2016 Tour de National Parks (Lower 48, and Alaska)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by StarkNaked, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Ah, there are so many thoughts rushing around in my head right now, the point you were trying to make went right over my head. :rofl

    On the bright side, I know now about these stamps.
    #21
  2. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Thanks again for this. If I make it there in the winter, its on my list now.
    #22
  3. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Just throwing this out there...

    For those who have taken some of these extended trips and like to photograph, what do you do about camera equipment? (space,weight,and possibly toting around expensive lenses and frames)

    I have semi decent equipment and I want to take my marco photography somewhat seriously while I'm riding.
    #23
  4. SpudMonkey

    SpudMonkey Adventurer

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    I'd take a bit of a detour on the Edmonton/Calgary segment in Canada and hit Jasper/Banff/Kootney parks. And if you go, and are interested in hiking on a glacier, consider taking the Ice Walk on Abathasca Glacier. A couple of friends talked my wife and myself to extending our trip to go there a couple years back, and we'd thought it was well worth it - even if just for the ride on the Icefields Parkway.
    #24
  5. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Gaps were too small. re-gapped the plugs and it ran great.
    #25
  6. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    That actually might work. On my way back down from Alaska heading into Montana, I can detour there.
    Good call. Thanks SaltyDog2
    #26
  7. holckster

    holckster dougholck

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    +1 what Tucker says.
    I have an 08 DR650 stored in Uruguay that I'm headed to Ushuaia on in January.
    Rode 9000 miles thru Mexico in 2012 and 6000 miles in Chile and Argentina last January and bike preformed well.

    Carb:
    I would just remove the plug and install the extended fuel needle.
    Change the throttle cable bracket and carb bowl screws to allens ( the stock slotted head ones can be impossible to get out on the road
    and you may need to remove the bowl to clean the carb, change a jet or adjust the float)
    Do not cut airbox, just remove snorkel.
    I'd leave the stock exhaust, bike has plenty of power and who wants more noise and going faster defeats the purpose of sightseeing. ( sell the parts you have to pay for important stuff)

    Depending on your size you may consider lowered footpegs and bar risers and even some Protaper bars (stock bend easily)
    If your weight plus luggage add up might want to change to heavier rear shock spring and or progressive front fork springs.
    Carry a spare clutch cable, just run and zip tie it alongside the stock.
    Carry spare clutch lever.
    Add the engine "hard parts" to engine cases.
    I carry spare shift lever.
    Add Barkbuster hand guards, the stock are useless.
    Mirror extenders so you can actually see behind you.
    Change tail light bulb to LED so you can be seen.
    Add some kind of extra lights to the front ( I drilled and mounted pair on the reflector brackets, watch for clearance on gas tank), not for you to see but for others to see you coming (check amazon for many small cheap lights).
    Add a centerstand to make tire changing, flat repair, bike maintainance and especially oiling chain convenient (I oil at the end of each day while chain warm just before covering).
    I find the Wolfman tankbag a great place to keep the camera, ear plugs, etc for quick access.
    For added storage space remove your rear pegs and add a set of Aerostitch soft panniers. http://www.aerostich.com/aerostich-tank-panniers.html
    They also protect your legs from getting caught under the hard panniers when you fall down, common cause of broken legs and why I run the Wolfman soft panniers.
    I also found a cheap set of tank bag panniers (I think at www.procycle.com ) that had a hole for the gas cap and after I added a strap for around the front of the tank to keep them from flapping around was good for a windbreak and place to store bike cover, rain gear/gloves, chain lube and other things you want quick access too). Also protects tank WHEN you fall down.
    If going offroad I'd consider an engine bash plate.

    I realize this stuff adds up to some serious cash and you'll get by just as you are so only do what makes sense for you. "Ride your own ride"
    I think I spent as much on aftermarket crap as I paid for my DR ($3500 in 2011 with 600 miles on it).

    Procycle is the place shop for all things DR.
    .
    Since you are not going to a 3rd world country and Suzuki shops are everywhere here you will be fine so have a great trip.
    I'm on the Tent Space List located between Yosemite and San Francisco, stop by for a rest or to service bike in my shop.
    #27
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  8. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    holckster, great advice.

    You're right about things adding up to. After awhile your DR ends up being more than some pay for a BMW hahaha :lol3. I forgot I got a carb rebuild kit from procycle and they included all new SS allen screws for the carb bowl. I heard the old ones are a real Biatch to get off.

    I'll look for you when I'm in the area.
    Thanks
    #28
  9. sKatZ

    sKatZ Custom Title: Professional Trainwreck

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    Stark, you bypass me a bit heading to/from Big Bend (which is an unbelievably stunning place) but if you need anything in the DFW area, shout out. If I can't help, I know plenty of folks who can, from rescue and repair to a friendly cup of coffee or a place to sleep.
    #29
  10. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Sounds Great sKatZ, I like coffee and sleep. Not necessarily in that order :lol3

    and I have read about big bend can't wait to see it.
    #30
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  11. Boltonian

    Boltonian Nails

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    My experience of about 25 Nat parks is that Utah has,without a doubt the best, & maybe the most parks of any US State, but by far The one to visit is Yellowstone.

