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Coast to Coast Canada in winter??

Discussion in 'Canada' started by paulmondor, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

    May 14, 2004
    Victoria BC God's garden
    Hi you all from Victoria BC..

    I am asking for some advice about one riding topic that might get some people wondering why would I even think of doing something like this..

    I am planning to do a Coast to Coast trip in Canada, but in the heart of winter.
    I have already contacted a couple motorcycle magazines and they told me that have not heard of someone ever doing this..

    Departure time would be after the holidays..
    I lived here most of my life and know the weather and the roads.. I have crossed this country over 100 times while I was trucking long distance and also done it many times on motorcycles.

    The questions I have are about things like!

    Would a bike start in the morning at -30?:huh
    Would I need to make some kind of block heater? (Bike will be a F650 GS Dakar)
    What tires would be recommended.
    What do you think would be the apparel requirements?

    I have travelled on motorcycles in the snow before but nothing like this 7000 Kms.
    Planning will be required obviously and I am sure a year of planning would do it!:thumb
    Any ideas? And also if anyone is interested please let me know..:evil
  2. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

    Jun 2, 2005
    Western Canada
    It can be done as long as you arn't in any hurry. Don't forget to dress warm.
    Toughest part will be around the northern end of Lake Superior in Ontario. Long sections with no civilation so no motels or resturants to warm up at. Rogers Pass in BC could be fun too. Maybe a backup support vehicle would be an idea. With luck you won't have too many -30 days. If you do, motel it that day. Might be a good idea to bring the bike in the room for the nite. You probably already know, it won't be much fun. Probably why no one has done it. Knobbies would be best in snow, dualsport tires on ice and street tires on cold pavement. Good Luck. Let us know how you make out.
  3. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

    Nov 30, 2001
    Vancouver Island, Bitchin' Columbia, Canada
    Phil Funnel, the old Vancouver BMW dealer did it with an old airhead and sidecar. He also went to 'Took in the NWT in January the year after (late '70's I think). Bring a Coleman to warm the oil in the morning :1drink
    Remember, across Canada includes Newfoundland, so it is more like 10,000kms. :evil
  4. Hippiessuck

    Hippiessuck Banned

    Apr 27, 2004
    abbotsford bc canada
    stay home drink beer
    watch porn
  5. kdude

    kdude Happy to be here !

    Feb 19, 2004
    Montreal & Ft. Lauderdale
    This should warm you up on your adventure. :annie Personally I think your bonkers. It's around -18 deg. C at the moment and we are getting about 35 centimeters of snow over the next few days. Your so close to Cali why in the world would you come to a part of the country that is in a perpetual state of a frozen waste land !

    Come on down ! :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl :rofl

    ps.... Don't forget about our black ice , it's known to mess things up.
  6. Lil Earle

    Lil Earle Sweatin, not scared Supporter

    Oct 24, 2004
    Stockbridge Ga.
    Read Dave Barr's book called Riding the Ice. He rode across the USSR. during winter. He rode a Harley with a sidehack because he doesn't have any legs. It will give you some tips and what to expect.
    Have fun.
  7. Slimie

    Slimie Long timer

    May 28, 2004
    East Debon
    You're nuts. :lol3
  8. McB

    McB Long timer

    Apr 8, 2005
    Drain the oil and bring it inside every night. Get a group 24 car battery. Tire chains. Don't forget your psychotropics.
  9. Briggy

    Briggy Adventurer

    Nov 4, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    I agree with the questionning of your sanity... yes it hasn't been done before, but why would anyone want to?

    If you must, get Gerbing or equivalent heated gear, covering as much of your body as possible (but check the total amps draw). Also get an Ipod + satellite radio, etc. Anything to get you mind off your frozen nuts and all the bruises from falling. While you're at it, get a heated visor for snowmobiling.

    I just rode the west coast down into Mexico. A MUCH nicer ride, especially from where you are now.
  10. Mw650

    Mw650 Bob

    Dec 11, 2005
    Chagrin Falls/ Bainbridge, Ohio
    I don't know, but it sounds like fun to me. Does that make me nuts too, hell yes & I wouldn't want it any other way.

    Hey, if you have the time, money, and gear go and ejoy the ride. I wish you the best of luck if you try it.
  11. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

    Jul 15, 2004
    Calgary, AB, Can
    There was a few women that crossed Canada (Trans Canada Trail) on snowmobiles to raise money for breast cancer a couple years ago. Regular snowmobile clothes and Helly Hansen underclothes were the clothing of choice. Apparently the cords in the electric stuff got in the way quite frequently. Probably wouldn't be a problem on a smooth road though. The sleds had e-start, but they also lack crank case oil. Couldn't guess how a frozen Beemer will treat you.

    Do a search for trelleborg (sp?) tires. They seem to be a fav for winter riding.

    Good luck, you crazy bastard.
  12. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

    May 14, 2004
    Victoria BC God's garden
    Thanks for all those who have given me positive feedback.. I have been PM'd by a few who have done winter travel..
    so far it is looking good.

    as for those who doubt and chicken out.. i will do as i see often around the site.. (The bird):flip

    it is always easy to follow, but never is to go your own way..
    After all, winter is beautiful and challenging..

    who knows? maybe i will end doing this trip with others who are as crazy about life as I am..:ricky
  13. R-1150-RS

    R-1150-RS Long timer

    Jul 26, 2004
    Where ever, Ontariariario
    There are many very good reasons why no one has done it before.....

