99 CC Florida to Alaska

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Lizzard323, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. I'm where?

    I'm where? IBA Master Traveler

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    Mike,

    Not trying to slam on you or anything, but there are a lot of people who would say basically the same thing about anyone considering the trip on ANY motorcycle. The dangers from people talking, texting or whatever are the same no matter how big your bike is. If you get hit by someone in a car or truck you're still going down a without the protection you would have in a cage. Do a Google search for Ed Otto, he did an Iron Butt Rally (11,000 miles in 11 days) on a Honda Helix.

    Lizzard said in a previous post that he was going to route the trip depending on how well the bike will handle the speed of interstates. If he has to take the "lesser traveled" state roads, he will be able to see a lot of things that most people would not see. To quote the famous philosopher Steven Tyler, "Life is a journey, not a destination." OK, so the quote was originally written by Ralph Waldo Emerson... it sounded better by Aerosmith, especially in the orchestral version.
    #81
  2. I'm where?

    I'm where? IBA Master Traveler

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    Lizzard,

    A few other things I thought of.

    Since you said you're taking a SPOT, make sure you have spare batteries. It requires those Ultimate Lithium AAAs and they don't really last all that long in a SPOT (at least in my opinion). I forgot to stock up when I was on my trip in 2013 and the only place I could find them in Hay River wanted $25 for a four pack. I guess that's what I get for needing them in the Northwest Territories.

    Since you will probably be stopping at some hotels, you might want to join a membership in a hotel chain. Sometimes they offer a discount if you make your reservation on-line or by phone instead of at the desk, even if you are calling from the hotel. One with a smartphone app can be handy, especially when trying to locate a hotel. I have one with Choice Hotels. That's one of the reasons I am planning to go on a trip this summer, my points expire at the end of this year. Also on the topic of hotels, the Woodlands Inn in Fort Nelson (on the Alaska Highway) offered a motorcyclist discount last time I was there. I don't remember how much the room was, or the discount, but every little bit helps. When you get a hotel, ask them what all discounts they offer.

    You might want to check with your cellphone provider to see if you can get service in Canada. If you have a cellphone that uses a SIM card (AT&T uses these) there are companies in Canada that will sell you a SIM card with a month of service tocover your time in Canada.

    On the topic of riding conditions, as was mentioned by KSO, you obviously want to have the riding gear to handle the ride. One thing I have is a pair of Gerbing electric insoles. There are also other companies that make the same basic thing. I have found that as long as you keep your feet warm, and hopefully dry, you can put up with a lot more than if your feet start getting cold.

    There's also the subject of roadside assistance. SPOT, if you get their roadside assistance, only gives you 50 miles of towing included (at least that's the way I remember it). I had a flat around 12-13 miles south of the Going-To-The-Sun-Road turnoff at St. Mary's (I had a beautiful view while I waited). The tow truck had to take me to the nearest motorcycle shop, which was about 85-90 miles away in Conrad, even though I had a tire on the rim in my trailer. Fortunately I had that tire on the rim. The next day, Saturday, the dealer didn't have anyone on duty who could use the tire machine but the guy working would swap out an already mounted tire. I haven't checked, but I was told by someone that the best roadside assistance to get if you are going to Deadhorse is Good Sam. They are supposed to have unlimited towing.

    I don't remember what information they had at the info center in Dawson Creek, but they had some pretty good info at the visitors center in Tok, Alaska.
    #82
  3. KSO

    KSO Grab a Handfull

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    Do you have some one else other than your son to help with all the gear? An empty bike is one thing, a loaded is another. For a comparrison it's like your son skiing a couple of times on the bunny hill and then Dad says were going heli skiing in 3 months on 30 degree slopes. Your just going to have to nut up.
    #83
  4. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    LOL.... thats the point.


    Eddie
    #84
  5. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    Thank you, Noted and considered. I am a minimalist camper. Not a great one but I try. Clothes can be washed. I am not bringing tools to do a complete rebuild. One tent for two and two bags, etc.

    I don't know the bunny slopes. I went to the top on my first day. Took a while to get down though....

    My son will be as ready as I can get him before we leave. That's my job.
    #85
  6. JettPilot

    JettPilot ADV Rider

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    Hahahaha,

    Yeah, I get it. It would be fun to do on my CRF100F, but I just don't want to see you get hurt.

    I hope you put some ridiculously bright, flashing light on the back of your bike, it could increase your safety quite a bit !

