Tire choice for Dalton and Dempster Hwys.

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by beemerphile, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,656
    Location:
    North Texas
    I'm taking the whole camera kit, plus 2 tripods. May spurge on a new lens too. We'll see how much money Uncle Obama leaves in the bank account in April. Probably leave the flashes behind.


    I'll definitely check out the glacier visit. I'm glad you mentioned it because I would've generally avoided a tourist activity like that. When I travel, I tend to avoid the typical tourist activity and go for the more off-the-track sort of thing. I particularly hate riding in group transportation (e.g. the bus in Denali Park) because they NEVER stop where I want to take a pic and I usually do not want to take a pic where they stop.

    I've got a month planed out, but in order to maximize my time, I'm exploring all sorts of ship the bike one-way schemes. That is getting problematic as it seems shipping anything from Alaska is rough on the wallet. I'd ship it from Anchorage to Texas because there is really no sense in having a bike in Texas in August. I might think about riding up there and then selling the bike in Anchorage. I'd take the KLR then, because I've been toying with selling it anyway. Don't know what used bikes bring up there though.

    If I can pull off the one way shipping thing, that may free up enough time to take the Dempster highway north as well.

    I appreciate all the advice I can get. I don't want to hear about something I missed when I get back.
    #61
  2. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,558
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    Glad you weren't being serious with your original comment. We really don't like seeing news articles about riders being injured - or worse - on our highways. But some people who come up to say they've been to Deadhorse don't demonstrate the best judgment. The Dalton Hwy/Haul Road is not an inherently dangerous road to ride on a motorcycle. But if a rider engages in stupid behavior, it can be deadly. Sometimes "stupid" can be as simple as looking to the right when the road curves to the left. Or doing 25 mph when 10 mph is called for. Being an old phart, the saying "Stupid Hurts" has become more undeniable to me, and the hurt lasts a lot longer than when I was a young buck.

    That road itself has never stopped me, and I've traveled it in far worse conditions than most riders are ever likely to encounter. But common sense has caused me to turn around when conditions were such that it would be insane to continue on. Riding it with a full awareness of what could happen if you drop your guard, and how far you are from help if the worst happens, helps to keep a rider more cautious and to ride prudently.

    Sometimes I wonder if riders might not take more chances, ride a little more irresponsibly, when they have electronic gadgets that they think they can fall back on if something goes wrong, or even because they are riding in a group. All those things can do is to let someone know where the calamity has taken place, they don't do a thing to prevent the calamity.

    When I spend all night riding the Haul Road or the Alcan, and there is virtually no other traffic on the road with me, you can bet I'm not taking any chances. That's when my attention is fully on the road, the bike, and riding. If something goes wrong, I'm totally on my own, and I ride accordingly. Speaking of which - I've ridden over 100 miles on the Alcan without seeing another moving vehicle. Can't recall every going that far on the Haul Road. Despite its reputation and location, there is probably more traffic at times on the Haul Road than there is on the Alcan north of Haines Jct in the Yukon. But still, having a satellite phone and/or SPOT tracker is not a bad idea. Just hope that if you have to use it in an emergency, it's for the other guy.
    #62
  3. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,128
    Location:
    Slip 35

    A rider in the 2011 IBR had the Medivac service via Spot. Finally his wife drove him home in the car from Nevada to California.

    I would suggest you spend the money for MedJet. I have supposedly top notch air medical service service where i work (I am a Partner in a Benefits Consulting Firm) and I buy MedJet. The small cost (less if your are a MOA Member) is a no brainer.

    Because Sat Phones need real phone numbers I have a page of all the RCMP, AK State Police numbers I will try and find it and post it up.
    #63
  4. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,128
    Location:
    Slip 35
    Sat Phones can't dial 911 411 or 800 numbers and cell phone service is spotty

