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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Guys,

I just got back yesterday from my trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, and back and I did not change the tires on my 2005 Vstrom 650. I put on a new set of Michelin Anakee 2's and had about a 10 miles on them when I departed. My trip was 31 days and the final total was 11,480 miles. And the rear tire still has tread showing on it!



I don't think I did anything special except maybe kept the pressure a little higher than specs. I set it to 44 lbs when I left and reset it about once a week as I got into colder temps.

I did not go to the Arctic Circle or Prudhoe Bay so the trip was mostly on paved roads (but mostly chip seal that they use up north). A few dirt roads like the Salmon Glacier north of Hyder for about 60 miles round trip, and the Top Of The World Highway. Not a lot of dirt otherwise.

I don't mean to start a whole 'nuther tire debate but just wanted to record a data point for someone's future reference. I read a TON of ride reports preparing for my trip and I don't recall but maybe one where someone said they did not change a rear tire along the way. Maybe it's not that unusual, I dunno, but I haven't read about others who have done it.

And, yes, I said from HOUSTON. That's Houston - TEXAS! The long way down!


Jerry in Cypress (Houston)

PS. And YES I am glad I am off now and back home!
 

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It would be interesting to know how much weight you carried and the actual miles traveled. That picture sure says a lot for the Michelin!:hurray:
 

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How much weight you carried, is a contributing factor. However, for the amount of mileage you rode, and where you rode, to my eyes, that tire held up extraordinarily well.

Great story and testimony about the Anakee and thanks for posting the photo.


B.L.
 

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Very impressive, and quite an endorsement for the Anakee.

The Salmon glacier is something, isn't it? It should be a more famous site than a lot of other better-known but less spectacular attractions up north.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
It would be interesting to know how much weight you carried and the actual miles traveled. That picture sure says a lot for the Michelin!:hurray:
Great question, and I wondered many times on the trip just how much crap I was carrying. I had a lot of tools and spare parts and stuff and it felt heavy as a pig.

So after a day off the bike yesterday relaxing I just went out to the garage and before I do anything else to the bike I wanted to know just how much crap I had. So I took off each component and weighed it on a bathroom scale. I weighed myself and then held each item and subtracted that weight.

Me, 175.8 lbs (down 5 lbs from the start)
Yellow dry bag, 21.6
Topcase, 19.8
Tent, 11.6
Camelback, 2L, full, 7.2
Red bag, 17.6
Tank bag, 12.2
Tools in tool tube, 7.2
Tool tube (estimated), 2
Right saddle bag, Happy Trails 9" (entire saddle bag with all contents), 20.6
Left saddle bag (tools and hard stuff), 30.0
Total = 149.8 lbs

Really not all that bad I think. There is not much I would have done without.

This does not include the Happy Trails SU mount and other hard attached items. I did not weigh the bike on the road but I wish I had now.

As far as the actual miles traveled, it is 11,480. I use my trip #2 odo for oil changes and when I changed the oil in Fairbanks it was 5029. Sitting in the garage right now it is at 6451.2. That total is 11,480.



As another way to doublecheck my math, I made a label (as I always do) of my last oil change. I did about a 10 mile test ride after the oil change all loaded up before I actually departed on my trip a few days later.



Here is a pic of the actual bike odo as it sits now.



So that also works out to 11,480 as a sanity check.

Here is another pic of the tire. You can just make out the name "Anakee" at the bottom (I should have positioned the tire better).



Let me say finally that my purpose here is just to document for others in the future that it is possible. I had no idea I could do this. I had an option for a rear tire in Fairbanks with Dan at Adventure Cycleworks. My next option for a tire was with Mandeep at Watson Lake coming back south. My next option was visiting my sister in Vancouver. WA and the Portland area. Finally, on my way home I could have detoured to Boise, Denver, Albuquerque, or Amarillo. The last week and 2000 miles or so I watched it every day but it seemed to hold up so I just kept going.

Hope this is useful for someone else someday.


Jerry

PS. I might write up a ride report later, I kept a pretty good blog. I need a few months for some perspective, it is all quite surreal at this point. Like I had a really long dream last night...
 

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Howdy Jerry! Glad you made it back home alright! It was great chatting with you (and Sandy as well) in Fairbanks... and again in Fairbanks... and Homer... and Tok... and Haines Junction... and Stewart... and I'm sure a bunch of other places I've forgotten about! Kris and Dave and I made it home safe and sound on Monday 7/11.

We had a challenge to see who would drop their bike least, or last. Dave knocked his over at a gas stop in Wonowon in BC on the Alcan, and Kris and I were sitting pretty.. until our next-to-last day, we hit snow in CA, had to turn back, and then Kris managed to lock up his front while looking at something else and coming to a stop, put the VFR on its side at about 1mph.

I was all excited to be the only guy who hadn't dropped his bike; we spent the last night at the Ramada in Redding CA, so of course I dropped my bike in the parking lot!





All I can say is, I think you were kinder on your tires than we were! Dave and I left our old Anakee 2s with about 4k miles on them, at Adventure Cycleworks. They appeared to be well under 50% tread. Did you find that the life got longer as they wore down more? Not sure if it's a dual-compound tire or anything. I'll try to dig up the picture of our 4k Anakees sometime soon and post it here.

- reid
 

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Metzeler Tourance .....

