2020 alaska trip

Discussion in 'Americas' started by wingtraveler, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    good morning new to this site so hopefully i'm in the right section, planning a late June 2020 trip from Norwich, ny to Alaska . We first started planning this adventure about this time last fall, the wife and I. well its been a year, read a lot watched a lot now the wife is thinking she will fly to anchorage and meet me there instead of the ride on the bike. we were riding a 2012 wing pulling a camper. was camping most of the way. the option of taking the wing over anything else was easy since it was the 2 of us and we both enjoy camping but now with the wife thinking of flying there it makes me think of taking a different ride. i am looking at a nc750x or a Africa twin. i do like the feel of my wing with all the comforts and a camper but also would love the idea of a adventure bike but i would have to tent it. would like your thoughts on which to take. just thought i would share whats on my mind thanks
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  2. Colemanfu

    Colemanfu King of all manfu

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    Do it in 2019. :deal
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  3. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    Most of the Alaska talk is in the thread above... TRIP PLANNING/AMERICAS.
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  4. scootac

    scootac Just a Traveler

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    Why 'have to tent it'???
    They have motels up there!
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  5. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    I belive in light bikes and light loads for my style of adv riding. (I use a ktm 350 for multi day camp trips )

    My thoughts

    Rent a RV for the wife portion ...no 2 up means lighter bike and load.

    That Honda 750 and AT look like good choices for your trip, I see no reason why you would not enjoy your trip on either bike .

    They would not be my choice

    Personally ... I would want a bike optimized for the likely worst surface's not the best surfaces you will encounter.

    I think the BMW 800gs would be 1st choice for me on that ride.

    The 800gs has a 21 inch front wheel ... this significantly incearses dirt / rough road handling with very little loss of high speed slab comfort especially compared to 17 inch front wheeled bikes ! ! .

    The BMW 800gs is no light weight champ ...but ...it's weight is not out of line.

    The BMW has enough power and weight to be comfortable on high speed slab.

    The rougher roads and graded dirt roads you will encounter should be in the sweet spot of the 800''s suspension

    The AT is to heavy for me.

    Enjoy

    Scott
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  6. Manrider218

    Manrider218 Been here awhile

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  7. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    I did AK this year on a BMW F650 Dakar...while a little under-motored on US freeways, it was perfect and kept me safe (speedwise) throughout western Canada and AK. Alot of riders do these trips on DR 650s and KLRs. Only if riding two up would I be compelled to ride polycylindered bikes over 800cc.
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  8. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    Just about any bike will work fine for your trip to Alaska. I enjoy riding my KLR up north when I want to do the Dalton but I like taking my Wing and camper on the Alcan and Cassiar so I can camp and enjoy the trip and save money. I don't like paying 100+ for a dumpy run down room on the Alcan. What kind of timeframe do you have? What month? I recommend the last half of June to early July. On this years trip the Alcan was in the best shape I have seen it.
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  9. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    Thanks for the reply Bigbob 1 my trip is planned last week of June for 5 weeks taking the wing and roll a home or the cargo trailer with a tent depends if the wife goes or not would like to hear more on the trip and what u encountered with the roads and also concerned on bears
    #9
  10. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    That should be a good time frame, you should not have any snow... :-)
    The highway was in good shape this summer. I only encountered a few construction zones on this years trip. Most of the Alcan is chipsealed, that is where they put down a tar like oil the put rock chips on top. When the chipseal is fresh there will be loose rock chips, slow down when encountering oncoming traffic.
    The weather is a crap shoot. Some years my trips are dry and some are wet. In the high country when it's wet it will be cold, use a electric vest or liner.

    Getting gas should not be an issue if you fill up in the towns. There are not as many roadhouses that sell gas as there used to be. I can post a list of gas stops for a Wing with camper if needed.

    Get a copy of "the Milepost" Here is a link that will get you most of the info: https://www.themilepost.com/highways/alaska-highway/

    Bears.... Ya there are bears up here. I have not had any issues with bears in a campground since the 1970's. After 29 trips on the Alcan riding motorcycles (mostly Wings) my tips are just keep a clean camp. Don't have any food or any gum, tooth paste or anything smelly in your tent or camper. Get some bear spray, all the big sporting goods chains sell it. It must be labeled as bear spray, not pepper spray to have it while in Canada.

    Speaking of Canada, You can't bring a hand gun, Do you have a passport? Do you have a DWI charge? Are you on medicare without any other insurance?

    If you have any questions please post them up and I will try to answer them.
    #10
  11. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    thanks, i am getting the milepost in 2019 i want to get the newest edition, as for passport, we have enhanced drivers licencees , no criminal record we have been to new Brunswick , Quebec, nova Scotia with no problem. my main concern was the road conditions i've had people say its not made for a bike its just like the lower 48 so was up in the air on how it is with the campgrounds, did you reserve any or was there always open site, and have you ever stayed in a rest area and can you stay over night in a rest area. thanks for all the info every bit helps chris
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  12. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    As to camping, no I have never made a reservation. Has that bit me in the fanny, ya a few times. Mostly around Canadian holidays, they like to go camping! Yes I have camped in turn outs on the Alcan in the past but not in recent years, my bride likes a shower. There are only a couple actual rest areas and they are marked no camping. A must see/camp place I would recommend a reservation would be Laird Hot Springs Provincial Campground.

