Alaska 2018 - Let's Share Plans / Logistics

Discussion in 'Americas' started by rickj, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    I think "The Dick" here on ADV lives in Dawson and would be the guy to contact about info on changing tires in Dawson. He's also one of the guys who puts on the D2D event each year. He has a reputation of helping riders and knows everything about Dawson.
    #41
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  2. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    From what I have heard, from an "inside" source, there is someone in Dawson City that will be opening a motorcycle shop...touring group....and most likely will be OPEN for business in time for all of next years' riding.
    #42
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  3. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    You think he'll be selling no-hassel tassels? I need some more for my scooter. I've decided to ride my Rukus to Deadhorse :-)
    #43
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  4. scoutDad

    scoutDad IBA#203

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    Not going to argue with Jack's advice. But I will say that I have seen knobbies on his bikes from time to time. :)

    Any round tire that holds air may well be fine, if you have perfect weather, or if you have the luxury of lots of time to wait out wet weather. There were sections of road construction that I encountered on my 2001 trip that could have been impassible on street tires if it had been raining at those locations. And that was not anything like going to Inuvik.

    I have been riding off road since 1973. I prefer to enjoy riding on dirt/gravel on knobbies as opposed to struggling through mud on street tires. To each their own. ;)
    #44
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  5. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    I agree....all but 900 miles of our ride is gonna be on tarmac....I'm too cheap to buy "special" tires for a few miles of gravel. We have the luxury of waiting out weather so all is good.
    #45
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  6. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    First, you don't own a Ruckus :webers

    Secondly, if you were going to go "small" again, it would either be on your "proven" WR250R, or the future CRF250-RALLY.

    What we all do know is.....You will be there next year, even if the Princess has to drag you, kicking and screaming...you will be there. :jack



    I am forced......forced I say.....to agree with @scoutDad on this. I too have been up to and around Alaska on a total of 6 different bikes. One really doesn't count, as we trailered some small dirt bikes up, and did mainly off-road stuff. But the other 5 were all large and in charge road bikes.....one a Goldwing 1800, and the other 4 were "adventure bikes" that you see up there all the time.

    WEATHER and road conditions play the # 1 factor in how well, or not well, your tires do up north. My plan for next year is to RIDE....despite any weather or road conditions that may be thrown at me. If the only question that remains unanswered as to whether or not to ride on a particular day, or a particular road...is the adhesion/traction of my bikes' tires to the road surface, then by gawd I am going with more aggressive tires, rather than street tires.

    My riding partner for next wanted to go with Michelin Pilot Road 4 trails on his V-Strom 1000, which is a good tire, but.....not optimal when the SHTF conditions arise.
    I have decided to go with Mitas e-07 Dakar tires, and I believe he has now agreed to follow my lead on that. The "Dakar" label means these tires have a thicker sidewall, and less prone to punctures.

    I can ride in any weather.....question is will I have the right tires to ride in any weather ? That is why I am going with the Mitas e-07 Dakar tires.
    I have the "time" to take as long as I want to, or need to, to tackle next years' ride. But my riding partner has a limited "hall pass" of 4 weeks, so....we don't have the "time" available to sit out bad weather....we need to sit and twist...despite the weather changes.
    #46
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  7. Dan Lorenze

    Dan Lorenze Been here awhile

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    As I mentioned to Timmy Tewster in another thread My Dad and I are planning on a trip from around Seattle to Deadhorse and back. We will be trailering our bikes from Socal to somewhere either Bellingham or Seattle then taking off from there. We are still trying to nail down the dates but I'm thinking the 3rd week of June is going to work, as we have an annual Colorado ride planned for August that we need to get back to. My route isn't anything much different than the rest. It will basically consist of Nelson BC, Banff, Jasper, Prince George, Hyder, Cassair, Watson Lake, Whitehorse (nothing to see there), Carmacks,Dawson,Chicken, Tok, Fairbanks, Coldfoot,Deadhorse, Denali,Anchorage,Glennallen,back to Tok, Haines, catch the ferry to either Prince Rupert or Bellingham($$$).I've spent many nights on my computer with a few cold ones reading everyone's ride reports. I think I have a good idea of what to expect. Deadhorse is on the itinerary providing we have good weather to do so but if it's bad we'll blow it off and head down to Anchorage for some R and R. We're gonna mostly stay in motels along the way but we'll be carrying a tent and sleeping bags just in case. I heard there are Mosquitos in Alaska, i hope not... Wish me luck... :)
    #47
  8. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    I don't know where you heard this myth regarding mosquitos in Alaska.:dunno

    I can tell you from personal experience.....there is not a single mosquito in all of Alaska.










