CT to Caniapiscau

Discussion in 'Americas' started by CavReconSGT, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011

    Thanks. I'll know more when they look the bike over to see how much works needs to be done. Not that I could ride with my hand the way it is but every time I see someone riding, I can't help but be envious. :D

  2. Mototriumph

    Mototriumph Adventurer

    Mar 3, 2014
    Quebec, Qc. Canada
    I made it in late july 2013 ! Just after the big forest fire !
    I don't have made the road to Caniapiscau. I return there this july !
    Here on the "Route du Nord"
  3. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011

    I like that picture. I plan on doing the route du Nord also on this trip. Maybe we will run into each other. My plans, if they happen, are to leave on 7/11. I am glad to hear from someone who has done the trip fairly recently.

  4. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

    Apr 5, 2011
    Wasatch county
    Major bummer about the crash. This is on my list so I was watching this. You'll get there.
  5. ktjim

    ktjim longtime n00b Supporter

    Aug 16, 2004
    so. maine
    Hi kr1,

    Saw in another thread that you had to buy a new bike and have delayed your trip until next year. Sucks about the accident when you were mostly set to go. How are your injuries now and what did you end up for a bike?

    Hang on to your dream of doing the Trans Taiga. Did it in 2013 and it was one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done.
  6. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011

    Thanks very much. I just replaced my bike with virtually the same thing. My wrecked bike was a 2014 BMW F700GS lowered. I replaced it with a standard 2015 BMW F700GS. I liked the lowered bike but discovered it has a weight limit of 200 pounds less than the standard and at first I didn't think that would make any difference and I liked the lowered bike. When I started thinking of this trip I needed the extra weight ability.


    My injuries are just about all healed. All the bruising is gone. I still get a twinge in my right hand once in a while and have a scar on my left shin to remind me of the accident. All things considered I guess I should consider myself lucky. Also my insurance company really came through.

    I plan over the winter to pick up the items that I am still missing that I need to do this trip.

    Thanks for the kind wishes. I am really looking forward to doing this trip.

  7. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011
    Patch likes this.
  8. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011
    Getting closer to my ride to Caniapiscau. I had a small house problem in NH and decided that because the weather was beautiful, and my wife wasn't able to go. I would ride my bike fully loaded, like it will be on my trip to Caniapiscau, up to NH and back. I am carrying around 135 pounds of gear including the 25 pounds of extra fuel I need. This house problem was kind of fortuitous because I had originally decided to try a trip to Sherbrooke Quebec as a shakedown trip for all my gear and a test of the motorcycle last year. The accident prevented that last year and this year I was so busy that I didn't have time to schedule a trip like that.

    One of the things I wanted to try to find out was how the bike handled and what it was going to be like, particularly when attempting to stop on uneven ground. While I have packed all the heaviest things as low in the panniers as possible. There is still weight up higher and especially the 25 pounds of fuel. All of this went pretty well. After 8.5 hours of riding for the two days, and 437 miles. The bike cruises the highways with no effort at all. My gas mileage seemed to suffer a little but that probably wasn't too surprising. I usually seem to get around 59 mpg with the riding I do on highway/streets locally. It was closer to 53 mpg on this trip. This should not cause me a problem because when I did my calculations for fuel I used a 50MPG average. I should still have plenty of fuel for the longest sections without gas available.

    My speeds on the highway were probably a 70mph average. All the bags, panniers, and riding gear all worked great. I am still waiting for my Darien Pants to come back for alterations from Aerostitch so I haven't been able to use them. Everything else was tested except my small Camelback. I also tested my Cardo Scala Q9x with a small bluetooth adapter for my GPS and that worked flawlessly as well. I have had some of this gear for a while but really haven't had a chance or opportunity to test it. The GPS has always worked great on many rides and the inReach also performed flawlessly. Was able to track my movements and send messages back and forth to my sons and wife.

    One of the things I need to remember to do in the proper sequence is, that I want to adjust the pre-load BEFORE loading the bike. My boys bought me a tool for the pre-load mechanism that replaces the crappy plastic pre-load tool that BMW provides with an aluminum one. It is also wider so I can apply torque easier. It's a simple device but it makes things so much easier. Provided that I can get to it, under the seat, before I load everything up. Not to mention that it is much harder to adjust the pre-load when all that weight is on it.

