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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning a trip to Alaska next summer. I know there has been at least one guy on a scooter that has done the trip. Has anyone on this sight made the trip north on their scooter? I know I could make it up, but I'd like to make it in comfort and be able to make some side trips that will probably be on some less than ideal roads. Not sure how the Burg would handle some of those roads?

I'll be leaving from Michigan mid-May and I'll have whatever time it takes.

Thanks,

John
 

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Isn't May still a tad too cold to venture up north? All my buddies shoot for August to head up to fairbanks, AK
 

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Discussion Starter #3
According to the Canadian Gov. website the average high in Edmonton, AB is 62 f. and low is 37 f. For May. That's the average for May. By the time I get that far it should be a smidgen warmer.

I'll tell you, the last two overnighters I've done in Northern Michigan in the last month were highs in the mid 40's and lows in the upper 30's.

Having grown up in Michigan, I'm pretty accustom to those temps. I'd rather take my chances going north in May from Michigan than starting out in the heat of Texas in August!

John
 

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Any of them go on a scooter?

John
My friend Mike is on his return leg from Washington DC to Prudhoe Bay AK and back on a Honda Ruckus 50cc. Below is the link to his blog page where he is on the ALCAN and you can pick it up from there.

http://lostwithmike.weebly.com/ruckus-blog/previous/13

The Ruckus is certainly more "off-road ready" than the Burgman, but you have a 600cc advantage the other 90% of the time. Take your time and be prepared to do minor repairs on your bike if needed. It wouldn't hurt to carry an extra gallon of gas, as there are some long empty stretches up there.

Drove up from Virginia to Elmendorf AFB (Anchorage) in 1989.
Drove up from Illinois (just east of St Louis) and back in 2007.
Both trips in car.

Travelogue with photos of 2007 trip: (skip up to Day 5 or 6)

http://s207653679.onlinehome.us/wsb4547739202/Alaska 2007.htm

Enjoy.

.
 

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You need to get the Mile Post. Get a current copy and it will have all the travel information you will need to get to Alaska. As far as the weather, I have driven it more than once in a car. When I went in May, there were a LOTof bugs/misquitos! The roads are in worse condition as well that soon after winter. The best time to travel to Alaska for road conditions, bugs and weather is the middle of July through August. It ususally starts snowing after the first week in September. You should have mud flaps, screen gaurd, and carry a gallon or two of extra gas. ALL of the main roads can be travelled on the scooter. A lot of gravel roads. But beautiful country to see June through September!
 

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If I were you I would seriously consider going to the dark side for the trip , the roads there can get rough .

TheReaper!
 

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Edmonton is much warmer than Alaska in May. Go end of July or August. I've done it twice. Never on my Burgman, but I would do it on the Burgy next time. A lot of miles between Edmonton and Alaska though. Alot of bugs.
 

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Don't forget the bug spray!
 

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Edmonton is much warmer than Alaska in May. Go end of July or August. I've done it twice. Never on my Burgman, but I would do it on the Burgy next time. A lot of miles between Edmonton and Alaska though. Alot of bugs.
and bears - lost count of them one day along the roads.

As much as I love the Exec it's not the correct bike for that trip in my view even on the main routes.
There is construction that can go on for 30 km with mud and rocks. You need a drppable bike.

This is a photoblog from our cage trip this July
http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum/showthread.php?184283-Jasper-and-Banff-must-be-on-the-bucket-list-for-touring-destinations&highlight=alaska

A rough map for ideas
https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid=211244682436096838777.0004f464bc6c524a5ebcb&msa=0&iwloc=A

And there were points I was glad we had full sized AWD over the Altima we had originally booked.

June July is the best time with long daylight hours. We put on some 11,000 km in 3 weeks and we were Edmonton start and finish and some very long days.

This blog also covers Alaska - two up and camping

http://www.gtamotorcycle.com/vbforum/showthread.php?182900-Lifes2short-Ride-the-World&p=2236743#post2236743

If anything on the Burg I'd do Banff Jasper parks then cut over to the coast and do the Marine highway which is a combination of road and ferry - go up to Valdez and Kenai Fjiords and then back down by ferry to Prince Rupert and the over to Vancouver Island or head back home via a different route through the mountains - it's all gorgeous.

http://www.alaskaferry.com/Ferry-General-Information/Ports.aspx
 

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This would be the area I'd concentrate on.

Go to Tok an then across and to catch Valdez and Kenai Fjords ( the Wrangell Mountains are awesome, then from Whittier take the ferry to Juneau and then down to Prince Rupert.

http://www.rome2rio.com/s/Seward/Prince-Rupert



There is no other way to see Juneau other than air and you can book a Glacier Bay day tour from there.
http://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm

and read this to get you inspired ( it's free )

Travels in Alaska - Kindle edition by John Muir. Professional & Technical Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

He will blow your mind and you will be in awe of one of the greatest naturalists and mountain man ever.
He's a terrific writer and you will laugh a lot.

