Alaska: June 2020

Discussion in 'Americas' started by wilsonjw42, Mar 25, 2018.

  1. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Long timer

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    I noticed in your report you were running a set of the metzler Torrence next tires. Would you run the same tires again? I’ve got a 2017 explorer XCX with the Torrence next tires on it. While I’ve had good service on the street with them I’m somewhat skeptical of their life expectancy. 5500 miles on mine and they are more than half used up. Bike loaded with gear for a trip of this nature is pushing 650-675 lbs plus rider. While I’ll trailer at least as far as witchita or possibly as far as Denver it still may be an 8-10K trip. Maybe we’ll see each other out there on the road.
    #81
  2. mb289

    mb289 2 Wheels Welding LLC Supporter

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    I put 11270 miles on one set of Nexts on my last trip to AK. The back was well into the ware bars when I got home and definitely worn out. The Front was good for about another 1k miles. I had a lot of cool weather which, I think, allowed me to get maximum mileage. On my 2020 trip I’ll be using Avon Trailriders. Not sure how far they will go.
    #82
  3. windypoint

    windypoint Been here awhile

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    I tried a setoff TKC 80's and went back to Tourrance. Better overall feel for my riding 90/10 and great in the wet stuff.
    #83
  4. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Long timer

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    How did the tkc’s ride? Noisy? The trail riders looked like a better riding tire. I’ve ridden my XCX off road but only on hard pack. I did ride it to my sons house one afternoon, he lives down a dirt road, the tourance’s Didn’t like the loose sand at all. I know I’ll have to compromise. Tire life is important but but I don’t want to listen to the singing I’ve heard some tire do.
    #84
  5. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    Early June will be too early for Beartooth Pass, more likely it will be passable on your return leg.
    #85
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  6. windypoint

    windypoint Been here awhile

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    My front tire started to "scallop" at around 3500 miles and ultimately wore so uneven on the tread that I changed back to Tourrance. The Tourrance is ok in gravel and I try to avoid sand.
    #86
  7. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Long timer

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    That’s good info to know! The one opportunity I had to ride it was in August of 09. Can’t wait to do it again.
    #87
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  8. 1956Kmack

    1956Kmack This is the Last One - I promise

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    Big weekend for me. Got approval to make the trip from "She Who Must Be Obeyed".

    Now if everything else falls into place...
    #88
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  9. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Long timer

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    Good deal!
    #89
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  10. travlr_45

    travlr_45 Long timer

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    I looked at the Avon’s and the tkc’s . Stopped in my local cycle gear today and looked at a set of the shinko’s. I’ve got a new rear tourance in the garage now, may just pick up a new front and save it for the trip. I’ll wait and see how far the set I have on now go.
    #90
  11. wilsonjw42

    wilsonjw42 Long rider

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    Routing options in Montana and Wyoming: I'm planning to ride Beartooth Pass and the Chief Joseph Highway (southwest on WY 120, northwest on WY 296, up Beartooth Pass on U.S. 212 to the top, then back down U.S. 212 to continue west). That much is pretty much certain. I've read that U.S. 14 and U.S. 14 Alt are great roads between Sheridan and Cody. I hadn't planned on that route because I wanted to check out Pompey's Pillar (northwest of Billings) just for the history, but am having second thoughts. Additionally, taking U.S. 14 Alt gives an opportunity to check out Bighorn Medicine Wheel, if the weather cooperates.

    Any thoughts or suggestions one way or the other?
    #91
  12. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Although this might sound like a lot of extra miles, with the thousands you have planned, it won't amount to much at all; no more than two or three extra hours, and IMHO more than worth it for the great riding: From Sheridan - west on 14 to Burgess Jct then on 14A to the Medicine Wheel for a visit. Leaving the Medicine Wheel, continue west on 14A far enough to get you off the Big Horns and onto the relatively flat terrain below. Now - turn around and go back up to Burgess Jct (maybe stop at the lodge for a meal) and turn right (west again) to follow that down to Greybull (with a stop at the Shell Falls wayside), thence on to Cody.