    Most revolve around the miserable levels of physical comfort; the extreme risks of falling / crashing a two-wheeled vehicle on the ice you will drive on much of the way; and the fact that most of what you will see can be seen under far more enjoyable circumstances at other times of the year........

    Victoria doesn't get a real winter.
    Don't use it as an indicator of what to expect.

    :) :)
  14. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

    Oct 1, 2005
    kootenays canada
    This is not adventure. Its stupid.
  15. humvee

    humvee Long timer

    Jul 6, 2005
    Winterpeg, MB, CANADA
    You Loco...

    Not saying it can't be done...but it sure won't be fun...but very cool (no pun intended) bragging rights.

    Currently -21C with windchill...now add another 50km/h to that while riding... Brrrrr. Bunch of snow the last couple days too...

    Come January, that'll be -30 before windchill. (as you know...as you've driving cross-country)

    I won't ride with you...not even down the street...but you're welcome to thaw your weary bones and come in for a warm drink.

    All the best should you do it...
  16. vanveen

    vanveen Been here awhile

    Jan 3, 2005
    Hey I met Philip Funnel when he was heading up North, he was known for his love of BMW's so seeing him on a FLH was kinda strange, he had a sidecar and all sorts of electric gear, hippo hands on the bike, said the only time you could go to the far north was during the winter because the muskeg and the rivers freeze over and they plow a road thru, he was a regular contributer to Cycle Canada before then, never heard if he made it or not, come to think of it i've never heard of him again, perhaps somewhere in the far north, after global warming makes Canada's north into a balmy resort they'll find some ancient harley at the bottom of some bog and think some wuss threw it away because it wasn't loud enough:rofl seriously though, with modern electric gear, a sidecar, studded knobs, lightweight synthetic oil you could make it, long as you don't get run over by a semi, Mexico sounds like more fun to me
  17. Esteban

    Esteban Banned

    Jun 7, 2004
    Above Golden
    Motorcycles fall down. Sidecars are not motorcycles - sorry.

  18. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Oct 30, 2004
    West is the Best
    I would only consider doing this with a sidehack. You will fall down many times otherwise. In the dirt, no problem, but falling down while sharing the road with long haul semis steaming along in a blizzard would be scary.
    Thinking about it for a minute, I don't like getting cold, I wouldn't do it. If you don't mind getting frostbite, go for it. If you make it, it will be a good news thing in the papers for motorcycling. If you don't make it, know one will ever know.
    Ciao, Steve G.
  19. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

    Aug 19, 2003
    Bow, WA USA
    be a boy scout~be prepared. from your back ground you know how bad it can be. on a good few days, everythings jake, just heated clothing, your good. but the worm can turn and your raven feed.

    be ready for a break down and a night/day of -50 below. get a big ass windshield, hand guards, i've seen some homemade frame mounted leg wind deflectors.
    your on a GS650? i think i read they made a 380 alternater, you could power disco ball AND a hot tub with that. or look into how much yours puts out, and what your heated clothes draw.
    go to the van bike show, gerbering has a booth. buy everything. speak with mountaineers re extreme conditions, and equipment.

    plan for the worst so your not a pain in the ass to rescue people.

    black ice? really shit snow, consider screws for your knobs, if you have room and it doesnt freeze a cordless screw driver could sink enough in each knob to give you some traction. how much snow riding have you done?
    do it for the right reasons, not to piss on anybodys parade but I'll bet its been done, some poor SOB who needed to get from one coast to another, no internet, no record, just a guy on his bike.
    do it because you want to, not because the last 12 guys didnt write in about it. and when you do, post some pics, and best of luck.:1drink
  20. markjenn

    markjenn Long timer

    Nov 9, 2003
    Bellingham, WA
    I don't see any reason it can't be done if you have plenty of time. That would be the key to make it a safe trip - plenty of time, so you could hole up for a day or a week if you needed to. If you were forced to ride in bad weather or on slick roads because you had to maintain a schedule, I think this could make such a trip ridiculously dangerous.

    The cold problem should be completely addressable with the right gear and electric clothes. If the F650 doesn't have the watts to power jacket, pants, and gloves, I'd take a different bike. I like TCK80's as all around tires, but there may be better choices. I don't think you want to be screwing around with studs or ice tires - if the weather is bad enough to need them, you need to quit riding and most likely 95% of your trip would be on dry roads that would just eat them up.

    You probably do need to look into a block heater or some what to keep the engine warm at night. This sort of thing can be home-brewed and I'd bet that most motels would be so sympathetic to your plight that they'd let you keep the bike indoors. Some car traverlers leave their engines running all night, and I've heard of folks doing that with small Hondas, although I have no idea how a F650 would feel about this. Again, if it is -30 one morning, I question whether it would be a good idea to travel that day.

    I'd do a few-day shakedown trip to debug your equipment and technques - make sure everything, including you, is up to it.

    To me, this is just like long trips in very small, limited-capabiliity aircraft - you just have to not be in a hurry and let the trip unfold on it's own schedule. If the weather gets bad, park it or turn around. It wouldn't appeal to me, but I can see how it would be an achievement.

    - Mark