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Thread: Dempster Highway, Canada

  1. #1

    Dempster Highway, Canada

    My partner and I are on our first R12R tour together, though we have done other tours on different bikes. This is the longest to date, and maybe the longest ever. We began in Houston, TX on different dates, meeting up in Portland ME a few weeks ago.

    We are now on the Canadian border, and debating how and where to explore. Thinking ahead, and wanting as much of this dream to materialize as possible, we would like to consider the Dempster Highway into the Arctic Circle, but may not wend to the west until early to mid-September, which puts the Dempster Highway into possible, but maybe iffy, weather regions.

    Has anyone actually travelled the Dempster on an R-bike? What where your experiences? Fuel and lodging issues? Our bikes are standard R-bikes, without fuel cells, or capacity to carry an extra wheel and tire...

    Our agenda is loose and adaptable, with considerable influence by what we see and appears attractive. Highway 1 from Acadia National Park was a gas, so later this week is the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia and after that Newfoundland.

    Appreciate all the advise on hte Dempster Highway that can be shared.



  2. #2
    Club President HankPfister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
    Well, it may be too late for a reply, but I'll do it anyway. I rode the Dempster in June on a R1200GS. On our way back we passed an R1100RT 2 up, heading up the Dempster. Don't know how far they were going tho. I think that you could ride the Dempster on your R bike with good tires. Weather might make a difference, but if its dry you shouldn't have much trouble, except for dust. The best time is day after a good rain. Overall the road was in good shape. Mostly hard packed gravel and clay. There was some construction where we rode right after a motor grader had loosened up the surface, and that was a little squirrly, but not all that bad. At the border between the Yukon and Northwest Territory we had several miles of fresh loose gravel that was also squirelly, but we got thru without misshap going and coming. Gas is avaliable at Eagle Plains, 240 miles from the start of the Dempster. I made it without using my extra gas can. From Eagle Plains to Inuvik there is gas at Fort McPhearson, then at Inuvik, no problem with that stretch. We stayed overnight at Eagle Plains ($170 for a double room), then rode to Inuvik and back to Eagle Plains for a second night there. Then on back to the Klondike River Lodge right at the start of the Dempster. We enjoyed staying at the Klondike River Lodge. Food was good, and if you are on a tight budget you can request the overflow lodging which is more dormitory style out back. They also have a car wasy there for washing the Dempster off your Motorbike. There were several hotels in Inuvik.
    Have a good ride, watch out for wildlife.
    Hank Pfister
    Copper Hill, VA
    2007 R1200GS, 1973 R75/5/Dnepr, 1984 R100RS/Motovation.

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