Alaska for dummies

Discussion in 'Americas' started by damasovi, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. NewEnglander

    NewEnglander Been here awhile Supporter

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    I had to add my name to the list going next year. I am taking my R1200GS and would gladly accept some of the vast wisdom of the ADV world to help me decide if I should carry any extra fuel. I have been considering fitting a r1200gs Adventure tank(8.7 Gal) or just strapping on an external gas can. Hope to see some of yall when I head up there in July 2008.:rofl
    #61
  2. legion

    legion Honking the Horn

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    I rode an HP2 from Milwaukee to Anchorage last fall and never had a gas problem. Furthest stretch between stations was maybe 115 miles, ballpark. If you can make it 175 or so you're already carrying more than you'll need to have. If you've got the spare change rattling around though having a big tank on longer rides is really nice. It means I don't have to start thinking about fuel until my butt hurts... instead of thinking about it constantly.
    #62
  3. Exurban

    Exurban Long timer

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    Unless you are heading up the Dalton or Dempster wisdom is you won't need extra. For those two, some buy a cheap gas can at the jumping off town and toss it or give it away when they get back. Others spend a bunch on MSR bottles, fuel cells, empty soda bottles, used coffee bladders...
    #63
  4. Nail24

    Nail24 Lighten up this is Fun

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    I'm new to Advrider board. I'm planninga trip to Alaska from Tryon, NC in May and need all the help I can get. I'll be riding my '04 R1100SA which has system cases, tank bag, Ohlins, PIAA moto lights, Pilot Road tires (will change to a dual sport tire in Canada), Corbin saddle, tall (18") windscreen, widder heated vest/gloves, heated grips, Throttlemeister, sleeping bag to-10 degrees, gortex rain gear and gloves, cigars, colapsible gas container, Deet, and the necessary quick dry underware. Don't plan to go all the way to the circle but I will go over to C'springs for the run up the Rockies through Idaho then up toward Whitehorse. Got GPS but like maps muct better. Does Nextel work in Canada and Alaska? There will be three of us--4 or more constitutes a Harley parade. lol I normally hang on Pelican Parts so hopefully you'll cut me some slack if I make a site faux pas (that's all the freach I know). Good tips and lessons learned welcomed. No, I ain't springing for a GS--to tall and I like to run the WNC and N GA twisties.:D

    PS i moved this from my original post.



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    #64
  5. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Hello and welcome, Nail24.

    You'll be fine. Just plan on slower travel if it's raining and muddy going thru construction zones in Canada and carry a mosquito headnet.

    A +20f bag with a good sleeping pad would do unless you sleep cold. I recommend a 0 degree bag up here in the summer if someone sleeps cold.

    Are you plannin on Dawson Yukon for Solstice? Over 100 advr's last year. Fun!

    See ya, Mark H.
    #65
  6. Nail24

    Nail24 Lighten up this is Fun

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    When does that happen? i'm planning on departing Georgia the middle of May.
    #66
  7. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    Somebody here suggested that it was to much of a ride to go to Alaska on a 250, I read (many times) the report of the guy who went on a TW200 and no mayor complains, I guess if people do it on 900 lbs (close to any way) GL1800 Goldwind I could do it on a smaller bike, and with the correct gear would be ok.

    This is my intention just in case I get to go. I am reading the Milepost mag and will order the book to be better prepare. Also I am thinking of investing on a DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer: Has any boby use it? I would apreciate the info.

    And happy holidays to all and the best for 08! Hope to see you in Alaska

    Damasovi
    #67
  8. AK Bear

    AK Bear Long timer

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    Riding to Alaska is really over rated in terms of difficulty. Fifty years ago when I was a kid it was a real serious trip in any vehicle, but the road is paved now. You can do it on any streatable bike, no matter what it's size. People do it on bicycles all the time for that matter.