    They are all married.....and have very large families. :jack
    #48
  9. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Haha you're right I don't have a Rukus :lol3. The three guys we saw just south of Deadhorse this year looked like they were having a blast cruising along about 35 mph enjoying the tundra.

    Anthony had the Mitas in on his Africa Twin this year....rear lasted the whole 7,000 miles...the front was toast.

    Everyone in my little group has been to Deadhorse so if the weather is forecast to be crap we'll head down the Kenai so we can take a ferry to Russia :lol3

    The BEST ride(s) I've ever done were out west with Anthony in 2015 (7,000 miles) and up to Deadhorse last year (13,500 miles) on my 250! I have plans in 2019 for an epic (for me) ride on a new 250 Rally...can't wait :thumb


    Sounds like a great trip!

    If you take a mozzie trap you can make a great stew with only a few of them....
    #49
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  10. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    Yea, but a big high performance bike trying to keep up with Princess will burn up any tire prematurely. I wonder how those Mitas will hold up on a little 650 ridden by a guy with a bad back and a weak heart, cough, cough.
    #50
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  11. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Life is for good friends and great adventures Supporter

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    I’ll be riding to Alaska from louisiana in 2018. Still trying to figure out exact dates (current thinking is to take the whole of June off work). Myself on KTM 1290SA, friends on Tiger 1050, GSWA and probably Honda TA. Don’t know exactly who’s coming yet. Possible I’ll be solo but expect prob 4 bikes. Most likely route will pass through Montana (where we will prob fit new dual sport tires), aiming through Canada initially via Banff/Jasper. Will prob turn around at Arctic Circle and try to come back on as many different roads as possible. Usual mode of travel is flexible so I can ride further or not, as bike, rider and weather dictates, camping or motelling according to weather, opportunity or how badly I need a shower.

    Appreciate opinions on dates with reasoning.

    See some of you on the road :)
    #51
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  12. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    My itinerary is leaving Milwaukee, WI on the 31th of May and going up to Saute St Marie for 2-3 days then it's Hyw 2 all the way to St Mary, MT and crossing on the 9th. Then it's all the way to Tuk and back down the Dempster to Dawson City by the 19th/20th of June for D2D with my route taking me to Hyder and the Cassiar. After that it's TOTW and Deadhorse. After that it's all over AK playing the weather and road conditions with plans of being back in MKE by the 15th of July.
    #52
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  13. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    I posted some thoughts about the Dalton some time ago on another thread....please feel free to add your own :thumb


    The Dalton is a dirt, gravel, and tarmac road. Dirt, gravel, and tarmac is the same stuff here as everywhere in the world. There is nothing magical or maniacal about it except in people’s minds.

    About 20 to 25 percent of it is now paved…some good some bad. You probably need to ride slower on the paved sections than on the gravel. The gravel is mostly smooth. There are pot holes in some of the paved sections that will literally kill you.

    Pay attention.

    The construction areas are usually only 5 to 20 kms long. There is a mis-conseption that the whole road is under construction all the time. You may ride a hundred miles before you see one.

    If it rains you’re gonna get muddy.

    If is is dry you’re gonna get dusty.

    People ride the Dalton to Deadhorse all the time on Harleys, Gold Wings, bicycles, and scooters. They are on street tires and some are almost worn out. You don’t need the latest super knobbly off road tire to get you there. If it makes you feel better though then go ahead and get some. Watch out for the two 80 year old ladies who rode up there a few years ago on scooters if they go again.

    You will get better than average gas mileage if you are enjoying the ride. I ride the Dalton at an average speed of about 40 mph. Easy speed to see problems, enjoy the views, and stop quickly if need be.

    In the summer there is daylight 24 hours a day.

