What tires were on your GS when you rode to Alaska?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by PdxMotor, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. PdxMotor

    PdxMotor Adventurer

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    Planning a 5.3K miles round trip this year to Alaska on a loaded with camping gear 1200GS. Alaska Hwy up and Stewart-Cassiar back down with a side trip through Dawson and the "Top of the World Highway"

    Part of me says stay stock with Anakee 3's, another says I'll need something with a little better mud traction for rainy road construction days.

    Also would like to complete the trip on one set of tires, so minimum 5.3K miles.
    #1
  2. hammick

    hammick Long timer

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    10.5k trip in 2012 on 2011 GSA with Tourances. Had to get a new rear in Anchorage. If the only dirt you plan to do is the TOW then AIIIs or any other dual sport should be fine.

    Next time I go I plan to do the entire Haul Road (stayed the night in Wiseman and back last time) and will get some proper knobbies installed in Whitehorse and then put the street tires back on on the way home. The Haul Road can get slicker than snot when wet. We were lucky and didn't have any rain while on it. We had hard rain when we tried to do the Denali Highway and couldn't do it on the Tourances. We were all over the place. A small section of the TOW was wet but we went slow and didn't have too much trouble.

    Remember if it gets slick and you don't have knobbies then air your tires down to about 25psi. It's a lot less hassle to air them back up then to get injured or killed.
    #2
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  3. PdxMotor

    PdxMotor Adventurer

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    I do plan on taking the Dalton up to the Arctic Circle sign, but that is as far north as I plan. This will be in July.
    #3
  4. kevin g

    kevin g Been here awhile

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    I am very interested in this topic as I plan to ride to Alaska this summer and figure 10-12K miles since I have two months. I like the Tourances a lot but have mostly street miles on them.

    I have seen several posts from those who said they changed tires in Whitehorse and then back again for the return trip. Where in Whitehorse are you getting the tires and your take-offs stored?
    #4
  5. keith in alaska

    keith in alaska Valley Gruver

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    The Heidenhau's are probably the only DS tire that can do that distance, but the last 3k miles will be miserable after the tire gets squared off.
    RentAlaska.com
    #5
  6. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

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    Heidenau K60 on the back, TKC80 on the front. 9,000 miles in 18 days. Swapped out the TKC80 in a dealership parking lot in Denver on the way home after 8,200 miles (yeah, it was shot!).

    The Top of the World Highway was bone dry and beautiful for us, but the Dalton was a greasy, slick mess. I was glad to have something with some bite on the front end.
    #6
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  7. Delta61

    Delta61 Been here awhile

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    Did the trip in 2013 from SE corner of Alabama to Prudhoe and back. 11,000 miles in June and July. Heidenau K60 on front and back on 1200 GSA. Ran tire pressures at 34 front and 38 rear and never changed those pressures. Finally took the tires off at 14,000 miles. Hope this helps and have a safe and fun trip. Also had three other guys with me. Another 1200 GSA, a 1150 GS and a KTM 990 and all of us had the K60's on. No one changed tires till we got back.
    #7
  8. hammick

    hammick Long timer

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    Can't remember but it is the only place. A Yamaha or Suziki shop as I recall. I believe you need to buy your tires online and have them shipped there. They will change them, store them and then change them again for a price.
    #8
  9. Dogslobber

    Dogslobber Been here awhile

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    As I live in Alaska I did the reverse you are planning. I rode from AK to AZ back to AK and I used K60's front and rear, had plenty of life left upon my return. Total mileage was 8500 miles. However I'm not a fan of the K60's other than the mileage factor.

    I think the Mitas e07 is in the same class for mileage and a better all around tire. Once my current TKC80's are done the Mitas will be my next tire.
    #9
  10. Dave Edwards

    Dave Edwards Carminian

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    I did a 10000 mile Alaska trip on a set of Tourance Next tires, no problems at all, but also we only had 1/2 hr. of rain in 22 days...
    #10
  11. mb289

    mb289 Been here awhile

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    I went to AK last summer from SC. Total mileage was just over 11k and rode the entire trip on one set of Tourance Next. Rear was at the top of the wear bar when I got home. I rode the Dalton (to Wiseman), TOW and Denali highways. Dry weather for the Dalton and TOW, but rained the entire Denali Hwy and I had no concerns with my tire choice. I plan to go back next year and will either ride the Nexts or regular Tourances.
    #11
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  12. SeeRace

