Suzuki Burgman USA Forum banner

1 - 20 of 131 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I will be leaving Redding, CA on the 15th of this month for a 24 day, 8,400 mile ride to Alaska and back. I plan on posting pictures and updates daily if Wifi is available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
753 Posts
Oh man! Sounds like a BALL!

Are you going to motel it or camp? Little of both? What all are you packing for your trip? Are you going to try and make the Dalton Hwy to the Arctic Circle? It's a dream of mine. Don't know that I want to do it solo though.

Sure wish you good luck. You try and enjoy yourself best you can, you hear? ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,142 Posts
cool - don't miss Hyder on your way and for sure try and do HWY 99, Sea to Sky out of Vancouver north - one of the besty rides of my life ..

Other things - Lululbelle in Valdez - high light of our trip.
Enjoy...
You reallllllly need bug nets as well as repellent....and mind the bears....by the dozen.

some pics to look at

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos

The other issue is mind the construction....don't even think about it in the rain .....very squirmy mud so time your trip.
You must get the Milepost if you don't already....invaluable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Oh man! Sounds like a BALL!

Are you going to motel it or camp? Little of both? What all are you packing for your trip? Are you going to try and make the Dalton Hwy to the Arctic Circle? It's a dream of mine. Don't know that I want to do it solo though.

Sure wish you good luck. You try and enjoy yourself best you can, you hear? ;)
I planning on camping all the way. I have a tentcot, self inflating pad and a 20 degree sleeping bag. I have back packing cooking pots and pans and utensils as well as a one burner stove. Of course, I have a camp chair and a small folding table. Other than that, clothing and some food. Will buy food on the road as well. I'm taking a cover for the scooter, and a small tarp (8' x 10'). I have some extra tools I'm taking including a tire repair kit and small Slime compressor. I bought a large dry bag from Cycle Gear and a T-bag with water proof cover from Cycle Gear. I will be taking two pair of rain gear (just in case?) and several pair of riding gloves, including 2 pair of waterproof gloves. I have waterproof boots as well. 2 jackets, chaps and a wind breaker. I plan on getting a mosquito net and some DEET. That takes care of the misquitos....the bears I'll just run out of camp :confused:. You never really are solo on a trip like this. Lots of people coming and going for help if I break down (but I ride a BURGMAN :D, so I won't be breaking down!). I'll be taking Hwy 97 north of Redding at Dunsmuir all the way to Dawson Creek the the Alcan to Whitehorse. From there north to Dawson City. Depending on the weather, I will be going over the Top of the World highway from Dalton City to Tok, and up the Haul road all the way to Deadhorse. On the way back I plan on stopping at all the port towns from Homer to Prince Rupert. From there home either I-f through Seattle, or Hwy 1 to Eureka, CA then 299 to Redding. About 8,400 miles if all goes well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
857 Posts
Sounds like a great trip, stay safe and we'll look forward to the pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
I would like to see how you pack all that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,142 Posts
I will be going over the Top of the World highway from Dalton City to Tok,
Don't do it if its wet....would be brutal even on an adventure bike....will be fine if dry.

You are missing some awfully good riding on 99 north of Vancouver but that could be done on the way back down. Mount St Helen's is worth a short detour if you've not been.

Dawson City is very cool - amazing river ....a neat cafe in town. Just a cool place all around.

Did you snag Milepost?

I assume you know you have to use the Marine Highway to hit the ports S of Homer??



There are no roads....

http://www.alaska.org/transportation/ferry

If you decide not to do that ...you can come via the Cassiar and catch Hyder AK in the south coming in from BC side ( Stewart BC )
That is well worth the effort as it's only a few miles off the Cassiar and is just spectacular.

Mind fuel in the area - especially native stations can be closed. Not a spot you want to run out but there will be a reasonable amount of traffic in the summer.

Mind your forest fire info as well....it's a horror show this year with record temps. Was no fun even in a cage last year when we did Yellowknife.

