Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
.... BIKES: ....... You want a bike that will make the trip for you, instead of you having to learn to ride it yourself. Quit making excuses. Go out and find yourself a used bike in the $2000 - $3000 range, one that has a good reputation for reliability, that will haul you and about half the gear you think you will need for the trip (because what you think you'll need is twice what you really need), that will carry sufficient fuel in its tank for at least 150 miles, and that fits you. Spend a few hundred to ~$1000 on suspension upgrades (our roads are hard on overloaded bikes), work on the bike yourself so you know it intimately, then get some experience with it on gravel roads.....
After reading this, I have to re-establish the monikers I bestowed on AlcanRider a while back, which he sometimes loses due to smark-aleck remarks. Alcan Rider is hereby, once again, officially an Intelligent Gregarious Geezer, who oozes Brilliance, Charm, and Wit, topped off with a Humble and Modest personality. (Since he's humble and modest, he'll probably let me know I "forgot" the Handsome adjective.)
I concur with AlcanRider's remarks about bikes. My inexpensive, albeit lovely, DR has been extremely dependable and reliable and has joyfully taken me all over the place, including Deadhorse and Inuvik and numerous points in between. And she performs wonderfully despite being called things like a Dumpster Reject and butt-ugly and ugly-butt. Sure, I don't travel as comfortably or high-tech as other more-expensive bikes, but we get where we're going and have fun (except when I'm scared due to inclement weather and crappy road conditions), and that's what counts. Every time I/we survive terrible riding conditions, I increase my riding skills and confidence level and that increases my overall enjoyment of riding, and that's what it's all about; not the price of the bike.
And if you really want to test the reliability and performance of your bike, come ride with my Lovely DR! She's quite friendly to other bikes, especially three of AlcanRider's bikes.
P.S. Hey Jack, since I buttered you up, will you be nice to my DRs next weekend when you come by my house to dispense some of your mechanical wizardry and inestimable advice?