    The construction areas where the ADOT spreads millions of gallons of water and calcium chloride are very slippery. Less so if you pay attention and slow down. If you are trying to prove you are a man you will fall down…probably.

    The truck drivers on the Dalton are professionals. Give them room and they will give you some too. If you are a dick they will treat you like one. Either way they’ll let the other drivers know over the CB radios.

    You are miles away from people and help. You need to be able to fix a flat tire.

    There is no AAA on the tundra.

    A wrecker to come get you will cost you a minimum of $1500…cash.

    If you crash and spatter the helicopter from Fairbanks will cost you about $40,000…cash.

    There is no McDonald’s or nightclubs to entertain yourself in Deadhorse. You have ridden one of the three roads every adventure motorcyclist dreams of riding. Sit outside or take a walk and think about how far away from home you are and relish with the thought you’ve accomplished something grand. Enjoy just being there.

    If you stay in Deadhorse, find at least one truck driver and thank him for bringing all the stuff you need to eat and live while you’re there.

    The mozzies can fly away with small children and animals. If you stop to take a leak out on the tundra pray for your willy.

    Be sure to get your certificate at the Arctic Circle. Make a donation with the Rangers there.

    It’s expensive to get a room in Coldfoot.

    Camping is free at Coldfoot. So are the mozzies.

    A cabin in Wiseman is reasonably priced for where you are.

    The food in Deadhorse is world class.

    Yes there is no gas between Coldfoot and Deadhorse.

    A gas point in Deadhorse is out the front door and to the right about 600 feet south from the Prudhoe Bay Hotel

    There can be a foot of snow at the top of Atigun Pass in July.

    The wind is your friend on the tundra…blows the mozzies to hell.

    The “Oh Shit” corner is really fun. So is “Ice Cut Hill”. Both are more fun if it’s wet.

    Read “The Haul Road Primer”, “Alaska Primer” and, “The Lure of The Dalton” by Alcan Rider on ADVRider. Then read them a few more times again.

    You need to make sure you can stay warm and dry…all day.

    Heated gear is your friend. If someone calls you a pussy for using heated gear tell them “Well I may be but I don’t have to prove I’m a man anymore and certainly not to you”.

    Gas will cost you over $5 a gallon. Don’t complain. It’s easier to ride than push your bike back to Fairbanks.

    Riding with a buddy is better than by yourself if you want to ride the Dalton really fast while texting or fiddling with all your electronic stuff. You will need them to take photos of your crash for the ride report.

    With the low prices for crude oil these days there is less truck traffic.

    Look ahead. When you see the color of the surface change slow down and pay attention. It may be fresh 6 inch deep gravel.

    When you come to a bridge REALLY slow down and look. The transition from the road to the bridge surface may be over a 6 inch lip. You CAN ride with a bent rim but you’ll look like you’re in the circus.

    The winds are usually from the sides. Easy to keep out of the dust if you don’t follow too closely.

    There is no cell phone coverage on the Dalton except in Deadhorse.

    Expect to pay $14 for a bowl of oatmeal in Coldfoot.

    ErraticAKn on ADV RIder works in Deadhorse. He so kindly posted he can help with any problems while you are there.

    Deadhorse is a “dry” town.

    The Dalton is beautiful. Slow down and look at it.

    The apple pie at the Yukon Camp is good.

    The folks who run the Boreal Lodge can make you a great pizza.

    The Prudhoe Bay Hotel has lightning fast internet. Sorry, porn is blocked.

    The campsites at Marion Creek just north of Coldfoot have raised wooden platforms for your tent.

    Camping is prohibited in Deadhorse. You’ll see why when a polar bear strolls through town.

    You cannot ride to the Arctic Ocean on your bike. A background check and a paid tour will get you out on the oil fields in a bus so you can stand in freezing water. Book 24 hours in advance. $70

    A lighter bike is probably better.

    Stop at the top of Atigun Pass and watch the trucks going up and down. You will appreciate the laws of physics and start to understand inertia.

    DO NOT STOP for photos on the narrow wooden planked 6% grade Yukon River bridge. Reason…the trucks cannot stop going down on the slippery wooden surface if it’s wet... if you’re stopped on the bridge and can’t get going you will be killed. Plus if you cause a crash on the bridge that shuts the Haul Road down you will be in debt for the rest of your life.

