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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,
I just picked up a 650 Wee (Glee?) after years of riding Vee’s (2003 and 2015 - traded both for an S1000 XR), and I need to set it up to ride to Alaska.
I bought a 2017 650 ABS with factory bags and a Givi 46L top case - no other accessories.
I’m loving the “lightness” of the 650 as compared to my RT and Victory Magnum, and I’m really excited about my trip next year; I’m planning on taking an off-road course (recommendations are welcome!) to brush up on my dirt / off road skills.
BUT,,, before I do all that I need to set up my bike for Alaska; I’m looking for recommendations for skid plates, crash bars, etc. - I’m open to ideas and suggestions, ESPECIALLY from those that have done the Denali Hwy, etc.
My first needs / thoughts are:
Skid Plate
Crash Bars
Handlebar risers
Centerstand
Footpegs (off-road, without the rubber pads?)
Exhaust (I can’t believe how quiet the 650 is - my 2003 had a Remus can on it and sounded GREAT!)
Does the 650 need an ECM flash after these upgrades? IF so, who do you recommend?

What else would y’all recommend? K&N air filter? Taller bars (I had Renthals on my 2003 and really liked them)?
Bark Busters? Will they work with a Throttlemeister or Kaoko cruise control?
I’ll probably swap the factory hard bags for some Mosko Moto soft bags (pm me if you’re interested in them), and upgrade the seat (Seat Concepts or Sargent)?
Anyone got any other ideas?

Thx!
KevinL
 

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and tires. first on the list. De;pending where you are you could get in the ride without a tire change - e07 or Heidenau.
Hard bags make it easier to pick up a bike and better security. Jesse's or some such.
Barkbusters for sure ...I like Grip Buddies ( not puppies ).
Boots, pants and jacket choice.
Nav - figure on being out of network lots.
I like

Power bank of some sort with flashlight
 

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For Alaska:
  1. Polar bear spray (10 pack)
  2. Satellite cell phone
  3. Mosquitoe suit
  4. GPS tracker
 

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I'd start with crash bars, skid plate, and center stand. Some kind of hand guards would be good to have, don't have to be bark busters. And you'll want a wind screen and seat that makes it comfortable for you to ride all day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
and tires. first on the list. De;pending where you are you could get in the ride without a tire change - e07 or Heidenau.
Hard bags make it easier to pick up a bike and better security. Jesse's or some such.
Barkbusters for sure ...I like Grip Buddies ( not puppies ).
Boots, pants and jacket choice.
Nav - figure on being out of network lots.
I like

Power bank of some sort with flashlight
and tires. first on the list. De;pending where you are you could get in the ride without a tire change - e07 or Heidenau.
Hard bags make it easier to pick up a bike and better security. Jesse's or some such.
Barkbusters for sure ...I like Grip Buddies ( not puppies ).
Boots, pants and jacket choice.
Nav - figure on being out of network lots.
I like

Power bank of some sort with flashlight
Thanks Macdoc,
Two of us are East Coast (both retired) and the third is in TN; we’ll probably ride to TN and trailer out to Seattle (or somewhere near there), and then ride from there, but I was considering a tire change before we got there. The Mitas E07 tires seem to be very popular right now, so I may try them.
I have several Sargent seats, and since they’re only a few hours away it’s really tempting, but I think I’m going to give Seat Concepts a try, and change it myself.
I was in AR last month and several of the guys there had Mosko Moto bags (Motorcycle Luggage) - very nice and simple to use. The 650 I bought has the Suzuki factory bags on it, and I don’t see them lasting too long.
Power bank, lights, etc. are all on the list, but I have to admit that I am not familiar with off-road / adventure apparel as all of my riding has been street oriented for the past 40 plus years. Got any suggestions / recommendations?

Thx!
KevinL
 

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Disclaimer: I've never even been close to Alaska but I've seen a few YouTube videos about motorcyclists traveling the Dalton Highway.

1. Loctite and/or safety wire. Loads of people lose stuff due to bolts rattling loose all over the bike.
2. Dielectric/silicone grease and raised fenders. Rain, sticky mud, need I say more.
3. Lots of money. No wild camping in Prudhoe Bay due to all sorts of bears roaming about, just a very expensive hotel. Apparently with unlimited free food though.

and
 

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No matter what you take, you will find that you took a lot more stuff than you need and didn't take something that you did.
The best "farkle" to take is a Credit/Debit card that works and has a high limit!
 

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If considering riding the Dalton Highway, know that if there's an emergency, whether it be an accident or some other medical emergency, help will be a long time coming. There are a lot of motorcycle accidents on the Dalton, it's a terrible road, if you lose focus for a second you may be in trouble.
 

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There are really two aspects to your ride OP.

Touring Alaska without the Dalton is enjoyable with the exception of the very long repair segments which can be a challenge and weather which can be erratic.
Take time to enjoy BC on the way up and be somewhat cautious for fuel tho Stroms have a range. The Kenai Peninsula should not be missed....again weather dependent.
Here are some pics for you.
Taking a day to go on the Lulubelle is highly recommended IF the weather is clear ...was the high light of our trip ( cage )

as was the Talkeetna flight.

Then the Dalton is an whole other world.
I can't speak to it directly other than having read many blogs. One crazy girl from Toronto successfully ran it on street tires on a Hyabusa. :eek:
Others have had their trips cut short and hair raising tales. I think there are lots of ride reports on here and ADVrider YRMV
One Canadian friend who did Alaska every other year had weeks of rain....afaik he did not ride the Dalton.
Dalton in the dry may be worth the effort.....in the rain?? ....I think they call it "snot" you are riding on.

Milepost should have been in my first post.

Chock a block with useful info.

If you are retired without a time limit...I'd ride the whole thing ....there are lovely roads and scenery on the way from Tenessee. Yellowstone, Glacier, Beartooth..then Banff and Jasper through the mountains on your way north.
Easier to have a shakedown tour in the US than find out in Canada you have issues.

I tended to ride that route up as far as Stewart/Hyder in mid June - gets hot and fire season in BC if going later. Just don't do Yellowstone on a weekend.

 

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If you are concerned about needing help (mechanical or medical) then being able to communicate is important. You don't necessarily need a satellite phone but you do need something. To that end, something like the Garmin InReach would work well.
There will be long stretches where there will be no cell service so satellite communication is important.
IMO, it is better to have something that you can compose and send messages as opposed to something that only uses preloaded messages.
 

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just purchased a Zoleo, works great, a bit cheaper than the Garmin In reach

 

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just purchased a Zoleo, works great, a bit cheaper than the Garmin In reach

I was just reading about it, here is one happy user comment review:
Font Symmetry Parallel Document Number
 
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A lot of good recommendations here. I would add a stop & go tire plugger and a small compressor. I carry one made by Slime that I wired a plug to that fits my battery tender plug.
 

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Does the 2017 Wee have a voltmeter? If not I'd install one for peace of mind and maybe talk to your riding mates to suggest the same for their bikes. Dead battery in the middle of nowhere is a bummer.
 
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