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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rollin', Jul 20, 2019.
Enjoyed reading about your adventures! Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Nice job, but I cannot deny I would have enjoyed it more of you were on the Vision!
Bob (former Vision owner)
I think if the road to Tuk had been completed in 2015 the Vision would have made it there.
A great trip report, thanks.
Tossing in my 2cents, adding a steering stabilizer will save from tank slappers, which sounds like what may have happened to you. When you hit the deep gravel, if your wheel shoots to one side, the bike falls over instantly, and you on your face. You were really lucky there.
I noticed you mentioned about the fork seal protectors, very important on this road, and so inexpensive compared to cost of rebuilding fork seals.
Not sure there is a tire out there that could help with that sticky mud, but a fender raising kit would be a good idea to give the wheel space to fling it, instead of packing in under the fender. Or even take the front fender off.
You mentioned your Spot worked perfectly on the trip, but I have read a few trip reports that said the SOS option doesn't always work, and it is not easy to test this without getting into trouble. For me, I would not trust a Spot unless they mentioned specifically fixing this issue.
You didn't mention anywhere that you were standing on the pegs, but I think most do this when the gravel gets deep, or the road is squirrely, for this to work though, you need to be able to adjust one of your mirrors to see behind you when standing. On my trip up that way, I had a pickup truck pass me on the left I did not see coming, and nearly crashed in the ensuing dust storm that had me in zero visibility going 60km/hr in deep gravel. I also got lucky on that trip, live and learn.
Getting caught up on the various threads of this forum. Great trip report. Went to Dawson City and back this year as well, left Victoria 24 June and returned 19 July. Your pics brought back some fond memories. We did our trip on a '95 1500 with trailer - 7400 Kms round trip.
Good luck on your next adventure.
I didn't hit deep gravel, the road was hardpacked and smooth, some of the best conditions I had on the Dempster. I hit a berm that had been made by the grader. The only deep gravel was on the last 20 miles before Tuk and in some of the construction areas on the Alaska Highway.
The bike did have a front fender raising kit.
Don't know anything about SOS issues but I have been using Spot Tracker's since 2010 and they have always worked perfectly.
I stood on the pegs on some of the rougher areas but most of the time it wasn't needed.
Great chronicle. Great read. And it sure was nice to see that bike cleaned up well afterwards. Somewhere along the way I started thinking you needed to be able to sacrifice a bike for a trip like this but apparently all that scarry-ness washed off! Well done.
The mud/calcium chloride mix did come off but it was a lot of work, everything had to come apart and had to be cleaned with a brush.
Pulled the covers off the exhaust and there was a lot of mud to be cleaned. The bottom of the fuel tank and top of the airbox was covered. The foot pegs have slides with springs and I had the take them apart down to the last screw to get them clean, just soap and water didn't do it I had to use a brush on each piece.
Really have to take everything apart to get it cleaned.
About your trip… a lot of us truly do want to follow in your footsteps but can’t for many good reasons. We have been, however, able to thoroughly enjoy your trip vicariously thanks to the work you put into sharing it with us, mile by mile, experience by experience. Thank you. GREAT story. Additionally, we Wee owners do know why you chose the 650 and would choose it again. The grand sum of the DL650 far exceeds its collective parts.
At 73, I'm working very hard to make a trip like this happen in my lifetime. I'm close. I know I speak for others in saying I hope Life offers you another opportunity to do it all again.
Get well, be safe and God Bless.
I will be 66 at the end of the month and earlier this this year I was starting to think that if I didn't do this ride soon I may never be able to do it. I don't blame my age I blame myself for not staying in shape and gaining weight. I could feel the difference between this ride and other rides but again not because of age.
I really hope you get a chance to go. I enjoyed the ride and if I would be able too I would go again.
Winter has set in so time for some maintenance and more cleaning.
The Heidenau K60 Scout tires lasted the rest of the year, I'm replacing them with Mitas E-07 Dakar's that I had bought for the trip to Tuk but didn't use. Also replacing the chain and sprockets.
Every time I take something apart I find more to clean. Now I can do a better job of cleaning the brake calipers, swingarm and wheels.
This was the original chain and has a little over 12,000 miles. The outside of the chain looked okay, the rear sprocket didn't have much wear but the front sprocket had a lot of wear and the teeth were starting to look like hooks. I picked one link at random to remove the chain, one pin is clean and smooth and the other is corroded. After a closer inspection of the chain I found at least 3 missing O-rings and others may be damaged. There was a lot of mud packed in the chain by the end of the Dempster.
If you have a lot of rain and mud on a long trip I would recommend replacing the chain.
Thank you Sir for sharing. Always look forward to your ride reports.
I enjoyed the ride report.I've read a few and learn something from most all of them.You really pile on the miles.I could not keep a pace like yours.
Thanks for another great RR! Providing care to your wife certainly sets a poignant backdrop to your adventure! I hope you can get some regular time off so you don't burn out.
Caring for my wife did add another concern on the ride...any major delay or an injury could add a lot of cost.
Her care was $275 a day so everyday added to the trip would increase costs quickly and if I was injured and couldn't take care of her that could really be bad.
Its a sad way to look at things but if I can't take care of her it's $8200 a month and that's also why there won't be anymore long trips. The ride to Tuk was the last ride on my to-do list and I think I would have regretted not doing it. No regrets.
I did take a 3 day break in October and that will be it until next spring.
Thank you for your awesome RR. I just stumbled on to it today and after your describing your "mishap" on the Dumpster, I realized we met you I believe in Carmacks. My buddy on his GS1200 and me on a WeeStrom were heading up when you were coming back. Your story was one of many we heard of the unforgiving Dempster. Glad you made it home and you and the Strom are mostly healed up.
My thoughts and prayers for you and your wife.
Just found and read this thread all the way through. Great report! Glad you made it. You earned that blue sticker on the front of the Suzuki. Weather can change conditions on the Dempster in a minute. I've made it to Prudhoe Bay twice, but rain stopped me at the Arctic Circle, on the way to Inuvik. How 'bout that DL! Bent and banged up but it got you home. Great bike.
Carmack sounds right, that was a fuel and food stop.
The DL is a tough bike and is still working well.
I'm still cleaning, I was replacing the rear tire and when I slid the wheel forward I could hear a grinding noise. I pulled the end caps off and yep...there was a lot of dirt inside the swingarm tubes. I think everything is clean now.