Tire choice for Dalton and Dempster Hwys.

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

  1. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    Let me ask, there are essentially 4 gravel roads I was planning on riding in the northwest. I know conditions change frequently, but can you tell me generally what is the reputation of each road? Also, the scenery of each road.

    1) The Top of the World Highway (aka the Chicken road)

    2) The Dalton

    3) The Dempster

    4) The Denali Highway

    Probably doing this on a KLR with 606s.

    Thanks.
  2. willys

    willys Long timer

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    A KLR with 606's should be perfect for all of these roads but I bet overkill for some......then you need to think....will 606's last the entire way around these roads or should you go with a 50/50 type of tread to get some distance out of them as well. I've never owned 606's but have a few buddies who love them and watch as their lugs get eaten up twice as fast as a 50/50 treat pattern tire would.

    I can't speak for any of those roads except the Dempster personally......but if the Dempster is wet for any period of time a 606 will eat it up! A street tire.....just set your tent up and wait it out! A 50/50 tire will get you out OK I'm sure. I won't be doing the Dempster on street type 761's again this summer after they spat me off while riding too fats in the wet! We also waitied it out in Inuvik for a day to try and let it dru up some.......4" of duck shit slop was what took me down and in a hurry! Again riding too fast for the conditions and I was also pissed off....soething that us redheads suffer from all too frequently....lol:freaky
  3. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    No, I thinking using a more street type DS tire on the way up there (whatever I'm running at the time) and putting on the 606s just prior to the gravel beginning in earnest. I think I can get 3,000 miles on them before the rear is done.

    I think this trip will be a one way trip for the bike. I'll ride it up there and sell it and fly back. That way I maximize my time up there. I was thinking of selling the bike anyway, and I think I'll get a good deal more money for it in Alaska than I would in Texas, especially in July. :deal
  4. willys

    willys Long timer

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    The Dempster is 1500kms in and out, then you have whatever tarmac inbetween the next section which isn't much I don't think to the Top of the World Highway over to Chicken....so the 606's should be perfect so far....the rest I don't know how much tarmac to gravel there is? I would say if mostly gravel you should be OK.....

    Good idea IF you were going to sell your baby any way to sell up there....I bet you'll get a good part of you trip paid for in the difference between Alaska and Texas. You guys down there give bikes away it seems......compared to us poor bastards above the border.....I can only wish for the same prices up here!
  5. cnyrider

    cnyrider n00b

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    If you had to choose one, the Dalton or the Dempster what would it be?
  6. willys

    willys Long timer

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    From what many have said the Dempster is a more scenic ride, I have to agree....but I have only done that one and can't comment on the other. Plus there's a town at the top of it with all the modern essencials.
    :freaky
  7. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    From what I've been able to gather, The Dempster is a more challenging road but Inuvik is more of a town than Deadhorse. Apparently in Deadhorse you can't get to the Arctic Ocean without taking some sort of bus tour. Inuvik is on a waterway and it may be possible to ride your bike a little further north to the Arctic Ocean.

    In a both surprising and sad note, google street view is available for much of the Dempster and the Top Of the World Highway. Anyway, it gives you a chance to check out Inuvik or the road before doing the ride.
  8. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    I just saw this reply. Sorry I hadn't seen it before. What sort of range do you suggest for the Dempster? The longest stretch between gasoline stations on the Dalton is 240 miles (386 km), but most people suggest a 300 mile (482 km) range as a safety.

    I talked to another person that flew into Alaska and bought a bike and rode it South. He told me what he paid for his used KLR in Fairbanks and it sounded expensive to me. I guess the going rate for everything up that way is just more expensive due to shipping. I was planning on selling it in Anchorage simply due to its size. If I sold it in Canada, what cities around there would it be best to list it?

    The selling the bike might be a win-win for both me and the buyer.
  9. willys

    willys Long timer

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    As for range in fuel...I get maybe on a fully loaded bike 365kms before reserve and I never use reserve unless forced to. I always carry a small jerry can, the 1 1/4 gallon types for such expeditions and just leave it at a gas station when I know I won't need it any further. They're $5 at WallyWorld or Canadian Tire, so it just makes sense to me to do it this way.
    As for selling the bike? I don't know the prices being had for a used bike in Alaska, but in Canada a good running cleanish 08 and up KLR can net you $4000-$6000 depending on mileage and condition. I expect to get close to $4000 for the 08 I hve here this spring when I sell it. It has 7500kms on it, but it has some dings etc from a crash at low speed that I will fix up and repaint before selling it.......and that is a low price as I just want it gone to fund my trip north this summer. I would say Vancouver is the best place to sell or any of the larger cities, even if you go east a bit to Edmonton or Calgary. Vancouver would be my first choice though seeing it's more on your way home and you will experience the central BC highway and scenery as you go.
    But it sounds like time is against you. The buyer will also have to deal with importing it unless they can figure out how to get around all the paperwork. Something else to think about. Also, the cost of a flight from Alalska compared to Vancouver....?

