Tire choice for Dalton and Dempster Hwys.

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

  1. willys

    willys Long timer

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    IMHO...I wouldn't buy a bug hat....buy a bug jacket!!!! and wear it under your motorcycle jacket and if they get really bad, under your helmet! I don't go anywhere without it.

    As for tires, if you have them and can carry them, I would. Like I said, it took 3 shops to find the same size as our KLRs took and it was twice the cost in Whitehorse. If you can preorder a set and have them there and are willing to spend the difference, then do that instead of carrying them. To each their own. But I wouldn't go expecting to find a tire to fit your bike at any larger town or city....the guy in front of you may have just purchased their last one, then what?

    I just bought my canes that I will cut up and use to extend my rar rack instead of cutting up a good set of crutches. They cost me in total $15 for two....well worth it! Now just to fit them to the sides of my rear rack.......then it's time to see how they will help carry the rearward edge of the 2 tires I will carry up there. But that won't take place for a while, I have other bikes to work on first.:freaky
  2. KHud

    KHud Survivor Supporter

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    Carrying tires is an unnecessary pain in the butt. There are professional shops in the Anchorage area (The Abby & AK Leather) and Fairbanks (ADV Cycleworks & Trails End) that have good inventory, or will order and hold what you want, or will let you ship your tires to them (at least ADV Cycleworks will). Among the hundreds of guys I saw pass thru Fairbanks every year only a very small number carried tires; somehow everyone else got the job done without looking like Jed Clampet. If you want to haul something large and useless all the way to Alaska then bring a case of PBR.
  3. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I'm only going as far as Dawson City and up to Inuvik then down the cassier.....so I'm limited to shops to buy tires from. Plus I'm a cheap bastard. All I know is what I have experienced on this side f the border as in places to buy tires at.
    I have said before, if you are good with the expense it costs you to get them to where you need them or buy them.....then this is your best option, if not, carry them. But not having them sorted out before you leave or get to where you will need them is a big disaster waiting to happen!

    Just call me Jed!:evil:lol3
  4. Yukoner2

    Yukoner2 Been here awhile

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    Yes tires cost more in the North, but when you figure the shops here have a population base of 35,000 to draw on, not a 1/4million like the Toronto area, prices are bound to be higher. We sell maybe 60 tires a year, they sell how many a month ? I was checking prices..A Vicious Cycle sells Conti TKC 80's 130/80-17 for $17.00 over our cost (not including what we have to pay in freight from Parts Canada). Not sure what you pay back there in the Ontario area for mounting and balanceing, but here we have been chargeing $40.00 per tire for the last bunch of years, and no appointments or waiting needed.
    Who knows, might see you at D2D this summer. Good travels.
  5. willys

    willys Long timer

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    Yes I'll be at the D2D.....I can buy a set of tires for under $100 and I install and balance my own. So, I'm a cheak bastard and resourcefull....lol.
    I know you guys need to make a buck just like the rest of the world and I'm not trying to take business from you by saying to carry your own tires if you have them. It is the fact that in most cases there just isn't tires when you need them so far north. As some have said, you can't stock so many just because we want them or might possibly buy them.....it costs money to carry an inventory and in today's economy that isn't as easy as it once was.
    I have said, if you are willing to pay the price up north then pay it......not don't pay it and carry your own to do someone out of a sale.......that isn't what I was saying. If you thought that, I'm sorry.....as said, it comes down to availability not price in the end. I have seen this in your neck of the woods, Whitehorse area(yes not alaska) and also when traveling around the tTrans-Lab highway and down through Newfoundland.....tires just aren't being stocked...plain and simple. We who ride KLRs use the 17" wheel which isn't as popular as the 18" etc. So, we need to worry more, imho.


    Hope to see everyone at the D2D, it will be a great event for sure!:freaky
  6. Noone

    Noone Long timer

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    With all the talk of tires don't forget the tools. My spoons jumped off the bike and hid in a ditch somewhere in BC. The next set I found were in Whitehorse and I got the last pair available. (and I stopped at everything that even looked like a bike shop between BC and Whitehorse: to no avail). Luckily for me passing riders stopped and had a set (when I got a flat 27.5 miles north of Bell II).
  7. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I use a tool tube with 4 strong straps to hold all my tools. One end cemented on and the other end has a threaded cap with a threaded bolt tapped into the tube's threads sideways to stop it unthreading, as it did once already!
    Carry everything you need to strip the bike down to where you can honestly repair it yourself. I do....just incase.....all the time.
    Again, overkill to the extent of being nurotic!:huh:freaky
  8. Noone

    Noone Long timer

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    I don't think it is overkill. I even take along the service manual for the bike I'm riding. If I can't fix it, perhaps someone else can:D
  9. friar mike

    friar mike IronButtGruver

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    I will be setting up shop at D2D for 2 weeks at Dicks house to fix bikes and do tires I will have a few tires and tubes with me and small parts brake pads chains sprockets and the like so for you who need it I will be around to help. but I will be riding also so you may have to wait a minute or two::1drink I don't know what you are talking about Willys 17 inch are WAY more common then 18 inch tires.
  10. Brendon@TMS

    Brendon@TMS The Motorcycle Shop

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    We'll accept tires shipped to us and always have a full line of dual sport tires in stock, 17, 18, 19, and 21 inch!

