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Prudhoe Bay, Alaska 2010

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by dreamtour, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. TxLoneRider

    TxLoneRider Been here awhile

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    For the trip I'm planning, the half way point will be anchorage, after looking at the prices at the (leather fur) place (can't remember name right now) I am more convinced that I will be schlepping a pair of tires with me. The price delta looks to be close to a couple or three hotel rooms!

    This is a very interesting piece of advice. I will admit I'm still on the fence on the camping front. It would look like I can get a good sleeping bag, decent tent and pad for under $150, or one-two hotel rooms up there. So really camping twice will pay for the equipment, but my riding day seems to be a bit different than some.

    Right now my most "relaxed" day on a bike was when I rode the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway, well, there was a 20 mile section close, with added in a 50-80 mile detour, which was actually pretty cool. Did that in a day, somewhere just south of 600 miles.

    When I've traveled in the S.W. my enjoyable day is closer to about 800 miles. Granted that was on either a Sprint ST or FJR1300. The will be my first big trip on my '09 KLR650.

    My prep so far is SW-Motech oops bars and side carriers with a E45NJ on the left and E36NJ on the right.

    Got a Sargent on the way, and will be adding a Wolfman Rainier. And will possible get some of the Twisted Throttle LED lights. More to replace the 55W heater up front than to supplement. And have heated grips to be installed.

    On the existing front, got a Gerbings full liner.

    Now I will admit, a hotel room is generally one (maybe two showers) and a place to sleep. Ive got 18, maybe 19 days MAX, to cover close to 12k miles. The first two and last two, to get to and from the Canadian border will likely be 900 mile days, leaving ~8400 miles for 14 days, or ~600 miles per day. I should be able to average that.

    My biggest challenge will be an oil change or two. Whitehorse is on the way up, and I could detour over from Dawson way on the way back. Got a good friend of a good friend who lives there that might be able to provide facilities. Or I might see about getting one done in Anchorage.

    I'd gladly travel with someone else, great to watch each others back while camping. Watching gear while showering and such.

    But it would have to be someone with an equally aggressive schedule. As well, I can't leave until after July 22th.
  2. GRIZ

    GRIZ COMMANDANT

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    QUITE AN AMBITIOUS SCHEDULE...MUST NOT PLAN ON SEEING ANY THING ALONG THE WAY. :lol3 THOSE CONCECUTIVE 600 MILE DAYS WILL BE FINE 'TIL YOU HIT DRIVING RAIN ( I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DROWN ON THE BIKE ONE DAY) FOR THREE OR FOUR DAYS STRAIGHT NOT TO MENTION THE ROAD CONSTRUCTION AREAS...THAT HAS A TENDENCY TO SLOW YOU DOWN SOMEWHAT:knary JUST SAYIN'. I CAN REMEMBER A COUPLE OF DAYS WE FELT FORTUNATE TO MAKE 300 IN A DAY! WE RODE FROM SD TO SQUAREBANKS TO LOS ANCHORAGE DOWN TO THE KENAI BACK TO ANCHORAGE OVER TO DAWSON AND HOME...30 DAYS TO THE DAY...WE PASSED A LOT OF "STUFF" AT 80 OR MPH JUST BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO STOP AND LOOK.
  3. TxLoneRider

    TxLoneRider Been here awhile

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    Oh, I'm sure I will miss stuff, I have no doubt. And I have a 1000 mile loop I can remove, Inuvik, if I am slow through the first 2/3'rds of the trip.

    In past trips I've average over 800 miles per day, which I am guessing is nothing compared to a bunch of people here. I can honestly say, the only time I've ever regretted not stopping was when I went through Hatch NM, in the fall, during harvest. Beyond that I don't really need to hang at a single spot that long to take it in. When I got to the Grand Canyon observation point, my friend and I look left, looked right, all total about 20 minutes (or less), looked at each other and we both said "It's a hole, let's ride".

