ZRX1200 good for Alaska?

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Special K 1200, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Special K 1200

    Special K 1200 Adventurer

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    A friend of mine and I are planning a trip from New Mexico to Alaska next summer. I own an 05 ZRX1200R...am I nuts for thinking about riding it instead of laying down the cash on a BMW 12000 GS? What problems might I run into w/ my Zrex? BTW, no the ZRXOA hasn't been very helpful w/ this question.
    #1
  2. KHud

    KHud Survivor Supporter

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    Your bike will make it to Alaska just fine. People ride everything from Scooters and Sportsters to Goldwings and do so without issue. Sadly, the ALCAN is like almost every other paved 2 lane road in North America, just longer. Once you are here you may find there are some dirt roads you want to avoid, but people take just about anything anywhere up here. I'd recommend staying on pavement with your ride if you like it in decent condition. Make sure your chain is in good shape; think through the fuel situation and carry $$$.
    #2
  3. Special K 1200

    Special K 1200 Adventurer

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    Distance between fillups is a huge issue for me as I only get about 149 miles...Fuel jugs seem to be my only solution at the moment.
    I'm starting to take care of the comfort issues, since my longest ride on the Rex has been 400 miles in a day and I was a tired pup afterward!
    I defiinitely want to ride some unpaved roads and was wondering how bad they'd be on my bike...I realize I need to be more specific as to which roads I'm planning on.
    #3
  4. KHud

    KHud Survivor Supporter

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    Hmmm. I'm getting the impression that you want to buy a GS... you need to buy a GS. Well just do it.
    #4
  5. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    #5
  6. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Hello and welcome ADVn00b Special K 1200!

    As stated, any bike will do. Buy and ride whatever you think you'll enjoy the most.

    After all, our buddy from the Netherlands, Sjaak, has ridden a couple unmodified Yamaha R1's around the world including up here from FL last winter! :wink: I did a little ride report about riding with him while he was up here that you can link to in my sig line if you're interested.

    Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
    #6
  7. Juvat

    Juvat Been here awhile

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    Small error; that's 1.2 liters of German Fury. The plane engine may be indeed 12 liters though. Bad Azz!!:smile6
    #7
  8. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    Hey, his typo can facilitate my dreams right?! lol
    #8
  9. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Seems like I saw a ZRX at Deadhorse on the 4th of July. Didn't get a photo of it, but the rider opined that they didn't see too many like that up there. I agreed, but did tell him about the Hyabusa that had made the trek a few years earlier.

    For other than the dirt/gravel roads, that bike should be just fine, provided you can get the ergonomics set up to accommodate you for multiple hundreds of miles/day.
    #9
  10. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    To put in some positive input on the question though, I think ZRX1100/1200's are good bikes for the trip up here...Although I think that bar risers and probably a corbin/sargent/etc. seat would make a world of difference. Longevity of gas is definitely an issue, and would need addressing immediately. What were you looking to do for a luggage set-up on the 'Rex? My initial thoughts would be running a top case, and soft panniers of some kind and mounting a Rotopax ( https://www.rotopax.com/2-gallon-gasoline-rotopax-fuel-pack-atv-fuel-gas-container-gas-can-fuel-c-1-p-1-pr-68.html ) fuel can somewhere in there. I have a bike w/ a 120 mile range, and even though I didn't have to use it, the extra 2 gallon behind me was the peace of mind I needed for a 500 mile, limited gas station run I did.

