Coast to Coast Canada in winter??

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

  1. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Im gonna second Mercenary on the Choko stuff. Works good for the money.
    Sorry, I can't agree with Noddy (no offense s'il vous plait) an
    electric vest weighs next to nothing, and works great.
    I build vest controllers, and will send you one of my home builts if you like.
    I've built a few for my IBR rider friends so far, and they seemed to have worked well for them.

    And yep, you got a place to stay, and warm up here in Onterio....

    You may also want to consider Hippo Hands, in conjunction with
    heated grips, I think it would work well.

    Your GPS may be useless to some extent at our temperatures, because
    the LCD display will become faint, or literally freeze, and you won't be able to see it.

    Baba Iguana made a good point about the starting fluid (ether)
    Be careful with it, but it will get the damn thing started when all
    else fails. My friends around here drill a 1/4" hole in the airbox to spray
    it in, to save some hassle.

    I'm gonna ride some ice roads around here on the KLR soon,
    I'll post some pics for ya!

    MMMM, just think of how good that cold beer will taste!!:freaky

    :rofl
    #41
  2. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Sounds like something to combat the blahs of winter. As long as you do it for fun, and don't have as a goal setting a new record for crossing the continent, it should be a ride to remember. And for all the people who will tell you it's crazy, there will be an equal number who will be inspired enough by your ride to try and improve upon it later.
    While I have yet to make a ride of that scope, hitting -15°F/-26°C on an all night ride down the Alaska Highway convinced me that winter riding is something that is worth preparing for.
    For one thing, seeing a motorcycle out on the highway at that time of year is such an oddity that cage drivers really notice you. :wink:
    #42
  3. Fred

    Fred Banned

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    I can vouch for that. Funnel was a crazy bugger. Didn't he also leave for Tierra del Fuego in the middle of winter?
    #43
  4. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

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    As much as I like sidecars, one thing I want to do is have only 2 wheels. Of course it will add to the challenge and all. I think it has never been done on 2 wheels..
    I will obviously take my time and I want to do it because I also love the idea.. It would be great to find someone to do it with....

    I have researched already for the oil and the low grade 0w10 or 0w15 will do...
    I actually hada confirmation from Shell Canada on that topic..
    I am so looking forward to this.. The 650 Dakar is slowly taking form and equipped..

    Cheers:D
    #44
  5. Hippiessuck

    Hippiessuck Banned

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    You're gonna have a lot of problems with open gas lines freezing in the prairies... open Radiators are going to have to be covered with cardboard to keep the engine from freezing up. Forks will not function as well when fluid is cold. Plastic DOES NOT stand up to cold... expect cracks and shattered moulding. you are going to fall down from just plain windsheer through sask. and manitoba. Brake fluid... keep an eye on that... I ain't saying it can't be done... but I think you really need a girlfriend. Because you have too much free time on your hands.
    #45
  6. Fred

    Fred Banned

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    It's almost spring. Guess you have to put it off till next year?:rofl
    #46
  7. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Hippesuck, cars don't don't need any of those things, why would a bike?
    Gas lines only freeze if there's water in them. I run Gasahol in the winter to be on the safe side, but every 4 wheeled vehicle out there has exposed fuel lines, and they don't freeze. I also rode my KLR the other day, it has a thermostat just every car out there, and had no problem with the engine coming up to operating temperature and staying there.
    #47
  8. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

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    OK! Plans are coming along just fine. Bike is coming together and the gear is slowly being bought and delivered.
    At this point i am going to attempt something.. Obviously 10,000 kms in winter with extreme cold weather will be an unpredictable challenge,,
    Even though like I said i am not worried about the cold itself, my main concern will be safety..
    A whiteout cazn happen in a flash and conditions can change in a blink of an eye.

    As time goes by and as i research more and more, it is safe to say that it has never been done.. I can plan to exit as i go along and stop in hotels and motels when needed.
    But there is one thing that would amke things easier.

    And it is if I had places to stop along the way. So I will ask my fellow riders if they can make their place available for me if need be..
    BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, PQ NB, Nova Scotia and New Founland.. I already have a few and one of you was so kind as to offer me to store my bike when I reach the end so i can fly back to BC and later come back to pick it up in the spring or summer.

