Alaska, is it Worth It?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Carl Childers, May 19, 2017.

  1. Carl Childers

    Carl Childers Ghost in the Machine

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    Your shaming me into taking the DR! :lol3
    #21
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  2. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    Hey, Carl, if it was fine for me to ride a DR650 on the base at Antarctica...then it will be fine for you to ride one all over Alaska. The R12GSA will do fine in Alaska, if you truly need to haul ALL of your gear with you, including the kitchen sink. But if you don't need everything you have ever collected in life, take the DR650.
    #22
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  3. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

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    Well....
    Short of the perfect bike for the trip (a Triumph Tiger 800XC :lol3) I think the GSA would be a better choice than the DR due to the long stretches of pavement that you'll encounter in any event.
    Re HeidiHo's opinion, less packed weight is always a benefit no matter what you're on.
    #23
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  4. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Mr Childers, with your preconceived notions of what AK is all about...I'd say stay the hell as far away as you can. Besides the beauty and hardships that may be subjective to a desert dweller, AK not counting Anchorage is about the people not the weather or critters. I lived in SE AK for 12 years till 1993 including in state travel north and west. Overall I absolutely loved AK. I'm retired now but if I had the income to afford to live in AK I'd move back in a heartbeat. Point being..yeah with your attitude you'll hate AK.
    #24
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  5. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    That "pot of gold" is an old school fairy tale. Today, it's a 48" pipeline full of black gold. :wink:
    [​IMG]
    #25
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  6. daBum

    daBum Dave the Bum

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    +1

    If it doesn't feel right and your heart isn't in it, don't go. Life is short.

    Having said that, I"m heading back up in 6 weeks. Some of my fondest 2014 trip memories are being stranded in Coldfoot with people I just met and those in Fairbanks I spent time with are memories, and friendships I will cherish for a long time. Not to mention the fresh Halibut in Seward. Yum.
    20140723_103226.jpg
    #26
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  7. eemsreno

    eemsreno Super Tenere Rider.

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    I think the 12GSA is a great choice. There is just way to much highway riding to be out there on a wimpy bike.
    I own a WR250R and wouldn't want anything to do with sitting on that thing day after day when I could be on the luxury of my real bike.
    #27
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  8. Kerl

    Kerl Large Double Double please.

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    I just don't get the Alaska hype. There are plenty of beautiful places to discover just like it in Canada. Lakes, Mountains, Wildlife... Not crowded by hundreds of motorcycle "adventurists" on BMWs day by day.
    Must be an American thing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #28
  9. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Not really just an American thing...it's a world wide thing...I've met tons of folks from all over the world in Alaska. You have one of the three most famous roads in the world for travelers...the Dalton, The Road of Bones, and Ruta 40. I Understand the attraction...just like climbers who want to climb the "7's"....
    #29
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  10. pnw

    pnw Long timer

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    If I was Canadian I'm pretty sure I would say the same thing but for me it is one of the states in my country and it is on my bucket list. I live in Washington near the Columbia river gorge and most if not all of the times I get near to or back home from a vacation/trip I say to myself that this is the most stunningly beautiful place I have been to on my entire trip - but I still want to see other places.
    #30
  11. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    Canada has hockey and maple syrup tho. We don't get that stuff in Washington....




    Charlie
    #31
  12. froger

    froger Been here awhile

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    Once rode a rat airhead from Oregon to Dawson, but didn't make it to mainland Alaska.

    I was keen to give it a try, but it had to wait for retirement, which was coming up. But before the party got started, I slowly soured on the idea.

    The north is all they say it is, that's not the problem. But there's three thing's I didn't like. A trip to a remote area like this, you want your bike, camping gear, and foul weather stuff to all be first rate. Most of my gear's good, but there'd still be a fair amount of money spent. Second, BC is expensive, with the Yukon and Alaska just as bad or worse. It's a pricy trip, and bad luck could make it much more so. Not trying to say it's not worth it, but cheep it is not.

