Alaska 2019

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Guls, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. k12lts

    k12lts Been here awhile

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    I did Indiana to Alaska and back in 18 days this in late June-early July this year. We made Anchorage, Seward, Fairbanks, Arctic Circle, Chicken and Dawson. I think you could ride both ways from Seattle in two weeks with no problem.
    #61
  2. Baccadon

    Baccadon Adventurer

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    Been up North 5 times since 2010. Three trips on Wee Strom with Heidenau Scout tires. In 2014 same tires went from Ky to Deadhorse, down to Valdez, back to Ky, then to El Paso, Texas and back to Ky (around 13,000 miles). The Scout tire is hard and sings like crazy at highway speed but last and last. No need to plan on spending hours in a tire shop if you are just going from lower 48 to Deadhorse. Granted I am in my 70's and no longer do burn outs so that may contribute to longer tread life. As to the endless discussions on traction, grip, best on wet road, etc., I offer this: in 2014 four of us were headed up the mountain to the top of Salmon Glacier near Hyder, Alaska. Three of us on Wee Stroms with Scout tires and one on a Goldwing with Elite Three street tires. With two inches of snow and ice on the road three of us were having trouble and stopped, the Goldwing continued to the top, took pictures and laughed at us on the way down. He was an old dirt rider and skill was more important than tires. Just practice riding lots of loose gravel and wet grass and the construction zones and grated bridges won't cause the knuckles to be as white. Leave with new tires, new brakes, new chain (Dailey maintenance) new sprockets, new battery, fresh air filter, and you will be more than likely to have a trouble free trip. Knock on wood but never had a flat or chain issue while doing Alcan, Top of The World, Cassier, Klondike, Dempster, Haul Road, Denali, Hwy 5 to Eagle, Telegraph Creek, Chitna-Mcarthy-Kennecott and some I can't remember. Keep an open mind, pack for cold and wet conditions, and be ready for new adventures and you will have memories that will last a lifetime.
    #62
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  3. Baccadon

    Baccadon Adventurer

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    More snow and rain in late May-early June but less bugs.
    #63
  4. Baccadon

    Baccadon Adventurer

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    I agree with Fastpast that going is September is risky at best. You could run into snow, sleet and ice. Zero sleeping bag, heated gear and aggressive tires with honed riding skills in mud and slush may be needed.
    #64
  5. Cooltomcat

    Cooltomcat Adventurer

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    Thanks for the replies, after reading these and other posts I have adjusted my trip for July 4-28th. Seems this falls within the optimal window of time to go. The count down begins. : )
    #65
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  6. HeLikesIt

    HeLikesIt Adventurer

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    Fellow New Englander here. I did some investigating a little while back on this and it is quite expensive to ship to/from Alaska. About 2x or 3x more than shipping within the lower 48. I've thought about riding down to Seattle and shipping bike and flying home from there. That would add I guess at least 5 days to the trip, though. At least you'd get to hit mostly different roads that you rode up on (Cassiar hwy, Yellowhead hwy, Caribou hwy). It might even be cheaper to ship/fly to AND from Seattle vs from Alaska.

    Another option I am considering is to buy a used, cheap bike (i.e. klr, dr, v-strom) locally and then get rid of it up there and fly home. Maybe find a shop up there that will put it on consignment, or find a buyer ahead of time somehow, or just dump it off for some quick cash.
    #66
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  7. ShOqUePoT

    ShOqUePoT GS Pot

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    I like the idea of shipping to/from Seattle if that is more economical. I just don't foresee a time when I can take off for long enough to ride there and back. In a younger life, buying a cheap bike and just dumping it up there would be a great and adventurous option but I have a bike I love that I'm comfortable on and I'm not willing to give that up to ride something cheap ( potentially without anti-lock brakes, etc.). The other option I thought of is to upgrade my current aging bike via a fly-and-ride closer to Alaska and then ride home. It just feels like riding home will be anticlimactic after the wonder of Alaska.
    #67
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  8. HeLikesIt

    HeLikesIt Adventurer

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    Agreed. Having done a couple of fairly long trips, the absolute worst part is the long trek back home. I will always try to avoid that in the future if possible. Some people do the opposite: fly/ship out and ride home. I say no way. That would suck. Plus, you'd have to worry about something happening to your bike during shipment and then you're losing precious vacation time.
    #68
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  9. RedRover_CO

    RedRover_CO Been here awhile Supporter

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    Denver to Deadhorse to Anchorage was 4500 miles, and took 10 days at 450/day. Seattle to Deadhorse to Anchorage is 3450 miles, 8 days is very doable at that pace.

    I rode Anakee Wilds--annoyingly loud on pavement, best tire in gravel and mud IMO.

    After the Dalton run, I rode down to Anchorage and shipped the bike to Seattle using Classic Motion (highly recommended). Shipping AK to WA is NOT CHEAP--expect bids of $1500-2300 one way. Tried to use UShip.com, hired a trucker to deliver to my house in CO for $900 but he backed out last minute--no faith in that method.