    I am sure it would be difficult to ride with me. My friend was not as appreciative of my style, his preferred riding style is more hitting a nice restaurant for dinner, cruise through a few bars, check out the local lady's. I'm married, live in the DFW area, if I'm going out for a nice meal I've got a lot here to choose from, and my wife prefers me to take her :deal

    My day, in the lower 48 (+ southern provinces) is get up at 5am, packed and riding looking for sustenance by 5:45-6am. eat 3 or 4 small meals through the day, with a lot of riding, look for a place to sleep around 8 or 9pm, rinse and repeat.

    Seriously, I very much realize that conditions can be pretty dynamic, and will be careful, people will understand if I'm late getting back safe, just won't like it!

    As mentioned, it might be wise to keep that schedule CST :D, or later.

    cheers! :freaky
  4. ADVBMR

    ADVBMR Polygamotorcyclist

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    Well, if you think you can do 800 miles per day and more you're 1) dreaming 2) full of shit 3) gonna do Alaska in a day 4) just dangerous to be with

    Hey Griz, can you repeat in full caps...
  5. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Doing the kind of mileage you're talking about on a Sprint or FJR is one thing. Doing it on the KLR is something else, as you will discover. I've done 1000 mile days on big bikes - lots of them. And I've done 1000 mile days on my KLR, as well as 1500 in 36 hours to Prudhoe Bay and back. There is a world of difference in doing multiple days in a row on the different bikes and how you will feel after a few of them. Add camping gear to the KLR, as well as a tire or two, and the aerodynamic drag will have that anemic single huffing and puffing like a fat lady running uphill to a free food fest. You push a loaded KLR to sport touring speeds and your mileage goes out the window.

    You'll be spending time performing maintenance that you probably haven't experienced in the past, especially if you hit the more notorious gravel roads.

    Some of my trips have been done in a similar fashion to what you are describing, except that instead of camping I'll just keep riding all night, stopping every other night for some real sleep. But then I find myself having to go back over the route later to see what I missed. Once you're up north, you can travel all night without missing anything, due to the long, long hours of daylight. In fact, I recommend it if you want to see wild critters without traffic to scare them away from the road. But it sounds like you'll be traveling through so quickly that you won't even know what you missed. :dunno Sometimes the best scenes are the ones behind you.

    I guess there's no use anticipating a ride report with lots of photos. :lol3
  6. TxLoneRider

    TxLoneRider Been here awhile

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    I appreciate your concern, I don't believe I said I expected to be able to maintain 800 mile/days in AK, I know there is a great difference, I've got a fixed a mount of time in which to travel, I know what my arse can take on a saddle, I've done a 1000 mile day on a 9r, and yes, no pictures that day, better part of it was going through a fairly wide dying tropical storm. Yes, I ran good sport touring tyres on the 9r before a comment gets made. And have made consecutive 800+ mile days, with lots of pics in the S.W.

    I very much realize that if I hit a persistent rain anywhere up there any somewhat tight schedule is toast.

    Job 1 is getting home safe. period.

    There is a scale, between "It's all about the ride" and "Sight seeing". For me, its definitely on the side of "It's all about the ride", at least this time around. And for some its "Sight seeing", and ITS ALL GOOD!

    I wish I had the time to take my time, but sadly I don't.

    My goals are to see Whitehorse, where a good friend of mine lived for the 6 or 8 years, Atigun pass, and put my feet in the Arctic ocean, AND go for a long ride. Everything else is gravy.

    But as far as y'alls concerns, that's why I am still fairly reluctant to try to camp, a good solid 6 1/2 hours of sleep, with the minimum amount of fuss getting that sleep is important. Its also why I am looking for advice, and reading what I can.

    I am going to test rig a pair of tires to the bike and go for a tank of gas ride to see what it is like. I would rather not spend the extra $$$ for tyres in AK, but if that is what happens, so be it.

