Tires - Missoula to Inuvik to Top of the World and back

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by gharnden, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. gharnden

    gharnden Been here awhile

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    I have read almost everything on this website and am very confused on tires for my upcoming trip. I would like your suggestion in relationship to tires for my upcoming trip to the NWT and Alaska. I have a R1200GS. I have ridden for over 40 years but am far from an expert on gravel and mud. I am leaving from Missoula going to Whitehorse to Dawson to Inuvik (Dempster) to Tok (by way of the Top of the World) to Missoula.
    I would like to not change tires during the trip.
    I have had Tourances and Anakees and know what they can do.
    I went to Alaska in 2009 but not on the Dempster, Dalton, or Top of the World - Had Tourances
    I realize this all depends on road conditions due to weather when I go in July.
    I realize individuals do it on HDs, Goldwings, etc. and on all types of tires, especially under perfect condition.
    Weather will cause us to adjust and use a little common sense.

    This is what I am currently thinking as choices. What is your best all-around recommendation:
    a. TKCs
    b. TKC front, Heidenau K60 rear
    c. Anakee 3s, if they are available
    d. Shinko 705s (this is currently my last choice)

    Thanks in advance for your input.
    #1
  2. Osmin C

    Osmin C Been here awhile

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    Most guys will tell you that a tire choice is a very personal thing and that you should simply get a tire that you are comfortable with and will last the length of your trip(you may be pushing it on the TKC rear).

    That said, are you not considering the Heidi K60 scouts? Many say its the perfect 50/50 tire and many have used it for their trips to AK with much success.
    #2
  3. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    Completed a third round trip into Alaska and YT (Whitehorse) in early June, 2012 to/from Denver. 7500 miles RT.

    Had Woody's install NEW Tourances for the trip. Had about 1/2 the tread left returning to Denver.

    The Tourances worked perfectly well for the Dalton....all the way to Coldfoot...where there was an avalance on the North side of Atigun. No go to PB.

    Dalton was DRY...temp was 82 F when I left Fairbanks.

    The only "watch out" was from a trucker at the Hotspot (5 miles North of the Yukon Bridge) who advised me that the AK DOT was putting down 'mag chloride' on the road North of this fine lunch spot.

    After cresting this 400 yard downslope...you could see the 'gooey' mag chloride all the way down the slope.
    Trust me you'd NEVER be able to make it back UP this slope...way too slick.

    So...Tourances are great for DRY to light rain conditions.
    Obviously the TKC's have more bite and would be a better choice for WET conditions. Just plan your ride accordingly.

    I just don't like the thought of hearing/feeling the TKC 80 'blocks' for a couple THOUSAND miles (Missoula to TOK***),
    *** You MUST eat at Fast Eddie's in TOK! You can't miss it!
    <a href="http://s635.beta.photobucket.com/user/RMWBMW/media/fasteddies_zps4a83989e.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/fasteddies_zps4a83989e.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"/></a>

    The NEW Karoo 3's might be something you should look at. Kind of a hybrid between the TKC 80 and Tourances.
    http://www.metzeler.com/site/uk/products/tyres-catalogue/Karoo-3.html
    Should be available before you leave. Website says: "Available March,2013"
    #3
  4. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander only happy when sad

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    Option B :deal
    #4
  5. mike54

    mike54 You don't get me

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    I've only used TKC's or Tourance's. I don't know anything about the Heidenau K60.

    I used Tourances on my 1150GS when I went in 04. We had mostly dry weather and they worked fine everywhere. When we got to Coldfoot it was raining pretty good to the north so we chose to turn back at that point. Similar to LaurelPerryOnLand. I had to change the Rear Tourance before I left AK because of wear. I usually get 8,000 out of a set but the rear was gone at 6,000. The roads up there seem to eat tires more than here in CA. Given that I wouldn't start on a set of TKC's I only get 3 - 4,000 from them. If it were to do it again, I'd start on Tourances and have a set of TKC's available that I could use for the dalton depending on the weather.

    What you might do is start off on Tourances and switch to the TKCs in Dalton for the ride to Inuvik. There's some bike friendly people there than can help you make that happen. Check the AK regionals.
    Put the Tourances (or Anakees if you prefer) back on when you get back to Dalton and head for Tok. Top of the world sould be no problem wet or dry.

