Alaska to Baja on a destroyed WR250R and a less destroyed DR650

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PNWParker, May 20, 2019.

  1. PNWParker

    PNWParker @roughpass on instagram

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Alaska > Argentina
    A few days ago I dropped off 2 plastic totes containing the few belongings I couldn't bring myself to sell or give away in a buddy's garage and loaded everything else on my trusty 2013 WR250r and pointed her north.

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    I've been dreaming about doing the trip for years but normal life has a way of inserting itself between you and your dreams. But damnit I'm a stubborn one so I decided to side step normal life for a bit and give the dream a shot. Last year I left my fulltime animation job, started freelancing and saved every penny I could.

    OF course to ride from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia you first have to GET to Prodhoe Bay. I looked into shipping the bike up but the cost would have put a pretty sizable hole in my budget, so it looks like I'm riding up instead. (it IS a motorcycle trip after all, right? might as well ride the damn thing.) I realize I'm heading up a smidge early, and it's gonna be cold as all get out up on the north slope of Alaska. I somehow managed to pack an extra 20L dry bag on the bike, slam full of cold weather gear and a heated jacket. Hopefully at worst I only lose a toe or two.

    My trip started in Portland, OR on May 16th and the first stop was the PNW dualsport season opener in Packwood, WA. (Maybe I saw some of you there!) It was an absolutely stellar way to start off a trip. If you're unsure about going to one of their events, just go ya dummy! It's the most accepting and supportive group of riders you could hope for. Plus the views, forrest roads and single track in Packwood were just dreamy. (As a quick aside, it turns out hangovers and tight single track don't really go together, but a 16oz coffee/energy drink and the biggest honey bun I could find got me through it.)

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    After 3 days of riding, laughing, and more than a little drinking I packed up again, and headed north to Vancouver BC to crash on a friend's couch. I took a quick but rather unadventurous route north through Seattle and up i5. A couple hours in I stopped to eat a banana that I had accidentally squished in my jacket pocket. A friendly fella with a mountain bike on the back of his SUV stopped and got to chatting with me. I told him what I was up to and he asked if I was packing a gun or bear spray. I shrugged and told him I didn't have either and he dove head first into the back of his SUV and popped back out with a tall can of bear spray in a shoulder holster and insisted that I take it. I was taken a back by his generosity, but I figured i'd feel real silly getting my face chewed off by a bear because I refused a gift so I profusely thanked him and accepted the spray.

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    All the slabbing and a slight issue with how I mounted my Mosko Reckless 80 put my right rear blinker directly in the crosshairs of my exhaust and melted a chunk out of it. A little sanding and some duct tape and it's good as new. (well...almost....at least it still works) I adjusted the bags forward to keep the bag from pushing the blinkers down and everything should be peachy.

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    Heading north again I passed a town called "Chuckanut" and if that isn't the best innuendo for climaxing, I don't know what is.

    Finally through the border and in Vancouver BC, I met up with an animation friend, watched the Game of Thrones Finale (what a stinker) and crashed on his pull out couch. My plan was to visit an animation studio up here I've done some work for and then head to Vancouver Island and pick up the TCAT trails up to the north end of the island. Unfortunately its a dang holiday up here and the studio isn't open AND its been a wet drizzly day. So my friend, his partner and I took then next logical step and went bowling. (My best score was 111. Nothing to write home about, but it was a personal best.) Tomorrow I'm going to drop in on the studio (and maybe ingratiate myself enough for them to give me some work later on down the road to help fund the trip) and then catch the ferry to Vancouver Island and get back in the dirt.

    If anybody is on a similar trip or lives along the way and wants to show a fella a good time (on two wheels of course) Hit me up!! I'm not sure how often I'll get a chance to update this ride report, but you can follow my instagram @roughpass for more pictures and bite sized updates.

    Also, if you're a creeper and want to keep tabs on me my inReach map is https://share.garmin.com/roughpass. (I only just now figured out how the dang thing works so I don't have tracking data for Packwood, WA. You'll have to go explore it there yourself!)

    Cheers!
    -Parker
    #1
  2. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    751
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Another long distance WRR report? Yeah, I'm in.
    #2
  3. holckster

    holckster dougholck Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
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    Location:
    Lodi, Ca
    #3
    td63 and TooTallRacing like this.
  4. TaZ9

    TaZ9 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    752
    Location:
    NoCo
    Good luck on your adventure. As a WR250R owner, I would appreciate info about your bike preperation and setup. I look foward to following your report

    Ride safe,
    TaZ9
    #4
  5. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,106
    Location:
    N California
    WR 250 r - oh I am in (and jealous of your long ride :D)
    #5
  6. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne I got my wings back. Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    863
    Location:
    Honduras
    You're a ways off, but once you get to Central America give me a shout. I live in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I can give you some info on destinations here (also Guatemala) as well as offer any assistance you might need here in Honduras. Looking forward to seeing your trip. Subscribed.