    :beer
  7. AKtracks

    AKtracks Kilted Fükengrüver

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    Be aware that this might not happen...even if you ride all the way to Deadhorse. The only way to access the shore is via a guided tour of the oil field (which requires a reservation 24 hours in advance) and if there are any bears in the area, or visibility is low, you're not allowed off the bus.
  8. KHud

    KHud Survivor

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    Fear not.... last time I was in Barrow I collected five gallons of water from the Arctic Ocean. No really, trust me. So right here in Fairbanks you can put your foot in (a bucket full of) the Arctic Ocean for the small, inconsequential, modest and reasonable charge of $199.99 ($250 if there are bears in the area or there is low visibility).
  9. TxLoneRider

    TxLoneRider Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I am aware of that. And if that winds up being the case I am not too worried. Personally I have been vetting by a few security clearances, so I am not worried about that part.

    But, I did look for you web site on google, and could not find it, who knew when they talked about AKTracks it was a user here :doh But for some reason I looked at your sig and there you are.

    At this point I have pretty well written off going to Inuvik, so I will probably go up on the Klondike Hwy, so Fairbanks before Pruhdoe Bay would be scarily close to the 1/2way point.

    Will you stock other tires, and what oil do you keep around? I will need tires and a oil change? Your rates look to be reasonable. I will take an oil filter with. And am thinking about trying Gripsters on my KLR650.

    If I do not have to worry about oil/tires, my biggest challenge will be how to get an extra 2-4 gallons of gas on the KiLleR.
    :beer
    Tom
  10. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I tried Gripsters on my KLR685 last summer...burned them off in less than a season!!! I'll never waste my money on them again! I personally like Kenda 761's....had great mileages out of them so far.
    As for the furthest north you can go...why not try and do Inuvik? Yes I do realize it isn't the furthest......but for your trip it may be.

    Good luck......I too plan on doing long days...but maybe not as long as you.
    600-800 KMs not miles should be easy.....I hope......I will be towing a small single wheeled trailer too.
  11. TxLoneRider

    TxLoneRider Been here awhile

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    Funny, I've read that that people have gotten near 8k miles on a rear Gripster. All I know is the stock tire is not for me less than 2k on the rear. Granted I seem to be harder on down shifting and rear brake on the KLR than on previous bikes. The only other bike where I've kill the rear as quickly was my '01 TL1000S, that bike ate rear tires like nothing else I've owned.

    Here is my original madness:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Allen,+TX&daddr=kalispell,+mt+to:HWY+2%2FS+Klondike+Hwy+to:Haines+Hwy%2FHWY+3%2FHWY+3B+to:Fairbanks,+AK+to:prudhoe+Bay,+AK+to:Homer,+AK+to:Valdez,+Valdez-Cordova,+Alaska+to:Inuvik,+NT,+Canada+to:Stewart+Crossing,+YT,+Canada+to:Tuchitua,+Yukon,+Unorganized,+YT,+Canada+to:Houston,+BC+to:Kelowna,+BC+to:Salt+Lake+City,+UT+to:Allen,+TX&geocode=FUYd-QEdquw8-im9eZRNLhdMhjHVLN6SqSroyg%3BFVN73wIdorAv-SlHwuqclVBmUzFiu1od2r0frw%3BFbgBjgMdpbzx9w%3BFdkYjAMdq9Xd9w%3BFZJY3QMd2wYy9ympZf1nT0UyUTE69_4J4AXYsw%3BFf6SMAQd_Hsj9ym5C3J1mHUgUTFFUzin4-92mw%3BFYQSjgMdU4739inPWoan7i3BVjG7c-dx7ZQuHw%3BFVHIpAMd0-ZG9yk5dRoPA0S2VjFPoZHJ7bRUHw%3BFW8rEwQdrsgH-Ck9LVW6PJIUUTFlMo9MMDMUAA%3BFSokxwMds2fa9ylnqvPfWKNPUTGp9lsRtI7W8g%3BFZakoQMdZURM-ClZfOgo5NniUzGywgBjuS8FJg%3BFWYPPgMdlZFz-Cm9JDfIgMZ1VDEDAtL94pKnVQ%3BFToq-QIdiKzg-ClVtN7Foox9UzH3xLTaPeX4Tg%3BFcv1bQIdma1U-SntMdGIlD1ShzHKMU1IoLdTWw%3BFUYd-QEdquw8-im9eZRNLhdMhjHVLN6SqSroyg&hl=en&mra=dpe&via=2,3&sll=58.651495,-124.637318&sspn=0.074481,0.195522&ie=UTF8&ll=55.776573,-121.640625&spn=41.989679,99.316406&z=4

