North To Alaska 2017 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 61 Old 01-28-2017, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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North To Alaska 2017

I'm heading to the 49th State in late June, and starting to plan my route. I live in Northern Minnesota, and plan to head West on Hwy 2 to Whitefish MT, then along the Icefields Pkwy, the Cassier Hwy, and of to Fairbanks to visit friends.

I'll probably take a trip to Chicken ( maybe even Dawson City if weather permits, yeah, I'm a wimp).

I won't be taking my Wee to Prudhoe but we'll take the Silverado!

The ride back will include Valdez, Haines, Skagway and then book it back to MN via Calgary, Sweet Grass MT and the northern Plains.

I'll kelp posting here during my planning, and will provide a link to my blog when I start the trip.
Have a big day.

If you have some must see stops along the way, or recommendations on where to stay, I'd love to hear.

I have about 3 1/2 weeks set aside for the trip.

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post #2 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 12:01 AM
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Wish I we're going with you. On my bucket list. Have fun.
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post #3 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 12:39 AM
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Here's the link to my trip back in '08.

Sonic Springs

Let me know if you have any questions.

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #4 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 01:38 AM
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Lots of Alaska pics here

https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries

Valdez is terrific and for 100% sure make time for the Lulubelle trip. Was highlight for us

Flying whales



huge tidewater glacier that calves all the time



and Valdez harbor is so clean that these guys make it their home...



we were VERY impressed.

Stop at the expresso trailer at the turn to Valdez and say high to Jeannie - have a coffee and get to tell you about the little Italian man and her wonderful espresso machine.

The killer for you is weather ....the Kenai penisula is gorgeous when it's clear.....miserable when the rains come ....luck involved.

Have fun.

Couple of don't miss on the way there or back.

99 out of Vancouver is one of the very best mcycling roads I've been on. Bow Valley Parkway near Banff and Jasper glorious - scenic and wildlife. Bear Paw in bakery in Jasper is insanely good for wraps etc and voted one of the best bakeries in the world.

Mind Highway to the Sun in Glacier National Park....even in warm weather a snow squall can catch you ...ask me how I know. Getting Gortex gloves with loose liners onto wet hands is flat out impossible I found out.

Distances in Alaska are very long ....

Oh yeah ....in Valdez if you take the cruise you will likely come across one or more of the Deadliest Catch boats..



and take some time on the way down to take a break at the Keystone Canyon...just gorgeous waterfalls.

I see you are going to the Cassiar ....make sure you get over to Steward/Hyder and if it's the right time of year you can stand and watch wild grizzlies catching salmon just below you. The road into Hyder is a fairy tale - it is a must do and is only 30 km out and back.....I missed it the first time and my buddy gave me hell.



and then you can go on the Salmon Glacier. Mind your fuel on the Cassiar Hwy tho.


Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold 10 Wee ABS sold 09 Burgman Exec sold 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 93 ST1100 sold
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87

Last edited by Macdoc; 01-29-2017 at 01:44 AM.
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post #5 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 07:04 AM
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When are you going? We are going there this summer too. Top of the world, Dead Horse, etc.

Not sure how it works out I only have 4 weeks and not sure if my son can ride 12k in 4 weeks.
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post #6 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 08:33 AM
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That's 690 km a day every day ....I'd not try for that tho you can put in big days on the slab to get to the nice areas.

You do need to have time to see a few things, rest days etc,. Where are you riding out of ? What is he riding,

We averaged 450 km a day and had a rest day, ferry ride and two days left at the end. ( we did three weeks but flew the bikes Toronto to Vancouver - so that saved 4 days ). We did not do Alaska except to touch at Hyder part way up the Cassiar ( must do ) they ferried over to Vancouver Island - no way we could do Alaska in our time frame even with flying the bikes to Vancouver

You really want to target Valdez and the Kenai if you are sightseeing at all. 99 north from Vancouver, Bow Valley between Banff and Jasper, Glacier Nat'l park, Hyder/Steward, The Cassiar, Muncho Provincial Park, Takeetna Air Taxi service ..take a flight - land on a glacier or circle Denali ( $$ but worth it )

Top of the World is treacherous in the rain - Chicken is fun tho - Denali Park is "okay" ....don't knock yourself out,
Kenai and Valdez are so gorgeous and lovely rides you should focus and only skip if weather is bad ( fairly common )
You cannot count on steady riding as long stretches of construction can kill you average and they a muddy as they are watered 10-20 mile stretches are not uncommon.