    As far as off-of-the-paved-road riding, you may not have the most purpose built steed, but as long as you stay within you limitations you shouldn't have too much trouble. Do they make oil cooler/radiator guards for your bike?

    my $.02
    Ben
    #10
  11. Special K 1200

    Special K 1200 Adventurer

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    Thanks for all the replies!
    I really do want a GS, but I still owe on my 05 powerstroke...I don't want to be the typical American knee deep in dept....if I didn't have so many toys it wouldn't be as hard to justify though.
    I already have a corbin and my throttlemeister should arrive within the next 2 days. I've already found the bar risers I'm going to buy. I'm going to build a foot peg lowering bracket and probably the rack for the luggage and for that matter a radiator guard.
    Thanks for the idea for a fuel container.
    I have a full set of soft luggage, but I'm thinking about adapting some hard luggage since it seems like we'll hit a decent amount of rain the first few weeks of June.
    I'm still trying to figure out if I'm going to get a taller windscreen, adapt one of those ones that clamp onto the bars or tuff it out.
    What else am I missing?
    #11
  12. FlyRescue

    FlyRescue Support S&R, Get lost!

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    Do you have a set of comfortable, layered, waterproof gear? I've recently taken a liking to the Fieldsheer line of goods, they are lightweight, breathable, all the right padding/armor, waterproof, and above all the price is right on them.
    #12
  13. Special K 1200

    Special K 1200 Adventurer

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    Nope, my gear is definitely for the southwest. After I get my bike figured out, I'm going to have to move to my personal gear and everything I need (and don't need) to somehow pack on my bike. Thanks for the heads up on the Fieldsheer as I've mostly only dealt w/ Tecnik.
    #13
  14. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric Supporter

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    I rode to Colorado in 2000 with my son on a 93 K1100-LT and he was on a 77 Kawasaki KZ1000 LTD with 3.5 gal tank, given the short rear tire and higher rpm he only got 35mpg. That necessitated stops every 100 miles or so. Lots of breaks. Occasionally we had to stop at 80 miles to catch a gas station if there wasn't one at the right interval. He carried a small reserve too but we never used it. All that is to say that even if your range is short there are enough gas stops on the ALCAN to accommodate you but it will take some pre-planning. Get the Milepost book, its a source of info on the ALCAN and the different routes to it. I've been over the ALCAN two dozen times and still refer to it. BTW, the KZ never missed a beat and had over 35,000 miles on it when we left. Its still running strong. Can't beat a good Kawi.
    #14
  15. Powerslave

    Powerslave n00by tires that would be

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  16. Special K 1200

    Special K 1200 Adventurer

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    #16
  17. Air_Bob

    Air_Bob Been here awhile

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    I did it from Seattle on my '03 Triumph Sprint ST. No problems and I even rode the Denali Highway which is 112 miles of gravel.

    One of the guys with me was on a Harley and he needed gas about every 150 miles, so we needed to plan for that. We messed that up once, but we came across some workers in transit who had some full gas cans and sold him some gas.

    There were four of us and the only one to have a problem was on the bike most likely not to have a problem. He high-sided on some deep freshly laid down chip seal gravel on a 650 Dakar.

    I did change my tires to Dunlop 616s which where developed for the Buel Ulysses. They have a more aggresive tread and come in sport bike sizes. They worked quite well on the Sprint. Both tires made it the distance, about 6K miles. Although the rear was pretty close to being done. Coming from NM, you'll likely need to replace your tires somewhere along the route.

    If you're coming through the Seattle area I'll make myself available for you to ship some tires to me and I'll hold them for you and direct you to a place to get them mounted.

    It was an awesome trip!
    #17
  18. Vento

    Vento Anywhere Anytime

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    I did it last year on a Ducati SS and had no problems (for the most part). I would avoid the Alcan and take the Cassiar. Almost no traffic, much more scenic and they should be done paving the end of it by now. I was running a set of Michelin Pilot Road's and they worked perfict. If you do use soft luggage Blue Tape the shit out of your body work so that the dirt doesn't rub in between your bags and paint. (wish I had) The gravel roads up there are pretty packed down for the most part but they do get nasty when there wet. Here is a link to my ride report.

    http://my2wheeledpage.blogspot.com/2008/07/well-i-am-sitting-here-in-alaska-in.html

    Most of all take extra memory for your camera because you will need it for sure. Everything is big and beautiful up there. O yah, have fun.
    #18