    Overall, I really like this bike and the gear I have chosen. I also really like the Conti TKC80s that I put on this bike. They run well on the highway and grip very well in the corners. I still haven't tried them on rainy roads but I am fairly certain that they will outperform the K60 Heidenaus that I had in wet weather based upon a friends recommendation and reading other reports. I know they won't last as long but that is a small price to pay for what I think is improved wet weather handling.

    Last iteration of the packed bike.

    I had done a 6 hour ride to Rangeley Maine from my house in NH. That was with the bike unloaded and I felt very comfortable doing it. I believe based upon this ride to Rangeley that I would be capable of extended days of riding for 6 hours of actual seat time per day. If I feel comfortable enough to do more I will but not having done anything like this I am trying to err on the conservative side.

    Like I said, I am planning on 6 hour days on the motorcycle. I consider the mileage less important than how long I need to sit on the bike "working". I believe that is the real concern, not how far I go in a day. Obviously the two are related but the effort is actually based on the amount of time I'm riding, not the number of miles I complete. I believe that I can do this ride in 12 days but have 16 days to work with. I also notice that I can sit on the bike for about an hour at a time without getting stiff and in particular ass-sore. 10 minutes off and 50 minutes on I think will work well for me.

    This is the sticker I had made for this trip. The QR code brings you to this forum thread.


    I will post some pictures of my gear setup in the woods when I get back from my trip. Leaving in about a month now. If anyone wants, I will post my gear list. I am still dealing with some last minute things. Mostly food related questions. How much, what type and making sure there are enough calories and small and light enough to pack.

    Next item on the list is I will do an oil and filter change either this week or following the July 4th weekend.

    MattF44 likes this.
  9. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011
    As promised. A list of the items I am taking on the trip. If you have questions or think I am forgetting something let me know.

    BMW riding jacket
    Aerostich Darien riding pants
    Shoei Helmet
    Motorcycle Klim Gloves
    Motorcycle Sedici Boots
    SPOT - in my jacket
    InReach - on my bike
    GPS Garmin Montana 600
    Garmin VIRB
    Passport card
    Drivers license
    Quebec map
    Hard copies of important docs -
    COTA map
    Copy of passport in ziplock on person
    Soft copies loaded on phone/computer -
    GoPro manual
    Olympus TG-3 Manual
    F700 GS Manual
    Garmin Montana 600

    Eureka Downrange Solo Tent
    JetBoil stove
    Jetboil Gas canister
    First Need water filter
    Small Camp Sack -
    Nitecore HC90 headlamp
    Cabela storm lighter
    GSI Covered plastic collapsible pot
    Spare battery 26650
    Titanium Fork and Spoon
    Fenix CL25R LED lantern
    Small Camp Fixtures sack -
    Tent stakes
    Tent cord
    Glass case
    26650 Flashlight
    Kelty Tarp w/ cord
    Kelty Adjustable Tarp Poles
    Sleeping bag (in dry bag) 40 deg
    Big Agnes - Q-Core Sleeping Pad
    Emergency Bivy sack
    Helinox chair
    Small hand entrenching tool
    Bear spray
    Becker BK1 Brute Knife
    Fire Knife
    Big Agnes - Sleeping Giant Memory Foam Pillow
    Eye Mask

    Bear canister -
    Dehydrated food - Wise - Mountain House
    Maruchan instant noodles
    Simply Asia Thai Kitchen - roasted garlic
    Peanut butter crackers
    Knor Parmesan noodles
    Knor Teriyaki noodles
    Coffee mate to go
    Cliff bars Blueberry crisps
    McDougalls Asian noodles spicy szechuan
    Powdered Milk
    Water bottles and/or bladder
    Collapsible water container

    Camp shoes
    Fleece jacket
    Bug hat

    Camera tripod
    Small binoculars
    2 - 2 gallon RotopaX gas containers
    BMWOA book
    Zip locks (gallon and quart)
    40 gallon leaf bags
    Waterproof notebook
    Travel logbook
    Camelback backpack
    Cabela glass lens cleaner
    Micro fiber rag for helmet
    Spare glasses
    Airhawk seat

    Electronics case -
    Battery case 18650
    DC Charger for phone
    Cables and mounts for electronics
    AC Charger for phone
    External SS hard drive
    AAA Lithium batteries for SPOT
    XTAR VC4 charger
    Asus computer
    Suaoki G7 600A 18000mAh battery pack -
    SAE multi connector
    Olympus TG-3 Camera w/charging cable