    Note: I plan on taking the ferry from Skagway to Haines, maps.google.com has problem with that though.
    As with every other trip I've taken, I have a rough idea of where I want to go, and then when I get to an intersection I decide which way to go. With the help of GPS I've seen some stuff I would have never have guess I would see. GPS is really an best guess aid to where I might find the next tank full of gas :D

    I will say, I will probably be the most prepared for this trip. Don't know if I will be quite there for reserving hotels, wish I could. Too many variables though, one day all is going perfectly, every stop is perfect, in and out in great time, where the next could have a gas/food stop that takes an hour or you go through construction. I remember sitting bi-direction stopped traffic (in the middle of two construction zones) for 30-45 minutes in Yellowstone, eck.

    After looking at it a bit more, On the tail end of Prudhoe Bay might be closer to the 1/2 point.

    I've got more reading to do on tire selection!
  12. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

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    For the extra fuel across the Brooks & north... buy a plastic gas can in Fairbush & strap it on the bike. Leave it for the next guy on the way back... maybe if you are lucky, somebody has already done that & you get to borrow it.
  13. Graftyman

    Graftyman Adventurer

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    San Jose
    Where is the can swap location? :D I'll need to know where to drop mine off for others.
  14. AKtracks

    AKtracks Kilted Fükengrüver

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    We regularly stock TKC-80s and Tourances. If you want a set of Gripsters I can do a special order and have them set aside for you. Special orders require prepayment and I'd suggest doing so at least 30 days in advance of your arrival date to allow for shipping.

    We stock Castrol and BMW lubricants (both in dino and synthetic). If there's something else you want, there are several auto/moto shops in town that we can source oil and filters from with advance notice.

    As for extra gas, we have gas cans that we rent for the ride up the Haul Road.
  15. ADVBMR

    ADVBMR Polygamotorcyclist

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    I made a reservation in Deadhorse for July 3. Arctic Caribou Inn has rooms for that night but is otherwise booked the few days around the 4th. Many of the rooms are blocked out for tour groups so some rooms may become available later. The Prudhoe Bay Hotel is not taking reservations until one to two weeks before the requested date, although they did say to check with them in May.
  16. rushfjr

    rushfjr Sidetracked vagabond

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    When you get to Coldfoot you can stay there or continue on to a camp ground. The caretakers name is Lonnie. He and his wife volunteer at the Artic Circle every year. Otherwise continue on to Wiseman and stay the night at one of the cabins there (Boreal is the name of the lodge I stayed at. Very good people. Bring a book or two for the kid that lives there. He spends way too much time watching TV and online). Coldfoot is the last place for fuel until you reach Deadhorse 250 miles north. The road can be easy if it's dry or impassable if it's raining. Last year a group on GSs had to turn back at Antigun pass because the road was too slick to make it up. I made it through with my '78 XS1100 two days later with no problems. Road conditions change all the time. You will find awesome black top north of the pass followed by the worst gravel road ever. There is a big sign as you enter Prudhoe bay with some free maps that will help you find your way to fuel, the general store, hotel if you want, and food. I stayed long enough to fuel the bike and myself, take a few pictures and buy some souviners, then headed out for Wiseman. There is cell phone servise in Prudhoe. On a good day any bike can make the trip, but I would never try it without 6" minimum clearance. The mud dries like cement. The mosquitoes are relentless. It never gets dark. But the scenery is to die for. Only those who have done it know how tough it is, everyone else is clueless. Oh, and if you think you have what it takes to ride your motorcycle up there, you will be shamed by the people who do it on bicycles, but they're crazy!! LOL
    One last bit of advise. When you see a trucker coming toward you or behind you PULL OVER, STOP, AND SHUT YOUR MOTOR OFF. 90% of them will appreciate that they dont have to worry about you falling in front of them and they will slow down. You wont get a load of dust in your air filter. If you try to run ahead of them the road will change and you can find yourself in the scariest positition ever. We are tourists on a road they run every day. Best advise is to not piss them off or slow them down. They out horse power you, they out weigh you, and they do this every day.
  17. jakar

