Canadian Arctic Winter Ride; Ice Roads and the Dempster Highway

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Northern Rob, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Thanks Saywut. I'll be using a Ural for this ride. A ural looks like this...

    [​IMG]

    They're a lot of fun to drive if you're not in a hurry and if you don't take yourself too seriously ... :D

    I'll be running the stock battery plus a backup wheelchair battery in the tub for reserve.

    Cheers!
    Rob
    #41
  2. BikerGeek99

    BikerGeek99 Horizon Chaser

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    You're gonna ride to Tuk?!

    You're nuts!




    In a good way! Actually in the best way!! Kinda like that off-center uncle who does really cool stuff.


    Best of luck on your trip! Can't wait for the pictures!

    I've seen Ice Road Truckers. Would this make you an Ice Road Rider?!

    Take care!
    BG
    #42
  3. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    Look also here :

    [​IMG]

    Rob & Dafne de Jong site
    They made in 2003-2004 a trans-siberian winter trip with 2 XT600E ... and I think that may be useful since the conditions wont be much different.
    #43
  4. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    My hats off to you. No wait, you will need a good hat so put it back on. I am amazed that you are doing such a ride, and in winter. Like your Canadian winter rider Paul did so across Canada, you too are doing a ultimate adventure. Glad there are guys like you out there. Ride safe and enjoy every mile. Keep the post coming.

    Take extra batteries and keep em warm and you should be fine. I have shot in minus 38 degrees in Alaska, but that temp. will eat batteries.
    #44
  5. Norsman

    Norsman ...a GSophile

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    +2 ??
    #45
  6. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    tell me what you'd like to know Norsman, not sure what you're looking for
    #46
  7. dusty308

    dusty308 wanderer

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    norsman this is the reply i got it led me to the manufacturer, its a snowmobile helmet heres a link to a shop that has them http://www.4seasonsfunstore.com/Product_Page/SKi-doo_Helmets.html

    "Hey Dusty. I bet Paul will give you a better answer but its a Bombardier snowmobile helmet that's DOT approved. It has a special breather venting system so that moist air gets pumped right out of the helmet instead of frosting/fogging up the inside. I think its ths BVS model." courtesy of ~northern rob

    cheers :beer
    josh<!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    #47
  8. jwalters

    jwalters Farkle Proliferator

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    Oh right on! To be honest, I wasn't thinking correctly either. It wasn't just the fingers! :D A small but critical mistake! Thanks for that!


    #48
  9. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    This was a good weekend. Got one of the last big bits of gear sorted. I needed a trailer to get the bike up to Whitehorse and was thinking 6 foot enclosed. I soon found out that a Ural is too wide to fit through the doors of a 6 foot wide trailer. Can you believe it? The 7 foot wide ones are just enormous. I don't want to be towing a small house through the snow! So plan B is this:

    [​IMG]

    One of my old riding buddies is already calling me a trailer queen! He prides himself on never trailering a bike. But he doesn't want to ride up with me - too cold he says - so... I'm kinda wondering what da heck? :lol3
    #49
  10. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Maybe some of you are wondering why on Earth would someone pick and old slow piece of technology like a Ural bike for this ride. Why not something modern and super reliable? Well, when I first decided to do this ride, Ural bikes were not my first choice. They weren't really on the list. I was going to put a sidecar on my trusty KLR. But as I was researching about winter riding, I found a fellow called Dave Barr and he changed my mind. Now unlike myself, Dave's the real thing - a hard core tough as nails ex-military rider.

    Here's a picture of Dave 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Siberia, in the winter, fixing the broken chain on his Harley.

    [​IMG]

    Dave had his legs blown off by a landmine in 1981. So he did what any normal person would do, he packed up his stuff and rode 83,000 miles around the world on a motorbike. Then he rode through Siberia in the dead of winter on a sidecar bike - and camped most of the way. He was awarded two Guinness World Book records for his rides.

    Anyway, he seemed like the right guy to strike up a conversation with about winter riding. To make a long story short, we had a few great talks and he gave me a lot of valuable advice. When we were talking bikes and I told him of my plans to put a sidecar on my KLR, he said "can you get yourself a Ural?".

    When he rode through Siberia, he was riding with two other guys on Urals. He kept getting stuck in the snow, and they kept towing him out with a Ural. They didn't get stuck. Engagable two wheel drive - its a nice thing to have. Also, Urals are really simple machines. If you can't fix them yourself on the side of the road, pretty well any mechanic should be able to. That's worth a lot if there isn't a Honda dealer in your village.

    So I sold the KLR and bought a Ural. And you know what? Its hard not to have a grin on my face when I ride it.

    If you're into winter riding, or just want to read more about "the real deal hard core" Dave, check out his site at http://www.davebarr.com/index.html Oh, another thing about Dave. He did all these wild remote rides on an old Harley, ... and don't forget - no legs! :evil Kinda makes you feel like an underachiever with too good a bike, eh? Does to me anyway!

    Thanks for your help Dave!
    #50
  11. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    This was a good weekend!

    Most of the farkles are on the bike. Got some cleaning up to do with wires and stuff, but its mainly together and working. Time to test the gear! The snows have melted around Vancouver, so we went up into the mountain passes in search of snow and crappy roads. For those of you not from BC, the Duffy Lake loop is one of the popular biker day trips. It takes you up along the coast on some very scenic but traffic filled sweepers and then up into the Coastal mountains. Past Whistler the traffic dies off to almost nothing and the scenery gets even better with alpine passes, nice mountain and valley vistas, lakes, twisties, and rough but paved road. Within about 50 kms the climate changes from lush green rainforest mountains covered with moss and waterfalls to the dry interior with bare mountains, sharp deep valleys and a few pine trees. Its a great backdrop for a ride. I've never done the route in the winter before and the road reports said it was snow covered, so off we went...