    Like baccadon said...new battery, brakes, fluids, bulbs, filters, and tires when you start. Clean and lube the chain every day, check the tires and oil level at every stop, know how to replace fuses and repair a punctured tire. Oh and keep your pockets zipped on the road, especially if you prefer to keep what you absent-mindedly stuffed in them at the last stop. #NoComment
    #69
  10. HeLikesIt

    HeLikesIt Adventurer

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    Don't know too much about it, but what about the Alaska ferry system? Even though it's slower going, it ultimately should save time because you'd be sailing around the clock. That would get you (and the bike) down to Washington a little faster than riding there, and yet you'd still get to enjoy awesome views. Not to mention give your arse a much needed rest. Even if it costs more than shipping from AK, it might be worth it. Less risk, less headache, more enjoyment. Plus you have a place to sleep for those nights - a little savings there and on gas.
    Anyone ever look into that option?
    #70
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  11. sphyrnidus

    sphyrnidus born to ride

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    You can look it up fairly easily. It is not cheap! The Skagway to Bellingham ferry for two people and two bikes amounts to: $4049.- according to https://www.ferrytravel.com
    #71
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  12. mitko69

    mitko69 Been here awhile

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    Went to Alaska 2 years ago. Left 6/6 got back home 7/4 was raining total of 6 days. If you are camping make sure to pack good sleeping bag, it is getting extremely cold around 2-3 am.
    Never used the extra gallon of gas.
    If you are planing to be in Dawson for D2D book room or campground in advance.
    Here is a pic om my rear K60 after 9500 miles, the front one had more than 50% left.

    DSC_0872.JPG
    #72
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  13. Baccadon

    Baccadon Adventurer

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    Mitko69 has pictures to support my comments about the Heideneau Scout tire. I see all these people with extra tires strapped on back and have to wonder if their riding skills are so good/poor that they require different compounds for different surfaces or buy tires that are too soft for gravel and chip-seal roads. I have never been good enough to tell much difference in tire composition or handling characteristics. I just kick both tires to make sure they are solid before heading out for the day. I have parted ways with those who spend the day in a lounge in a Fairbanks motorcycle shop waiting their turn for a tire change. I quit reading all the articles pro and con about different tires and now just want something that will take me there and gets me home before fiber starts showing. So easy to over think stuff when planning extended trips. These comments not intended to convince anyone about anything just stating what makes me happy and my trips fun.
    #73
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  14. Dan Lorenze

    Dan Lorenze Been here awhile

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    Lots of guys do this, my Dad and I did this on our trip last July. We took the ferry from Haines to Prince Rupert, nice cruise in the middle of our ride was nice. Slept really well, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, but not cheap. As far as shipping goes, i've yet to see an affordable way to do it.

    fullsizeoutput_2c5f.jpeg
    #74
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  15. nocalbruin

    nocalbruin No matter where you go, there you are

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    I'm also planning an Alaska run in 2019, leaving from SF bay area on June 3. Route will be north through OR, Spokane WA, then east to Glacier National Park. Spend a couple of day, then up to Banff/Jasper where the Mrs. will fly in and join me for a week. After she leaves, continue north to Cassier, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, then to Fairbanks. Goal is the Arctic Circle sign. Read too many horror stories about Haul road on this year's threads so I'll give it a pass. Hang around Denali, Anchorage, visit a friend in Homer, then board the Alaska ferry at Whittier and head south to Bellingham WA. From there 3 days or so to ride home to SF. I'm planning on 300 miles or so per day and built in lots of stops for sightseeing, hikes, etc. No particular deadline to be home by but I'd like to be back by first week of July so that gives me 30+ days of wandering...
    #75
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  16. Dan Lorenze

    Dan Lorenze Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a good plan.. But I must say, the show stopper of the Dalton IMO is the Atigun pass. It's a pretty amazing place and you're so darn close it would be a shame not to experience it. After the Atigun pass it gets uneventful to be honest. Zero horror stories from us riding the Dalton, we cruised half of it in the rain and it was a mellow ride for us. But if you could blast up to the Atigun pass then stay in Coldfoot in one day and get back to Fairbanks the next that would be a great compromise and it will only take two days to do, because our trip to Deadhorse and back to Fairbanks added four valuable days to our trip. Just thinking out loud....
    #76
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  17. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    If you don't mind putting in some long hours (remember - it's almost daylight all night long up north) in the saddle, you could go up and back in a week. Having seen it all many times, I usually figure 2 1/2 days Fairbanks to Seattle. But you will want to enjoy it, so you could take a week up and a week back and have plenty of time to see things along the way. Alcan one way, Cassiar the other. You could even fit Dawson City and Top of the World in there if you wanted to, as well as the side trip to Stewart/Hyder and Salmon Glacier.
    #77
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  18. DJSponge

    DJSponge Been here awhile Supporter

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    That sounds just about perfect. I think the wife will fly into Anchroage and meet us, maybe ride with me up to the TOW and back.
    #78
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  19. rubline

    rubline Coddiwomple

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    Mar 20, 2012
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    Gray Maine
    I'm all in! 6 weeks vacation is secured, wife has given me the green light and the money is in the bank. Leaving southern Maine first of June. Heading north thru Vermont going west above the great lakes. Bike is kitted out except tires which will happen a week before I leave. I will be dipping my feet in the Artic in Tuk to not have to pay for the tour in Prudoe. Camping as much as possible to keep costs minimal. Hoping to meet a few inmates along the way. Alaska 2019!!!:wings:rayof:happay:ricky:ricky:ricky
    #79
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  20. duckman44

    duckman44 Living the dream!

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    This is great advice. My first trip up the Dalton in 2013, I made the mistake of stopping short at Coldfoot and turned back.
    It was not until my second trip in 2017 that I went all the way to the top and it was great. Atigun pass was one of the most beautiful places to ride thru ever. You NEED to go that far.
    I will ride there every few years until I cannot ride anymore.:ricky
    #80
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