    SeeRace Been here awhile

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    My son and I rode from Georgia in 2013. We ran Continental Trail Attacks to Fairbanks and put on K60's for the Dalton and Top of the world highway. The Conti's are great on wet and dry pavement and very quiet. The K60's made it back home with a lot of tread to spare. The K60's are really tough as nails and give good peace of mind when you are hundreds of miles from anywhere.
    #12
  13. SeeRace

    SeeRace Been here awhile

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    Order your tires from Dan Armstrong at Adventure Cycleworks in Fairbanks. They will switch them out, and you can go into Fairbanks to ship them home
    #13
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  14. Herr Magooro

    Herr Magooro Adventurer

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    I used the Mitas E07 Dakar from MN to AK and back (8,500 mi. roundtrip) on an '07 GS and still had thousands of miles of life left. I've run K60s and would choose the E07s over them any day. Just wish they made them for the LC which I have now. But I'm guessing that since you're on stock A3s, you're running a LC and the Mitas option is moot.

    I did the TOW when it was bone dry and easy and probably would have been fine on any street tire. The Dalton up to Deadhorse was dry and surprisingly easy (minus a couple of wet/deep sections) but wet, slick as ice, and terrifying on the way back. I would have killed for knobbies on the way back down. Then again, there were guys doing it on streets and while it was slippery, they were doing better than me. Guess it all depends on skill.

    It's good you're taking construction into account, which we all run into at some point on trips. For me, running a more aggressive tire adds a little more security when encountering any kind of construction. But again, skill is a huge factor and everyone has a different experience/opinion. Also, that chip seal will eat tires up faster, so I'm not sure how the A3s will fare. The A3s have been fine for me on any dry gravel, but I'd be nervous if I were faced with prolonged sections of mud.

    Another option is to change tires in Fairbanks using Dan/Adventure Cycleworks.
    #14
  15. kayakingJeff

    kayakingJeff n00b

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    When I rode up to the Arctic Circle sign from Seattle I took pretty much the same route you are describing. I was on Anakee 3's on the way up and swapped out the street tires for TKC70's in Fairbanks at Adventure Cycle Works. http://www.advcycleworks.com/ I would have preferred TKC80's but since I hadn't called ahead of time to order a set they didn't have them and I had to settle for the 70's. Lesson learned - next time I'll call ahead. The 70's were OK for the Top of the World highway but a little sketchy on the Dalton Hwy. It had rained the day before I rode up to the AC sign and it was very slippery. If you run with the TKC 70's make sure to check the tire pressures when you get back on the pavement. I didn't and although the tire pressure was around 30psi the front tire was severely cupped when I got back to Seattle. I know, rookie mistake but it was my first overnight trip and I was solo so... Awesome trip, I know you will love it. Take lots of pictures!
    #15
  16. KOH

    KOH Adventurer

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    I ran Heidenau K60 Scout on my 2012 GSA. Round trip from Texas to Arctic Circle was 10,000 miles. Still had tread upon return to Texas. Route was Texas - Custer State Park - Beartooth - Glacier Nat'l Park- Banff- Jasper- Prince George - Kitwanga - Whitehorse - Dawson - Top of the World - Chicken - Tok - Fairbanks - Dalton - then headed for home. With camping gear, and the usual stuff - I ran 42 psi in rear and 36 front. Hardest wear on tires will come from the chip seal used on the roads. Riding in the center of road helps with tire wear.
    #16
  17. hammick

    hammick Long timer

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    The mention of construction reminded me of the need to be extra careful while in Alaska. Forget exactly were but pretty much in the middle of nowhere on two lane highway with amazing scenery I was looking at the mountains more than the road an suddenly was on a section of highway that was under construction and gravel. Absolutely no warning signs, cones, construction equipment or anything. Hit is at 70mph and expected the worst. Luckily it wasn't thick gravel and I was able to slowly decelerate to a reasonable speed.

    Remote AK can be like a third world country and your on your own for safety.
    #17
  18. hammick

    hammick Long timer

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    Ha I love it. First overnight trip is solo trip to Alaska. Trial by fire.
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  19. PdxMotor

    PdxMotor Adventurer

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    I get the feeling the K60 may be my best bet, I'll get a set mounted and see how I like them before my trip. Thanks guys.
    #19
  20. gregp

    gregp Been here awhile

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    Shinko 804/805 on my 2010 loaded gsa. I live in Alaska. Great tire .
    #20