    First Aid Kit:
    Small Swiss army
    Daily meds
    Dental aid
    81mg aspirin
    DEET wipes
    Sunscreen wipes
    Throat lozenges

    Tool bag -
    Schrader valves w/ tool
    Tool kit
    Extra Long locking forceps
    Magnetic pickup with light
    Spare electrical wire lengths
    Duct tape
    Large and small zip ties
    Mechanic gloves
    Spare metric nuts/bolts
    Blue loctite
    Hanger Wire
    Butt connectors
    JB weld
    Plastic repair
    Slip joint pliers
    Spark plug wrench
    Spark coil puller
    Fork seal cleaning tool
    Spark plugs
    Clear plastic hose 3ft
    Air pump w/ Slime safe for tire pressure sensors -
    Tire repair plugs
    String tire repair
    Extra bottle of slime
    Engine oil SAE 15W-50, API SJ / JASO MA2
    Pro Gold Lubricants MFR Chain Lube
    Tow strap
  10. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Feb 9, 2008
    Holy crap 135lubs is sort of overloading on stuff that will be scattered around in the bags and hard to find if you ever wanted it.
    Can you reduce a bunch of duplication , like why tire plugs and strings and slime ? Chose one method , get practiced on it.
    Why bring three (! ) knives. One knife cuts all.
    Why a shovel? Pick a high camp spot that drains naturally . Cover your poop with loose surface clutter.
    Why all the pharmacy supplies? Bring your prescription meds of course but all the other stuff should not be required . The Imodium especially is puzzling ... are you expecting food poisoning from
    Your OWN cooking? To prevent that BRING A BAR OF SOAP and wash your hands before food preparation and eating.
    Leave most of the food at home , there are restaurants and food supplies sold at various towns and Relais along the road
    Rather than all the bulky noodles and crackers get some of those military style MRE that ive read about- compact and durable nutrition . Your food is only for the time on the Trans Taiga which may be three days until you are rescued. : )
    Why two hats ? Bring one hat with the bug screen integral to it.
    Are you going to set up an office each night on the road ? Leave all the electronics at home except maybe a satellite phone with your maps loaded on it .All these computer related gadgets and batteries form a lot of fragile bulk ; weight and bother that do nothing for the ride .
    Binoculars are bulky , fragile will be little used. Leave them home.
    Leave the chair at home, sit on a log or a rock.
    Why take a pillow? Fold up some of your riding clothes and rest your head on that or your spare underwear .
    Why would you need eye mask? Close your eyelids and go to sleep
    Why headlamp and flashlight ? Go to sleep , it will be long daylight,

    Same goes for all your planned spare bits and repair stuff trying to cover for every potential bust- up , Cut it back to duct tape , JB WELD and a decent tool kit of sizes for your bike from picks out of your tool box. If you start with fresh spark plugs there should be no reason to ever touch them during this trip of ONLY two only weeks
    All that big pack up high is going to be a nightmare on loose surfaces even if it is the " light " junk .It has momentum when you get out of line .
    Wear all the warm Clothes you need and make sure you can stay dry ,heatwaves are unlikely anyway .
    Your feul range might improve with less load so you could get by carrying less of it in plastic packs.And will that feul be really enough for the Trans T a i g a ?
    Just because you could ride at 70 m p h in Vermont on pavement you will do nothing of that speed on the gravel of Hydro Quebec , unless you want to wake up among the rocks and aspens and firs
    Your spare feul is only needed for the Trans Taiga so fill it up at the last available feul before the that turn .Dont drag those jugs around filled from
    As to your stated intention of riding 6 hours per day , that is silly
    Get up early and ride sedately and safely with appropriate rest stops . Don't plant your butt on the bike and remain static for an hour until it gets painful. Move around , shift your posture and contact points constantly and before you know it you will become" hardened" and able to ride in comfort much longer.
    With the long hours of summer daylight you should easily be able to be going with breaks of course , for 10 or twelve hours .Especially so if you can reduce the amount of junk you have in those big dry bags crowding your seat area .
    From the photo it looks like those two yellow rolls are not cinched down very tightly , meaning they will bounce around and begin to slide off once you hit some rough road and washboard.
    It's all about reducing your load of " stuff"
    You are not going on a fashion
    Good luck and have fun
    EMTNEK, chief 06, BikerBobber and 2 others like this.
  11. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks for your well thought out response. The bags are cinched very tightly and don't move around. They also are mostly bulky things, not heavy things. I have tried to reduce my load but the biggest contributors are the tools, which since I am alone I feel I need to carry. And the food canister which I feel is needed also. The food is mostly, almost exclusively freeze dried so it doesn't weigh a lot though there is some heavier food and the canister is as low as possible in the panniers. While I am a novice to motorcycle camping I have been a solo back-country camper for several decades so I have some skills relating to that. One of the reasons that I am only using six seat hours as a daily baseline is because I feel very comfortable doing that. I think I may be going longer than that but six hours out of a full day should be very easy. I will be spending most nights camping and don't know very many, if any, places to resupply. I do move around the seat and that helps but it usually isn't enough.