    I will enter your info on my GPS and Travel diary..
    I have a year to make this endeavour as safe as I can..

    Thanks to those who have alrready open their houses for me and to those who will.
    You can send PM me and I wil get back to you ASAP..
    Thanks to all of you and all the good advice i have received so far..

    Cheers:D
    #48
  9. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    electric riding gear is light ( think T shirt weight) and simple. it is your friend. screw the vest, get a jacket, pants, gloves, w/ a controller.
    http://www.gerbing.com/
    I told gerbings they need to make electric insoles, they told me to blow. they think their socks fill the bill, maybe one or 2 but not for a multi day ride. yeah you can wash em , then you gotta dry em, pain in the ass.

    I assume your running knobs. TKC80? look into tire siping
    http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/tireSiping.dos
    its supposed to help on ice.

    block warmer? no big deal make one , easy if you have a CC dip stick, use a screw in replacement plug 'er in at your road stop.

    hell time it right , its just a cold fall ride, get the timing wrong hehehe...

    the tire screws I mentioned are for a short blast on knobs to get you off ice, not the full monty tour.

    consider some hard pads in your riding clothes. you just might dump.
    you can send me ale later.
    :1drink
    #49
  10. Hippiessuck

    Hippiessuck Banned

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    You are soooo wrong my friend
    I spent the first 28 years of my life in Winnipeg, and spent two years in the North working for the Canadian Military... not to mention driving professionally accross Canada for two years.
    Here's my take
    First of all....
    Obviously Riding accross Canada, particularily between the Crow's nest pass, to roughly Soix ste Marie is a LOT different than taking your KLR out for the afternoon periodiacally... I don't care if you live in Dryden... or Pickly late. A few hours in the cold as oppsed to riding every day in the heart of a Canadian winter is a LOT different.

    Methyl hydrate will have to be added at every fillup.
    Oil Viscosity is a concern of course....
    but simply adding a thermostat is not enough.
    The coolant/water ratio will have to be mixed for the extreme cold.
    Cold temperature is one thing, but open prarie winds, the added speed of the bike combined with windsheer only makes -25 feel like -70.

    Plastic is a thermally sensitive product.
    Plastic at minus thirty becomes brittle...
    so that is a concern for little things like fuel connectors, body mounts and fasteners... bring duct tape....

    Battery's "especially gel batteries" have a rough time in places like this.
    I don't know if there is a block heater is available for the dakar, but you may benefit from using a dry cell battery with a battery blanket.
    In a pinch...
    a fire or camp stove can be used to heat up thick oil, which can turn into molasses in cold temps.

    as for riding apparrel...
    thats a whole different story.

    Between medicine Hat and Swift Current there is NOTthing...
    no warm places to stop, no roadside truck stops... NOTHING.
    If you break down here... you better have a phone or be ready to wave for help. simply pulling over to warm up isn't that easy.
    Bring decent survival gear. A campstove might be a decent idea here, (see above as well ie oil)

    When I lived in Northern Manitoba, we would see a lot of different car companies bring up new cars to test their product for the cold.
    While I was there, I NEVER saw BMW or Kawasaki testing dual sport bikes
    up Near Thompson or God's Lake.
    What I am saying is...
    a motorcycle is geared for three seasons at best...
    lots of preparation is needed for a trip like this, it's one thing to ride for a few hours on a wintery day in Dryden. Again, it's another thing to ride accross a continent in winter.


    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. Hippiessuck

    Hippiessuck Banned

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    Electric gear eh?
    What if your batterie dies...
    bike can't start?
    electric shorts out?
    Forgive me if I sound like a party pooper...
    but thats the military training talking.



    [​IMG]

    ask these guys what they think of "gerber electric heating"
    #51
  12. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    I worked in Leaf Rapids for three glorious years.