    Alaska State Police

    Post Location Phone Number Fax Number Mailing Address Zip
    Anchorage 269-5511 248-9834 5700 E Tudor Road 99507
    Aniak 675-4398 675-4498
    Barrow 852-3783 852-3784
    Bethel 543-2294 543-5102
    Cantwell 768-2202 768-2203
    Cold Bay 532-2440 532-2724
    Coldfoot 678-5211 678-3668
    Cooper Landing 595-1233 595-1233
    Cordova 424-3184 424-5454
    Craig 755-2291 755-2422
    Delta Junction 895-4800 895-4026
    Dillingham 842-5641 842-5795
    Dutch Harbor 581-1432 581-1407
    Emmonak 1-866-949-1303 949-1301
    Fairbanks 451-5100 451-5317 1979 Peger Road 99709
    Galena 656-1233 656-1530
    Girdwood 783-0972 783-2026
    Glennallen 822-3263 822-5594
    Haines 766-2552 786-3265
    Healy 683-2232 683-2231
    Homer 235-8239 235-3151
    Hoonah 945-3620 945-3570
    Iliamna 571-1871 571-1807
    Juneau 465-4000 465-3333 PO Box 111201 99811
    Kenai 283-8590 283-2671
    Ketchikan 225-5118 225-6568
    King Salmon 246-3464 246-6259
    Klawock 755-2918 755-2422
    Kodiak 486-4121 486-5810
    Kotzebue 442-3222 442-3221
    McGrath 524-3052 524-3053
    Nenana 832-5554 832-5425
    Ninilchik 567-3660 235-3151
    Nome 443-2835 443-5840
    Northway 778-2245 778-2269
    Palmer 745-2131 269-5465 453 South Valley Way 99645
    Petersburg 772-3983 772-3906
    Seward 224-3346 224-2446
    Sitka 747-3254 747-7912
    Soldotna 262-4453 262-2889
    St.Marys 1-800-240-2019 438-2018
    Talkeetna 733-2256 733-1225
    Tok 883-5111 883-4249
    Unalakleet 624-3073 624-3075
    Valdez 835-4307 835-5607
    Wrangell 874-3215 874-3241
    Yakutat 784-3220 784-3220



    RCMP - Yukon

    Detachment Address Emergency Telephone Number Administration Telephone Number


    Beaver Creek Beaver Creek (867) 862-5555 (867) 862-2677
    Carcross Carcross (867) 821-5555 (867) 821-2677
    Carmacks Carmacks (867) 863-5555 (867) 863-2677
    Dawson City Dawson City (867) 993-5555 (867) 993-2677
    Faro Faro (867) 994-5555 (867) 994-2677
    Haines Junction Haines Junction (867) 634-5555 (867) 634-2677
    Mayo Mayo (867) 996-5555 (867) 996-2677
    Old Crow Old Crow (867) 966-5555 (867) 966-2677
    Pelly Crossing Pelly Crossing (867) 537-5555 (867) 537-2677
    Ross River Ross River (867) 969-5555 (867) 969-2677
    Teslin Teslin (867) 390-5555 (867) 390-2677
    Watson Lake Watson Lake (867) 536-5555 (867) 536-2677
    Whitehorse Whitehorse (867) 667-5555 (867) 667-5551

    RCMP Vancouver
    General Inquiries: (604)264-3111
    #64
  5. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,009
    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    Dahveed
    On a Alaska trip less is more. Why are you taking 2 tripods when the sun will shine until almost 1AM. With the light gathering capacity of digital you will hardly use your tripod. I have shot in Alaska over 10 times and cannot remember ever using a tripod. just trying to be helpful.

    I realized after our TX to AK trip that almost 50% of the stuff I brought was not needed. I tripod would be part of that list. What you will need is: Rain Gear, DEET & Bear Spray as a last attempt of saving your butt from MR. Grizz. If I can be of anymore help, give me a shout. As I have told riders in the past about that Epic ride, the best thing you can bring with you is a great attitude. And keep your eyes wide open as there is not an ugly mile in Alaska. And the locals are the best part of the ride. Stop and talk to them, they all have a unique story. That is why they all live in that beautiful place called the Great Land.
    #65
  6. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,656
    Location:
    North Texas
    Hey Foto,

    Ok, I'll leave the tripods behind. I really don't shoot with them too much anyway and they are a massive pain in the ass to take on a bike. I'll probably leave the GoPro home too because I'd need to take a computer with me for that and that's a pain.

    I've been told by two people that the Canadian border patrol won't let Americans take bear spray in. You can take a shotgun no worries, but for some reason bear spray is a no-no. I guess I'll buy that there.

    I'm looking forward to meeting the locals. Its a challenging land to live in and anyone that chooses to live there is worth meeting.
    #66
  7. AKTREADs

    AKTREADs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    115
    Location:
    Fairbanks,AK.
    Leave firearms south of the border unless you've done your homework & filed paperwork with the Canadian authorities.

    Forget the Bear Spray as the wind usually isn't in your favor!!


    AIR HORNS (pressurized can) WORK and don't have ill effects from the wind.

    There are those who run Heidenau's & those who wish they have!!
    #67
  8. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,128
    Location:
    Slip 35
    I use my motorcycle as a tripod when needed. Sometimes you want to get a shot with everyone in it and it is a pain positioning a camera on a rock.

    Ram makes a little ball mount that fits in the standard camera mounting hole.

    http://www.ram-mount.com/camera_mount/camera_mounts.htm#/wizard

    I have a few ram mounts mounts on my bike and , carry a 6" ram arm. For the three -five times i need a camera on a tripod I am set.

