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Old 02-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #1
Flameout OP
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Question Alaska 2012?

I have 4wks vacation May 21st-June 17th. I live in NE Montana and would love to ride to AK and back. Is this the year??? With all this warm warm winter weather we've been having, could it be the year to ride up and not have a winter weather issue? I'm asking all the AK guys and anyone else that actually track the weather trends for some help here.

If I do go, in 4 wks, what are the main things to see? Have you made the ride? What was your favorite? Not worth your time?

I have a few things I'd like to see, my aunt in Wasilla, for one...no it's not Sara Palin. Prudoh(sp) Bay, The Summer Solstice. I was in the top 20% in '05 that got to see Denali, so that's not really on my go list.

I planned a ride 9yrs ago up there but life has gotten in the way every yr since...

Any and all tips anyone cares to put down here are appreciated!

Spring is right around the corner!
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:54 AM   #2
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A buddy of mine and I did the ride from Wisconsin two summers ago on KLRs from southern Wisconsin. Total trip was 10440 miles for me and took 28 days.

About 2000 of those miles were off road. We went to Prudhoe Bay and on the way back went through Banff/Jasper, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, The Bear Tooth Highway and lots of other points in between.

You will love it. It is the trip of a lifetime, that is until we do South America.

PS. Your KTM will be the perfect ride for the trip...
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:26 PM   #3
mcmarcia
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alaska yes

Do it, I have been wanting to do the alaska ride for a few years, but always had some health crap or something in my way. They have had record snow this year in some parts so do some research on it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:41 PM   #4
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mc marcia! funny to find you here! I just replied to you, parts on the way! I will be leaving Louisville, KY on June 1st heading for the north shore! I have a month so hope to see some of you guys/gals on the road!
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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Ha, I was just about to suggest NOT taking the Busa, but figured you were savvy enough to ride that KTM monster.

I'm the Anchorage KTM spot, info is in sig. We've got a full stock of tires (TKC80 and Pirelli, yes 18in rear for your rad machine) and should have oil filter(s), chain, sprockets.

According to KTM we aren't an official twin dealer, so that said, we'll do tires, oil and quick wear items no prob. If you need a more major service, there's a KTM twin dealer in Fairbanks who supposedly has the computer and "special tools" etc.

If there's anything else I can help you with, drop me a line!
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:40 PM   #6
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Attention in the Company area: AKBeemer to the blue phone. AKBeemer to the blue phone.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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Attention in the Company area: AKBeemer to the blue phone. AKBeemer to the blue phone.
No longer going by AKBeemer.
KHuddy is the new moniker.
Kind of like the artist formally known as Prince.
Just Sayin'
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Flameout View Post
I have 4wks vacation May 21st-June 17th. I live in NE Montana and would love to ride to AK and back. Is this the year??? With all this warm warm winter weather we've been having, could it be the year to ride up and not have a winter weather issue? I'm asking all the AK guys and anyone else that actually track the weather trends for some help here.

If I do go, in 4 wks, what are the main things to see? Have you made the ride? What was your favorite? Not worth your time?

I have a few things I'd like to see, my aunt in Wasilla, for one...no it's not Sara Palin. Prudoh(sp) Bay, The Summer Solstice. I was in the top 20% in '05 that got to see Denali, so that's not really on my go list.

I planned a ride 9yrs ago up there but life has gotten in the way every yr since...

Any and all tips anyone cares to put down here are appreciated!

Spring is right around the corner!
Hello Flameout,

I recently moved from Alaska to Montana so it appears folks think I'm the guy to answer your questions.

First the weather. Don't try to out guess the weather, just prepare for every thing possible. Chances are that you'll end up riding in rain for extended periods and in temperatures in the 30s and 40s. In May it is possible for you to hit snow that will delay your trip, but it is unlikely to cause it to end. Annie and I rode the Cassiar early last June and then the Yellowhead thru Jasper and Banff. We hit temperatures in the low 30s and light snow three times; just south of Whitehorse, in Jasper and in Montana on Flesher Pass. It was 68 degrees in Fairbanks when we left and 70 degrees in Prince George. You might also find yourself riding most of the time in warm temperatures and sunshine..... maybe. So plan to ride in the rain in the 30s and to ride in the sunny 70s and you'll have it covered.

I tell people not to get fixated on going to Deadhorse / Prudhoe at the expense of seeing the many other great places in Alaska. I put a low priority on the trip in my recommendation.

Route suggestion...... this is from a post by Fighter sometime in the distant past and augmented by me.....

Get to Bonners Ferry, ID.

N95 to Hwy 1 vicinity Rykerts

Hwy 21 to Creston

Hwy 3A to Kootenay Bay

Ferry to Balfour (free)

Hwy 31 to Hwy 6 to Nakusp

Hwy 23 to Galena

Ferry to Shelter Bay (free)

Hwy 23 to Revelstoke

HWY 1 to Banff Park

HWY 93 to Jasper (the ride thru Jasper Park is a must do)

HWY 16 (Yellowhead Hwy) to HWY 37 (Cassiar Hwy N.)

Side trip to Hyder, AK (vic Meziadin Jct)

HWY 37 north to the ALCAN vic Watson Lake.

ALCAN to Whitehorse.

Side trip to Skagway. Look for the The World's Smallest Desert (Carcross Dunes) and be prepared for a great ride thru the pass.

North on Klondike HWY to Dawson, YT (it would be great to be in Dawson 21-22 June for Dust 2 Dawson)
While in Dawson City look up The Dick and buy him beer. He will be your BFF until your credit card melts.)

Top of the World Highway to Tok.... Alaska's front door.

Tok Cutoff to GlennAllen (While in Glennallen look up ALCAN Rider and buy him fudge. He will be your BFF until your credit card melts.)

