Touring the North on a Hyperstrada

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Jason KLR, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Jason KLR

    Jason KLR Mostly Slab

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    My neighbours to the north, looking for your input. I rode the dempster on my KLR in June 2014, loved the trip but due to a poor choice in riding companions I had to skip the whole AK loop I had planned after as we made very poor time.

    Anyways fast forward 3 years and I've since sold my KLR for a Ducati Hyperstrada. It's a great allrounder for me and has been an excellent bike. It's also well farkled for light touring. Between the bike and my dempster gear I'd need little to do my AK loop June 2018.

    So my dilemma is do I risk taking an Italian bike with little to no dealer support on a multiweek (likely solo) trip, or buy a used farkled DR650 this winter, do the ride and sell it mid summer for likely what I paid? The hyper has never let me down but I'm a belt and suspenders kinda guy... the idea of taking something that could potentially leave me stranded has me debating. i realize any bike can strand you but I'll wager on a DR vs a Ducati any day.

    Edit I should add I don't plan to do the haul road
    #1
  2. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    1 - there's a Ducati dealer in Anchorage

    2 - UPS and FedEx can overnight any parts you need in a day

    3 - what scares you about the Duc? Fix it before you go, or bring spares, or leave them with someone you trust to get it overnighted

    4 - worry less. You're not exactly riding a motorcycle like that off the road system, there will be people on the road with you.
    #2
  3. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer

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    Ride the Duc. It'll be awesome!!
    #3
  4. keith in alaska

    keith in alaska Valley Gruver

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    Start out with fresh belts, tires, and chain and you will be fine! There have been several duc scramblers doing the Alcan highway.
    #4
  5. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Well the only thing may add any bike can self-destruct beyond repair, so your Duc is no different from my son's Kwak. Just bring critical spares like sprockets, make sure brake pads are good, oil/air filter, etc.

    If you don't wanna carry ship in advance good luck.

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  6. Jason KLR

    Jason KLR Mostly Slab

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    Thanks for the replies. I should add One issue the bike will have is tank range. The warning light comes on pretty consistently at 120 miles, an aftermarket tank isn't an option - I'd have to mount a rotopax on the rear rack where space is already at a premium. Not a deal breaker but something to consider.
    #6
  7. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    You have about the same range I do then, assuming you get about 30 miles on reserve. I believe that's enough for everywhere on the AlCan, and just about everywhere on the rest of the Alaska road system. Pick up a copy of the Milepost and do the math on your route to be sure of course, but don't plan on blowing through a town without getting gas. For example riding from Fairbanks to Dawson I got gas in town before I left, in Delta, in Tok, and in Chicken and had plenty of range.

    I would just get a 1gal plastic Jerry can and run a strap through the handle and strap it to the top of my luggage. Touratech also makes larger bottles for fuel and oil that aren't nearly as bulky as a rotopax I think, and mount neatly on the back of hard panniers from what I've seen. Not sure about your luggage setup.

    You'll want to bring some octane boost though as a lot of places only have 87 but that's one of those goodies that tank bags are good for.
    #7
  8. Jason KLR

    Jason KLR Mostly Slab

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    Great info thanks
    #8
  9. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    That would be an issue in many places. My son's bike would lit up somewhere around 140mi and it was a bother, you have to plan your trip around gas stations. The big concern that many are not listed in GPS, and while GasBuddy app has them, you need service to look it up. Plus some of them not open all the time so you may end up camping there in wait of opening hour. Things got much better when we picked 1gal jerry can and were able to use all 4gal tank without fear.

    I think besides the Dalton the longest distance between the stations was something like 110mi on Cassair and on AB-40. If you have your maps printed go to GasBuddy and mark stations, I wish I did that in advance. With 110mi range 2.5gal jerry can would give you enough piece of mind in case if you end up missing station, and if not you would have something to bail out that Harley dude good luck.
    #9
  10. Marklar

    Marklar n00b

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    Last month I did a 5000 mile transcontinental ride on my Hyperstrada and had the same concern. Granted it was through the southern US, but most of my time was away from the highways, riding to and through National Parks. I had a number of scares between West Texas and Eastern California where my light came on around 115 miles and there was no sign of a station. It always worked out (and I learned that when my light comes on I still have a good gallon+ to go), but having a gallon or two in a can would make your life much less stressful, and make it so you could focus more on the fun you're having!

    Mechanically, the bike was great, but it was also just past the 600 mile service. Not a lot time for me to abuse the bike and mess anything up before the trip.

    Enjoy the trip!
    #10
  11. ZiggyInNc

    ZiggyInNc Been here awhile

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    Well I’m a “harley dude”I guess since I’m planning on riding up there this summer on my Road king but for less than $30 on Amazon I’m getting a 1 gallon can from Reda on Amazon that is designed to fit in the slanted part of my hard bags. I can usually get 200 miles or more on a tank of riding conservatively so I think I’m good with one extra gallon. Don’t want to be in the position of having to bum gas on the side of the road.
    #11
  12. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    Sorry for not explaining; we did indeed saved a Harley Davidson trike rider with Tenn license plates. He ran out of fuel south of Denali, about 18mi before station. We ended up giving away emergency Jerry can as those no longer can be reused. I was a bit like "really?" as the distance between gas stations there ~80mi. Definitely unattentiveness on his account.

    Where are you going? Which roads? I might be able to remember where the stations are if you need good luck.

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  13. ZiggyInNc

    ZiggyInNc Been here awhile

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    Thanks not quite sure yet but probably through BC on the way up and then possibly marine ferry back down. I’m not really worried about range just thought I’d throw out that option of the gas can that fits in a Harley hard saddlebag for anyone who wants to be prepared.
    #13
  14. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Long timer

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    I have never taken ferry but the friend of mine took and loved it. He camped on the deck and said that fiords in Norway were pale in comparison. I looked into it and liked everything.. except for the price.

    Are you ok with regards to tires? Most of the stuff we ran into was relatively short. Expect many construction zones which could be gravelly loose when they start and we'll packed 2 weeks later. They had alot of detours btw border and Distraction bay but it could be very different this year.

    Yes you could navigate most on road tires and if it gets wet it will be a thin layer of mud on top of hardpack. Guys with road tires did have flats, especially where they used crashed shale for gravel.

    Personally I would get something like Shinko 700 or 705 front and long lasting rear.. there's an inmate who runs Shinko 700 with dark side rear snow tire.. General Tire Arctic? on his Victory. Had done Dempster and Dalton IIRC.

    Yes and watch for orange flags on the side of the road. They mark frost hives it could be nothing just warning for RVs but I dragged skid plate on a few occasions, better to slow down.
    #14
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  15. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer

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    ferry price to/from Prince George is a big chunk less than Bellingham
    #15
  16. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

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    Oh I don't know about that Beezer. All the canal and lock fees required to get a ferry into Prince George will eat up any savings. :hmmmmm
    #16
  17. Fighter

    Fighter Head Gruver

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    Not to mention all those pilot cars!
    #17