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Thread: Alaska 2023

  1. #1

    Alaska 2023

    I'm starting to plan for a ride up to Prudhoe Bay and back next summer. I'd like to find a partner or small group that would be interested in traveling together. My priority would be the adventure, not bragging rights, so I would like to take my time. I'll be leaving from the Colorado Springs, CO area but of course could plan to meet up along the way.

  2. #2
    '21 R1250 GS Adv bigjohnsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willboo View Post
    I'm starting to plan for a ride up to Prudhoe Bay and back next summer. I'd like to find a partner or small group that would be interested in traveling together. My priority would be the adventure, not bragging rights, so I would like to take my time. I'll be leaving from the Colorado Springs, CO area but of course could plan to meet up along the way.
    Come to Dust to Dawson (D2D)
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  3. #3
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willboo View Post
    I'm starting to plan for a ride up to Prudhoe Bay and back next summer. I'd like to find a partner or small group that would be interested in traveling together. My priority would be the adventure, not bragging rights, so I would like to take my time. I'll be leaving from the Colorado Springs, CO area but of course could plan to meet up along the way.
    So, U are indeed planning to ride all that way, through Canada, and back, on your extreme ADVenture? I’m sure you’ll see how far that is when you get deep into the details... Just sayin, from my recent experience, MotoQuest wanted to charge us $600 extra per bike, just for me & Mrs-HSV to ride 100 miles north to the Arctic Circle on the rough gravel during our ’21 rental excursion... Since the weather we encountered was “crappy” on our ride north to Denali & Fairbanks, we skipped this particular bucket-list item, and instead had some splendid stays on our clockwise trip around the 49th state - particularly @ Bernie Karls', Chena Hot Springs Resort and at the Lodge at Black Rapids.
    https://chenahotsprings.com/pool-house/
    https://www.lodgeatblackrapids.com/about/

    Just warning you that tires will certainly need changing, and all sorts of weird stuff is sure to happen on your TBD LDR “group eXcursion.” Hope you’ll find some accomplices willing to support your anticipated Off-road ADVenture...

    Happy Trails whenever U can - Ciao!
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  4. #4
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    If you don't already belong,I suggest joining advrider.com. There is a wealth of information there to help you plan your trip. Although I loved Alaska, my time in Canada was wonderful. I went solo with the only time constraint of attending D2D. All through my trip I would meet other riders, some to ride with for a day or a few, and others just to enjoy a meal or beer. For my wife's peace of mind, I carried a Spot transponder so she could follow my trip and receive my 'day end' message when I was out of cell coverage. Although weather and road conditions weren't a problem, my trip stopped at Coldfoot before returning South. Prudhoe Bay just wasn't a strong enough draw for me. The Denali Highway was a favorite and I rode it both ways. I camped five out of seven days for the six weeks I was traveling. The Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage took care of my mid-trip need for oil service and tire change. I'm not group-type rider. I do better when I can go at my own pace and direction. Several times, on my trip, I made changes based on recommendations from other travelers. That works for me. I will echo BigJohn's recommendation to schedule D2D. You'll meet other Alaska-bound riders and have a great time. Enjoy a sour toe cocktail.

    Doug
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  5. #5
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Literally hundreds of people have ridden a ride similar to your proposal. The ride from the lower 48 through Canada is lots of miles and a few construction zones but people do it on RTs and Goldwings and Kawasaki Super Sherpas every year. The ride north to Prudhoe Bay is a dirt road challenge but still hundreds have done it.

    Prepare your bike and yourself. Estimate the time required and then add another third or so. Do the same for the $$$ budget.

    Have fun.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  6. #6
    We planned to ride to Denali a few years ago. After determining the mileage and time, we decided to fly to Anchorage and rent. Alaska Moto Adventures were great! They suggested a hotel for our arrival and picked us up there. They stored our extra luggage while we were out and gave us a ride back to the departure hotel at the end of our trip. I rented a KLR and it was a good choice for Alaska road conditions.

    Seriously, it was great to start the trip from Anchorage fresh rather than have to pound out several thousand miles to ride there and back on our own bikes. It’s worth considering anyway.

    https://www.akmotoadv.com/rates

    Regardless, be prepared for rapidly changing weather up there. It can be beautiful in the morning and miserable in the afternoon. There’s not a lot of places to stop and take shelter if you are not prepared.
    -Live as fully as you can as long as you can-

  7. #7
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post
    We planned to ride to Denali a few years ago. After determining the mileage and time, we decided to fly to Anchorage and rent. Alaska Moto Adventures were great! They suggested a hotel for our arrival and picked us up there. They stored our extra luggage while we were out and gave us a ride back to the departure hotel at the end of our trip. I rented a KLR and it was a good choice for Alaska road conditions.

