Best thing you can do for your planning and start searching the ride reports and read them!!! The people that chime in on the reports provide invaluable information. In 2011 I did Key West to Prudhoe Bay and back to Key West, 14866 miles in 34 days, a solo trip and really my first long adventure. I had an event free trip!! I learned all I needed from this forum and mostly from the ride reports. The do's, the don'ts, the must see, the 'skip this' is all there. Once you have YOUR trip basically planned then start asking specific questions. AKDuc, AKBob, AKTracs, ALCANRIDER, Fite, The Dick, are all guys that hang out on the AK regional forum. They are a wealth of information and advice and willing to help.......might even ride with you if the timing is right. I would spend hours everyday on here just reading up on tips for the ride.....asking questions where needed. As you probably already know this forum is the best for planning successful adventures.
Two big pieces of advice I learned.....pack everything that you think you need, then sort through that and get rid of about half of it........most the crap you think you might need you wont and its just weight and bullshit that you will get tired of lugging around. With the exception of my Gerbing heated jacket and my anti-bear storage kit for food etc..., I used everything I took with me. Well, not many of the tools because the only thing I had to fix was a lightbulb changeout. Second is to make sure you lay out a trip plan, where you want to be each day. Its easy to get caught up in the surroundings and not realize how much time has gone by. I was on the bike 12-14 hours a day. Sometimes I covered 200 miles, sometimes I covered 5-600 miles, but each day I made the planned destination and I was able to do everything I wanted to do. I was limited to 4 weeks vacation, so I went to KW over the weekend, went back home, worked 3 days and then left for the northland. I had to stick with the trip plan to make it work. Its all grand and wonderous to run with no plan, but bottom line, with a fixed time frame comes a fixed schedule!!! Other than that.........I second the whole plan, bike, attitude and camera philosophy!!!!
The Heidenau K-60s were great in the slushy mud. I didn't get as many miles out of them as I had hope, but many people do. They for sure will give 1000-1500 more miles than TKC-80s. They grip fine in what you run into up there, but aren't as squirrely on the blacktop as TKC-80s. I would recommend them for sure. Save yourself the hassle and buy from Adventure Cycle Works in Fairbanks. They will hold the tires until you get there and provide 24/7 garage support to install. I ran Tourances from home to Fairbanks, which include a run up the Cassier Highway. I stayed on K-60s until Missoula, MT. I probably could have made it home, but with 2700 miles left of asphalt on a loaded down bike with a record heat wave between me and home, I chose to go back to a new set of Tourances for the last leg home
I would consider myself still a noob in the adv world, but I have learned alot on the 3 years I have owned my GSA, been on several successful adventures. So I did a bunch of research, and gear buying to have a fun trip. Now I am pretty much just able to pack and go....and heading back to AK in 2014. So if you want a noobs version of what to do and not do....shoot me a pm and we can talk more in detail.
Safe rides and have fun planning the adventure, it was half the fun of the whole trip.