A few of the photos we took in July

https://picasaweb.google.com/113408714888195024530/AlbertaBCYukonAlaska2014?authuser=0&feat=directlink

Not to miss are

Valdez ( Lulu Belle cruise )
Kenai Fjord cruise ( if you can only take one take the LuluBelle )
Wrangell Mountains and the road to Valdez goes down along them.

This is the Wrangells at midnight ( that was a very very long day )



I'm lukewarm on Denali



It's huge...this was it at midnight - but rarely visible and the 9 hour tour I'm not certain is worth the money and time.

You WILL have an adventure no doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
and bears - lost count of them one day along the roads.

We have bears on our porch every spring. They come after the bird seed. That's when we know we have to take the bird feeders down. I know the grizzlies are a different animal, and much more aggressive, however, I imagine I can find my way around them.

As much as I love the Exec it's not the correct bike for that trip in my view even on the main routes.
There is construction that can go on for 30 km with mud and rocks. You need a drppable bike.

I can assure you, my Burgman is drppable!:)

http://www.alaskaferry.com/Ferry-General-Information/Ports.aspx
That's why I've posted this posit. I'm looking for a second bike. I spent a month this summer with the Burgman down for repairs. I didn't like not being able to ride. Although I've taken the Burgman down some pretty rough dirt roads, it wasn't fun. I wanted to find out if others have done the Alaska trip on their Burgman to see if I was over thinking the situation.

Right now, in addition to just doing the trip with the Burgman, I'm looking into a Kawaski KLR and a Wee-Strom. I'm leaning towards the KLR because of the possible side trips on really rough roads that I may decide to take.

By the way, I'll have no time constraints. I'm retired and will have all summer if I decide. Who knows, might even decide to extend the trip into wintering over somewhere.

John
 

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What ever bike you decide to take it had better be set up to take a fall and keep on ticking . IMO that goes for any long trip , long trips take their toll on bikes . If I were to attempt an Alaskan trip on a scooter it would be on one that had already been wrecked . Then I would install a set of roll bars fore and aft that would allow the bike to fall over many times and keep going and going . Also those wash board roads can vibrate your bike apart and I've even seen cracked frames on the biggest BMW's . If it were on a scooter I would for sure go dark side on the rear tire .

You might want to spend a little time on the ADV site looking at other Alaska trips for more insights ?

TheReaper!
 

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I'd say the distances are too long for the KLR. I ride both and the Wee is a total treat...you will find an easy transition from the Burgman.

The KLRs are great bikes but in my view the Wee would be superior for what you contemplate.

It's very easy to ride on dirt roads....where it does not match the KLR is in rougher going forest tracks etc but booooooring and noisy on the highway

I picked up a fully tweaked out 2010 for $6k Canadian with the express purpose of going cross county with the kid.

I suspect you would adore it and there are sooooo many farkles for it that can be had used.

Visit here - and chat
http://www.stromtrooper.com/dl650-dl650a-2004-2011/

Same gas mileage as the Burgman 650, 6 speed transmission as opposed to the 5 on the KLR.
Range on both bikes is large due to humongous tanks.

I if you are willing to keep to 55-65 the KLR will do "okay"
The Wee will rock along at 80+ all day but amble nicely along on the byways.

Third party seats are a must for either bike. Madstad windscreen is amazing...
Barkbusters needed for either.

KLR easier to pick up, bigger front wheel for the bush and of course it is a thumper.
As mentioned - good bike to rent ( tho a Suzuki DR400 would be better in the bush ).

With the distances you are contemplating tho....the Wee for sure with some dual sport tires on.

The Wee is 100 lb heavier.....but does not feel it...it's light and agile when moving.
The weight would show in the bush.
It's a physically imposing bike and far better weather protection than the KLR...with the way the tank is designed....it rivals the 650 for upper body tho lower legs are exposed.

The KLR is taller at 35" versus 31-32 ( depending on seat ) for the Wee. Both can be lowered.
Neither is brilliant for clearance and both require crash plates.

For where you live and local rides - the KLR would be a hoot.

For where you are going??....the Wee.
 

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KLR because of the possible side trips on really rough roads that I may decide to take.
If we are talking rough ROADS - I'd rank the Wee higher...it's got great suspension and handling off pavement or on rough pavement.

If you are talking OFF road.....the KLR - I'd not take your touring ride off road in Alaska.
Ride the Wee there, rent a DR400 or some such.

If you do not have off road experience....it's getting a tad late to start.
The Wee is brilliant off pavement....I don't even slow down. :D

•••

Who knows, might even decide to extend the trip into wintering over somewhere.
You could spend a lifetime riding the Rockies and not see it all.
 

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