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My Suggestions For Motorcycling The Cassiar and Daulton Highways

1967 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  echo
I was on both recently. They are NOT difficult to manage on a motorcycle. Far from it. The Cassiar is absolutely first class asphalt pavement for the first ~150 miles of the southern end. There isnt a better two lane highway in the state of NJ. There are straight sections of this portion that are MILES in lenth. There are ample passing opportunities. It is no problem at all to average 60 miles in an hour on this part. 80 mph at times is completely possible. Roadwise not animalwise!

North of this 150 mile stretch is chip seal. The road is a little twistier. I would say 40-50 miles driven in an hour is more like it. Maybe a little less in spots. There are three kinds of chipseal, grey, peanut butter, and chunky peanut butter. There is NO dirt. There are some short "gravel" sections but its a thin layer over a hard surface. There are lots of chipseal surfaces interrupted for a few yards by "gravel". After a while you learn not to slow down for them just hit is full speed. I was on it in pouring down down rain. Very few "rough" sections, very few potholes, no washboard sections. I was scared the volumn of rain would wash a section or two out but no. It is well drained. There was very little standing water on it.

The Cassiar is first class road all the way. If there is a problem its services. Of the three gas stations I saw two were closed. One motel I saw was closed. (or at least no one came to the door after repeated knocking. There WERE cars parked outside)

My tip for the Cassiar? Sleep in the outhouses. They are cast concrete, clean, large enough for a sleeping bag and pad, clean concrete floored, have a heavy door (bearproof), warm due to all the poo decomposing, dont smell all that bad, and dry in a deluge. Well...there are quite a few of them so be choosey. You can arrange it so your head is near the door if you like. Accomodations in this part of the world are easily $100 a night (and up)

The Daulton...

The first 80 or so miles of ths road out of Fairbanks are also first class asphalt highway. Its like your own private freeway. No potholes, washboards, rough sections, or even dirt and gravel on it. Beautiful. Because you can usually see a LONG ways ahead you can play racing bike and cut inside all the curves. Awesome! When you get to the "Daulton Highway" sign its still mighty good chipseal. There is some thin gravel over hard surface in spots. There are "dirt" sections. BUT. Its immaculate road. I was passed by motorcycles going 100 miles an hour on it. The dirt is rolled and watered frequently. Its hard as a rock. Now if it rained...that might be different. It was a beautiful day when I was on it.

The fly in the ointment if there is one is when they "blade" the road. Oh that sucks. If its raining you aint moving. Maybe even in a four wheeler. I followed behind a grader on about a mile stretch. The blade broke football sized rocks into about a dozen razor sharp shards each. I mean you could skin a bear like a caveman with them. The good news is that they know what theyre doing. They are practiced at it. In addition to the grader there is a water truck and a big steam roller. After blading the road is watered and then rolled. It may take a while but they will fix it. Now...if they blade the road without watering and rolling...look out.

My suggestion for the Daulton is carry a small shovel. The blade will throw up an 18 inch high berm on each side. So you are trapped in the path behind the grader. The other side of the road might be more attractive. If you had a small shovel you could dig throught the berm wherever you liked and ride good. You could even do it every few hundred yards or so.

The Daulton is generally very good until the Arctic Circle. Then it gets worse. You are on your own after that. I turned around and went back.

The AlCan... This is an awesome road every bit as good as the Cassiar and Daulton. Absolutely first class. You could take the family car no problem. When I was on it it was likee this all the way to 100 miles to the Alaska border.

Then all hell broke loose. They were fixing it. There was real "gravel" surface here. Deep gravel. Dirt. There were one lane sections you had to wait your turn on for an hour. Well, you get to meet the other folks on the road. Motorcycles were on it. But it was a bitch. I can imagine riding a bike on it in the rain. But I guess its done. Of all three roads the AlCan was easily the worst of them all in the construction areas.

Until I drove these roads I thought I would never pull a trailer with a motorcycle. No longer. If they mae a motorcycle pop top trailer my suggestion is BUY IT if you are serious about going there. Accomodations are few and far between. They are EXPENSIVE. Like $100-120 a night. If you could be self contained sleepingwise it would be much better.

Probably Zorlack will be around in a little while to tell you I drove my CAR over these roads. Well maybe so. But the observations still hold.

The picture is The Daulton after its been bladed...