    When I was in college a friend of mine road his Yamaha 250 enduro from Anchorage to Gunnison Colorado with his dog in a basket on the back, in October. If he could do that on the old dirt road with almost no preparation, you will have no trouble in mid summer on a modern road. It is a wonderful ride with great sweepers and mountain roads, the sceenery is as good as it gets and you will have a wonderful time on what ever you ride. Have a good trip, Bear
    #68
  9. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Adventurer

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    Any opinions on which way to do the Cassier and AlCan?? I'm leaving in mid June this year, from Oklahoma. Been planning on going up through Glacier, Banff, Jasper, AlCan and Top of the World to Fairbanks, some time in Alaska and back via the Cassier. Is that the preferred direction, or the other way, or does it make a difference??
    #69
  10. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Adventurer

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    I think it would depend on which one. I used to have a KLR250, the seat on it was actually fairly comfortable and I did a few multi-day rides on it. I made a rear rack, that combined with soft saddlebags and a tank bag gave me enough luggage room. Some (most??) of the other 250s have truly wretched seats, so a long trip would be just torture. The downside to any 250 is that you can't cruise comfortably much above 65, so that limits your max daily mileage a bit. So a trip that might be doable in 3 weeks on a bigger bike might take 3 1/2 - 4 weeks on a 250. If you have the time, no problem.
    I'm kind of in the same boat, I'd like to take my DR-Z400 on this trip, but with only 3 weeks I'm sure I'll need to put in some big mile days to make sure I don't have to rush through the good stuff. That means I'm taking the DL650.
    #70
  11. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

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    To put things into perspective - ALL kinds of vehicles have successfully and safely made the trip to and from Alaska.

    Bicycles, Model T's, semi trucks, motos of all walks of life.

    Ride whatever is most comfortable for YOU - and what you can afford!
    #71
  12. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    Your points are all good, I have a HOnda Tornado and I could put some miles everyday, how many ? I still don't know but after 200 I feal I can go another 200 (at least). Top speed is not as good as on a 650 but I love it.

    I could get 5 weeks (3 paid and 2 non-paid) but I don't think my CFO (AKA wife) would let me have that much fun all alone, jeje

    So I guess the KLR is going to Alaska:clap:clap:clap I will just have to pack better, progresive springs, and a skid plate.

    Have a nice trip!!
    Damasovi
    #72
  13. Benjava

    Benjava ?

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    I went north on the Cassier but lots of folks go the other way.It's all good.
    Watson Lake to Stewart is a nice one day ride. Gives you time if the weather and or construction sucks. Stay at the Air Force Lodge in Watson Lake. Prince George to Stewart is a day also if your riding the speed limit.
    #73
  14. Denalidirt

    Denalidirt High Plains Drifter Supporter

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    I would head up through Radium Hotsprings, pass through Glacier on the Going to Sun Hwy, to Whitefish, north on 93. Keep following 93 to Lake Louise, norht to Jasper. I would skip Banff. Its worth hittin the Cassiar, doesn't really matter which direction. Liard hot springs are nice, but you miss them w/ the Cassiar route.
    #74
  15. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Adventurer

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    Thanks for the input guys, 'preciate it.
    #75
  16. EdOriginal

    EdOriginal Been here awhile

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    Go up the Cassier and come back the Alcan/Jasper route. May sound strange but the view of the Alcan/Jasper route looks a lot different coming back than when going north. Want to see animals, definately Alcan/Jasper Route. For Scenery definately Alcan/Jasper. Want easier smoother roads, definately Alcan/Jasper. Looking for remoteness, Cassier.

    But keep in mind the Cassier connects to the Alcan up pretty close the Whitehorse YK. Cassier has a lot more dirt/thus washboard ruts than the Alcan/Jasper. On the Cassier you go about 20-25 miles of pavement then have streaks of 2 to 5 miles dirt. On the Alkan/Jasper I'd guess 85% to 90% of it is paved....most of the unpaved is further up north, where the road subsurface stays frozen 8 or 9 months out of a year. The only significant problem with the Alcan/Jasper were the RV's to pass...but did meet some neat people (at campsites) driving RV's.