    Safe travels!
    #6
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  7. That.guy

    That.guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2018
    Oddometer:
    200
    Location:
    us
    No worries, it’s not cold up here.
    #7
  8. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Good luck Parker! I'm leaving June 1 to go to Alaska, then South and hopefully the rest of the way RTW. Hope to get the chance to meet you if our paths cross.
    #8
  9. PNWParker

    PNWParker @roughpass on instagram

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Alaska > Argentina
    Sure thing. I went with the 3.7 gallon safari tank and fairing and the Mosko reckless 80 luggage system. Aside from wiring a thing or two and a very minor gearing change, the bike is basically stock. All that FMF performance nonsense is fine for trail riding, but seemed like a liability for over-landing.

    A note on the safari tank/fairing:
    The tank took a month to arrive and the faring took TWO MONTHS, so order accordingly if you go for it. The vacuum fuel pump was installed upside down from the factory (which I learned the hard way when I “ran out of gas” with half a tank left). Flipping the pump right side up is easy...after you pull the tank, drain the gas and remove the main fuel pump. Just make sure you or a friend have small hands to root around in there.

    Also, one of the mounting “cleats” for the Mosko bags snapped and my two top dry bags somehow managed to find themselves wedged in front of my rear tire. They both have holes in them now so I’m keeping a tactical multi-use dry bag (aka a garbage bag) on hand in case I hit rain.

    But as they say, “no rain, no rainbows.” I’d still recommend the kit, just keep that stuff in mind.
    #9
  10. PNWParker

    PNWParker @roughpass on instagram

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Alaska > Argentina
    I think “cold” is pretty relative, but I’m doing this to myself so I have no room to complain about it haha.
    #10
  11. PNWParker

    PNWParker @roughpass on instagram

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Alaska > Argentina
    Awesome! I’ll probably just be crossing into Alaska headed north around June 1st. What are you riding?
    #11
  12. PNWParker

    PNWParker @roughpass on instagram

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Alaska > Argentina

    I’ll probably be in your neck of the woods sometime in August or September.
    #12
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  13. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'm on a black 2012 Super Tenere. I've had it for years and it made more sense to use what I had rather than buy a new bike for the trip. It will be interesting to compare how they work.
    #13
  14. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne I got my wings back. Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Honduras
    Sounds good to me. Let me know.
    #14
  15. canadian chris

    canadian chris Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    326
    Location:
    Texada, British Columbia
    You drove right past my place, sorry I didn’t find this Ride Report in time! I’m prepping a wr250 for my own major trip

    How are those Reckless 80 bags working out for you?
    #15
  16. Junya

    Junya Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    :lurk IN
    #16
  17. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    860
    Location:
    Prince George, BC
    You might be through the area on your way north already, but if you haven't cruised through Prince George yet (or if you're coming back this way after reaching Prudhoe) hit me up if you need a place to camp or a spare room to crash in. Looks like a great ride ahead of you... subscribed!
    #17
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  18. SlowMovinDream

    SlowMovinDream Not All Who Wander Are Lost

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Congrats for making this trip happen. Good bike and the right attitude. You’ll do fine. Have fun aad watch out for those bears.
    #18
  19. liv2day

    liv2day Life is all about how you handle plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,551
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Fellow PNWer and WR250 owner subbing on this one. Good on you for taking the leap and making the journey, imagine it'll be one hell of an adventure :thumb:thumb

    Also have the R80 bags and they've been fantastic (started with the R40s and kept those for shorter rides). Don't know how much weight you have packed on the bike, but something to keep in mind - a stiffer shock spring. I had a mis-adventure in remote SE Oregon - too much weight on the shock, not enough air in the rear. Had to have the shock rebuilt in addition to buying a stiffer spring.

    Looking forward to following along, safe travels :ricky :ricky
    #19
  20. PNWParker

    PNWParker @roughpass on instagram

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Alaska > Argentina
    Ah dang! Oh well. My #1 recommendation for the WR is find a good seat solution. I have a seat concepts and my backside is still killing me haha.

    The Reckless 80 is overall great. I have it packed to the max and then some. Although one of the metal cleats broke and my top bags ended up stuck in my back wheel and ripped the stinger 22 and another dry bag I had. They offered me replacements for 50% off. Also if you overpack like I have, the steel core straps are basically useless. Either don’t use them and trust the universe will keep its hands off your shit, or pack as light as you can so the straps can tighten down enough to secure the bags.
    #20
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