    Food for though. Most of all enjoy your trip. I need to do it again.
    #5
  6. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    #6
  7. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    This is a good place where you can either buy tires or have your tires SHIPPED to and they'll mount them for you when you pass through Fairbanks. They've even got a POWER WASHER you can use to de-gunk your bike after returning from the Dalton!:clap

    http://www.advcycleworks.com/

    Contact Info
    Dan Armstrong
    907-457-4259
    dans40xc@hotmail.com

    Location
    362 Snowy Owl Lane
    Fairbanks, AK 99712
    #7
  8. gharnden

    gharnden Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the responses. A couple referred to the Dalton and places to change tires in Fairbanks. We actually are not doing the Dalton, but the Dempster. Is there a place in Dawson where I can pre-arrange to have tires purchased and installed? I guess if there is not a place in Dawson, I can always work with the Honda shop in Whitehorse.
    #8
  9. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=553779
    Post #7

    2-year old thread...call NAPA to confirm they still do!:clap
    #9
  10. mike54

    mike54 You don't get me

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    I said dalton but meant Dawson. Contact 'The Dick' at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson. I know you said you're going in July but if you could push it up to June and join the Dust to Dawson ride you wouldn't be dissapointed.
    #10
  11. CheckerdD

    CheckerdD Long timer

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    I used to live in Alaska. Heidenau K60's will serve you fine and you should be able to use the one tire for a round trip. In both Alaska and Canada they put a chemical on unpaved roads that can be slippery when wet. I think it's purpose is to supress dust and make the surface cohesive. Except for that the unpaved roads are like any well maintained BLM road in your state. To me the idea of switching tires in unnecessary. Dave
    #11
  12. vtbob

    vtbob wanderer

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    K60s are the best(only) long lasting 50/50 tire. You will appreciate them on the dempster of other dirt it is wet and muddy.
    One set should last you the trip.
    It is a hard rubber tire..ie why it last so many miles but has reasonable bite in muddy roads. Ok on pavement evan at speeds to 100. It is NOT your tourance on wet pavement...so take it a bit easier there.

    check out this month BMW owner magazine for a very good article on the K60 vs the TKC, etc
    #12
  13. waynem

    waynem Been here awhile

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    Two of us did the same ride last June and both were on 1200 gs's and had no problems on the tourances, even in soup up the dempster during a rain storm and then into the N.W. territories where we were the first of about seven bike to cross the Mckenzie after the ferrie re-opened and we were faced with mile after mile of pea gravel that had been laid down on the road and had not had more than maybe 9 trucks tamp it down, a fkn really miserable way to see the territories. We did 7200 miles and pretty much ate the rear but had 6k more on the front.
    at the end of the ride.
    #13
  14. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Sorry to digress - but why is it called "Top of the world" when Inuvik according to Google Maps is at a mere 68 degrees north?
    Am I missing something?

    [TaSK]
    #14
  15. mike54

    mike54 You don't get me

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    It's just a name. It's the Hwy that runs from Tok to Dawson.
    #15
  16. vtbob

    vtbob wanderer

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    Most of the roads up north follow the rivers and valleys.....just flatter and easer to cut thru. The Top of the world road is just a summer only road.. that has been made following the tops of the mountains (mostly rolling) so has some spectacular views. It is also MUCH short way to get to Tok than going back thru Whitehorse.
    #16
  17. 2712

    2712 Been here awhile

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    ive been to 71,68 degrees north on my bike, but that was in europe, so i guess that does not count:lol3
    #17
  18. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

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    And...where would that have been?:huh
    #18
  19. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    [​IMG]

    ANyone can ride (on paved roads) to Nordkapp, Norway, at 71,17 degrees north.
    I had four degrees, rain and fog in mid July.

    Deadhorse airport is at a mere 70,20 degrees.

    But we are digressing - carry on.

    [TaSK]
    #19
  20. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    If you start with fresh tourances in Missoula you should be fine up and back. We stayed at the hotel across the street from the NAPA in Dawson.

    Montana has tons of dirt roads. Start riding them and get comfortable. I took our low experience guy down the Montana farm roads to get him experience and skill. He crashed and his brother and I almost crashed on a spot where they just fluffed up the gravel. We were a mile from pavement. The sign said road equipment working but it was after 5pm so we thought we were safe. The gravel was loose for 8 inches.

    AK and all those roads are much more scary and dangerous at your computer than actually there.

    I went to Deadhorse. The bad parts of the roads give you warning. Take it easy and enjoy. We met a guy on a cruiser who crashed but his front tire was bald/slick.

    Ran into a guy from chicago who went to Inuvik. He was on a GSA and said it was no problem.Top of the World
    #20