Just me and the DRZ, my first motorcycle tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Baise, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    It was nice to ride the northern section of the Alaska Hwy going south since I left it at Watson Lake on the trip north.

    Common report pic

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    When I got near Watson Lake I turned south onto the Cassier and the Great Northern Circle Route. Due to forest fires in the area the Cassier was closed but I only had to wait an hour or so for them to open it up. While I was waiting I talked for a while with a British man who had rode his GS all over the world except South America. He seemed really jaded and said he didn't think he was going to make South America and that he was sick of living in a wet tent the last 2 weeks.

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    Camped at a rest stop near this river.

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    Signs said no camping but there was evidence of campfires around and some people had camper trailers set up so I figured it wasn't a big deal.
    #81
  2. f650gsa

    f650gsa De la Mobra la BMW !

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    558
    Location:
    lake county , illinois
    love it
    #82
  3. Rwelch360

    Rwelch360 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    I stumbled upon your ride review, all i can say is awesome trip, great review. I was very jealous of all the cool scenery you saw. I have never really been an outdoors person, but i recently bought a 2011 DRZ-400S and have been hooked on ADV rider forum. I just read everyones ride reviews and check out all their camping set-ups. I am hoping to do a mini camping adventure of my own and maybe one day a much larger trip like yours. Thanks for the inspiration. :D
    #83
  4. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I notice that a side trip to Hyder, AK is only a short distance so decide to go for it.

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    This bear has 2 cubs with it that are on the other side of the road. I didn't manage to get them in this the only picture I dared to take.:arg The mother was with the cubs on the other side of the road but crossed the road in front of me and left them on the other side. The guy in the camper almost caused an accident by stopping in the middle of the road around such a sharp bend.

    Very nice short stretch of the road with the Glacier and the waterfalls and everything.

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    Made it into Hyder and it is raining again but at least you don't have to go through customs.

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    Leaving Hyder and going back into Stewart they do make you go though Canadian customs. They were giving a few young people in a small pickup truck the full search. They just waved me though after making me wait about 10 minutes in the pouring rain while this search was going on.

    After pounding out as many miles as I could in the rain going south into British Columbia I found a nice old logging road to pull off onto and set up camp.

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    #84
  5. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Rear wheel bearing is shot again but I was able to ride into Smithers, BC where there is a Harley dealership. Smithers was a beautiful town so if I had to be stranded a little while it was a nice place to be. Are Canadian towns and cities cleaner than ones in the States? Seems that way to me. I had to break down and get a motel for the night. I think I filled the bath tub right up to the top with super hot water and soaked for about an hour.

    While waiting for my bike to be fixed I met this super cool guy from Argentina who was having his Harley tuned up. He gave me some nice tips on how to travel on the cheap through South America if I ever wanted to do that.

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    He rode this thing all the way to Hyder and now was on his way to LA to put the bike on a boat and head back home.
    #85
  6. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
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    Rode to Prince George then 97 most of the way to Kamloops. Just nice smooth riding trying to head east back into the mountains. Camped for the night near Salmon Arm.

    Canada's Glacier National Park the next day

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    And I'll finally get to see Banff since I missed it on my trip north.

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    I didn't get many pictures of the mountains around Banff since wildfires were creating a lot of smog high up in the air.

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    #86
  7. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    I rode route 40 south through the mountains and gravel roads in the wildlands.

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    The gravel roads around these parts I think were the worst I had been on during my trip. The gravel would be really deep in places. I think I usually rode in only second or third gear.

    Made a nice campsite in the woods, I think I was 30 or 40 miles north of Crowsnest Pass and Coleman.

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    #87
  8. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    One last look at Alberta

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    Leaving actually

    Crossed the border back into Montana, now just east of Glacier National Park

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    I rode hard all day. Down 89 to Choteau then down to the Helena National Forest. Most of the backroads in the forest were blocked off due to wildfires. Went through Helena and south to Townsend where I went east on 12. Eventually I got off the pavement to ride some dirt ranch roads at the end of the day around Ringling.

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    I finished the day and my trip just down the road at my Uncle's house in Wilsall. I liked that my last day riding was my longest. I think I may have rode nearly 700 kilometers that day. Not bad on a DRZ. :evil
    #88
  9. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Before I caught a plane back to NY I went out for a trail ride with my Uncle.

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    The dude with the old KTM we just met on the trail. He could ride that thing really fast though.

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    This trail went to 9950 ft. elevation

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    #89
  10. Baise

    Baise Isn't scared

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Fairbanks, AK
    Thanks for coming along on the ride with me, hope you enjoyed my report. If you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear them.

    Montana sunset that came at the end of my trip

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    #90
  11. oldmtnsoul

    oldmtnsoul n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Gunnison, Colorado
    Awesome, very inspirational and great pic's!.:clap
    #91
  12. B50Paul

    B50Paul Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    204
    Location:
    Salt spring Island the Hawaii of Canada
    Great ride report :clap :clap paul
    #92
  13. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    It was worth the wait to see the ending! :clap
    #93
  14. Dadster

    Dadster I'd rather be ridin

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Southernish , IN
    Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are postcard quality. You are the definition of an Adventure Rider.
    #94
  15. Crashes

    Crashes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    Georgia
    I own a 09 DRZ400s and have over 8000 miles on it. I ride both paved and gravel roads and also single track with it and have not had any thing mechanical happen to it. I don't understand your wheel bearings going out in that short of distance. Could you please enlighten on what the machanic said about your troubles.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #95
  16. KIZ

    KIZ Marty

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,059
    Location:
    Gawler South Australia
    I had problems with the wheel bearings on my DR650 not long after a trip which included some deep creek (river) crossings. The original bearings only had seals on one side.:eek1



    ____________________DR650______________WR450F_____________________________________________



    Every one wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die .
    #96
  17. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21,838
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Outstanding! Thanks. :clap
    #97
  18. Crashes

    Crashes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    126
    Location:
    Georgia
    Thanks KIZ, I do mud and water crossings and so does my friend with his DR650. We do a very good clean up after dirt riding to keep things from excelled ware on parts. My friend has over 16000 miles on his DR650 without anything going wrong. We are thinking of going to AK on the bikes and I don't want anything going bad that I did not know about. Normal items like tires, chains, spockets, plugs, light bulbs and the known parts that the bike have problems with I can plan for and may bring along for the ride. So that is why IK asked the question.

    Thanks and Happy New Year:clap:clap
    #98
  19. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,458
    Location:
    Central Ontario, Canada
    Great pics! :clap

    Happy New Year!
    #99
  20. Jaguaraz

    Jaguaraz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona
    Thanks for the great ride report. It made a nice New Year's Day read. I just bought a DRZ-400 and would have not thought of it as a great dualsport touring bike until I read your report. Hmmmm, makes me think....