Just another Alaska ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by snowrider, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. hondav2

    hondav2 Kiwi Fukengruver

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    i agree on your tyre comments, mine got conti nobbies on it now, but the front let go at the North Rim. Dont like gettin over too far. Knee protection saved me from crutches. annekes are the way I will go for long distance. Cheers toddy
  2. hondav2

    hondav2 Kiwi Fukengruver

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    i got wet thru going from Atlin to Skagway , then a domestic with border guard, warmed up at Harley shop. Looooooong wait on wharf to load onto ferry to haines then slept in kids playground at haines, wouldnt have missed it for quids mate. Toddy
  3. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    For the people who've been asking about my equipment in person and on this board, I thought I'd make use of these pictures.


    Some thought I was using stock suspension. I was planning to wear out the stock suspension on this trip and upgrade when I returned, until I saw this picture of me on my lowrider. Wait, I don't have a lowrider.
    [​IMG]
    This was in February right after I bought the bike. I've accepted that I will make every bike I ride look like a minibike, but this is ridiculous--and that's just with my 300 pounds on it. Add 50 pounds of pack (or maybe only 30 or 40--I never weighed it) plus my weight, and the logging roads will be punishment.

    The stock spring on the shock is 6.5kg/mm and it now has an 8.3kg/mm Eibach spring and an adapter to make it fit from koubalink.com. Kouba recommended putting the shock in the lowered position because the spring is a little taller than stock, but this still left the bike a little lower than stock. When parking on anything that wasn't absolutely level, I had to make sure my bike leaned down with the grade because the sidestand is just a little too long. I'm going to try the shock in the tall position, I don't think it will be too tall for me, but I haven't switched it yet.
    I set the damping adjuster a little less than pinned and it works well.
    In the front are heavier Race Tech springs and heavier fork oil.
    The nice thing about suspension so ridiculously soft is that it forced me to do an upgrade I want on every bike, but usually put off.



    The chain is a gold RK alphabet-ring chain and it's gone about 12,000 miles now with one adjustment needed at 2500 miles. It's still fine, I don't know how far it will go. On the haul road with the bike covered in dust and mud, the chain still looked clean and pretty because of the Scott oiler.
    I made a real quick bracket the day before I left and mounted the oiler where the stock tool kit was, under the left numberplate/sidecover.
    [​IMG]



    I made this luggage rack and mounted the stock tool kit under it with some zip ties. I was able to access the tools without removing the container, and with everything packed on the rack.
    [​IMG]



    Here's the bike all packed the night before I left, with a 2 gallon gas can. The guitar is not in the pack, I carried it on my back the first couple days. The duffel is also not in the pack, I strapped it to the rack with it sitting on the seat behind me when I left. This didn't leave me much room the first day, so I put it on the rack under the camping gear from the second day on, and the pack got a little taller. In this picture it's tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, gas can and Carhart overalls. The heaviest thing is the Carharts.
    [​IMG]



    Home made handguard, before it absorbed any tipovers.
    [​IMG]
    This one's absorbed several tipovers caused by wet jeans in the rain and the too-long sidestand. I'm sure these will do fine in any crash.



    The Magellan Meridian uses an SD card and 2 AA batteries, the same as my digital camera (Nikon 5600). I wired the cradle from the keyswitch through an extra rocker switch I mounted above the headlight, but I taped the twisted wire joints and didn't solder them. I don't know if it's the wiring job or the cradle contacts can't take the vibration, but it would cut out at anything over about 3,500 rpm. I switched to batteries and it worked fine. Very occasionally above an indicated 70mph it would cut out with batteries. Towards the end of the trip this was more frequent and I would slow down before turning on the GPS to check something. I think I may need a fully suspended mount for it. Working around these limitations, it worked great. It was invaluble and I'd buy the same one again in a second until they make one impervious to all vibration. But it would still have to be waterproof and float.
    [​IMG]

    This is the crossbar-to-7/8" adapter I made to mount the GPS cradle where I wanted it. I'm thinking nowhere near enough rubber. But it all held up and nothing fell off, and the GPS always worked when I really needed it.
    [​IMG]

    Also added was a small National Cycle "deflector" windshield, and a Dual Star skidplate and centerstand. The centerstand was great when getting new tires and taking the wheels off in a parking lot. I was carrying tire spoons, spare tubes and a CO2 inflator and 8 cartridges, but fortunately I didn't get any flats.

    As you can figure out by the low quality of these pictures, taken with a Fuji 1.3 megapixel, I'm very happy I bought the new Nikon before this trip.
  4. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

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    hahahaha!! :rofl ya got me!
  5. Elefant 900 Rad

    Elefant 900 Rad Hedley Supporter

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    Kyle, I just did an 11 day ride on a Vee-Strom rented from Alaska Rider. Those folks are great !! Helpful, friendly, cooperative, and will help make your trip an awesome one.

    If you have any questions, PM me. My trip write-up is posted also....Rad's AAA.

