Never been cold, wet, but have been a bit hot in really hot weather...nothing is perfect. The new BLP has 12 vents and should work well coming back across the plains this year the end of July. I'll continue to use my original pants.
    djroszina likes this.
  12. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    I've also had my eye on Klim's Induction jacket for hot weather riding.
  13. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    I have a Tourmaster Draft 2 that works great...about $100.
  14. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

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    And now for something completely different....

    Steering stabilizers? I keep looking at them. The reason, has nothing to do with anything that has ever happened to me on the street. My bike is amazingly stable at all speeds even with the TKC80s, even in some vicious cross winds and horizontal rain.

    So what you ask is your problem? Well, I am headed as some of you know to Caniapiscau again this year, well, to put it another way another attempt. I tried it in 2016 and I failed. Too much marble gravel and not enough experience on said gravel so I decided that discretion was the better part of valor that time. This time, I have a little more experience with gravel but what sticks in my head was hitting a patch of gravel on that road at only 30 MPH that caused my high frequency wiggle in my handlebars. I didn't drop the bike but that was on the short .25 mile return on the Trans Taiga and it really made an impression. I am wondering if a steering damper would make the difference and make that ride more stable or as my very experienced friend told me, to "just slow down" and save the $600.

    Anyone else have an opinion?

    I really don't want to outlay the cash for that but it nags in the back of my mind that a damper might make sense, if only for that road.

    KR
  15. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    Look at it this way. You say your inexperienced and have feelings of instability in the bike and it is disconcerting...pro offroaders use steering stabilizers...and they are pros...must do something that makes it worth their while.
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  16. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    As you know they really do work. BUT your bike will still want to follow a rut in loose stuff. Sometimes actually going faster or at least sitting back, being loose on the bars to lighten the front help. Practice makes perfect. What bike is this for?
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  17. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer

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    ^^^Back in the day when I was a midwestern boy all on my own I decided to trailer my stripped down XRL out to Nevada and enter a 500 mile long desert race, Vegas to Reno. The bike wallowed and twitched in that sand and gravel. I soon found my comfort zone by sitting back on the seat and blasting full throttle. The bike stiffened and flew straight as an arrow. The bars every once in a while would shake, but if I kept it loose the bike would just straighten itself out. Now I know this is an extreme scenario, but some of the same dynamics are in play.
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  18. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    Steering stabilizers work great in sand. The Dakar racers all use them because of the deep sand they race in. If I rode a lot of sand I’d get one but for the little I do I just let the bike wander on its own, I steer by being on the legs and using pressure on the footpegs . Very little handlebar input at all. Some don’t like the wandering but for me it’s ok.
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  19. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer

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    I’d like to sell my original Klim jacket. Maybe $350? If that is not good I’ll always take more :-)
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  20. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

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    Thanks for the input guys. That was my experience on the Trans Lab. The bike wanders but you get use to it. I am hoping that experience transfers to the Trans Taiga. And yes, the deep stuff is something to stay out of.

    KR