Jerry, I am one of the two Strom riders you met while gassing up in Vernal, Utah. Glad to see you made it home OK. We did a 5,000 mile trip from Texas up to Glacier NP and back in a two-week period. And I wanted to let you know that I have 11,133 miles on my Metzeler Tourance tires. I have approx 1/32" of tread left before the wear bar is flush, which means I could proabably do another 1,200-1,500 miles or so. But I will change them before that. Good luck on future travels.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Glad to hear you guys made it ok (or relatively so!). You guys were such a hoot! Wish we could have spent more time together. Let me finish my blog and I will share it with you.

Rather than go into a personal sidebar with Reid and the others here, let me make a couple of points that he brings up.

First, when you go to Alaska, wave and be friendly to EVERYBODY. Because you will leapfrog them constantly and see each other at rest stops, cafes, campsites all the time. Reid was part of a trio that I met I think in Fairbanks and we saw each other down to Anchorage, south to Homer, and I don't know where else but many times.

Second point - The majority of all the ride reports I read preparing for this trip (and Reid confirms this again) is it is not a matter of "if" but "when" you will drop your bike. Hopefully it is a "dirt nap" in a parking lot or gas station but occasionally it is a more serious get-off. Lots of stories come to mind. Lots...

I came close so many times - so many, many times. I am really fortunate that I didn't drop it. Reid, you guys were such wild men! You know that! I was quite conservative and even bailed on my primary objective - Prudhoe Bay - because of circumstances at the time. Again, I don't want the thread to wander too much. Just a couple of points to make.

Reid, let's start another thread, or email me, or send me your blog. Would love to share stories. What a great adventure!!

Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Jerry, I am one of the two Strom riders you met while gassing up in Vernal, Utah. Glad to see you made it home OK. We did a 5,000 mile trip from Texas up to Glacier NP and back in a two-week period. And I wanted to let you know that I have 11,133 miles on my Metzeler Tourance tires. I have approx 1/32" of tread left before the wear bar is flush, which means I could proabably do another 1,200-1,500 miles or so. But I will change them before that. Good luck on future travels.
Nice to hear from you! That was a quick stop for gas and we didn't get a chance to chat much. I wanted to ask you guys so many questions but time is miles on a long trip and I felt the need to keep moving.

I think Tourances are generally touring type tires, if I am not mistaken. Anakees are dual sport tires, so in my relatively short experience I think this kind of mileage is more expected of your tires than mine. I may ride these more around here locally but change them before I go any kind of distance.

But now you make me wonder if I should replace these with a more touring type tire since the vast majority of my riding is on the highway. Plus at certain speeds (40 to 50 I think) I can hear some tread noise when I don't have earplugs in. Not bad, it's just there.

Thanks for posting, wish we could have met at a cafe or campground and shared more. Hope you had a good trip and got lots of good pics.

Jerry
 

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As the English teacher said:
"Y'all done good with that tar"!:hurray:
 

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Thank you. I am running Anakee 2s since last year. Love em. Wondering how they might last.
 

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Talk about your chain. New? , how many miles, how many adjustments? How much much lubing?




Thanks,
Les
 

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I'd like to see the front, how many more miles you think you can get from the front?

from New Hampshire, I estimate my Alaska trip will be 17k ± I'm all set on my rear tire, I'm confident my tire from the darkside I have now with 8k would make the trip, haven't decided what time of year yet.and I think I could easily pack a front tire



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from New Hampshire, I estimate my Alaska trip will be 17k ± I'm all set on my rear tire, I'm confident my tire from the darkside I have now with 8k would make the trip, haven't decided what time of year yet.and I think I could easily pack a front tire
Wait, you're hoping to make a 17k mile trip on an 8k mile used rear? Or front?

Either way, bringing a new rear would be a good idea. Parts are VERY hard to find in the north country, you'll be waiting for days at best if you need something not in stock. You won't get 17k on a rear. You'd be lucky to get that on a front.

RE: Chain, not sure how Jerry did, but I put on a brand-new chain. Within 6k miles links were freezing up badly. VERY heavy drivelink clunks accelerating at low revs due to the chain. I cleaned it with a brush and lubed almost daily; my riding buddies weren't quite as religious about it and had no problems. With several extensive gasoline scrubbing cleanings and liberal re-lubings, I managed to get it home, 9k miles. I haven't ridden the bike in a few days, not sure how it's holding up now. Probably will replace chain and sprockets soon.
 

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left two tires are my Anakees from the Wee, right two are from an F650GS, both with about 4k miles.

Obviously, as they say, YMMV :) They may be a dual-compound tire of sorts, or perhaps as you wear the tire flat they don't lose as much rubber because you effectively have a wider but 'shorter' contact patch... but there were only a few mm of tread left for each of us, looked like 30-35% or so, based on how thick the rubber is at the edges of the tire.

 

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Wait, you're hoping to make a 17k mile trip on an 8k mile used rear? Or front?

Either way, bringing a new rear would be a good idea. Parts are VERY hard to find in the north country, you'll be waiting for days at best if you need something not in stock. You won't get 17k on a rear. You'd be lucky to get that on a front.
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I expect to get between 40k and 50k from my rear tire, as I said, I'm not worried about my rear tire making a 17k trip(its a car tire if you were paying attention)



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