Top of the World Highway on a Goldwing ?

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Charleetho, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. Charleetho

    Charleetho Mr. Zoom Zoom

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    Hey all,

    A buddy and I are planning a trip to your beautiful state next summer. Specifically the last week of June, the first two weeks of July.

    I had planned on riding my 2014 R1200GS. However. my wife now wants to join us for the middle week. I love riding with my wife so I am happy she is coming.

    She will fly into Anchorage. The GS is out and the trusty, ultra-comfy, 06 GL1800 is the 2-up bike for us. She will not ride the back of the GS for more then a couple of hours. so the bike compromise is ok with me. (Never let a woman ride on the back of a Goldwing. She will be ruined for life)

    My buddy is on an Africa Twin. We will split off at Tok and he will go to Prudhoe bay and I will go south to Anchorage.

    We had planned to ride to Dawson City and over the TOW highway to Tok. I am guessing if it is dry it shouldn't be an issue on the big pig 1800? I am comfortable on smooth dry gravel. I may be pulling our little Unigo trailer on this trip. The Unigo makes it so much easier to carry camping gear for two.

    If it is raining or expected rain, I will stick to the Alcan from Whitehorse to Tok.

    What say you people of the north?

    Oh, while I am asking questions. This is the planned route for the 7 days with the wife.

    https://goo.gl/maps/B9xK9xZtUEY2ToUTA

    Does that look like a relaxing 7 day ride?
    #1
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  2. Bigbob1

    Bigbob1 Rain Rider Supporter

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    Yes, if it's not raining the TOW highway is no issue for a Wing. We have ridden it many times with Wings.
    I am sure some of the riders from up north will chime in on routing tips.
    Have a great trip
    #2
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  3. KHud

    KHud Survivor

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    On one of our rides from Fairbanks to D2D it was raining like stink on the Taylor/TOW. The road washed out a few hours after we rode through and a man in a car perished when his car was washed off the road. Spousal Unit and I had a tough time and we both nearly went down a few times. We rolled into Dawson feeling pretty dam proud of ourselves for making the ride and were exchanging high fives when three Wings rolled in that had been not far behind us. Kinda put our accomlishment in perspective. When they left Tok there had been four wings, but one did go down in the mud and had to be hauled back to Tok. When we rode home three days later the road was bone dry except for the area where the washout had been repaired; that was a bit soggy.

    If the road is dry you should have no issues; if it is wet then think long and hard about your decision.

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    #3
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  4. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

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    I like your plan. as things unfold, consider a run to Homer if time allows. Anchor Point is along the way and is as far west as you can drive in this hemisphere. another good jaunt if things align is a run into Kennecot/McCarthey... the old copper mining area. there is 60 miles of gravel out of Chitna but it is very well kept these days
    #4
  5. wingtraveler

    wingtraveler asphalt to dirt

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    Charleetho,we had the same plan with the wing and roll a home camper in tow, but the wife does not want to ride back now so all the planning with the wing is out and i will be taking my africa twin will be leaving june 27 for 5 weeks maybe we will meet up on the road some where. good luck and ride safe
    #5
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  6. Charleetho

    Charleetho Mr. Zoom Zoom

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    We pull an Aspen Classic Camper. I find it very stressful pulling the camper. Can't imagine towing it all the way to AK. Have a safe trip. If you see a guy on a red wing pulling a unigo say hey!
    #6
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  7. jeepmedic

    jeepmedic Adventurer

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    I think it would be fine. Last summer one of the guys in our group did it on a full dressed Harley and had no issues. Just take your time and be safe. The descent from the AK border crossing towards chicken has a lot of switchbacks but there are giant RVs driving up it occasionally, but they are doing like 5mph and the road is plenty wide to be safe. Our trip had dry conditions so I have no idea how it would be if the road was wet.
    #7
  8. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

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    sucks mightily when wet. well... "damp" wet is ok, but "wet" wet is not. the more days of rain back to back, the worse it is. on the other hand, even if sloppy, a day of no rain can make it a lot better (if you can wait it out). the whole road is better now than it used to be and some of the really bad parts have been vastly improved, but it can still suck when wet.
    #8
  9. sherry a kudranski

    sherry a kudranski 'wingwoman

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    We rode the TOW last June on a ‘Wing pulling a tent camper...on a dry day! Because of rain we spent an extra day at a campground in Dawson City and would NOT advise riding the highway in rain or if there is a chance of rain. When the product used to keep dust down is mixed with water it forms snot...and the road becomes treacherous. We heard about wipeouts and near wipeouts during that particular storm. Also, if you are lucky enough to do the trip (Covid 19) this summer the Harley dealer in Anchorage has a great little area for camping...for bikers only. Any brand, not just Harleys. Actually when we were there (on and off for a total of 7 days) we camped beside every brand except Harley the first few days.

    Our Alaska trip on the Goldwing, from the east coast, was incredible and I sincerely hope we get thru this health emergency and you can do your trip. And, if the weather is good the TOW is magnificantly scenic and well worth the long ride...even on a ‘Wing pulling a trailer! Oh, one last thought. If you do the trip and ride the TOW know that it can be a long lonely ride. We saw one other bike and just a few campers in the many many hours on the highway. So be prepared for any emergency and have plenty to drink with you. Once you hit the TOW in Dawson City there is absolutely nothing (except the border crossing) until Chicken, Alaska.

    Ride safe. and always ATGATT.
    #9
  10. Dirty bike

    Dirty bike EricV

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    Riding from Dawson to Chicken over ToW should be fine in the dry. If it's been raining for a day or two, hang out somewhere until it stops, wait another 3 hours and you'll be fine. It changes a LOT in 3 hours. After D2D in '14 it had been rain and snow over ToW during the event. Wife and I talked to locals in Dawson and they just told us to wait 3 hours after it stopped raining. We did, crossed the ferry and headed out to Chicken. A couple of greasy hills that even a cruiser did fine on and some crowned dirt/mud near chicken, but nothing too sketchy. If the rain has stopped for a day, you'd be golden. We were on a Super Tenere and a F650GS2 with 50/50 tires, but the cruiser guy was in his 70's and we played leap frog with him due to photo stops for both of us and he did fine. His main issue was getting cold since he was just wearing leather and cotton with some newspaper stuffed in his jacket.
    #10
  11. Charleetho

    Charleetho Mr. Zoom Zoom

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    Trip got postponed a year :-(
    #11