Tin Horn to the Klondike and beyond 2017

Discussion in 'Americas' started by gpax, Dec 11, 2016.

  1. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    I thought and thought about whether I should start a thread about my 2017 trip to Alaska. It could have some entertainment value as I strap the cast iron stove on my bike that I was sold by the clerk in San Francisco. No wait. That was 1897. This is 2017. I still carry the tin horn spirit of Skagway as I prepare to travel to the great north. My son went halves with me ... thanks, Alex ... on the starter Kindle for me. Works for me. And I down loaded a copy of Call of the Wild for free. Gets me in the mood. Although a hundred twenty years later.

    Actually, I am a forty niner albeit a hundred years later. Adventurer by my own definition. I had a line of 3 motorbikes .. Enduro 250's .. in my younger days. I got married. Goodbye bikes; hello sedan with baby seats. 2012 I retired from boring high school students with math and started looking for things to do. By 2014 I convinced my wife I would look good on a 200cc scooter. Rode it all over. Even US-129 (The Dragon). Didn't have much umph on the hills so I traded it in on a 650cc BMW scooter. Rode it end to end on the Blue Ridge Parkway. My Harley pals wanted me to go on 4000 mile trips with them. I made amends with a Vulcan Voyager (half the cost of a HD and just as big). Beautiful but several times it just laid down at stops. Did a 4000 mile trip to Copper Harbor, MI. Too heavy for me to lift by myself, used high test gas with not so good mpg and was not at home on gravel. This led me to search around.

    Got the adventure bug for Alaska. Joined ADVrider. Found Tewster2. Tim helped me find Anthony and I was hooked up with an adventure bike. Beautiful, previously loved 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 650 all farkled out. At that point "Rita" joined my stable. Rita and I are going solo (we will join others at times) to the Klondike leaving Spokane, WA on June 4th.

    Here is a video Anthony made before he took her on a trip out west. No tears for Anthony. He now owns a new Africa Twin.

    In this thread I hope to share the planning and preparation for this Tin Horn to get ready for his next great adventure. What I love about this group is your willingness to help. Pitch in advice for the good of the cause. Please.

    gpax (Greg) Pensacola, FL to the Arctic Circle (Prudhoe Bay if good weather)
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  2. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

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    Let's keep it going gpax and many will follow. I hope you got a good deal on the wee strom.
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  3. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    We were both happy with the deal. But the other stuff is adding up. I bought a new full face helmet, a goretex riding suit, smartwool base layers, Sidi Adventure Goretex boots, heated jacket and gloves and so on. Hopefully this will be pretty much a one time buy. At least that's how I pleaded my case to avoid divorce lawyer fees with my wife. I got pretty good stuff. Plans are to have one change of clothes. My fast drying wools and synthetics should dry overnight. No cotton!

    The modifications to the bike are still in-work. Russell Day Long seat build date is the end of January, I have highway pegs waiting for a friend who is overseas now to get back, to install and adjust them, new set of tires for the trip, and a whole lot of odds and ends. I want to carry a dual battery on the bike for my CPAP machine. Can't find a lot to help me but it can't be hard. I figure about a 20AH battery should be enough if I can charge it regularly. I use high settings that eat power even without the humidifier. A welder friend of mine shortened the KS.

    I am set for camping gear. Unlike earlier tin horns, I have the motto to start fairly light and Walmart along the way will have something that will work if I need it. LOL I do have a Tin Horn sleeping arrangement from Therm-o-rest. Ultralite cot, thick mattress, down bag and pillow. I want my eight hours of sleep to do the job.
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  4. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    [​IMG]

    Rita resting in our garage. Her next face lift will be a new RDL seat six weeks from now. Then she gets her highway pegs and second battery.


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  5. willys

    willys Long timer

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    Looking good, tires??? Skidplate protection? Tire repair kit, Air pump? Tent? Bear protection if any?
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  6. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    I am installing a new set of Anakee 3s just before I depart home in May. V-strom comes with Bridgestone Trailwings. I have a rear Shinko 705 standing by to change any day. The group I intend on riding up the Dalton Highway with are all riding on Anakee 3s. If I don't like them I can always change them in Fairbanks or Anchorage. I am going to put Ride-On in them. But I'll take a plug kit as well. Aerostich air pump. Comes well recommended by a close friend. Kelty TN3 tent with and Upslope tarp. 250ml of can of bear spray. Going to add rad guard, mud flaps to front tire and skidplate. Forgot to mention that.
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  7. willys