    Again, thanks for your reply. I will rethink some of the things I am carrying but based on my camping experience, when I would actually have to carry it, I trim stuff down pretty well and require a lot of things to do double duty when possible.

  12. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Feb 9, 2008
    Matagmi at the south end of the James Bay Highway at km 0 has supermarket, hotels , feul and all supplies you might need. Next feul restaurant on the highway is at Relais km381 which is about 80 km north of the start of the Route du Nord to Nemiscau which is another work camp hotel and feul stop about 40 km eastward in on that road.

    The Trans Taiga junction has no services so for the final refuel you need to go an hour + north to the Radisson airport 15 km south of that town , limited service hours .
    If it s feul pump or truck is closed you need to go to Radisson where there are several hotels , feul and services and a super marché or two

    Camp anywhere you like . I find that the industrial park area south of Radisson has some good free camping spots on empty lot areas
    CavReconSGT likes this.
  13. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks again for this information. I was wondering about camping areas near the TT intersection. I'll keep an eye out for the industrial park south of Radisson.

  14. John F

    John F Been here awhile

    Oct 21, 2015
    South Windsor, CT
    Doesn't Mirage Outfitters (km 385 on the TT) have fuel for limited hours/day? That's 281 km from the end at the Caniapiscau River, meaning you need a 562 km range. If your last gas is at Relais 381 or Radisson, you've got more than 800 km to the Caniapiscau River, meaning a 1600 km range would be required.
  15. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011
    Yes. Mirage is supposed to have gas. So it is almost 400 miles without gas. From Mirage to the end and back. My understanding is that there are times when there is a float plane aerodrome at the end of the TT and sometimes they will also sell fuel but it is not to be depended on.

  16. Blackheart

    Blackheart Adventurer

    May 16, 2012
  17. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011
    This is going to happen. Going to leave a few days after my 59th birthday and expect to back around 8/15/16 if everything goes to plan. No real ability to write much of anything while on the road but will write something when I get back. Don't expect much, I'm an engineer, not a writer. :-)

    Overview of the planned Trip:

    Something not showing on the map, is I want to see if I can travel the south route on the Route Caniapiscau South. I know and have been able to find out very little about this route but I am going to see what I might be able to find out. I am intrigued. I have seen no reports about this so traveling it interests me very much.

    3300 Miles
    12-16 days
    205-275 miles/day average
    475 Miles from the nearest town when in Caniapiscau
    Longest distance without a gas refill: 398 miles

  18. ktjim

    ktjim longtime n00b Supporter

    Aug 16, 2004
    so. maine
    Following along. Good luck on your ride. I am interested in the southern route. We had gas issues so could not do any additional exploring. Are you going north also?
    Watch out for the white Quebec Hydro trucks. They really move and like to cut the corners! But it is their road!!
  19. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil. Supporter

    Jul 7, 2011
    Thanks. I am planning on doing the north route. I am hoping to fill up at the Caniapiscau aerodrome if they let me and then see about exploring the southern route.

  20. dhilt

    dhilt Been here awhile

    Nov 14, 2013
    Have a great and safe trip. I don't have much to ad that others haven't mentioned except be prepared for some extreme weather. I did this in September last year and had multiple days in the high 80's. It was horribly hot and dusty. Then I also had some of the worst rain and high winds I have ever experienced. Try to spend some time at Chisasibi. It's a unique cultural experience and the people are extremely nice. You may get gas there and fill your auxiliary tanks and make it straight to Mirage if you wish. Don't skip Raddison though, that's your best resource for groceries and supplies.

    Also I needed extra fuel between Matagami and Relais. You might get better range then I though. Keep that in mind though.

    Safe travels!