    A big reason I decided to bag it though, was over half of the journey would be on roads that are not that different from those I ride most of the time. Some would be the same road's. Hwy. 97's fifty miles from my home, and goes all the way to Dawson Creek.

    If you like the idea, you should go. But having done something like it once, and being an old FF, my next trip north is going to be by pickup.
    #32
  13. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Ever thought about flying to Anchorage and renting a bike from Motoquest? That way you'd skip everything you don't like about riding in the north. Plus you could miss the ugliest place in Canada, the Ice Fields Parkway :lol3
    #33
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  14. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

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    Great thread! Any destination could be designated as bragging rights, but bragging to what audience? The guys that live in AK could say the same about riding to see the Smoky's or drop down to Key West? I know riders that anything over 200 miles is crazy talk and others that would laugh at how "short" my 10-12 thousand mile runs are. The bike matters only in that it is comfortable and reasonably reliable. I've owned a bunch of UJM, Euro and "Murrican bikes and they all had their pros/cons and never left me stranded, but a bad switch or ??? can happen on a BMW as easily as a Honda or Harley. You can be in deep shit in the wrong season with a hurricane/tornado, S/E mosquito fest and/or any number of remote places where there's very few people and no mechanical support so AK has nothing unique on these kinds of "negatives". Every region is beautiful, make a short list then the budget you want to spend on gear and travel and pick one and go.

    Being retired I have a much longer list (keeps growing :1drink) than I'd like with my birthday count, but never felt I wasted my time on any ride. Enjoy your choice!

    Cheers
    #34
  15. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    Yeah, that whole Canadian Rockies thing is a major waste of time....




    Charlie
    #35
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  16. FLARider1

    FLARider1 Long timer

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    The answer to your question is quite simply..........YES it is absolutely worth it. I have ridden both coasts of Canada, they both are amazing and they both are worth doing, and getting to AK is just part of riding the west coast. IMHO, The Richardson Highway from Delta Junction to Valdez is probably one the most amazing routes anywhere in North America. My only real advice is go in July, the probability of not so cold or rainy weather outweighs the certainity of mosquitoes in the overall scheme of what you want to deal with for the ride. Be ready for bugs, rain and cold..........and you will have an amazing adventure.
    #36
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  17. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

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    This is a great thread that I just happened to stumble across.

    In 1980 as I completed my Coast Guard boot camp I was given a choice of duty station...Alaska or the Florida Keys. And you would have been amazed at the number of guys in my company that ridiculed me for choosing the Keys. So I feel as if I need to venture to the great white north just to see what I missed. Personally I don't think I missed a damn thing sitting on Key Biscayne on my off-duty weekends sipping pina coladas with nubile young spring breakers. I even managed to snag a wife on that beach that is still putting up with me.

    But I think a journey up north is in my future. So keep posting up the pro's and cons...it's very interesting.
    #37
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  18. BvilleBud

    BvilleBud Been here awhile Supporter

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    I went up for work about 10 years ago (no motorcycle). One trip was the last week in April an one was in August. I traveled and spend several days in Anchorage, Kenai, Fairbanks, and Nome (same locations on both trips). I got to see giant chunks of ice in the bay in Anchorage as the broken bergs floated to sea; drove down highways with ten feet of snow on the sides of the road in the Chugach Mountains, then came back in summer and it was a completely different world. Great on both occasions.

    Alaska is indescribable. So beautiful; the people are engaging, genuine and fun (but don't screw with them). If there was one thing that left me a little sad it was the state of the native Alaskans. Poverty, substance abuse, and the lack of hope or the desire to win due to the lies of government dependence was hard to fathom.

    Back to your question. Go to Alaska you will not regret it.
    #38
  19. Shake_N_Bake

    Shake_N_Bake Been here awhile

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    But remember for those of us coming north the exchange rate makes everything about 25% off in Canada versus Alaska.
    #39
  20. Shake_N_Bake

    Shake_N_Bake Been here awhile

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    Shhhh. A few of us have figured this out. But we don't want others to now. Otherwise the Canadian Rockies will be overrun as well.
    #40