    willys Long timer

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    OK, this is how i set up my camp so to speak. I have a 6' colapsable pole stronger than a tent pole due to the hieght. I use this when I set up my tarp. I carry a 12X14 or so cheap Wally World blue or green type tarp. I install new centred eyelets at one end as the tarps usually come none centred which doesn't work in this case well. I park bike on solid ground and also use a wide pad to rest the kickstand on. I then stretch this tarp up and over bike attaching the end using small bungie cord to wheels or something not hot..lol. Then pull tarp up and over bike and stretch it out it's full distance and insert that 6' long pole at the other end away from bike. Peg it out at centre pole hole and the two corners to start....now you have a self standing cover to work under if need be in bad weather. Then I peg down using short bungies permanantly attached to tarp to keep sides from blowing or catching the wind. Now I can set my tent up in the dry and it never gets wet! No dew in the mornings to wait for it to dry out or put tent away wet, which is always a bad idea. Yes this tarp and pole does take up some valuable realestate but once you get the idea of staying dry firmly planted in your head it will be worth every mm used up. I have been out west during a monsoon in 2010 and got rained on almost every day on the way out in 2012 and in freezing temps because we headed straight north at Winnepeg. Not recommended. imho. The other added feature of this is, it helps stop the lack of night time or darkness as you get further north you travel. When you get to dawson it never goes dark! Dusk yes, dark no...lol. So if you need sleep and darkness helps maybe something to concider. The tarps are dirt cheap also so if it isn't for you you are not out much at all. I have never had the bike move on me yet so the fear of it falling on me is very slim imho. Plus you coud also peg the bike down in the opposite direction if it makes you sleep better...Many fear this. It also gives you a small mental edge thinking you have one solid side to hide behind when you hear something walking around at night. I also sleep using ear plugs too, i need complete silence to be able to sleep....which is far more disturbing to me than being swashed by my bike...lol.
    Think about it maybe it'll help you also.
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  8. willys

    willys Long timer

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    Can you plug a tire which has ride on in it? I don't know, I ride a spoked machine so I'm a tuber...lol
    I was always under the assumption that these goo's you install make plugging or patching the tire almost impossible...? I don't know. I have been out of the tire industry now for decades...lol
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  9. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    The green is my upslope tarp. The tent is my Kelty TN3. They were made to go together. Instead of poles I tie the tarp off on my bike. At least, that is the plan. I have a Helinox chair to sit under the tarp on a little ground cloth. I have not tried mine out yet. But it appears to be a similar concept. I hope this tarp is not a "cast iron stove" so to speak and I end up sending it home. I run a 12v power cable from my 18 AH aux battery on the bike to my CPAP machine inside the tent. My CPAP draws less than an amp. I will try it all out locally before I make a dry run to Texas the last week in March. I had a bike blow over in a 60 mph wind burst in Wyoming. Any foul weather around and I am staking out my bike as well as tent.

    upload_2016-12-11_19-28-13.png
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  10. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    I've see the videos and read the remarks of folks getting punctures and not knowing it until they were inspecting tires during routine maintenance. Not even any air pressure loss. I am willing to give it a try. Sidewall slashes and my goose is cooked regardless. So the Ride-On is just good for punctures. I don't know. Remember ... I am the Tin Horn.
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  11. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    Sleeping in the light ... I bought a sleep mask and ear plugs for an over night flight I took to Peru two years ago. It weighs nothing and will block light. I have already packed it. I am beginning to assemble my gear. I did some shopping over Black Friday sales.
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  12. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I would try and completely cover your tent when you set it up so it never gets wet even by the morning dew. Just my way of keeping my gear dry and in the best shape it can be for the entire trip. Also is the tarp nylon or some other totally water proof material or will it leak if it touches the next layer like some materials do? Just curious. Yes i also use a sleeping mask to cover my eyes like you say. I stay up until the wee hours and when the wife goes to work she sometimes leaves the bathroom light on and I then wear the eye shield and it is excellent!....No I do not say anything seeing as she is the bread winner.....lol.
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  13. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    Thanks. I am going out two or three nights local and a week on the road to test every thing out before I leave. I'll keep your suggestion in mind. My tarp is waterproof nylon like a heavy rain fly.


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  14. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Hey Greg. Great start with your planning thread!
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  15. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    I will tow Rita to San Diego and then up to Spokane behind the Subaru where the car and trailer will be stored. I've used this arrangement to tow my 650 scooter. The DL650 is actually shorter and lighter than the scooter. This way we only buy one one-way air ticket home for my wife and I am already out west with the bike. Tewster made the suggestion! Brilliant!


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  16. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    Did I mention my son graduates from Palomar College Nursing Program in May. Hence, we had to figure out the crazy logistics how to get Mom and Dad to San Diego AND Dad (me) to Alaska as efficiently (cheaply) as possible.


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  17. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    Here is a photo of Rita and me on a little warmup ride over to Florida Caverns State Park near Tallahassee. She is a sweet little bike!


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  18. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    This is me 25 years ago when I dipped my wheel in the Pacific at Oceanside, CA. I pedaled along the southern tier states to St Augustine, FL where I dipped the front wheel. I had 10 knees surgeries including 2 TKRs over the years. So now I bike motorized. Nothing like touring the country at 15 mph. Next best thing is ADV biking.



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  19. gpax

    gpax 2018 Honda NC750XD

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    Once I reach Tok, Alaska I am on the great circle route. Up to Fairbanks. Side ride to Deadhorse. Down to Denali and Anchorage. Side trips south. Whittier to Valdez by ferry. Glen Allen to Tok. Down the ALCAN and back to Spokane.


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  20. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    If you want to see a lot of wildlife I'd suggest spraying your tent with bacon scented Pam :lol3
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