    You should see the crazy bright blinker I put on my 250 when people behind me are not paying attention, it works :D

    Mike
    #86
  7. I'm where?

    I'm where? IBA Master Traveler

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    Lizzard,

    If you are still looking for another Bluetooth headset for your son, check Revzilla's website.
    #87
  8. ihatemybike

    ihatemybike Been here awhile

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    A note about KE100 tires and tubes, they aren't too terrible to repair/replace with basic hand tools. I've done it a couple times without using real tire levers.
    #88
  9. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    Wow. This promises to be a great adventure for you and your son.

    I presume your son is tireless, courageous, eternally optimistic, and easy to get along with under great duress. If he isn't yet, he will be when it's over! Or, you might claw each others eyes out about midway through Canada. :lol3

    Motorcycle travel with my son is one of my greatest joys. I am fortunate in that he and I are extremely similar in our comfort levels, riding styles, personalities, pain thresholds, etc. Hopefully your relationship with your son will strengthen through this and not blow up. This statement is not meant to discourage you in any way whatsoever. It could happen, that's all.
    There is one thing that you might keep in the back of your mind. If the challenges start to fray a few nerves, a second tent could save the day. My son and I each carry a backpack tent. Everyone needs a little private space.

    You are a seasoned veteran of long distance travel already. And since you fly jets, I can easily assume you'll have every detail listed and cross checked. The weak link that comes to mind is your sons inexperience, especially on what I'm picturing to be a heavily overloaded bike (assumption on my part). Especially if your self imposed rules state that you will do the whole route on the mini bike and not trade off with your son.

    I highly recommend you guys do a few shakedown weekends before launch. Fully loaded KLR with every single piece of gear you'll take. Not just for the riding, but for getting your kit sorted on the KLR. there's nothing like loading and unloading a bike a dozen times to clarify what you actually really do and don't need.

    Best wishes, I am looking forward to your RR! This is gonna be good.
    #89
  10. I'm where?

    I'm where? IBA Master Traveler

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    Since their intent is to complete the Iron Butt Association Ultimate Coast to Coast ride, they can't swap. It's not exactly a "self imposed rule". The UCC rules state:

    "You must ride the same motorcycle for the entirety of the ride, NO SWAPPING of motorcycles allowed. If you break down, you must repair your motorcycle before continuing and return to the point it broke down and continue your trip."

    Obviously, that rule's intent (at least in my opinion) is to prevent someone from starting out in Deadhorse on a bike more suited for a dirt road and switching to a road bike once they get to someplace like Fairbanks. But the way it is worded would technically prevent them from switching during the trip. (Again, that is my interpretation.) I guess you could say that it is their choice to qualify for the UCC, but if that was not their intent... why pick those two locations as the beginning and end of their trip? (or maybe I should say beginning and turn-around-point.) They could have taken a much less isolated trip exclusively on modern paved highways... but where's the fun in that?
    #90
  11. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    All good points. Yes the intent is the UCC as well as the raising of money for the charity......so no switching bikes.

    ALL the comments are being written down and reviewed. The "two tent" idea is a good one. The "overloaded" KLR650 is a concern and I intend on minimizing what we bring but I know how that goes when you start packing.

    We do intend on at least one long shakedown run although I don't want to put too many miles on the KE100. I will pop off a 300-400 mile run though just to see how I feel and do.

    My son will do more than one and longer than that. I did the UCC in September on a 91 Wing and plan on some longer rides on that and him on the KLR. Maybe 5 or 6 hundred out and back. I plan on some rain rides too, before we set off.

    I have talked to my son about the strain, both physically and mentally, but you never know till you are there.

    Sometimes planning can get in the way of going though.
    #91
  12. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    #92
  13. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    Still plugging along on the preparations. I went to Satellite Phone Solutions for a SPOT. Besides the safety issue it will allow those that donate to the charity to follow the ride.

    We have been getting good response on the Pledge Per Mile option of donating.

    Now, the bikes... The KE100 got some new forks. The OEM forks are crap. Converted to 12v for the Vololights.

    Tires... Finding tires for the KE has proven problematic. There a very few "street" tires in the size I need. Almost none. So, Shinko 244's they will be.

    I am hoping for 4k on them. That would mean two tire stops for replacement. The plan is to evaluate early on and estimate life via tread used vs. miles.

    K60's for the KLR650. New on departure. Hoping up to Deadhorse and back on them.

    The Nelson-Rigg bags fit great with the Dirtracks racks.