    When you stop out on the tundra to put more gas in your bike you only have about 45 seconds before you a covered with mozzies.

    The pilot cars go really slow leading you through the construction zones. You have to keep up. In the soft stuff, look at one of the tracks the pilot car is making and aim for that. DO NOT look down right in front of your bike…you will fall down. Just basic off road stuff…you go where you look. It’s easy once you do it for the first time.

    You will always be brought to the front of the line when there is a pilot car. They do that to keep an eye on you. Believe me…they do want you to get through safely.

    Print this out or put it on your phone...https://alaskaleather.com/pages/emergency-phone-tree

    Calcium Chloride is very corrosive. When you get back to Fairbanks the FIRST thing you should do is hit the car wash (3701 Cameron St). You’ll only need about $30 in quarters.

    You may have good luck getting the calcium chloride off your bike if you spray some type of non stick stuff on your non hot parts before you take off. Some inmates have recommended RustCheck, ACF50, Pam, or S100 Engine Brightner. I may try some this trip. I like the ACF50. Used a lot in the aircraft industry for anti corrosion.

    Pay attention to your mirrors. If you see a truck gaining on you, as soon as you can, find a place to pull off the road and stop so they can pass. Its much better that way to get them by you instead of passing as you ride along. Be sure to give the driver a wave.

    You cannot walk around bare foot inside the Prudhoe Bay Hotel. Gracie the head housekeeper will set you straight.

    You will become a master at putting on and taking off blue bootie covers during your stay in Deadhorse.

    You do not need to bring shower soap with you. In the shower room at the Prudhoe Bay Hotel there is a bucket with hundreds of bars for you to use. Some are even unused.

    Do not park in front of the Hotel. All the spots are reserved for the oil company foremen and their trucks. You'll see where to park. Look for the muddy areas.

    You will eat at least 20 kilos of chocolate chip cookies during your stay. Even if it's for an hour.

    When you get ready to head back south, stop by the cafeteria and grab a brown paper bag they have near the drinks. Put as much food in it as you want to eat later. It's included with your room.

    Len and I paid $115 each for our room and meals.

    Bring a small water bottle with a sprayer to fill at the streams alongside the road to clean out your radiator. Or do like I do, ride really slow in the mud.

    If there are no trucks around feel free to use the whole road. You may find riding on the left side is smoother.

    The slower you ride on the Dalton the less air pressure you need in your tires to keep the beads secure. With about 20 psi (tube type) and 25 psi (tubeless) the tires soak up most of the little stutter bumps making the ride really smooth. If you ride like a bat out of hell, them you need lots of pressure to keep the beads seated when you slam into pot holes and bridge transitions at mach 2.

    When you see little red or orange flags stuck in the ground on the side of any roads in the north pay attention...they are marking small frost heaves or cavernous pot holes that the Titanic would disappear in.

    When you get gas in Coldfoot make sure you pay attention so you don't pump your tank full of diesel. The hoses for benzene and diesel are pretty similar.

    Invest in a helmet that you can put a pin lock insert on the face shield...you will like looking through a shield that is not fogged.
    #53
  14. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    Your trip has some similarities to ours. We're also trucking our bikes up to striking distance of BC, and had originally planned on Seattle, but we've decided on Spokane now. The distance from SoCal is about the same, but it's much closer to the Icefields Parkway (Banff NP, Jasper...). Since we all wanted to go through that area, leaving from Seattle didn't make much sense for us, and starting from Spokane will save us a day of riding. One of the guys in the group is going to truck the bikes up, and the rest of us will fly to / from Spokane. I had looked at flights to Spokane compared to Seattle and rates were pretty similar.

    I don't think we're going to ride the Dempster or Dalton this time, as it comes at the cost of missing some many cool places we want to visit. Although that could change once we're up there, depending on weather, time and such. We're also going to avoid Anchorage unless we go to Homer, which we didn't make last time. For me, Anchorage seemed like just another "big" city with heaps of traffic, congestion, and stress. Exactly what I'm trying to get away from!