    As for getting to the Arctic Ocean...I heard even in Alaska they have stopped the bus tours to get you there now. You can't get anywhere near it in Inuvik.......even if you travel deep into the scrub on the trails from what I have seen in Google Earth.....and yes I want to get there too! In Inuvik at the libruary and visitor centre you get a document stating you made it up the Dempster and crossed the Arctic Circle in doing so. It's kinda nice to get. Something to keep dry on your trip home unlike me who got his wet and have to go back to get another.....lol......that's my story and I'm sticking to it....but yes I did get it wet and it was even in a ziplock bag too!:cry The next one will be in 3 or 4!:lol3:evil
  10. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    Perhaps they should offer an laminating service for an extra fee. Or maybe mail it home. :deal

    If I can sell the bike up there for reasonable money, That will save me approximately 7-8 days of riding back to Texas (yeah, I'm no Iron Butt rider). Which will give me the time to ride both the Dempster and Dalton highways up there and see the other stuff I want to see without getting in a huge rush. I'm going to post it for sale here at ADVrider before I leave. If I do not sell it before the end of the trip, I will either leave it at a dealership on consignment or I know some people in Alaska, they might want to sell it for me. Hopefully I'll have it sold before the trip ends. I'd probably would have had better luck selling if I was finished at the end of June and not July, but I have to go when I can.

    Thanks for your help. I'm trying to learn as much as possible before I go.
  11. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    I think you'll have to sell it in Alaska. I don't think you can sell it in Canada. Foreign country and all that import/export stuff.
  12. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    Yes, in many places (Mexico for example) you have to post a bond which is refunded when you leave the country on the same bike. Of course, every country is different, so I don't know if Canada has that sort of thing, but I know for sure I can sell it without legal issues in the US.

    Its one thing for a Canadian to purchase a US bike and bring it into their country. Its entirely another thing for a "damn Yank" (me) to be selling a bike in your country. If any Canadian wants to buy it, I'll let them figure it out the paperwork and delivery issues.

    Its really a shame to have these countries making it harder for people to do business across borders. They're afraid their going to miss a taxable event.
  13. Sasquatch2112

    Sasquatch2112 Old Angry White Guy (OAWG)

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    Dahveed, have you thought of posting the bike in the FM with the caveat that it will be in AK. Maybe somebody like you wants to ride the ALCAN and only has time to do a one way trip.

    If that doesn't work then the AK ADV guys have had a chance to see the bike and know it is coming north.

    My 2c.
  14. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    That's my plan. I was going to wait until April or May to post it though. I need to get busy getting it ready for the ride. Need to do some some repairs to it and add a few things. Might just get the rattle-can bed liner out and do some touch ups. :evil
  15. cnyrider

    cnyrider n00b

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    Any ideas on how much shipping may cost for a set of tires from the lower 48? Sorry for the some what change in topic of the resent posts.Also is one shipper tend to do more up your way? Thanks
  16. mikerd400

    mikerd400 Long timer

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    I went thru 2 TKC rears on my trip. New TKCs on in Wasilla. Rode the Denali Hwy, and then on to the Dalton. After the Dalton, the rear was bald. New rear tire in Fairbanks, and then onto the Dempster. The asphalt up there is rough. The tires were out quicker than you think.
  17. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

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    Ride the Dempster, I have ridden them both. There is more personal risk on the Dempster due to isolation, but the beauty is something else. The end of the road is a town not a work camp and you can go to Tuk for a day flight.

    I am always amazed at these tire threads. How many times are once in a lifetime trips planning to do the ride up north? If you end up using three or four sets in 10 years will it make any difference

    I always run TKC's and then swap them out halfway and put on a fresh pair. Ride the best tires for the worst possible road conditions and keeping them over 50% treaded is critical to helping you have a safer trip when the weather /roads conditions become troubling.
  18. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

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  19. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    I think the commonly purchased sizes and styles are readily available in the more major towns. Oddball sizes you might want to order just from the local shop. I have some 606s in my garage that I might carry up there on the bike. Otherwise, I'd be looking to purchase them up there.

    I don't think many internet companies even ship tires to Alaska.

    BTW, prepare yourself. Most things are more expensive up there, especially gasoline.
  20. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    Bill, Thanks for the information!