    The Vololights will be a great help with the ride. They flash when you let off the throttle....even if you don't touch the brakes. A great idea.

    My son is going to attend a MSF advanced rider course later this month.

    300 miles on the KLR so far. What a blast!

    Eddie
    www.ride4courage.org
    #93
  14. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    Great to hear from you. I've been wondering.
    #94
  15. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    The KE100 was tested today. It can do the 12k. Me thinks. I lowered the KLR and welded the side stand and it works great. A larger footprint should help on the mud.
    #95
  16. I'm where?

    I'm where? IBA Master Traveler

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    Lizzard,

    I was just thinking about a few things and thought I'd remind you of what should be an obvious inclusion in your packing list. Since you are going to do some camping, don't forget the toilet paper.:rofl
    #96
  17. KSO

    KSO Grab a Handfull

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    Also known as film for the camera or lens cleaner.:evil
    #97
  18. Alaskajeff

    Alaskajeff Long timer

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    If it already hasn't been suggested I would recommend stopping in Fairbanks http://www.advcycleworks.com/ and switching out the K60's to a set of 244's you pre ordered and have waiting for you for your Haul Road run on the KLR. I've run both tires and while The K60's are great tires, for worst case scenario on the Dalton you will appreciate the added grip a set of slightly aired down 244's provide. Sure guys have done it on a Harley with street tires, but why put yourself thru that IF you have the chance to be prepared. BTW if you happen to find yourself in Palmer Alaska and need a place to wrench or shower or do laundry or crash for a while look me up. My house/garage is right off the Glenn Highway. I'd be honored to help out in any way I can.
    #98
  19. RayAlazzurra

    RayAlazzurra Stuck in the Eighties

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    Greetings:

    I shall be following your thread and trip with great interest. I also own a stock KE-100 and have considered taking a long trip with it. My longest ride with the KE was about 300 miles, but it took me from 9:30 Am to 2:30 AM the next morning. Even though the bike is tiny it is still comfortable. If I could string enough 170 mile days together I could travel cross country on the KE, perhaos to Vermont where the speed limits are low and the little backroads are many.

    Anyway...

    Tires. I like Michelin Gazelles. Good mileage and comfortable.

    Problem areas: Stock suspension is soft and the bike is not designed to carry much load. The front drum brake is also underwhelming. A very light luggage system like a Giant Loop would be good, but there are no passenger pegs. Luckily you have the KLR 650 pack mule along.

    Base gaskets. At just over 3000 miles my KE is still on the original piston and rings, but I have needed to take the engine apart twice for failed base gaskets. The cylinder head requires a re-torque to 192 inch pounds every once in a while. Why? On one occasion my head gasket started leaking when I neglected the retorque for too long. What I think is happening is that the head and base gaskets are compressed every time the engine gets really hot. (Which in the case of the KE100 is every ride) When the engine cools the gaskets do not completely return to the original dimension. The base gasket seems especially prone to plasticity. So gasket life seems related to the number of thermal cycles rather than the number of miles or engine hours. My local Kawaski dealer is also a KE 100 rider and has given some thought to this problem. He thinks a gasket with more fiber content than the stock paper would solve the issue. We have no had these gaskets made so our present solution is to lap the cylinder to the case and use a thin film of sealant on the base gasket.

    Modifications:

    My bike can cruise at 55 mph on full throttle if it is level and there is no wind. If I face a head wind and need to ascend a steep hill then 25 mph in second gear is the best I can do. I do not go near an interstate or any other kind of major highway with my KE100-- I stick to backroads. Route planning can be a challenge. I have had to detour over fifty miles out of the way to find a backroad bridge alternative over a major river.

    I'd like more power of course, but I know that mods to increase power also increase heat. I wory that reliability would be compromised. If you choose to try for more power some testing might be wise before the big trip. Perhaps an hour of continuous full throttle followed by a partial teardown. I have subjected my stock KE100 to a half hour of full throttle on cool days with no ill effects, but if it seizes I am usually not far from home.

    Best of luck.

    Ray
    #99
  20. ihatemybike

    ihatemybike Been here awhile

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    Somebody stole your passenger pegs! Every KE I've every seen in stock form had passenger pegs.


    While probably ill advised, my KE does see interstate use. Usually just quick hops between close exits, bridge crossing that would require major detours and during rush hour traffic when there is no room for people to go fast.

    Thus far I've only been in one motorcycle accident, got rear ended on a two lane blacktop out in the country.