Great Divide Trail around Banff

Discussion in 'Canada' started by version6.1, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. version6.1

    version6.1 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the road info between Calgary and Nordegg. I'm figuring my TrailWings will be at end of life by the time we get to Calgary, they've got 3300 miles on them so far and I've only used them the past 2 1/2 months. It'll be around 2500 miles up to Calgary from here (we're coming into Ontario from Minnesota and over on hwy 1 or up to 16). I run into mud here on our forest service roads and know it's just a matter of time til I'm going down. They're really slippery. I'm planning on Tourance for my next road tire. Do you think I should go for a Tourance and just stand up for the Trunk Road or go for a TKC-80 or Karoo while up there and switch to a Tourance for the ride back home. I'll have to buy tires up there, either way.
    #21
  2. Hank Kimball

    Hank Kimball Adventurer

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    Hi: I'm just east of Hinton....been on the road in question many times....as long as its reasonably dry, its a piece of cake on almost anything....Its good gravel the whole way...the only downside I had last year was the dust.., but traffic was very light..the landscape is spectacular...mile after mile of high mountain alpine valleys

    Put the TKC 80s on in Calgary......call Blackfoot Motorsports ahead to make sure they have them in stock.....they have designated tire monkeys that will get you in and out quickly
    #22
  3. version6.1

    version6.1 Adventurer

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    Excellent, thank you all for the local knowledge. Sounds like the perfect route. Thanks also for the name of the motorcycle shop to use in Calgary...
    #23
  4. tango

    tango Adventurer

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    while I love TKC 80's I respectfully disagree with Hank.As he says anything will work in the dry and if its very muddy they don't help a lot as they are not a mud tire.I've used both wings and TKC's in these conditions and based my recommendations on that experience.However I can't get more than 4000 km out of a rear TKC and 9000km out of a front.So you won't make it home with these and will need another tire change which is a PITA.If I wasn't travelling I would certainly use the TKC's -as Hank suggests-as I think they are great.Best of luck and if you need a contact number as a back up in case you need help up here pm me and I'll give you my tel nos.
    #24
  5. Owlseye

    Owlseye Been here awhile

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    Went out and rode from Edson south on Hwy 47/40 to Nordegg yesterday; it was interesting...

    The first 10 km of gravel was fine, but just south of the Cadomin turn-off it was real muddy, and churned up by big trucks. BTW they don't stop even as we were trying to extricate my Strom from a bog in the middle of the road. I had on the stock Trailwings, which are virually useless in that 6 inches of slick muck. Traction was iffy, but steering, especially down hill was non-exisitant. Your decision to go to knobs for this section is a wise one... I've ridden that road several times in the dry, and no worries. But if it's wet....
    By my fatigue based guage, I'd say 80% of that section was pretty good, with just a thin film of slick muck, and 20% of yowsa.
    #25
  6. version6.1

    version6.1 Adventurer

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    Appreciate the update.... Sounded like you had an adventure yourself... Did anyone have knobbies? Is the road wide enough to get a truck around if your bike is down in that bog, or are you just at their mercy to not run you and/or your bike over?
    #26
  7. Owlseye

    Owlseye Been here awhile

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    Neither of us had knobbies. But I had a small flask of Grand Marnier, so I was prepared if we were stranded.

    The road is plenty wide, well sloped and no sharp shoulders. It's just surfaced with something that is both slippery and sticky at the same time. Kind of booger-like. Trucks were able to slither around us with no loss of their aplomb. We on the other hand were filthy and sweaty and ribs ached from laughing.
    I bet 2 days with no rain, and the road will be fine. Have fun!
    #27
  8. version6.1

    version6.1 Adventurer

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    I can hardly wait!!! Do you have the SW Motech bash plate or something else? I'm looking into having one made for my Vstrom.
    #28
  9. dastick

    dastick dastick

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    Make sure to check out the St. James Gate pub in Banff. Soooo many beers on tap. The Grizzley Paw in Canmore is a micro brewery/ restaraunt that is pretty good too. Are you camping the whole time or staying at hotels as well?
    #29
  10. Owlseye

    Owlseye Been here awhile

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    Hi 6.1. No I don't have the bash plate; still have the original plastic job. It is a bit scraped now, but to its' credit, didn't come off. My only protection is Givi crash bars and my superior riding skills.... My friend made a comment that my riding style looks like an octopus thrown out of a tree. Arms, legs, bike seem to be under independent and indifferent controll. But the Strom seemed to get me out of every predicament so far, including an attack by a huge buck mule deer last fall, just north of Rocky Mountain House. He came out of the bush,looked at me, put his head down and charged! Instinct or not, I gassed it and he hit the rear fender, which kicked the rear end a bit sideways and the bike into a moderate tank slapper. The bike came through unscathed, with only a tuft of hide on the licence plate. My undies on the other hand..... The mulie, by the way skidded right accross the road and into the ditch, stood up and carried on into the bush. Maybe he's telling the same story right now, from his point of view.
    #30
  11. version6.1

    version6.1 Adventurer

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    Owlseye.. Enjoyed the story... I'm hoping I won't have any charging animal stories to add from this trip, but ya never know what's around that next corner...
    Just put Stongards on my headlight covers. Trying to think ahead. I've never had so much time to actually plan a trip. I usually just pack up and go. This waiting is hell. And expensive, I keep thinking of more and more things that I think I really should have.

    Hey, dastick, thanks for the pub recommendations!!! Few things make me as happy as a microbrew... we should be able to make it to both of them (at least once).
    We're camping most of the time (as long as I can manage to get my hair washed along the way, I prefer camping). Last summer I traveled by myself for 5 weeks in the western US and camped every night, mostly forest service spots. Big campgrounds with RV's are a last resort. Hoping to find FS spots along the way here, too.

    Janet
    #31