Best bike choice for Alaska & Tuk

Discussion in 'Americas' started by atc250r, May 16, 2020.

  1. atc250r

    atc250r Been here awhile

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    Current ride is a BMW K1600GT, and might be doing a Alaska/Tuktoyuktuk trip later this summer. Pretty sure I don’t want to take the current ride on any amount of gravel, or pot-hole highways, so what bike would you recommend? I’d be leaving from the Manitoba/North Dakota border. My age is 42, and I do have a motocross background if that matters. I’m kinda thinking a V-Storm or Versys?
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  2. theofam

    theofam Been here awhile Supporter

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    Quick answer is there is no right answer to your question. I passed two 1940s-ish BSAs on the Dalton Highway on my way to the Arctic Circle in 2012. Harleys make it to Deadhorse. Ride whatever pleases you. The V-Strom and Versys will both do great!

    Ride report when it happens, please!
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  3. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    IMHO, pick a twin over 650cc. Other than that, make sure it is set up and reliable.
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  4. Too Tall

    Too Tall Been here awhile

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    I've ridden a Vstrom twice and my wife a Versys once to AK. Both completely reliable but I'd recomend the Vee/Wee Strom with the 19" front wheel for the gravel you intend. And there's many low mileage ones available for very reasonable prices.
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  5. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    If you are buying another bike I'd recommend a Suzuki DR650......it's one of the benchmark choices for a reason........perhaps a Suzuki DRZ 400 with your motocross background.....if you are tall enough the DRZ is the shizzle in that price range.
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  6. Dan Lorenze

    Dan Lorenze Been here awhile

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    I recently rode my buddies new GS1250 low, the bike is so freaking comfortable it's like cheating. I'm afraid I would fall asleep on the thing. So yeah, when I go back to Alaska I'd like to be on a new GS.
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  7. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black? Supporter

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    The DL650 is a good choice. A lot of different tire and equipment options available and not very expensive.

    [​IMG]
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  8. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Riding to Alaska is a little different than riding the Dempster. When that road is bad, it's really bad - like, more pot holes than not kinda bad. Slick as snot mud kinda bad. Pretty much any big dual sport or adventure bike will get the job done. The more suspension travel, the better. The bigger the front wheel, the better. The chunkier the tire, the better. Everything is a compromise. You could do it on anything, but at a certain point you're making it difficult for the sake of it. My advice is to get something that is well suited for the conditions and that'll you be comfortable on because it'll be a long day if conditions don't cooperate.

    I rode a KTM 1090R last year and I'd take it again in a heart beat. V Strom would be good, too. Pretty much any larger dual sport or ADV bike will get it done.
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  9. czechyour6

    czechyour6 Been here awhile

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    sounds like an 850GS with factory cruise control and tubeless tires would be in order :D
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  10. Migolito

    Migolito Prognosticator and MotoYogi

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    KTM 790 adv r. Lite weight, 21 front 18 rear, cruise control, excellent suspension, great fuel economy, etc. Add soft luggage and go.
    #10
  11. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    Doesn't sound like you're pining for a KLR, but the 6-gallon fuel tank and efficient running means you don't need a gas can for any of the 250-mile sections between fuel up there. I bought a KLR specifically to go up there and had a good time.
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  12. wellcraft

    wellcraft Been here awhile

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    I'd recommend a GSA. In addition to being a very capable bike you can't beat the 7.9 gallon tank which gives you 300+ mile range so making it from one gas stop to the next shouldn't be a concern. The aluminum panniers offer plenty of capacity to pack stuff and there's plenty of room to tie down even more stuff if you think you really need to take more stuff. It's also a great bike that will complement your K16GT so no need to sell it when your trip is over.
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  13. Lizzard323

    Lizzard323 Solo rider. Lover of solitude and corn meal.

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    Well, been to Tuk from Florida on a KLR650. Gravel is pretty deep on the road to Tuk. BMW guy fell behind us and broke collar bone. Pretty top heavy in deep gravel. Then again I am not a BMW fan, at least the big bikes.
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