    Since I do Beartooth on my northbound leg more often than southbound, I take 120 north out of Cody, then 296 (Chief Joseph Hwy) northwest to 212, where a right turn takes me over Beartooth. Continuing on 212 will put you within a few miles of Billings and you will have had some great riding in getting there. Getting to the top of Beartooth from the south side, then turning back has you missing the best riding of that pass. From the top down to Red Lodge is one of my favorite stretches of highway in the South 48.

    Sign just west of Burgess Jct -
    [​IMG]

    Near the top of 14A looking west -
    [​IMG]

    Looking back up from the bottom -
    [​IMG]

    Looking down Shell Creek valley on US14 -
    [​IMG]

    And looking down into the valley from part way down the north side of Beartooth -
    [​IMG]

    You're planning on an epic trip - don't miss out on the special scenes along your route.
    #92
  13. ananthc

    ananthc Jus keep riding..

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    Just did a trip to South Dakota and drove thru the highway 14 form I90 visiting the Devils tower (family trip) and loved the scenery and twisty roads. Have plan in mind to ride the same route on my 1200 BMW.
    #93
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  14. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Just came across this... In May, any time during that month, the only "northern light" you will get to see will be the sun, which at that latitude will be just over the horizon at midnight. From about mid-April to at least mid-August the sky is just too light for the aurora to be visible. To be really attractive, you would have to go about a month and a half beyond that in the fall, or before that in the spring.
    #94
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  15. black 8

    black 8 motographer

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    Thanks Jack, as always you are a wealth of knowledge for anything related to riding in Alaska. I was going to say “screw it” and ride up in August of this year but a family issue came up and now I find myself riding to Florida. That puts me back to spring of 2020...
    #95
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  16. wilsonjw42

    wilsonjw42 Long rider

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    Thanks! Excellent info...I'm going to fold this into the plan!
    #96
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  17. ejm4

    ejm4 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I’m think a late June trip. Possibly a solo, fly in and rent. My work schedule won’t permit a month long travel-fest at my age...
    #97
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  18. Rippin209

    Rippin209 Long timer

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    I'm aiming for a two week trip in mid June starting in central California, if I head south about 30 miles I can get a iron butt 1,000 stopping just short of the Canadian border which would be a fun challenge to start things off and get me to new territory more quickly (I've lived up and down the west coast) figured 2 weeks of actually being north of the border (planning trip June 12-21 with the option of stretching it a day or 2 more if necessary) should be plenty of time without rushing, but yeah I hear yeah if I could spend another week roaming I would

    Edit: correct date June 19-28 of 2020
    #98
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  19. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    the wife and i will be doing this same route in aug sept this year doing a 3 week trip to yellowstone ,devils tower, grand tetons , staying at the canyon campground in yellowstone camping with our roll a home!
    #99
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  20. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Long timer Supporter

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    I took a Road King to Alaska this year. Here's what you need to do before you leave Dawson Creek, make you one of these fender extenders out of duct tape. Clean the inside of your front fender and attach it with said duct tape. Mine has been on since Haines Junction which was several thousand miles ago. Without it the mud and crud from construction zones will be thrown up onto your bike. You can see in the background of the picture that my oil cooler is missing some black paint. That's what happens when you take a brass wire brush to clean the mud and crud out of the oil cooler. That stuff is hard as concrete once it gets in the fins so you want to stop it from getting anywhere you don't want it. It will NOT come out with a pressure washer.

    Depending on when you go, bugs are going to fill your radiator fins although those will come off with a pressure washer or a long day riding in the rain.

    Even if you don't have an oil cooler behind the front tire, you still want to do the duct tape fender extender because your front tire will throw small pieces of gravel that will chip paint.

    IMG_0533.jpg