    jakar Surfing the Apocalypse

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    You can't go without me. How is the battleship getting to Seattle and 16th of what an inch? :freaky
  18. skidlid

    skidlid Been here awhile

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    Shipping the pig out there to save on time.Leaving in June. Have a flight out of town on the 15th. Five weeks of bliss, baby!
  19. CaptUglyDan

    CaptUglyDan Been here awhile

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    I'm going to Bellingham on the 17th, Spending the night at the outlaws house, and heading for Chetwynd BC (660 miles) or Fort St John (766 miles) if possible early am the 18th, from there to Watson Lake (635 miles) up the Campbell to Carmacks (360 miles), and on to Dawson (220 miles easy day) for the D2D then to Inuvik and head home back down the Alcan. I did the Cassiar last year, but this year I just don't have the time.:deal
  20. BlindPew

    BlindPew Adventurer

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    There are two of us heading up around the 16th June from Victoria. Last year solo took the ferry from Port Hardy at the top of Van Isle to PR and then up to Prudhoe bay from there. I did the whole trip on Gripsters and I was lucky as the only difficult part was the road construction on the barrens and any time they flooded the road with calcium chloride to keep the dust down. I was lucky to hit only good weather (July/Aug), however there was smoke everwhere as Alaska seemed like it was on fire. On a good note it kept the muzzies to a minimum. It only rained twice. Half day each time. It was 49 degrees when I got to PB and the next day when I left it was 76 :jkam. I've read the experienced riders from Alaska use TKC's for the Dalton as the road gets crappy once it gets wet. I noticed a group of GSA riders using TKC's up front and a road style tire in the rear and carrying a rear TKC with them. Sounds like a good idea as you can get a fair distance out of a TKC front. My Gripsters are still on my KLR and so far there are just over 7000 miles on them. I figure I can get another 3 or 4 thousand out of them. This year I'm going to use the German Heidenau K60 front and rear. They are an aggresive pattern and they are reported to have a long life.
    This year we are riding to PG then up to Dawson Creek and ride the Alaska Hwy to Watson and then over to Carcross, down to Skagway, over to Haines and then up Haines Junction and on to Toc and then into DC for the D2D. Up to Inuvik after that. Then across the Campbell, down to Dease Lake and into Telegraph Creek. There's nothing there however the ride is supposed to be awesome. And then back home. We have 2-3 weeks off for good behavior so if we hit bad weather we can hold up for a couple of days and it won't change our plans much. Last year I had a hell of a time getting out of Dawson City as there's lots to do there and it is such a FUN place. You meet some fantastic people there. I meet a couple of gals that went up to see what the place is like and are still living there 30 years later.
    Maybe we'll see a few of you on the road. I'm on my BMW airhead GS. and my riding partner is taking his GSA. :D
    A question to our Alaska Adv riders. Is the Carcross, Skagway to Haines and on to Haines Junction worth the time due to the ferry times that have to be booked? Any ride is a good ride, however is that loop worth the extra time?

    Cheers