    Have fun up there !!
  6. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    The Alaska Rider tour guys are great. I'd even consider getting on one of their tours whenever I go back there just for all the places they know, to see what all I missed.
    I didn't know that picture was up, I'll go look for that. Thanks.


  7. Stranded in Iowa

    Stranded in Iowa couch adv`r

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    Alaska Rider Tours
    Northern Expedition Tour 05

    [​IMG]

    Fellow riders gather for an improptu music session.
  8. KTM265

    KTM265 Long timer

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    This was just a great ride. I have been reading this for 3 nights. I have done several adventure rides but mine have been more off-road in AZ and CA. My KTM is a 250 EXC with a dealer plate bolted through the fender to make the local police happy...Hey, AZ police don't know the laws in Iowa...Thank God! I have had my DR 650 for close to a year now and really didn't ride it much until the price of gas shot up...now you can't keep me off of it. Rode it up to Ft McCoy WI for the Ted Nugent concert, now I'm planning a 700 mile trip for this weekend...working on the role charts tonight. Excellent ride and report... anytime you want to ride around the Iowa, WI and Ill, just let me know...
  9. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    Thanks. I live in Madison, so I ride in Wisconsin every day. I get to Illinois and Iowa fairly often.
  10. KTM265

    KTM265 Long timer

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    Send me a PM anytime you want to put some miles on the DRs...
  11. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    just spent the last 2 hours reading your story - actually laughed out loud, really, at the silt experiment. I almost lost an eyeball duct taping an estes rocket motor to a small Tonka truck when I was about 10. the contraption spun around like a ferris wheel until it exploded on my eye brow. why is that funny? very impressive trip you took. makes my little 7-day 1400 mi dirt tours look puny. congratulations!
  12. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    Nope, no flats. I've never gotten a flat on the road. Statistically, that makes me nervous.
  13. KTM265

    KTM265 Long timer

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    Lucky you...I had one today coming back from St Louis...70 MPH on the I-380 about 5 miles from home. It decided to give out on a high speed S curve too...I'm counting my blessings tonight. I didn't go down but it's as close as I ever want to being road kill.

    I'll start a new thread on my little weekend trip...

    Snowrider...did you run heavy duty tubes or do anything special to prep the tires before your trip? I certainly don't want another experiance like today.
  14. hondav2

    hondav2 Kiwi Fukengruver

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    I know you asked snowy the question but he wont mind me adding my bit, we met in Anchorage ( both of us on DR650s)and discussed tyres at my trip sponsors www.alaskaleather.com. and both purchased Michelan Annekes for the rear. I got 9,000 miles out of mine.

    I got one flat on my trip of 27,000 miles in 4 months and my advice is buy extra heavy duty tubes and fit a new one each time you change a tyre. I got one flat because the tube had chaffed due to several days off off road riding around Ouray, Lake City and Telluride. It was a cheap tube that I had used in 2 tyres. I carried a spare tyre at the time so fitted the new tyre and tube and I was away. I carried a G clamp for bead breaking, a set of 3 good quality tyre irons , front and rear tubes, shampoo for lube and a small hand pump. My ride report is "Kiwi heading to Alaska " if you want to check it out. Cheers Toddy
  15. mike goodwin

    mike goodwin n00b

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    While doing a bit of research on the DR650 i found your story linked to this site.

    I must say i enjoyed your story very much and because of it i am now more determined than ever to buy myself a dual sport machine.
    Most likely the DR(yours seems unkillable!!)or a KLR 650.
    Truely before i get too old i MUST do a ride to the Artic.
    I have told my friend who owns an 05 KLR 650 about this and he was in fact reading about your adventure last night.
    Again,great story and pictures SnowBird.
    Folks,this is a man who knows how to live life.

    mike
    IBA 8384
  16. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    No, I left on the stock tires and tubes with 1500 miles on them. The extra tubes I carried were heavy duty tubes, but I didn't end up using them. I don't actually know if they put in new tubes or not when I got tires in Edmonton. Unfortunately I wasn't able to be very involved with that process and ended up with a knobby on the back that was pretty much dead by the time I got to anchorage. When I got that rear anakee at Alaska Leather the tube was reused. As far as I know, it's likely the stock tubes are still in it since I haven't put on the new contis yet.
  17. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    Thanks.
    I think you'll find a DR with upgraded seat and tank is hard to beat with a KLR. For my criteria it's only real competition was the Honda XR650L.
  18. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    Trip report is mirrored here: http://www.scag48.com/ak/


    I don't know how long all those pictures stay on imageshack, so if someone finds this with pictures not working use the link above.
  19. scootertrash

    scootertrash Mobile Homie

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    Sorry this took so long, I found the DRZ250 tail light on Ron Ayer's site, from the DR650 Yahoo group. Here's the link with pn's, you want the whole assembly (p/n 35710-13E10):

    http://www.ronayers.com/fiche/300_0...tion_lamp.cfm?man=su&groupid=1430&parent=1420
  20. snowrider

    snowrider Long timer

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    Thanks for the part number!