Beyond the Arctic Circle in Canada and Alaska

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Venturer, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Venturer

    Venturer AKA klakeman Supporter

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    Thanks for the kind words. We have some shorter rides planned (Kentucky, Wyoming, etc.) on small bikes. Not sure where my next long adventure ride will take me. Maybe a coast-to-coast TAT ride (my friends and I did it in stages over several years, but a straight-through TAT ride is intriguing). Or, Baja...
  2. Venturer

    Venturer AKA klakeman Supporter

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    I do try to stay calm and find a way out of problems when the unexpected happens.

    I use the GoPro Hero Black with a wrist remote. Shorter, more relevant videos are better than long videos IMO. The wrist remote allows you to quickly turn the camera on-off, and switch from snapshot to video. I also edit aggressively when making a composite video. It takes some practice. (I have been doing short videos for over 10 years.)
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  3. Venturer

    Venturer AKA klakeman Supporter

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    Flying and renting is a good solution. 16,000 round-trip miles is quite a journey. I looked into renting for a possible follow-up trip but found that bike rental companies wont allow use on the Dempster. They will allow use on the Haul Road//Dalton. The Alaska ride up to the Arctic Circle sign is pretty straightforward and can be done in one (long) day out of Fairbanks. Watch your speed to avoid the biggest potholes. Beyond the Circle, things get somewhat more challenging.
  4. Venturer

    Venturer AKA klakeman Supporter

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    In case anyone wants the video version of the trip:

    YouTube

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  5. dovetailredux

    dovetailredux bakery hound

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    Thank you very much Venturer, for your excellent ride report. The video at the end is terrific. I really want to get to the arctic (as a Canadian I feel it is compulsory lol), and your report has very helpful information. Great adventure!
  6. GA. DUALSPORT WANTAB

    GA. DUALSPORT WANTAB Long timer

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    Epic trip Kirk! Thanks for sharing, hope to enjoy some of the same sites and views this year. :D
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  7. Ozarks Rider

    Ozarks Rider I'd never join club that would have me as a member Supporter

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    After slamming into the deep pothole, I instantly knew I had probably dented my front rim. I instinctively started to slow down and glanced down to see my low-tire-pressure warning flash on my dash. Being alone, north of the Circle with a potentially ride-ending mechanical problem, I did a u-turn, hoping to make it back to the Arctic Circle parking lot where tourists tend to turn around before returning to Fairbanks. No luck. The tire collapsed within 20 seconds. A loaded KTM 1190R is unrideable with a flat front tire. I stopped on the side of the road and surveyed the situation. I had badly dented the rim and caused the sides to flare out. The rim appeared ruined to me. My mood went from confident joy to distress in an instant. I started scheming how I would get my bike hauled to Fairbanks and a new rim installed. (Probably a difficult multi-day, expensive process.) I felt sick. To make matters worse, the mosquitoes had found me and were attacking with vengeance. I calmly grabbed my helmet and key and started walking back to the Arctic Circle parking lot while contemplating how to get out of this self-induced mess. As I was trudging along, helmet in hand, a couple of trucks passed by without stopping (they have a job to do), but an Alaska Pipeline work truck did stop. I was really grateful for the offer of help. I had one question: "Do you have a sledge hammer that I could borrow for a few minutes?" The driver said he thought so... In a few more minutes, another Pipeline maintenance guy stopped to help! I began to feel more optimistic.

    Sorry to hear about your mishap. After hearing stories about the potholes before my trip I invested $1200 in a Woody's Wheel for the front of my GSA and I believe it came in handy on one pothole I hit when I wasn't paying attention. It nearly shook me off the bike but the wheel held no problem. Enjoying your trip otherwise!
  8. Venturer

    Venturer AKA klakeman Supporter

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    Stronger spokes and rims are a good idea for some bikes. (I used Woody’s for my old KTM 950. ) However, I still recommend keeping the speed in check when riding these potholed roads. Up to 50 mph is probably OK if conditions allow. In my over-confidence, I was riding faster when I hit the pothole.
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  9. VETJET

    VETJET Saved My Ass in 2018, Pun Fully Intended! Supporter

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    Great blog! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us... Sad to read about your friend losing his battle with cancer... I’m sure he travels with you in spirit.

    My ride to Tuk is a celebration of life and my victory over cancer last year... Enjoy your ride and the moments along the way!!!

    Your blog has reignited my excitement for my journey ahead. I head to Tuk in 25 days!!!
    PA Dewayne likes this.
  10. Venturer

    Venturer AKA klakeman Supporter

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    Thank you for the kind words. So glad to that you have successfully battled your cancer.

    Enjoy your trip and take your time. It will change your perspective on travel by motorcycle and the tremendous scale and beauty of North America.
  11. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Epic trip. Great use of the short videos. Keeps the interest focused. Sorry for the loss of your friend. Thanks for sharing your adventure with the rest of us.
  12. jeckyll

    jeckyll Kneedragger

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    Great report, very sorry to hear about your friend. That's some serious distance you hauled to get to his funeral.

    I do have a question about the rear tire, looks like the Tractionator GPS in 'offroad' direction, how did it do, had you run the tire before and in "50/50" mounting?

    I'm going to put one on my SuperTenere in the next few weeks and am curious about your impression given the widely different conditions you rode in.

    Thanks in advance!
  13. Venturer

    Venturer AKA klakeman Supporter

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    Thank you. I’m actually planning to repeat the journey in 2020 if possible.

    I used MotoZ GPS tires which are their 50-50 tire on the entire trip. They were excellent on the highway with durability and low noise. They were also perfectly acceptable on the gravel and muddy sections. The only exception was the last 20 mile stretch into Tuk where the mud was virtually impassible with any tire. These tires can easily give 8 to 10,000 miles of life or more. I recommend them.
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  14. Matt Hare

    Matt Hare n00b

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    Turns out she was right.
  15. Matt Hare

    Matt Hare n00b

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    I know these guys, BAMF’s.
  16. snobear

    snobear Been here awhile

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    I think we were there at the same time, we arrived in Tuk on June 15th
    IMG_1248.JPG IMG_1252.JPG
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  17. Venturer

    Venturer AKA klakeman Supporter

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    I think we probably passed each other. We are considering going back in 2020.