Dempster Highway 2019

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by SilverFerret, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Scott & John hauling a 2017 and a 1999 DR650 to Dawson City, then riding the Dempster Highway to Tuktoyaktuk. We are the Silver Ferrets. It was just a joke name for our MC (2 of us) but it stuck. We are driving up to Dawson City 7/3-7/8. Riding the Dempster 7/10-7/14. Driving back home 7/15 or 7/16.
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  2. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Here are our bikes loaded in the Ford E150 Econovan
    We have a plywood floor and use turnbuckles along with small platform jacks to keep the bikes anchored down.
    We've been using this system for a couple of years now and it works great.
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  3. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Scott's bike (2017 DR650) outfitted with all his stuff.
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  4. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    If you get a chance do Campbell and Canol.

    There's a camp at Rocky River. Beware of silt/calcium chloride section about half way between Arctic Circle and Rocky River and downhill pass NT/Yukon border. It gets slippery when it gets wet.

    Hope they Fixed last 22km to Tuk. When you get to Tuk ride all the way to the Point.. there's a short access to the beach on the right good place to deep the wheel into the ocean. Carry drinking water there's none between Eagle Plains and Fort McPherson.

    Have fun!
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  5. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Wheels loaded.jpg

    This is John's bike (1999 DR650). It will also have a dry bag on top of the rotopax.
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  6. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Drove to Minneapolis and spent the night. Today 7/4 we drove from Minneapolis to Regina,SK. Took about 12 hours with stops
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  7. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Today we drove from Regina to Fort St John, BC. It took 15 hours. Canada looks like the US. Today we drove through what looks like Colorado and Montana. The speed limit on Canadian highways is only about 65mph. We have been doing 75mph but still takes a long time. Driving more tomorrow.
    #7
  8. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Fort St John to Watson Lake drive was amazing. Best scenery I have ever seen. Saw a bunch of black bear, moose, bison, on the side of the road. Met a guy who lives in Watson Lake and dual sports. He said there a thousands of side trails, roads, etc to ride in the area. Next we are going to Whitehorse, Yukon.
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  9. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    From Whitehorse we drove to Dawson City. Got here yesterday. Today we drove the Top of the World Highway. That is an epic ride. Awesome scenery. The road was lousy in some places. It’s 98% Gravel and washboard in some places. Well worth the trip from Dawson City to Chicken Alaska.
    #9
  10. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Tomorrow, Wed 7/10, we are starting the Dempster Highway and riding to Eagle Plaines. I’ll let you know how it goes. Weather looks good for the 5 days we will be there.
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  11. motokeith

    motokeith Been here awhile

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    Wait, Now which one is the 1999 and which one is the 2017, I can't tell them apart? :D
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  12. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Yesterday, we started to leave Dawson City for the Dempster run. We were loaded, my friend had mousse wheels on, I had 50/50 wheels with tubes. The weight was too much for the mousse, they just were not stable enough to ride. Our backup plan for flats was the mousse so we now had no backup for flats.
    #12
  13. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    We read and heard that the Dawson to Eagle Plains part was the worse, so we decided to haul the bikes to Eagle Plaines and ride from there to Tuk.

    That part of the Dempster was lousy. Long stretches were straight up pot holes, or long stretches with sharp rock poking through the road. Long stretches with wash board. There were some flat smooth sections but that was definitely the exception.
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  14. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Today was scheduled to rain at Eagle Plaines to Inuvik. So we continued hauling bikes to Inuvik. Road was sharp shale and muddy from Eagle Plaines to the Rock River Campground. It sprinkled most of the way to Yukon/NWT border.

    Once we crossed over into NWT at Wright Pass (alt 3,000 ft), the road was great. Road was great the rest of the way to Inuvik. Just standard US gravel road. Weather was cold 50, but sunny.
    #14
  15. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Sorry I haven't posted in a while.
    On Friday 7/12 we drove to Tuktoyaktuk and back to Inuvik. The road was in very good shape and should be OK even if wet. A local woman who has lived there her whole life guided us around town and made us a meal. We had mukluk (baluga whale), musk ox jerky, caribou stew, and smoked white fish. It was an awesome time and a great place to visit.
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  16. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    Saturday 7/13 we drove back to Eagle Plaines. Sunday we drove back to Whitehorse Yukon Territories. We saw 2 grizzly bear, 2 moose ( a mom and her baby), a porcupine, and a large male caribou. I thought I would see more wildlife but it was cool and rainy many times so that may have made a difference.
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  17. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    For riders, here's my take on the Dempster Highway. The road changes almost every day. In general, the Eagle Plaines maintenance section is lousy. It is either potholes, washboard, rutted dry mud, or wet slick mud. The NWT area is fantastic. Although there are two things to watch for. 1. They can be grading at any time which means they water the road making it slick and the grading means there will be a tall ridge of gravel on the road that you have to watch for. 2. Big trucks mean huge dust clouds, that make visibility zero for about 10 seconds. You have to pull over and stop until you can see. Also the weather is unpredictable, it may look sunny and nice, but we had rain move in quickly.

    TIRES: I talked to about a dozen bikers (adventure riders with BMW, KTM, KLRs) and none of them had a flat. The road will not shred your tires. Ride slow and careful, use knobbys and you should be fine. I did talk to drivers (about 20) and 3 of them had flats. I suspect they were driving fast and not trying to avoid the sharp areas. Our 2005 E150 van, with 2 DR650s fully loaded, did not get a flat.
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  18. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    I know that if I did ride the Dempster it would not have been enjoyable. Both the weather and road conditions would have been miserable so I'm glad we drove. The trip was fantastic just getting to the Dempster Highway. The Dempster, the Alaska, and the Klondike highways are very scenic, the towns were fun, and in general I recommend the trip.
    #18
  19. SilverFerret

    SilverFerret Motor Psycho Supporter

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    #19
  20. Gordon

    Gordon MC Rider Supporter

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    So did you fellas ride your motorcycles on the Dempster or the Tuk road or did you Van it the entire way ? Sounds like you did not ride your motorcycles at all reading your report.
    #20