    If you want to work on your own bike, I'll give you a space and a piece of cardboard to keep you semi-clean too!
  11. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    I carry a pretty good set of tools. My bikes have a proven history of breaking/being broken a looong way from help. And both the Dempster and the Dalton highways have plenty of "looog way from help" to go around.

    If I don't carry spare tires (for the bike, not my gut), I'll pre-order and pre-pay for a set at a shop to be waiting for me. I'd hate to get up there and need a tire just to find out they sold the last 606 yesterday and the UPS guy isn't scheduled to show up with more for a week. I'm picky about tires and don't want to just take any tire they can cram on there because I have too. Will probably pack a spare oil filter too for the same reason. Oil, I'll get there.

    But I'm especially anal about tires. I inventory tires in my garage just in case I have a tire issue and I can do a new tire swap in short order. I'd hate to miss a Sunday of riding just because I discovered some tire issue late Saturday. :deal

    I've already got some sort of industrial strength bug repellant, but the bug hat and bug jacket are good ideas.
  12. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I never thought 17" tires were either until our trip out east this past summer. It was very very hard to locate a 17" tire of any kind for some strange reason. The one tire we did locate was a full on knob that you could smell the rubber burning off it while on the highway.....every gas stop he didn't want to look at it in fears it wouldn't make it. It was semi comical, but also worrying.

    Like you said, I wouldn't have thought a 17" tire would have been so hard to find.

    I know of a woman who is coming up to the D2D and will be looking for tire changing help on her Honda whatever it is so she can ride up the Dempster. But I'm sure there will be many many fine men offering all sorts of help.....lol

    The Snizzle.....I'm not sure if she will carry her tires as well or try and buy them there .....but I will be around for the tire changing spectacle.....lol

    Having the comfort of knowing you have a set of tires that you are interested in at a shop up north with your name on them makes the trip that much more comfortable.:freaky
  13. marbee40

    marbee40 Some Fear is Good Supporter

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    Personal experience: BEAR spray - Yes. Law Enforcement "OC" - NO! That's proven twice on trips from AK to Dawson via the border crossing on Top of The World Highway.

    J
  14. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

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    Try some Freeze + P and just tell them is Bear Spray. I can tell you from personal experience that shit hurts like hell. No I wasn't arrested, just got certified on it.
  15. KHud

    KHud Survivor Supporter

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    Crossed with bear spray dozens of times. Never had a border agent even want to look at the container.
  16. willys

    willys Long timer

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    You can buy spray once you get here...if all else fails......air horn just as good....imho and bear bangers, pencil shaped launcher, search it out.:freaky
  17. Dahveed

    Dahveed Sumo Biker!

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    Yep, I'm thinking they'll have the good stuff up there anyway. Someone else suggested an air horn. Should I just get some loud pipes instead? :lol3 Saw the Bear Banger being tested on youtube. By the time you got the shell threaded on the launcher, the bear is going to be very close.
  18. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    It's all good stuff around the country. :wink: Most any REI, other sporting good store, or gun store should have it.

    Again, make SURE it's the big can (not purse size) and has the words bear deterrent on it or it WILL get confiscated if they ask to look at it.

    http://www.rei.com/product/623173/counter-assault-bear-deterrent-spray-230g
  19. willys

    willys Long timer

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    When at night and ready for bed, I have that bear banger already threaded on but not cocked into firing position, same thing for walking around away from the bike. I would if I thought it necesary do the same if I were riding way off the beaten path have it in my tank bag just incase too. I don't think it would go off accidentally as it needs to be drawn back a ways beofre it gets enough power to strike the shell. I could be wrong, but that is what I'm assuming. If it's loaded and in a safe mode while not needed then I think you are fine. A bit like walking around with shells in a gun....until you bring the hammer back or actually pull that trigger, yes a gun will discharge a bit easier if it's not got the typical hammer style like the old west so to speak, I think it'll be the same risk......maybe....but it takes that few seconds out of the equaton when you are possibly in a situation where a bear could be close enough to you......rare maybe, but peace of mind goes a long long way as to whether or not you enjoy your suroundings....imho.
  20. theshnizzle

    theshnizzle Long timer

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    I am looking at tires now. My rear is a 160 so trying to find that up there will be nigh on impossible, I think. I am planning on going down a size to a 150 for the rear. I will call around to see about shipping options,if it's to dear, I may just carry up a rear,I think taking 2 will be too much weight for me all the way up there.

    Ummm....if I ship tires up there, where would I send them?

    It looks like a set of tires will cost me around $300.00 ,just for sh*ts and giggles, is that about how much I would pay up there....? or is it much more? or much much more? I am not talking about availability,but about price only.

    And, not trying to screw anybody out of a sale, just need to conserve funds as much as possible, every farthing counts when I tour and I mean,EVERY farthing.