    Seriously, it was great to start the trip from Anchorage fresh rather than have to pound out several thousand miles to ride there and back on our own bikes. It’s worth considering anyway.

    https://www.akmotoadv.com/rates

    Regardless, be prepared for rapidly changing weather up there. It can be beautiful in the morning and miserable in the afternoon. There’s not a lot of places to stop and take shelter if you are not prepared.
    The ride through BC and the Yukon is a big part of going to Alaska. Go up the Cassiar HWY and home on the ALCAN, ride the Icefield Parkway and visit Liard Hot Springs. Ride up and back if your situation permits.
    Kevin Huddy
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  8. #8
    Jerry Emhoff
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    I agree with Kevin, I did this in 2018 on my 1996 RT1100 round trip from Michigan. The journey definitely made the trip. There is so much to see it’s just unbelievable. I would add to the above suggestions to get the Milepost. The amount of information in there will help you plan the things to see on the way and you can load it on your phone to carry with you. I had a Garmin Inreach which turned out be one my best purchases. My wife could watch my movements and it really put her at ease.
    Winter is coming

  9. #9
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    The ride through BC and the Yukon is a big part of going to Alaska. Go up the Cassiar HWY and home on the ALCAN, ride the Icefield Parkway and visit Liard Hot Springs. Ride up and back if your situation permits.
    I agree. In 1991 Voni and I rode up the Alaska Highway (ALCAN) and then to as far north as the Arctic Circle north of Fairbanks. Our return south was the Alaska Ferry from Haines, AK to Prince Rupert, BC and the the Yellowhead for a ways east across BC.

    In 2008 we rode up the Cassiar after visiting friends in Hyder, and then returned south via the ALCAN after visiting Homer, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali, and other places.

    Both trips we mostly camped. Up and down the ALCAN we averaged 300 mile days. For each trip we took a month.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 02-09-2022 at 04:56 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  10. #10
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    willboo,

    Annie and I used to live in Fairbanks and made the ride between AK and the lower 48 a dozen times. We rode the haul road 5-6 times, but only once all the way to Prudoe. Been to the Arctic Circle and Coldfoot a few times and as far as the Hot Spot Cafe just north of the Yukon other times. We haven't ridden up that way since 2013 but are planning to go to the Yukon and D2D this year. May venture into Alaska if the border crossing on the Top of the World Highway is open and the rules for crossing back into Canada are not too onerous.

    It appears that the crossing at Hyder is exempt from the testing requirement, so you could cross into Hyder and get back into Canada without a problem. Hyder is worth an overnight stay. As I mentioned earlier, if at all possible ride to and from AK and don't rush the ride. We've done it one way in four days and we've taken eight days; eight is better, six is reasonable.

    If you do not find a riding partner, then the chances are good you can link up with someone in Fairbanks. I was responsible for housing at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and we allowed riders to stay in a dorm during the summer. We would get 350-450 riders staying with us and they would often form riding parties for the ride to Deadhorse. I'm not sure they still allow riders in the dorms and no one is left from my time at UAF. There were also two camping areas that were popular with riders. One is adjacent to the Fairgrounds on College Road. The other is on Davis Road. Either would be a good place to link up with another rider.

    While in Fairbanks I suggest a visit to the Museum of the North on the campus of UAF. They used to have on display a BSA motorcycle that Slim Williams rode from AK to the lower 48 in 1939 to bring attention to the need for a highway. Slim made the trip with a friend who was also on a BSA and they sometimes lashed the two bikes together with saplings to form an early version of an ATV. He had previously made the trip with a dog team pulling a sled. Hopefully the BSA is still on display. Also visit the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum on College Road. It has a surprisingly good selection of cars, including a homemade car built in the early 1920s by a Fairbanks teenager who had never seen a car. He saw some pictures and thought it would be a good way to meet girls. It worked and he met his wife because of it,

    Enjoy your ride.
    Kevin Huddy
    Silver City, Montana
    MOA# 24,790 Ambassador

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by willboo View Post
    I'm starting to plan for a ride up to Prudhoe Bay and back next summer. I'd like to find a partner or small group that would be interested in traveling together. My priority would be the adventure, not bragging rights, so I would like to take my time. I'll be leaving from the Colorado Springs, CO area but of course could plan to meet up along the way.
    I really appreciate any and all suggestions and advice. I've looked from afar at this trip for years and know enough to know I have a lot of research and preparation to do before I roll out of my driveway. I am thrilled to say I just retired as of last Friday so I'm planning on perhaps six weeks or so to make this trip. For what it's worth, I ride an 800GS so are there any thoughts on whether it would be 'enough' bike? I've read that smaller is better or should I be looking for a 1200/1250?