Deadhorse /Dalton will use up at least two days ...maybe more as 414 miles of "can be brutal" gravel each way.
That's likely to be your go/no go decision - and if you breakdown it's an expensive and slow recovery ....the road apparently is very hard on tires. You should read the ride reports.
Even with an AWD...we decided not to do it but went to Yellowknife instead,,,we had 5 weeks on that trip and two drivers and decided not to cross the Arctic Circle ....300 km short at Fairbanks.

If you are riding the same bikes or even if you are not - a set of spares ready to be shipped to where ever you are might be worth it...as one breakdown halts you both and you can easily be stranded for a week. Patchkit and compressor a must. There is not much in service outside the main centres and you need to carry spare fuel.
Kid ran out even on a main hwy and of course the spare wasn't full....you'll appreciate the Strom's big range. Some stations are seasonal.

Milepost Guide for year you are travelling is a must have.
https://www.themilepost.com/features...alaska-highway


Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold 10 Wee ABS sold 09 Burgman Exec sold 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 93 ST1100 sold
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87
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post #7 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 09:30 AM
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Boog - your time frame given your starting point is good. The museum in Fairbanks is very interesting. Worth a hour


Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold 10 Wee ABS sold 09 Burgman Exec sold 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 93 ST1100 sold
Travel photos> https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries Oz riding >https://tinyurl.com/y4c7lm87
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post #8 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macdoc View Post
That's 690 km a day every day ....I'd not try for that tho you can put in big days on the slab to get to the nice areas.

You do need to have time to see a few things, rest days etc,. Where are you riding out of ? What is he riding,

We averaged 450 km a day and had a rest day, ferry ride and two days left at the end. ( we did three weeks but flew the bikes Toronto to Vancouver - so that saved 4 days ). We did not do Alaska except to touch at Hyder part way up the Cassiar ( must do ) they ferried over to Vancouver Island - no way we could do Alaska in our time frame even with flying the bikes to Vancouver

You really want to target Valdez and the Kenai if you are sightseeing at all. 99 north from Vancouver, Bow Valley between Banff and Jasper, Glacier Nat'l park, Hyder/Steward, The Cassiar, Muncho Provincial Park, Takeetna Air Taxi service ..take a flight - land on a glacier or circle Denali ( $$ but worth it )

Top of the World is treacherous in the rain - Chicken is fun tho - Denali Park is "okay" ....don't knock yourself out,
Kenai and Valdez are so gorgeous and lovely rides you should focus and only skip if weather is bad ( fairly common )
You cannot count on steady riding as long stretches of construction can kill you average and they a muddy as they are watered 10-20 mile stretches are not uncommon.

Deadhorse /Dalton will use up at least two days ...maybe more as 414 miles of "can be brutal" gravel each way.
That's likely to be your go/no go decision - and if you breakdown it's an expensive and slow recovery ....the road apparently is very hard on tires. You should read the ride reports.
Even with an AWD...we decided not to do it but went to Yellowknife instead,,,we had 5 weeks on that trip and two drivers and decided not to cross the Arctic Circle ....300 km short at Fairbanks.

If you are riding the same bikes or even if you are not - a set of spares ready to be shipped to where ever you are might be worth it...as one breakdown halts you both and you can easily be stranded for a week. Patchkit and compressor a must. There is not much in service outside the main centres and you need to carry spare fuel.
Kid ran out even on a main hwy and of course the spare wasn't full....you'll appreciate the Strom's big range. Some stations are seasonal.

Milepost Guide for year you are travelling is a must have.
https://www.themilepost.com/features...alaska-highway
Yeah I am well aware of limits it is very grueling and I am more concerned with young man as it will be more that he ridden in lifetime. (Not counting SS1000 he did in the back of my bike when he was 11). Plus I am getting older.. but this is all time I can take off.

I usually plan every 3rd day easy or off and stop at 6 o'clock otherwise it is going to domino next day.

He will be riding a street bike with appropriate tires 705/E07 f/r, they should be fine as long as it doesn't rain bad.

Maybe I should just quit the job and take the time.

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post #9 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichDesmond View Post
Here's the link to my trip back in '08.

Sonic Springs

Let me know if you have any questions.
Just read your report. Very good narrative. Just enough info and lots of photos. One picture that caught my attention was this one:

Is that a crutch bottom ? Or is it a commercial product I've never seen ?
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post #10 of 61 Old 01-29-2017, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NVDucati View Post
Just read your report. Very good narrative. Just enough info and lots of photos. One picture that caught my attention was this one:

Is that a crutch bottom ? Or is it a commercial product I've never seen ?
Sawed off crutch bottom, if I remember right I got the idea off someone on the KLR list many years ago.
I had the crutch lying around, byproduct of the racing years.

Rich Desmond
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