    We had our fingers crossed for some snow and ice ...and the gods granted us our wish.
    [​IMG]
    frozen waterfalls everywhere
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Unfortunately the roads weren't too bad. It was mainly packed snow with some ice and some sand in spots. After a while, I found some deeper stuff to try and get stuck in. Got myself stuck in 1 wheel drive, then slipped it in 2wd and augered through. Good fun. You'd think more folks would ride in the winter if they knew how much fun it is.

    [​IMG]

    You can see the lap apron on this shot. Between the lap apron, the big winter boots and the armour around the shifter its become pretty challenging to shift gears. I can click up through the gears using the heel shifter, but its an art form to try and down shift. I think I'll have to either get rid of the armour around the left head, or try and make some kind of shift pedal extender for the trip.

    [​IMG]

    I don't think I'm going to use the lap apron unless its really cold. It IS great for rain, wind, and keeping road crud off your legs - but it makes it more of a pain to get on and off the bike to take pictures.
    #52
  13. wiggins

    wiggins Been here awhile Supporter

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    Northern Rob, go to www.thetimelessride.com and then click onto 2005 and you will find a lot of information for your ride.

    good luck
    #53
  14. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

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    Rob, I know I said it before...but I am INSANELY JEALOUS of your trip. It's extreme to the edge...I love it.

    If it weren't for our upcoming new child...I'd be meeting you in Whitehorse.
    #54
  15. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Hi Wiggins, thanks for joining in and thanks for the good wishes. Yes, I’ve seen this site. It’s a great read.
    Hubert Kriegel (the rider behind thetimelessride.com) was one of the main inspirations for doing this ride. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    Back in the summer of 2006, I rode pretty well the same route as I’m proposing now.
    I didn’t have much dirt riding experience and I was riding a big GS with street oriented dual sport tires.
    I ran into mud like I’ve never seen before.
    It was slick like slimy grease and I was riding in ruts up to my axles.

    (sorry, I'm having trouble reformatting the size of these pics...)
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    No complaints though. Riding in those conditions was a real stretch for my riding skills –
    and it’s always fun to feel yourself getting better at something.
    Also the scenery was some of the best I’ve ever seen.
    [​IMG]

    Big sweeping mountain ranges, lots of wildlife and streams packed with fish.
    (Later on I figured out that there were a lot of fish because they had so many mosquitoes they could eat!).

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    We were talking to the locals about how challenging the road was after a rain.
    [​IMG]


    They said that many of them only ride the Dempster highway in the winter, when the road is solid hard-packed snow and ice.
    “Its way easier to drive in the winter” they told me.
    [​IMG]
    That got me to thinking…
    Then when I made it to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Inuvik</st1:place>, I took a quick flight up to check out Tuktoyaktuk on the coast.
    [​IMG]
    I was talking to one of the locals about how I really wanted to ride my bike all the way to the Arctic coast at Tuk
    – but I couldn’t because there was no summer road.
    [​IMG]
    He said a guy had just done it a few months before in the winter.
    The people were really surprised to see a side-car bike coming up the ice road into town.
    [​IMG]
    That was Hubert.
    [​IMG]
    That pretty well clinched it for me.
    When I got home, I found his website, checked out the gear he used
    and figured I’d like to do that too.
    That was about 2 years ago. … and here we are.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    If any of you would like to see more pictures of this part of the world
    in the summer, you can find my 2006 ride report here >>> Anyone rode Dawson City to Inuvik?

    Hubert's story is far more interesting though
    and you can find it here>>> http://www.thetimelessride.com/English/HTML%20files/Home%20htm/home.htm
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #55
  16. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Spicy, Hey! Congratulations! A new baby - its like that new car smell but better! Yes, definitely your best and highest use is staying home and providing tech support for your significant other.

    Consider this a scouting trip for your ride....
    Or maybe a future annual cancer fundraiser April 1st rally - all types of vehicles invited? :evil
    #56
  17. Winterbiker

    Winterbiker Sidecarist

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    HI Northern Rob,

    there were some other guys, who did the Baikal sea in winter. Pics about you´ll find at:
    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]http://www.thomasgoisque-photo.com/site.php?page=reportages&spec=avent&id=2[/FONT]

    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]I for myself did the Northcape in February 11 years ago with a BMW-GS-combo with two wheel drive (in that time the first GS-combo with that technologie).[/FONT]

    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Here in Europe there are many winter riders. Few years ago there were also two special issues of the mag "Winterfahrer". [/FONT]

    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]And in 16 days we are starting with two hacks to the nortcape again and than further on to Murmansk in Russia. [/FONT]
    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Winterriding is the best for a enthusiastic motorcyclist. Some really unbelievable winterpics you´ll find at: [/FONT]
    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=424436&highlight=Tauerntreffen[/FONT]

    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Its the best winterrallye at all. [/FONT]

    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]And a small video of last years Tauern-Rallye you´ll find here:[/FONT]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVvEQbnn9JQ


    Congratulations to your project. I know a little bit, what is waiting for you.

    Winterbiker


    [​IMG]
    #57
  18. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    I can make you a little tankbag heater if you want. It's the same one I made for Paul...
    #58
  19. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Winterbiker. Its clear you know more than just "a little" of what's in store. If you have suggestions for the ride, I'm all ears.

    Those pictures are brilliant. Great job! I hope I can get shots like that. Can you tell us anything about the camera equipment?

    Good luck on your ride and be sure to bring lots of pics back for the rest of us.
    #59
  20. Northern Rob

    Northern Rob Con Brio!

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    Ron, you've made me an offer I can't refuse.
    PM sent.
    :clap
    :beer
    #60