    Distance is about the same back from either Cassier or Alcan to say Ideeho or Montana. I hope to do it again this year and will go up one way and back the other.

    The plannig part is way over blown...just take a mosquito net to put under your helmet, know your maps, get a list of campsites/motels phone numbers along the alcan hwy, good rain gear, a tent and sleeping pad/bag just in case you need it. Also, motels are $100 to $150 when you get to most places in Ak. Plan on $1,500 to $2,000 (for everything, excluding tires and mc maintenance). Most places take credit cards but some places do NOT.

    IMHO Artic Circle/Coldfoot is overblown but you gotta do it. Rest 1 day every 6 or 7 days and wash clothes that day, or go on a fishing boat trip at Homer (Hallibut) Do not stop at Pine Mountain campsite, enough said. I'd stay at paid campsites just for security and showers and toilets.($10 to $20), some provide good dinners.

    Biggest mistakes people make:
    1) Underestiamte the mosquitoes
    2) Don't do the side roads.
    3) Try to do it 14 days...I would not even try the trip without the time. (You need at least 20 days from Montana or Ideeho, but really need 25 days.
    4) Don't take time to stop at Lake Louise...a must!
    5) waste time at Banph (tourist town, only worth a quick stop)
    6) Don't spend at least 1/2 a day around Jasper to see the wildlife in general area...a must.
    7) don't realize the road construciton and roads only allow for realistically doing 300 to 350 miles per day.
    8) fail to travel some at night - a local taught me this...it is light until 2:00 or 3:00 am and much of the wildlife is out more at "night", I tried it and liked it...and will do more of it.


    I always leave from Missoula or Kalispell, Montana and take 21 to 25 days to and back and always feel I ran out of time. If you live in like Oklahoma add like 3 days, or whatever it takes to get to Montana, and 20 to 25 days there and back...play hookey or sick for a week. It will take a week or two for most to recover the feeling in their butt.

    Many many riders go solo to AK and team-up with other riders they meet at service stations or campsites along the way. And depart company if their riding styles and speed are not compatible. I med two guys at a service stations who had just met each other and rode from Kalispel to Whitehorse and at Whitehorse I saw one of them at a restaurant and they HATED each other and departed
    company...could simply never agree on destinations.

    Tires: Find a place in like Whitehorse, Watson Lake or Fairbanks, or whereever that is willing to change a tire(s) for a fee and receive a tire that you ship them UPS. I did not and was quoted by BMW dealer in Missoula $490 for a single tire, installed and balanced. And you will need one set of tires. I'd highly recommend being safe and new tires at no more than 3/4 used up....in my case it was 10,715 miles from Missoula, Montana to AK and back.

    my 2 cents.
    #76
  17. Flyboy08

    Flyboy08 Been here awhile

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    Question! I'm doing AK in August 08:clap...I have been Map Sourcing various routes and boy, this is a big ride!

    If I was to ship my bike from NYC...where should I ship it to? I was thinking Seattle, but that in itself is 2284 miles and roughly 8 riding days to Anchorage :huh. While I don't mind the 8 days, we were planning on riding the whole way back hitting BC/the Dakotas and UP of Michigan.

    If I ship to Anchorage...I'm sure I'll be missing a whole lot had I rode from the Seattle area.

    Has anyone shipped to Anchorage from out East? I used Federal last summer shipping to Denver and rode denver to Seattle...Fun ride!

    Decisions decisions?
    #77
  18. Flyboy08

    Flyboy08 Been here awhile

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    Well shipping to Anchorage is a bit on the high side!

    NJ to Anchorage...$2284
    NJ to Seattle.......$633

    Quoted by Federal

    Guess well be making the trek through BC:evil
    #78
  19. j911brick

    j911brick Squidinator

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    Shipping may not be as bad as it looks. If you figure the gas to drive, hotels, tires, and lost income from work, shipping to at least Seattle may not be that bad.
    #79
  20. Flyboy08

    Flyboy08 Been here awhile

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    I have no issues shipping to Seattle and will most likely go that route. Would be nice to get a little closer though.
    #80