You will however see some drop dead scenery. Wrangell St. Ellis is stunning and there is a very cool coffee wagon on the way down to Valdez - ask her about her Italian coffee machine and the guy who made it :D ...you'll hit it coming from Tok at the major intersection where you choose Valdez or Anchorage.
Please do the Lulubelle trip at Valdez and ride through the Keyhole Canyon to get there,( no choice in that )

There is a momma griz that fishes salmon in town -- btw your timing should catch salmon run at Hyder .....you can stand overlooking wild griz fishing just a few yards away.
We were too early last month :(

Decent Thai food from a truck in Tok. Cheap tasty and big portions.

That's all I can think of.

••••

Your list is pretty comprehensive but I'd skip the bike cover. Added weight you don't need.
If you have a Givi top case there is a rack available for the top - was excellent for dryong clothes on the fly .

You can see it on top of the kids top case. It accumulated socks, spare goves etc over time

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
No Givi. The cover is nylon and weghs Les than a pound. I lived in the Fairbanks area for a couple of summers in the '80s. I plan on doing the port cities by looping out to the Alcan or Cassiar and back in.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,717 Posts
When Arnie came over from New Jersey, we met and went up to Mt. St. Helens and got fogged in with the snow piled up on the shoulders. This time of the year, no snow as its been in the 90's F for weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
A couple of 600 mile days, then the rest are 400 or less. Some are under 300. I just plan on riding and resting, and lots of pictures!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,142 Posts
It's on the high side but a couple of long days will cure that and there are some very long stretches to boogie along in.
Audible book makes the time fly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,049 Posts
I planning on camping all the way. I have a tentcot, self inflating pad and a 20 degree sleeping bag. I have back packing cooking pots and pans and utensils as well as a one burner stove. Of course, I have a camp chair and a small folding table. Other than that, clothing and some food. Will buy food on the road as well. I'm taking a cover for the scooter, and a small tarp (8' x 10'). I have some extra tools I'm taking including a tire repair kit and small Slime compressor. I bought a large dry bag from Cycle Gear and a T-bag with water proof cover from Cycle Gear. I will be taking two pair of rain gear (just in case?) and several pair of riding gloves, including 2 pair of waterproof gloves. I have waterproof boots as well. 2 jackets, chaps and a wind breaker.
As someone who has driven into or out of Alaska a total of 7 times (including twice by 250cc scooter and once in winter), and to Dead Horse twice (once in summer, once in winter) - I have some thoughts for you...in no particular order:

1). I wouldn't bother with the table. You can makeshift that with other stuff.

2). I wouldn't bother with tire repair kit either. You SHOULD bring a spare front and rear tire (last time I drove it, in 2013, I got 3 flats and that was on a Jeep). And yes, I carried two tires when I went by scooter.

3). One set of rain gear is just fine.

Overall, you want to be efficient with what you carry. Don't care a bunch of duplicates of stuff - but carry quality stuff that will not need a "back up", short of some real unusual event. There is a lot more that I could say - but I'm just responding to your comments.

That takes care of the misquitos....the bears I'll just run out of camp
Yeah...guess again. I highly recommend getting a co-pilot or something similar. http://www.wildwestguns.com/custom-guns/ak-co-pilot/

You never really are solo on a trip like this. Lots of people coming and going for help if I break down (but I ride a BURGMAN :D, so I won't be breaking down!).
Yes and no. In the winter, you can definitely be by yourself for a while...especially if you go down the side of a hill and no one is going to find your ass anyway. In the summer, especially on the Cassier, and between Beaver Creek (YT) and Tok, and definitely on the Haul Road, you can be there for many hours with only the mosquitos to keep your company, before someone comes along. Keep in mind that many areas have no cell phone access at all. When you get far enough north, even satellite radio doesn't work. If you want to be assured of comms, rent a sat phone for your trip.

I will be going over the Top of the World highway from Dalton City to Tok, and up the Haul road all the way to Deadhorse.
There is nothing to see on the Top of the World Highway except burned out trees from the last forest fire that went through there. It's the "short way" to go to Alaska if you're already going to be in Dalton City, but there is really NOTHING there to see (although the Canadian border guard was cute when I went through there, she's probably gone now) and the road SUCKS.