Consider a side trip to McCarthy/Kennicott Mine and Valdez.

Genn Highway to Los Anchorage. Visit Alaska Leather for tires, good motorcycle gear and nice people. Put a notice on this forum that you want to see if you can make your credit card melt at a bar and you'll have multiple temporary BFFs. Someone may even volunteer to take you on a ride up Hatcher's Pass if it is open.

Head to the Kenai. Side trip to Hope then all the way to Homer if you think you have time, but at least hit Seward. The SeaLife Center down there is worth the visit.

Back thru Anchorage. Put another notice on this forum that you want to see if you can make your credit card melt at a bar and you'll again have multiple temporary BFFs. (The Anchorage folks are tenacious in their willingness to help riders).

North on the Parks Highway. Another tire and repair resource is the Abby in Wasilla. At Cantwell head east on the Denali Highway. Stop for coffee at Gracious House and for a meal at McClaren River Lodge.

Head North on the Richardson Highway at Paxson, thru Delta to Fairbanks.

See my sig line for a link to info about housing in Fairbanks the Shinning City on the Hill. Put a notice on this forum that you want to see if you can make your credit card melt at a bar and you'll have multiple temporary BFFs. The Silver Gulch Brewery in Fox is a good choice. If you need tires or other help then consider AdventureCycle Works and/or the Outpost/Trails End. There are also Kawasaki and KTM dealers in town.

North on the Elliot. Instead of heading up the Dalton to Deadhorse, stay on the Elliot all the way to Manley Hotsprings. Like visiting Mayberry. A good roadhouse for beer and food and a room, or camping right across the street. In the Roadhouse tell them you want to see if you can make your credit card melt and you'll have multiple temporary BFFs.

Back east on the Elliot and take a side trip to the village of Minto. One of the few native villages on a road system. Not too much to see but worth the small deviation.

Back to the Dalton Highway. North to the Arctic Circle (115 miles) then to Coldfoot for a burger (175 miles) and then to Wiseman to sleep (reservations required). Then head back south or continue on to Deadhorse (415 miles). Then back to Fairbanks using the same stops.

In Fairbanks Put another notice on this forum that you want to see if you can make your credit card melt at a bar and you'll again have multiple temporary BFFs who will pretend to be interested in hearing your tales of the Haul Road. (Like the Anchorage boys and girls the Fairbanks folks are tenacious in their willingness to help riders).

Side trip to Chena Hotsprings is worthy of consideration.

On the return take the side trip to McCarthy and Valdez if you did not before. Also add a ferry ride from Haines to Prince Rupert so you can see a bit of Southeast Alaska that is only reachable by boat or plane. Again the ride to Haines thru the Chilkat Pass is worth the trip.

Plan to take as much time riding up and back as you can. The ride through BC and the YT is perhaps the best part of your trip.

Bring a melt resistant credit card.
Bring bug dope
Bring a headnet
No handguns in Canada. No way, no how. Bear spray is permitted.
You need a passport or passport card to go though Canada.
You need to have the kit and ability to repair a flat tire all by yourself on the side of the road.
Start with good tires and a healthy chain and sprokets.
Heated gear is good. Very, very good.
Bring a camera and go crazy.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:42 AM   #9
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My bad.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #10
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wow Kevin, that's as comprehensive a travel guide for riders as I've seen. And contains answers to the FREQUENTLY asked questions herein.
We'll be riding north in mid-May and I'm thinking it will be 70's all the way.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by f650624 View Post
My bad.
It's OK Gary. The electrons are less tired if I answer him. They can get plumb worn out if they have to come all the way from Alaska.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:04 AM   #12
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wow Kevin, that's as comprehensive a travel guide for riders as I've seen. And contains answers to the FREQUENTLY asked questions herein.
We'll be riding north in mid-May and I'm thinking it will be 70's all the way.
When do you think you'll be passing this way? We've got about 25K miles in traveling planned starting in April. We'll be in and out of the homestead all summer.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:57 AM   #13
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When do you think you'll be passing this way? We've got about 25K miles in traveling planned starting in April. We'll be in and out of the homestead all summer.
We'll be in Bozeman May 3-7, coming from Seattle, and figured we'd stop by your place on the way to Bozeman, but if work on the bikes in Seattle takes longer than expected then we'd stop by after. Going to be at the homestead then?
From MT we're riding to Denver via Mt Rushmore (never been there), west to the coast and turn north around May 21. Hoping for reasonable weather on the northbound leg, some years May has had warmer weather than early June. If we miss you at the homestead, maybe on the road somewhere?
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:28 PM   #14
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We are heading to Branson, MO around the 17th of April, then on to Chicago and Ohio for family visits. Should be back in MT around 4-5 May. We then depart for Hyder, AK around 20 May. Heading up there for HyderSeek on 25-26 May. We plan to follow your route from last summer thru BC. Looks good for seeing you on one of your passes thru MT, but in any case, perhaps you may want to attend HyderSeek or at least stop in at Hyder.

https://sites.google.com/site/hyderseek2012/home

We are flexible on our dates. Trying not to lock ourselves into a schedule now that we are pensioners.

We are planning to be in Dawson for D2D and then swing over to Fairbanks for a coffee with George. Should see everyone at one of those two places.
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Old 05-21-2012, 03:13 PM   #15
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Laugh T minus 17hrs and counting...

Hay all you FF!
Looks like tomorrow is the departure date for my 2012 AK ride. I'm sitting here looking at my KTM wondering what I forgot and thinking "what could go wrong?" Hahaha! I want to thank everyone here for the suggestions and guidance. I'm planning to get to Bonners Ferry, ID tomorrow and go from there. That aught to be enough of a shake-down ride to see how she goes. If you want you can follow me on my spot page. Anyway, here we go...
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