    Tell me about it.
    #52
  13. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

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    Guys you need to follow up and read on the guy who crossed antartica on a small yamaha 200...

    http://www.icechallenger.co.uk/

    so motorcycle engines can do it..
    engines will run in cold weather....
    Plastic might crack but that is just plastic...
    I have gone to ice racing in Quebec and actually tried it once.. bikes run just fine in witber when prepared properly.. they are geared for 4 seasons...
    We humans (Riders) on average are geared for 3 seasons because of the wimpage index... and the wimpage index is obviously very high in the case of fair weather riders..:D

    Dryden by the way gets mighty cold and Ron runs his KLR down there.
    I was the owner of 4 rigs and drove across Canada many times... Dryden and that part of northern ontario is hard on vehicles.. but it is feasable.

    Like i said i contacted Shell Canada and there is no problems with oil for this purpose and this small of an engine.
    Coolant can be adjusted to 70-30 or 80 -20 80% prestone 20% water.

    Snowmobiles run in extreme weather and so can Bikes. as long as all precautions are taken..
    #53
  14. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Paul: Don't listen to these naysayers. You can do this. Sure the praries will get mighty cold when a wind is whipping up snowdrifts faster than you can wipe the snot from your nose. Planning is the key.

    There was a whole pile of folks in 98 that rode their snowmobiles across Canada smack dead in the middle of winter. They made the trip just fine. I am sure that if you kept your speed down and stuck to a realistic mileage schedule you'd be just fine.

    Would I do it? Absolutely. Given enough time, the right ride, and sticking to an realistic mileage schedule (400 kms a day) I would at least make an attempt. Would it be cold? damn right. Its CANADA in the middle of winter. You might experience extreme weather...but then again, you might not. Heck...you can run into extreme weather anywhere, but would that stop us from riding??? No way.

    Just wanting to ride puts us a step above our 4 wheeled bretheren. We are always out in the weather getting wet, eating bugs, and sweating our bags off. But we still come back for more.
    #54
  15. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    #55
  16. Miguel

    Miguel off road junkie

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    Hey Paul: Do you need a place to stay in Victoria when your journey begins? :lol3 . Your plan is crazy enough to work :eek1 . Good luck mate.

    Miguel (aka Paul)
    #56
  17. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Hey, just talked to my riding buddy Steve on the phone.

    When you get here, I'll ride with you to Thunder Bay, then
    he'll continue on with you from there. We both think you might be
    better off taking Highway 11 from Nipigon on, the weather is more
    predictable on the Northern route , away from the lake.

    He said he would like to talk to you about some winter gear stuff,
    (bit of a fanatical winter rider) so I'm PMing you his number. :clap

    Woohoo! Becoming a plan, it is!
    #57
  18. Penniless Printer

    Penniless Printer Adventurer

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    I may have missed this, but when are you planning on riding? This has to be the best winter in recent memory for riding across the prairies. (South Central Saskatchewan) I have my bike licensed for the winter and have ridden quite a bit. Temps have mostly been at just under 0c and a bit warmer. Last week it was +4-6 every day with NO snow anywhere. We got a bit of freezing rain and the huge snowflakes this week, but as I said the temps have been really mild. The greatest concern I would have would be traction in the cities and Rockies.

    I met an old guy a few years ago on an old Honda 350 who was taking his 30 something year old daughter from Ontario to Calgary. This bike was loaded down like I've never seen! We got to talking as he was filling up with gas. He said that he had riden from the East Coast to the West Coast a few years before in January. He said he couldn't explain why. Just something he had to do.

    Go for it. If time permits, I may ride with you as well.:D
    #58
  19. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Hey Penniless! I think you're the first SK rider I've seen post on here!

    Welcome to the Asylun!
    #59
  20. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    Hippy , re electric, try it. it will give you 2 months more riding. go to the abbotsford show , gerbering usually has a booth there.

    you see you wear more then just the electric clothing, its under your riding jacket pants you could even wear the fashionable white artic gear in the pic' ( bad crash protection though). it runs off a plugin to your bike, easy to figure wattage. if your bike/battery dies, it doesnt work. but neither does the motorcycle, but a stopped motorcycle doesnt have the wind chill that a 60mph ride would cause, a head wind will cause wind chill much higher. if the bike has a mechanical failure, then you can grab yer gun and walk as your photo shows. ( must of been nice out that day, exposed skin on a ride such as mentioned in sub zero temps would lead to frost bite, wind chill=bad)


    #60