    I have managed to secure a D300 on a few occasions for a shot at dusk or at night.
    #68
  9. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,009
    Location:
    Granbury Texas
    Canada will let Bear Spray in. Like the guy said though, a blaster horn will probably work better. In all honesty, the chance of you needing the Bear Spray is pretty small. I have been up close many times with Mrs. Grizz and cubs and had no problems. It just feels a little better to have some sort of plan in case you encounter Mrs. Bad Ass Grizz. Just so you know, Moose kill alot more people in Alaska than Bears. Remember that when you are trying to sleep in your tent with a Grizz close by. Ask me how I know????

    Do not even think about bringing a firearm into Canada. Being from Texas I was grilled for a long time about my weapons that I have at home. She got pretty snarky when I told her it really did not apply since I had NO weapon with me, so beware of that. Smile and they usually wave you through. Canada also had some very pretty agents at some of the border stations.
    #69
  10. KHud

    KHud Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,861
    Location:
    Big Sky Country
    :hmmmmm:huh
    #70
  11. beemerphile

    beemerphile Unreconstructed Southerner Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,785
    Location:
    Danielsville, GA USA
    Many thanks for this list. It will be stickered on the box for my sat phone. - Lee
    #71
  12. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,656
    Location:
    North Texas
    I've heard from 2 different sources they won't. Both LEOs. One guy had his spray taken, another said they let him take his in ONLY because he was an LEO. I think it largely depends who you get as a border officer.

    I've also heard your tale of being grilled about weaponed they owned at home from 2 other people.

    I'm not taking a gun, but the one guy that got his bear spray taken took a shotgun with the appropriate paperwork.

    I'm not
    #72
  13. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,656
    Location:
    North Texas
    +1

    I'm not sure I'm taking a sat phone, but its good to know they can't make some of those calls.
    #73
  14. KHud

    KHud Survivor

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,861
    Location:
    Big Sky Country
    I've crossed the border 15-20 times with bear spray. I tell the agent I have it and the agent looks at me as if to say he/she couldn't care less. No agent has ever asked to see it. All my crossings have been on the Alaska border or the southern BC or AB borders. Sphincters may be tighter in other areas.
    #74
  15. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,656
    Location:
    North Texas
    Apparently its the border patrol officer you draw.

    Here's the post where his was taken from him.
    #75
  16. willys

    willys Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,492
    Location:
    Lake Simcoe Ont.
    If you think you may get the third degree over bear spray, just leave the one you have at home there and pick up a new one here....problem solved.

    As for tire choice....I'm running Kenda 270 this time for my gravel tire of choice, 761's for the pavement.....to each their own....just like deodorant!....lol:freaky
    #76
  17. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,656
    Location:
    North Texas
    That's what I'll probably do. I used to use the Shinko 244's on my KLR. They have the same tread pattern, which looks good to me for gravel and sand. How do they work in mud? The knobs look close enough that they could gum up...

    I'm planning on using some sort of semi-knobie tire like the 270 or a 606 if I take my KLR or a TKC if I ride the big GS.
    #77
  18. willys

    willys Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,492
    Location:
    Lake Simcoe Ont.
    I used the 244's on the Trans-Lab last summer for the first time and last time! They threw chunks of thier tread after a day and luckily I only lost 3 1/2 lugs before limping home.....but the tread pattern was great for that style of riding IMHO....The Trans-Lab is very silimlar to the Dempster but with slightly deeper gravel. I did the Dempster 2 summers ago on half worn Kenda 761's pulling a single wheeled trailer and did just fine until I tried to go too fast through some black gooy slop as it was raining and came off at 80. So I think if I can do it on those tires, 270's should be a breeze!
    I will never use Stinko Shinko tires again....and yes I was warned and didn't pay attention...my fault for buying them.:huh
    #78
  19. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,656
    Location:
    North Texas
    Yeah, the first 244 I used worked well. I replaced the rear with another and over a weekend, it chunked most of the knobs in the center off. I've got a Shinko 705 on the KLR rear now and its ok (well, at least the first one was) but overall they're not super tires.

    You came off at 80 mph (hopefully it was kph, but still fast)? I've got a set of 606's in the garage for my WR250R. If I like the 606's on it, I might try the 606's up there. I'm assuming I can buy 606's up there either in Anchorage, Dawson, Whitehorse, or Fairbanks.
    #79
  20. friar mike

    friar mike IronButtGruver

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,921
    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    there is no place to get tires in Dawson on the fly you can get a hold of Dick in Dawson (he hangs out here) he can arrange tires and I will have some with me when Iam there as a mobile repair a week before and after D2D but there is no motorcycle store there.You will also find in the other place you listed there is limited types tires at the shops you will do well to call ahead and prepay your wants so you know you will have want you want when you want it. I run a shop up here and with a limited summer we just don't stock alot of tires of all kinds it just cost too much.
    #80