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Thread: 'I've never, ever seen roads this bad......' - Alaska-Yukon 16

  1. #61
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    Great Narration. There are some really excellent photos as well.

    You have a talent for telling a story. I am thinking you could make a recount of a trip to Walmart to buy tube sox interesting and exciting.

  2. #62
    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Thumbs up thanx!

    I've been dreaming about a moto trip to Alaska since I started riding 35 years ago...since long before I had any idea of the difficulties. Thanx so much for such a great job of story telling and picture taking. I'm now about equal parts scared and excited. I'm gonna aim at an off-road class of some sort asap, get a scoot more suited to the trip than my old RT, and GO!

    thanx, again!
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  3. #63
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Tale of two roads...

    As mentioned, these roads change daily. Compaction of the gravel, calcium chloride hardening up.....all big variables. Rain is a huge X factor. The dry period statistically is June - a good data point to factor into any planning.

    However, having the right tool makes all the difference. I do recommend a dual sport style bike with tough tires.

    And you'll still get a flat or two.

    As Larry told Thomas 'Do the trip!'

    Bryan

  4. #64
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Great report

    It's on our list and as mentioned, guess it's either good or ugly...or both. Will share with H and see how high on the list it remains
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and SABMWRA Prez

    Be decisive, right or wrong.The road of life is paved with
    flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision~unknown

  5. #65
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer01 View Post
    Just checking -
    Great report so far
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  6. #66
    Registered User K7GLE's Avatar
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    Just returned from a 7700 mile ride from Seattle to Fairbanks, via Alaska highway northbound and Cassiar southbound (and the Kootenai, northern Idaho, central & coastal Oregon, etc...when you only get one ride a year you make the most of it!). The bikes included 2 Harleys, a Goldwing, a K1600GLT and my '00 R1100RT. All but me had passengers. We went through about 50+ miles of gravel in various conditions, mostly moderate thicknesses over hardpan, though a few miles of the 3"-4" thick "bottomless" configuration. Almost all was dry, which was much easier to handle than when wet. Not always easy to find premium gas, especially on the Cassiar. One tire blowout due to gravel cut, one serious sequence of overheating (K1600) at any construction stop & go or in-town speeds due to gravel/calcium schmutz clogging the radiator. Westside Motorsports in Spokane cleaned it (for free!) which helped a lot, but when we split off a week later it was still getting too hot after 15 minutes of in-town stop & go.

    Final takeaway: Alaska highway is a pretty boring motorcycle road...straight and flat, and cleared of brush for 100' to either side to make the wildlife visible. As you would expect of the main transport route into central Alaska, which is icy / snowy half the year. You spend a lot of time waiting to reach the next curve, which turns out to be not much. Cassiar is marginally better (though narrower, less cleared, and probably more dangerous). Glad to have done it (and to have added the Yukon and AK to my "been there" list) but would not do it again.

    That said, the scenery near Denali in AK and Jasper & Banff in Alberta are indescribable!
    - Glenn
    2000 R1100RT (current)
    1982 R100RT (traded)
    1970 BSA A65T, 1969 Honda CB350, 1967 Honda CB160 all fondly remembered

  7. #67
    Thanks ! great writing ! The best photos I've seen for a Deadhorse trip.
    Tom Barrie
    http://bluegrasspicker.blogspot.com/
    2012 K1600GTL
    2002 R1150RT (sold)

  8. #68
    Hangered... but aimed out flyhi2cfar's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I've enjoyed both the writing and the photography. Have sure made a few notes for my planning, from your experiences!
    Thank You for effort of a great trip report Beemer01.

    "travel'n" john

  9. #69
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Post-Mortum

    A couple of months after returning, my Front shock on the 2005 R1200GS started to belch up oil.... covering my front fender. It was sent in to be rebuilt... and the word came back that I had so damaged it on the Dempster that it was unrepairable.

    So there's that additional casuality of the 2016 trip.

    But apart from that and my son's failed fork seals on the 800, these bikes absorbed a staggering amount of abuse without a whimper. The pounding on the Dempster from the road surface was so bad I actually had bruised palms for a couple of days after we left it behind us.

    Bryan

  10. #70
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    Alaska!

    Thank you for a great and entertaining report of your trip; enjoyed your story telling and the pictures.

    Alaska trip has been on my bucket list for many a year!

  11. #71
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    Awful Roads

    My Wife and I were also there this summer. As we read you posts we started laughing, we must have been several feet behind you. We could not make it to Inuvik either as road was closed and way to much mud. Made it Dawson and found a campground. While trying to get tent up in rain and wind a tree fell between our bike and tent!!!!. Decided to fide through lake (parking lot) to adjacent hotel.

    We lucked out and the Dalton was pretty decent on the days we went, at least the second time, as the first was so muddy and chloride every where we went back to Fairbanks till rain stoped, 3 days later.

    As bad as these roads where, we still think the road construction (or demolition) a ways south of Fairbanks was some of the worst off road riding we have seen!

    We even decided to ride to Yellow Knife, last 400 miles solid rain in 42 degree weather. The comfort in was a welcome site. Fantastic weather while we were there then RAIN again all the way out.

    We had a blast though and would do it again in a minute.

    Great posts!!!

  12. #72
    Registered User gfspencer's Avatar
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    Wow! What a trip.
    2015 R nineT

  13. #73
    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    Thanks for a great report. Enjoyed reading it!
    Martin. BMW MOA Ambassador.17748
    BMW MOA Charter, Life member.
    Valley BMW Riders. British Columbia.

  14. #74
    Registered User k12junky's Avatar
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    So fortunate

    I am so enjoying these accounts of your journey. Conjuring up old memories of a trip down these same roads 40 years ago.
    West Michigan to Barrow and back.
    I never took the time to immortalize my journey ,I am privileged to be reading about yours.

  15. #75
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Well -

    Quote Originally Posted by k12junky View Post
    I am so enjoying these accounts of your journey. Conjuring up old memories of a trip down these same roads 40 years ago.
    West Michigan to Barrow and back.
    I never took the time to immortalize my journey ,I am privileged to be reading about yours.
    I find that writing and recording these trips is fun. I take a few notes every day - digital cameras make it easier to keep the sequence of events straight.

    Thanks for the feedback, happy you enjoyed!

    Bryan

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