  12. #12
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willboo View Post
    I really appreciate any and all suggestions and advice. I've looked from afar at this trip for years and know enough to know I have a lot of research and preparation to do before I roll out of my driveway. I am thrilled to say I just retired as of last Friday so I'm planning on perhaps six weeks or so to make this trip. For what it's worth, I ride an 800GS so are there any thoughts on whether it would be 'enough' bike? I've read that smaller is better or should I be looking for a 1200/1250?
    That is absolutely plenty of motorcycle for a trip to Alaska. In 1991 I rode an R80G/S and Voni rode an R80ST; both smaller and with less horsepower than your F800GS. In 2008 we both rode F650 Funduro bikes. Thousands of KLR650 bikes have made that trip. So have Goldwings and big RTs. Ride what you like is a good approach but you certainly do not need a bigger bike to go to Alaska.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  13. #13
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I saw just about every kind of bike come up the ALCAN and on to Deadhorse. A loGoldwing pulling a trailer (he got a speeding ticket for 70 in a 35 zone on the haul road), a Vespa with two grandmas in their 70s that went up to Deadhorse and back without incident, Harleys, crotch rockets and a Japanese fellow who pulled a hand cart up there in December. A couple rode from Key West to Deadhorse in February. She was on a F800GS; he was on a Yamaha R1. All my riding was on dirt was on ia R100GSPD and Annie was on a F650GS thumper.

    Your bike is more than enough.
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  14. #14
    rsbeemer 22600's Avatar
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    Wow

    This was a great Thread with lots of good info from riders with experience on the subject. Even though I'm not going to Alaska; Thank you and I enjoyed the read.
    MOA#22600 Gold 1978 R100rs, White 2013 Suzuki 650 Burgman, 2012-125cc Kymco , 2013-180cc Kymco Racing King
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  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by willboo View Post
    I'm starting to plan for a ride up to Prudhoe Bay and back next summer. I'd like to find a partner or small group that would be interested in traveling together. My priority would be the adventure, not bragging rights, so I would like to take my time. I'll be leaving from the Colorado Springs, CO area but of course could plan to meet up along the way.
    I rode there in 1998. The link takes you to a "live over the Internet" ride report... quite innovative at the time.

    If you ride with a partner or a small group, make sure you know this person/these people really well. You will learn a lot of things that you did not know prior to the ride.



    I second the advice about the Cassiar Highway and suggest the Red Goat Lodge as a great overnight spot. They have camping and cabins.



    In Tok, if this place is still open, eat here. If you eat there, you can camp out back for free.



    The Alaska Marine Highway is a superb return route... three days of watching the world go by. You can rent a cabin (recommended) or pitch your tent on the rear deck.



    A couple of friends in the Alabeemers rode there a few years ago on fairly heavily-loaded modern GS. The used Heidenau tires and made it from Alabama to Alaska and back. When I rode there in 1998 on an oilhead 1150GS I used up nearly three sets of tires. Chipseal Canadian roads are rough on tires, you want a hard compound.

    There is so much good advice to capture in this thread, too bad we don't have a team to capture/edit/make-a-product-out-of-it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigjohnsd View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HSVPhil View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 83014 View Post
    Enjoy a sour toe cocktail.
    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post
    Seriously, it was great to start the trip from Anchorage fresh rather than have to pound out several thousand miles to ride there and back on our own bikes. It’s worth considering anyway.

    https://www.akmotoadv.com/rates

    There’s not a lot of places to stop and take shelter if you are not prepared.
    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    Go up the Cassiar HWY and home on the ALCAN, ride the Icefield Parkway and visit Liard Hot Springs.
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I agree. In 1991 Voni and I rode up the Alaska Highway (ALCAN) and then to as far north as the Arctic Circle north of Fairbanks. Our return south was the Alaska Ferry from Haines, AK to Prince Rupert, BC and the the Yellowhead for a ways east across BC.
    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post

    It appears that the crossing at Hyder is exempt from the testing requirement, so you could cross into Hyder and get back into Canada without a problem. Hyder is worth an overnight stay.

    There were also two camping areas that were popular with riders. One is adjacent to the Fairgrounds on College Road. The other is on Davis Road. Either would be a good place to link up with another rider.

    While in Fairbanks I suggest a visit to the Museum of the North on the campus of UAF.
    Quote Originally Posted by willboo View Post
    I really appreciate any and all suggestions and advice. I've looked from afar at this trip for years and know enough to know I have a lot of research and preparation to do before I roll out of my driveway. I am thrilled to say I just retired as of last Friday so I'm planning on perhaps six weeks or so to make this trip. For what it's worth, I ride an 800GS so are there any thoughts on whether it would be 'enough' bike? I've read that smaller is better or should I be looking for a 1200/1250?

    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post

    Your bike is more than enough.
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