    In 2015 we considered the ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert, but I'm glad we didn't do it as the ride up through BC is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places to ride on the planet. I had been up the AlCan before, but I wanted to try the Cassiar. Taking off close to BC will give us the ability to ride up the AlCan and return on the Cassiar, or vice versa. I haven't been on the lower parts of the AlCan since my '96 ride, so I'm really looking forward to it. We did get a ferry ride in from Valdez to Whittier which was a wonderful experience. We'll have a couple of short ferry rides on next summer's trip to cross the Slocan and Kootenay lakes in southern BC, based on recommendations from folks on this forum. No matter what specific route you take, you and your dad will have an amazing experience!
    #54
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  15. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks, Tim for all your tips on riding the Dalton! Great insight, as usual.
    #55
  16. Dan Lorenze

    Dan Lorenze Been here awhile

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    Hi Rick.. Very cool stuff... You're spot on about Spokane being a straighter shot to Banff/Jasper... I was initially thinking we would be taking the ferry from Haines into Bellingham then get to our truck and head home. We are also on a time frame, I'm still very active at work and it's costly for me to be gone for so long. You're so lucky you have someone in your group that is willing to drive round trip to Spokane. We would love to have that option as the 18 hour drive is kinda brutal lol. My Dad has mentioned Dempster and I want to do the Dalton, we can't do both. As it is I'm already figuring about 400 miles a day give for take. Much more for us to think about...
    #56
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  17. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

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    Cross posted from another Alaska thread:

    I've decided to take my Redverz Solo tent for a few reasons - and I'll find out if it works out well.

    The main advantage, I think, will be that I can remove the sleeping bay that hangs on one side in about a minute. If I’m taking the tent down in rain, I’ll remove the sleeping bay (very compact) and put it in one of my dry bags. The rest of the tent can be stored in its bag wet as it’s all a completely waterproof material. If it's not raining, I can store it in a mesh bag to dry it out while I'm riding. With the 2-man tent I used on my last trip, I could set up the two poles quickly and then go under the rain fly to hang the tent under it. It sounds easy, but not so much in practice!)

    I've only used the Redverz a few times, and only once in rain. It was nice to be able to sit in the comfort of the garage portion during the rain. I learned that I must use all or most of the guy lines if it's windy though!

    I've read lots of threads on the Redverz tent, and some love it while others wouldn't consider it due to its packed size. However, I'm at an age where I'm not looking forward to getting in / out of a tiny tent. And putting my pants on while laying on my back is no fun! I've been moto-camping since the early 70s and really enjoy it, but with age I'm leaning toward more comfort. I was following Rudy's (Black 8) Ride Report this summer, and it seemed like his Redverz was working out well for him. I'll be able to report how well the Redverz Solo worked for me after next summer's trip.
    #57
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  18. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    I have the two person Atacama and have been using for the last year. It is a bit larger than the one person, but I will be taking on my Alaska trip next year. Like the extra space for all my crap. Good idea on packing the tent portion if wet. I will remember for sure.
    #58
  19. djroszina

    djroszina Long timer Supporter

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    I’ve used a Sierra Designs Baku2, now discontinued, for almost 10 years. It’s single wall with 2 vestibules and exterior skeleton. Sets up in a flash. Yes it’s small and has the undesirable traits listed above, but for me is comfy and cozy. Can’t wait to camp on the beach in Homer.
    #59
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  20. MotoSkipper

    MotoSkipper Adventurer

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    I too will leave in June , 2018 for another trip up to see a lot of the places I did not get too this year. Being I am from Florida I decided to leave my mule in Ca. until then. My girlfriend lives in Palm Springs so it's pretty convenient as far as storing the motorcycle.
    So back to the tent discussion, out of 25 days in Alaska I camped 21 in a MSR Elixr 2, I wish I would have had a 3 man as there is no storage inside even being solo It is a bit of a hassle but I managed. The rainfly provided shelter for my gear I didn't bring in with me. Problem is with all of the mosquitoes you better be damn quick getting what you need inside if you need access to your bag from the rainfly. I'll use the same tent next year because I'm to cheap to buy another. I will say though I got rained on for 4 days in McCarthy and never got a drop on me or the gear .
    The Redverze is a sweet luxury for camping , first guy I met on the Cassier had one , maybe I'll rethink the whole idea.
    #60
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