As for the haul road...if you're going that way - for the love of god, carry two tires with you. I drove it once in my Isuzu Trooper and I had FOUR flats on the way (2 up, 2 back). Make sure you have the tools required to change the tires too.

On the way back I plan on stopping at all the port towns from Homer to Prince Rupert.
Are you going to bring a boat?

I did not see Denali Highway on your agenda. It should be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The Denali highway is an option. I don't plan on carrying spare tires, that's why the tire repair kit. I could at least get to the next town to buy a tire. The port towns are accessible by road. You just have to go out to the Alcan or Cassiar then on the the next highway in to the next port. The table folds flat and is very small. It weighs about 2 lbs. I've used it for years when I go camping with the scooter. I am planning on a satellite phone. But going in summer there usually is someone coming along soon. There's always risk, like not having a spare. But I have new tires just installed (dark side on the rear and bias ply on the front). I've not heard of any bear problems, but you never know. It's another risk. I don't plan on keeping food in camp. It will be hanging from a tree, or at least stored outside of camp. I have large dry bag, and a large t-bag as well as a tarp, table and chair that will be on the top of the rear seat. I have new 20 degree sleeping bag that will fit in the dry bag along with anything else that needs to be in there. Food and cooking gear will go under the seat. This isn't the first time I've packed my scooter for a week or more camping.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,049 Posts
The Denali highway is an option. I don't plan on carrying spare tires, that's why the tire repair kit. I could at least get to the next town to buy a tire.
Big assumption that they will have one.

The port towns are accessible by road.
A couple, like Haines and Skagway are. Most are not. You're not getting to Yakutat, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, etc. without a boat or a plane.

FWIW, even though they have ports, places like Homer and Valdez are generally not what Alaskans think of as "the port towns" because they are on "the road system" (and neither are accessible via the Alcan or the Cassiar)....that term is generally reserved for the towns on the panhandle. Whittier kind of qualifies, because until recently, you needed a boat or a train to get there (they've since opened the train tunnel to vehicles on a limited basis).

You just have to go out to the Alcan or Cassiar then on the the next highway in to the next port.
OK :)

Have a nice trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
OK. Let's clear up the "port" thing now. I don't plan on visiting "ALL" the ports. I plan on stopping at Homer, Seward, Valdez, Haines, Skagway, and Prince Rupert. I picked these became I just wanted to. And because there is road access. As for tires, I guess it's just a gamble like any other. My tires are new (dark side on the rear and Shinko bias ply on the front). I have used this combo before and it works for me! I wouldn't have room to carry spare tires anyway. 95% of the way I'm not worried anyway. I'll take my chance just carrying a repair kit and a mini compressor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,049 Posts
I plan on stopping at Homer, Seward, Valdez, Haines, Skagway, and Prince Rupert.
Well, if you care...I would rank those in order of beauty this way: Seward, Valdez, Haines, Prince Rupert, Skagway. I put Skagway last just because I have not been there. The drive between Anchorage and Girdwood (small village on the way to Seward) is one of the most scenic ride you will find anywhere and is a must-see. If you find you are running behind and need to trim your trip, you can easily skip Homer - there is nothing special about it or the ride down there. Much better to fit in the Denali Highway if you have to make a choice.

You didn't mention it - but FWIW, the ride between Anchorage and Fairbanks is almost must-see (the ride between Fairbanks and Valdez not so much).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I've driven the Parks Highway from Fairbanks to Anchorage. I plan on going that way on the way back.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,717 Posts
I do have a new 120/70 BS 15 Michlen Gold Standard in the garage if you need a tire on the way up or back. I could also run it up into Canada if needed if you buy me a nice lunch. ;) I also have a well used Potenza 165/65 SR 14 mounted on my spare 2003's rim that has some tread left. I have run it on my 2008 so it will fit a 2006.
 
1 - 20 of 131 Posts
Top