    A note on the Milepost, the current publisher only posts info for businesses that pay to advertise in the guide. So there might be several lodges or campgrounds in an area but they only show the one that paid for an add. They used to note all services and feature the ones that paid.

    As to planning a days ride, up here everything takes longer. You will not make the same miles per day. I have done Ironbutt rides down south, it wasn't a big deal. This year I rode 900 miles on the Alcan to catch the ferry in time to get home and it kicked my butt.

    Oh just an fyi living in Juneau normally means that I have to catch a ferry north or south to get to a road that connects to the world. Most of my trips have me catching the Alcan near Whitehorse and heading south but I have gone north about a dozen times too. If you have deep pockets taking the ferry south to Prince Rupert, BC is a good way to relax for about 32-36 hours.
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  13. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    ok think we have come up with our frame for our trip, the dates maybe a week earlier then i am planning now that we dont have figured out yet. I will be heading out June 27 2020 to anchorage be there by July 11 to pick up the wife which is flying in to anchorage, she wants to do the ride back,so i will be taking the wing and the camper, she loves to ride we been out west 2 times going back next Aug to Yellowstone, been to nova Scotia, new Brunswick have done 3 1000 mile days 15-16hrs no problem, she just doesn't want to be on a bike for 35 days straight were it could rain a week straight so she will do the return trip, so that gives me 15 days to get there i will be going up the alcan and coming back with her down the cassiar, this is my first trip and i am sure it wont take 15 days to get to anchorage, i plan on going to the circle sign not sure if she would go or not and camp up and Marion creek, then head backdown to pick her up?
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  14. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    i'm still purchasing either a africa twin or a nc750 leaning more towards the AT, i do want to do the TOW and dead horse some near future on one of those bikes. Maybe even hook up with some of you thats been there a few times, could always use a good guide on a adventure like that
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  15. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    thanks and yes a list of gas stops would be great, also i have read where i should get something for bike insurance for going through Canada is that something i should get? i will be taking the wing and camper as the wife will be flying into anchorage and riding back down which will be great , this will be the first time i will be alone on a trip and this one is a big one i told her she needs to do this we may never have the chance again.
    #15
  16. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    My normal fuel stops are:
    Dawson Creek
    Pink Mountain, 140 mi
    Fort Nelson, 140 mi
    Toad River, 117 mi
    Muncho Lake, 32 mi, Maybe top off if your not carrying. Home of the most expensive gas, it's 170 miles to Watson Lake. There are stops in between but I don't count on them being open.
    Watson Lake 201 mi from Toad River
    Teslin, 162 mi
    Whitehorse, 110 mi
    Haines Junction, 100 mi
    Destruction Bay, 66 mi
    Beaver Creek, 116 mi.
    Tok, 110 mi
    Delta Junction, 107 mi
    Fairbanks, 95 mi

    Verify that your bike insurance is valid in Canada, you can get a card.

    As to traveling alone, it's not the middle of Siberia. I have ridden the Alcan and Cassiar alone several times. There is quite a bit of traffic and i have found that folks stop to check on me anytime I pull over. If needed flag down a trucker they have radios and sat phones. Speaking of phones, look into adding a Canadian data plan if you use a smart phone. It will only work in the larger towns but if you have wifi calling you could make a call using wifi in a roadhouse or campground. There are a few spots in the mountains that you will see truckers pulled over, I always wondered why they were always in this turn out so I asked one, he smiled and said they got a cell signal and could surf porn.....

    Most campgrounds have coin operated showers. I have gotten used to showering with an extra coin in my hand as I shower.
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  17. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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  18. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    I have been looking at the inreach and spot trackers for years but my wife says don't bother, she just checks the credit card statement to see where you are... :rofl
    Seriously, she is a rider. She has a Wing and XR650L and has been everywhere I have been including solo trips. We keep in touch the best we can but an inreach or sat phone sure would be nice.
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  19. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    yes just a peace of mind when way out in no where and some thing happens to the bike or your self i like the inreach better then the spot thing the inreach has a map and can text more been a year since this plan started have read alot watched a lot been on different forums theres a rving to alska 2020 on Facebook its rv's but nice to see what other people are going to do and when and also get alot of info from them. finally got the frame of our trip now to set a depart date i have 5 weeks so i should be ok, i was looking to go to chicken from tok. i see the road is paved up to about 2 miles from the village your thoughts on that would be helpful may spent the night camping there if theres a place. need to get this trip done its driving me crazy and the next one will be on my africa twin im getting in the spring thanks for the info i'm sure i'll have much more
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  20. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    Getting to Chicken from Tok takes you on the Taylor highway. It is paved almost all the way but i drove it this summer on our 650's and it was pretty chewed up, lots of big potholes/frost heaves. It was a heavy rain so my vision was compromised and WE hit several of them. It about fused my spine. It would not be an issue if its not dumping rain and you can see.
    There is some camping at Chicken but I have never camped there. I have camped in Tok and Dawson City. If it's dry you can run a wing on the top of the world highway, been there done that.
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