    That's it, & good luck!
    #31
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  12. sKatZ

    sKatZ Custom Title: Professional Trainwreck

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    It is breathtaking. I have only been there once but it seemed like everywhere I looked, it couldn't have been real - it was almost overwhelmingly beautiful!

    In a perfect world, you could sleep with coffee pouring into you :-D
    #32
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  13. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    I agree. I used to live out west and spent alot of time in Utah Parks. Beautiful.
    #33
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  14. XRangerRides

    XRangerRides Been here awhile Supporter

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    Like the National Parks theme. A bonus for you is that 2016 is the 100th anniversary (August 25 1916) of the NPS so there will likely some commemorative events. If it hasn't been said yet pick up your America the Beautiful recreation pass for the trip, $80 for the pass and it is good for entry to national parks, and other federal recreation areas. You'll start saving money fast since most NPS entry fees range from $15 to $25 depending on the park. Example entry fees in 2015 for Motorcycle - Yellowstone $25, Rocky Mtn NP - $20, Theodore Roosevelt NP - $15. Don't ignore the state parks along the way too, often good cheap options for camping and many will have showers in the campgrounds.
    #34
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  15. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I use 6 socket Allen head screws on our DR650 carbs. Two for the float bowl, two for the top and two for the cable mechanism. (All the same size/length) I also put Allens on the carb clips at inlet port and airbox.
    If you have to remove the carb makes life easier to just remove the cable mechanism at the carb and leave it intact. If you look around the bike and use Allens you can minimize your tool kit.
    I also drill a hole in the oil filler plug and attach safety wire to it and to the bike.
    Oh another thing that happened on our trip was on Colleen's bike the exhaust header bolts came loose and we lost one. I now drill and safety wire those.
    If you don't want a center stand you can make up a crutch from an actual crutch from a Thrift Store ($5?). Comes in handy for chain lube and such.
    You may want to consider getting a spare O ring and a spare spring for inside the oil filter housing....they somehow seem to disappear.
    Being a camera guy I would suggest a Pelican top box with foam insert BOLTED to a rear rack. I think IM2370. OR any lockable top box, we used old Touratech from BMW's we had 12 years ago....BOLTED to the rear rack....I am not a fan of quick release.
    I'd get a headlight guard. I make mine from 'paint brush holders' it's a metal grill with hooks on it to sit over a paint can. The large size is just right after you trim off the hooks. They are at the 99cent store here.
    A heated vest will have you cut down on clothing. You'll need a port. I use the BMW one because they stay connected well.
    You will also need a charging port. The easiest and most versatile is the Battery Tender SAE and their SAE to USB, the whole thing is around $15 on Amazon. You can run your phone, charge your camera, tablet, run gps as it converts to 5v...but you still have a 12v SAE. I cut off the cig lighter end from my air pump and solder on a SAE.
    #35
  16. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    Love your trip idea, sounds like you are giving lots of thought to preparing.
    Check out JamieZ for budget travel tips.
    My only suggestion is to reduce emphasis on interstate highways and travel more state highways, see some of the area you are passing through.
    Journey, not destination.
    #36
  17. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the advice, I'll check it out. As far as the roads are concerned I agree and that's my goal when possible to minimize time on interstates, maximize the roads less taken :D
    #37
  18. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    Thanks. The 100 year anniversary is a big bonus. Maybe they'll all have a special stamp :imaposer

    And yes, agreed there, I will be buying one of those right before I leave. If I'm not mistaken they are good for 1 year from date of purchase.
    #38
  19. StarkNaked

    StarkNaked Been here awhile

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    All really good ideas. I just found the motherload of SS allen heads that are mine for the taking, I may all well fully convert.
    I pretty much have all my riding gear and good merino wool base layers, that and money is tight, for now, Im going to shy away from heated gear. (we will see if this winter changes my mind :lol3)

    I never thought of putting a leash on the oil cap. I like that idea alot. Good sunday football halftime project. :beer


    ** edit** That IM2370 is perfect.
    Thanks Tuckers
    #39
  20. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    When I was wandering for a couple of years I took a Canon 40D, 17-55 f2.8 EFS, and carried a small lightweight tripod. It started off riding in my backpack but the one problem with that was that it was such a pain to get off the bike and use it that I was not taking many pictures. Then i decided to wrap it in a good size microfiber cloth for padding and put it in my tank bag. I used it a heck of lot more and got some good images that I would otherwise not have gotten if it was in my backpack. The camera rode in that tank bag for over 40,000 miles and a significant part of that was on rocky or washboard roads. The focus ring of the lens got a little loose but thats about it, the camera held up great, but I did have it padded fairly well. My tank bag basically became my camera bag. The 17-55 lens was good for most stuff (APS sensor on the camera) but at times I wished I had a little more range. A 70-200 zoom would have been a nice addition but I balked at carrying it. The 17-55 EFS has some really nice glass and produces very sharp images and it was sufficient 90% of the time I reckon.

    I wouldn't get too hung up on racing from park to park. There is so much fantastic stuff to see and ride that is not in proper park that I would keep an open agenda.

    Guatemala
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    Bolivia
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    Guyana
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    Brasil
    [​IMG]


    French Guiana
    [​IMG]


    Colombia
    [​IMG]


    Galapagos
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    Argentina
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    #40
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