Alaska: 2 Cylinders to Alaska...
This ride is a ride I have been dreaming about since I first saw it on advrider. At the time I was deployed in Iraq and spent the little free time I had planning a cross country trip with some friends. The ride went great and we had some fun. I lost the urge to go to Alaska after the trip. I did some small rides to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon but then started to get into riding more aggressively. I started to ride the track, and with support of my girlfriend, I started to race. I did one full year of racing and had an awesome time.
She was my umbrella girl.
I decided that racing was way to unsafe and I wanted to include Natalie. I ran the idea past natalie and she said she would go to Alaska! So I started to research and find money and bikes to do the trip. I sold my FZ1 and bought 2 KLR 650s. We modified them to fit the trip and did a bunch of test rides. These rides and small reports can be found in my planning stage.
So we have the bikes.
Mine and hers
So we are both college students and finish the school year at the end of May. We have to wait until June 24th to leave due to a wedding being on the 23rd and Natalie being the maid of honor. So we start the painful wait for the 24th to leave.
******The trip is already done and we are home safe, just in a couple pieces***********
CONGRATA there Paramud, that handle will cause some smiles I am sure.
Congrats on many fronts, the bikes, the wife, the trip and all the other great things the trip has given you to remember for a long time.
So is there some pics or maybe a story or both?
Wife and I have been to AK once together and plans are to do it again next summer. Trips to the western Canadian provinces is usually a yearly happening.
Again, well done.
So we are waiting around for the wedding. Natalie goes to the bachelorette party in Las Vegas. After coming back, Natalie gets a call that the wedding is cancelled! We get to leave early. So we are set to leave on June 19th now!!!
We rush to get everything ready and go to bed early for an early start.
We get up and call the family to say we are leaving.
Take a parting shot with my nifty small tripod.
We head up the 101 to avoid the heat.
We eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the gas station parking lot.
Then we get back on the 101 freeway and go along at a decent pace. 70ish mph. I go to pass a car and the car in front of me slows down and waves at me frantically. I look in my mirror and only see a cloud of dust.
I stop and go the opposite way of traffic and see Natalie on a dirt section of the freeway. I drop my bike and run to her. She is responsive but in a lot of pain from her shoulder. I take off her boots and gloves. Luckily an off duty fireman and a nurse stop to help. We stabilize her neck. She then starts begging/crying to take her gear off so they wont cut it off when the fireman gets here.
She managed to slide her hurt shoulder out of the gear and then we try to get her comfortable. The ambulance and firemen arrive and they remove her helmet properly. They load her on the backboard and take her to the local trama center. We are luckily 5 minutes away from one. I pick my bike up and follow the ambulance to the ER. I let the police take care of her bike and tow it to a yard.
I wait outside the ER for a bit and get called in to see her.
She was in shock and was pretty cold so they wrapped her in blankets. They took xrays and found she had a broken shoulder blade, 3 ribs in the back under the shoulder blade area, and a bruised lung. They were worried about the lung. We talk and she is crying because she ruined the trip on the first day.
It is time to go to take a shower and go to bed. Later!
Don't stop there! We need to know more!!!:huh
So we are in the hospital 3 days. 1 day in the ER, 1 day in the ICU, and 1 day in a hospital bed.
We talk about our plans and figure out that we are going to do a car trip across the US instead.
The surprising part of her injuries is that the only bruise is her black eye. 4 broken bones and no bruises at the location or anywhere else.
My dad comes and picks us up in the hospital and drives us 300 miles home. He brings a trailer to tow my bike home. Natalie's bike gets towed to a motorcycle shop and gets totaled out.
We then sit at home recovering, being sad, and trying to get Natalie comfortable. An idea pops in my head, if natalie can get comfortable in a car, then she should be comfortable on the back of a bike.......
Wow! :eek1 Glad she is okay. What a trooper.
So we wait a week and see how Natalie is feeling. She seems decent enough, just in a lot of pain. We go to a local doc and get her off the narcotics and onto a strong non narcotic pain reliever. She gives me the go ahead to look for a bike suitable for 2 up. I sell m KLR 650, sv650, and her car to help pay off the health insurance deductible and buy the new bike.
We go to a BMW dealer and look at the used bikes. We went to look at a cheap tourer but found it to be to small. We saw a used BMW R1150RT, but it was to expensive.
I look on craigslist and find a 1997 BMW R1100RT that is around the right price and has saddlebags. We go check the bike out and it looks great.
So I am just not sure if the clutch is toast or if it is just the feel of a new to me bike. I cant get the bike to slip under acceleration but just feel weird. I change the fluids on the bike and change the air filter and get the bike loaded for the trip.
I installed the tail bag that was on my KLR.
Here is how the bike is loaded.
Tank Bag: Electronics, bear spray, maps, misc personal stuff
Tailbag: Cooking supplies, food, toiletries
On top of saddlebags: Dry bag with sleeping bag/mat
Left saddlebag: clothes
right saddlebag: shoes and rain gear
on top of tailbag: tent
On dry bag: camelback which is natalies purse.
So we go to Natalies doctor appointment and the doctor says he wont say we cant go. We take that as a good to go. So 2 weeks after the crash, we are ready to go again!
Gotta say, Natalie has some major ‘nads to get back on a bike so soon. :thumb
Anyway, good luck on your trip and stay safe.
What caused the crash?
what a trooper!! good luck on your trip ..
You two are something else, that wife of yours is one super lady.
Looking forward to your RR. I have well over 150 K on my RT1100, have no desire to trade up for I can do 99.9% of all my own wrenching.
So we go to LA to meet her brother.
He just got a new bike. A triumph bonneville. We then go to starbucks and they treat us to breakfast!
We ride back to the freeway and say good bye to them.
We head up the coast on the 101 again. We find Natalies crash spot. It is the only spot within 50 miles where there is run off. She is definitely lucky. On the way up the coast, I notice that the clutch is slipping at full throttle. With all the weight on it now, the symptoms of a bad clutch is pretty evident. I stop at a gas station and call the BMW shop in San Jose. They have the clutch plate in stock!
We head over to the BMW shop and buy the clutch plate. The most I have done on this bike is take off the left side panel which takes 17 screws! I have heard that replacing the clutch on these is a pain. The BMW shop is about to close and they give me a number to a local mechanic who could possibly do it. I call him and he quotes me about 6 hours and he can do it for me a month from now. That is no help!!!
So we buy a clymer manual. Since the only tools I brought was the bike tool kit, we headed over to a Oreilly's Auto Store in case we need to buy tools.
After riding 450 miles that day, we start to dissemble the bike in the parking lot.
We're you racing with the SV?
Safe travels mate!
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