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Old 04-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #1
murphyKTM OP
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Location: North Island New Zealand
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A Kiwi is heading your way

Hi Boys and girls, you have a KIWI coming your way that needs a bit of advice.
I have approx. one month on a borrowed bike (Triumph Tiger) that has been kindly loaned to me by inmate Holmboer who has riden my KTM in NZ during our summer. I pick up his bike at Nanaimo, Vancouver Island.

I am proposing to take the BC ferry from Port Hardy up to Prince Rupert, then Alaskan Ferry to either Haines or.Skagway, then ride up to Dawson City. From there I propose to do a loop down Watson Lake, Fort Nelson, to stay with friends at Rossland. Then back to Vancouver, possibly thru Washington State ,via Seattle where I also have friends.
Tiger is setup with road tires. Borrowed bike so I need to be a bit more careful than if I was on my 950 Adventure at home.
So the questions are
1. I am looking at getting to Dawson City from Haines via Tok and Chicken. What are these roads like? Alternative is leave ferry at Skagway and go via Whitehorse. I understand that this route is all sealed.
2. I am a bit restricted by work commitments and originally planned to do this in June/July, it is now looking like being in Alaska at the beginning of August. I expect to be back in BC within two weeks of that. Am I leaving it a bit late weather wise? I will have heated grips but no hot suit or fancy stuff like that and intend to camp a bit. I have checked the temperature maps and it looks OK but you guys will know the reality of the situation.
Thanks for your help
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:58 PM   #2
Lappeman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphyKTM View Post
Hi Boys and girls, you have a KIWI coming your way that needs a bit of advice.
I have approx. one month on a borrowed bike (Triumph Tiger) that has been kindly loaned to me by inmate Holmboer who has riden my KTM in NZ during our summer. I pick up his bike at Nanaimo, Vancouver Island.

I am proposing to take the BC ferry from Port Hardy up to Prince Rupert, then Alaskan Ferry to either Haines or.Skagway, then ride up to Dawson City. From there I propose to do a loop down Watson Lake, Fort Nelson, to stay with friends at Rossland. Then back to Vancouver, possibly thru Washington State ,via Seattle where I also have friends.
Tiger is setup with road tires. Borrowed bike so I need to be a bit more careful than if I was on my 950 Adventure at home.
So the questions are
1. I am looking at getting to Dawson City from Haines via Tok and Chicken. What are these roads like? Alternative is leave ferry at Skagway and go via Whitehorse. I understand that this route is all sealed.
2. I am a bit restricted by work commitments and originally planned to do this in June/July, it is now looking like being in Alaska at the beginning of August. I expect to be back in BC within two weeks of that. Am I leaving it a bit late weather wise? I will have heated grips but no hot suit or fancy stuff like that and intend to camp a bit. I have checked the temperature maps and it looks OK but you guys will know the reality of the situation.
Thanks for your help
Tok to Chicken was blacktop that was heaved up and down from the frost but in good condition otherwise. Chicken to Dawson City was mostly gravel with the last bit in Yukon being gravel with old pavement section, still a decent road. Ferry across to Dawson City was free if I remember correctly.

First two weeks in August is a great time to be going, although weather is very unpredictable at best up there but that time frame will give you the best possible chance of decent weather. I don't think you'll need electrics, mornings may be a bit chilly depending on when you start off. I was up there in June of 09' and there was a ton of snow in the mountains and was cold and rainy the whole trip. August is better!

Whitehorse to Skagway is paved, although if your doing that you might as well ride from Prince Rupert and up hwy 37, detouring a bit to Stewart, BC/Hyder, AK. Some nice country in there and glaciers up the Granduc Road. Then continue and west from there. If your set on seeing Skagway, you can then head south to Skagway and catch the ferry to Haines and then continue up to Tok from there or just ride to Tok from hwy 37 end.

If you have time, take a short jaunt up the Dempster hwy just east of Dawson City. Tombstone mountains are only about 60kms north and have awesome scenery. Of course the whole Dempster is super scenery up to the Mackenzie river.

Have a great trip and enjoy the sights!
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
murphyKTM OP
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Thanks for your guidence. So much to do, so little time!!
I am keen to take the (expensive!! ) ferry up the inside passage as part of this trip. Plus it helps keep the miles down on my borrowed bike.
Holmboer did over 5000Kms on my machine down here in NZ in Febuary and had a great time. I hope I have as good a time as he had.
I am a bit concerned about the fact that you guys drive on the incorrect side of the road!! I can cope with it in a car, but on a bike it might be interesting
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:31 PM   #4
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Next question, what is the road from Carmacks to Watson lake via route 4 (Faro) like. Would you recomend it for a tiger with road tyres?
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:50 PM   #5
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If you plan on crossing an international border (Alaska / Washington) with the bike, make sure you get a signed and dated letter from the owner of the motorcycle indicating that you are authorized to be in possession of the bike.

It wouldn't hurt to carry that along with you (even if you don't want to visit the 'Mericans) in the event you get 'interviewed' by the local Constabulary.

I've done a crossing into the States on a bike plated in another province under a different owner, and they'll have lots of questions for you at the booth-- a letter of authorization helps immensely.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:45 AM   #6
Lappeman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IKIGAI View Post
If you plan on crossing an international border (Alaska / Washington) with the bike, make sure you get a signed and dated letter from the owner of the motorcycle indicating that you are authorized to be in possession of the bike.

It wouldn't hurt to carry that along with you (even if you don't want to visit the 'Mericans) in the event you get 'interviewed' by the local Constabulary.

I've done a crossing into the States on a bike plated in another province under a different owner, and they'll have lots of questions for you at the booth-- a letter of authorization helps immensely.
Good point there! The customs US/Canada border on the Top of the world hwy between Chicken, AK and Dawson City, YT is extremely remote...and they have lots of time on their hands and some really off the wall questions!!
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:50 AM   #7
Lappeman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphyKTM View Post
Next question, what is the road from Carmacks to Watson lake via route 4 (Faro) like. Would you recomend it for a tiger with road tyres?

Haven't been on that road but I've heard it's all good hard packed gravel from Carmacks to Watson Lk. Should have no problem with road tires.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #8
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Bike Storage at Prince rupert

Some info please. Better half is now joining me at Price Rupert and we are heading over to the islands, not taking bike. Is there somewhere near the ferry terminal that I could safely store a bike for 4 days. Also recommended budget accommodation in the area?
Cheers
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:25 PM   #9
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http://pioneerhostel.com/amenities/
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:27 AM   #10
RevyRider
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Route through BC

"From there I propose to do a loop down Watson Lake, Fort Nelson, to stay with friends at Rossland."

That is a long trip. Not sure of your route through BC, but if you end up coming through Revelstoke on your way to Rossalnd, give me a call. I imagine we could put you up for a night. We also have a shop in town if you require and service, repairs or tires.

Have a great trip, ride safe and enjoy!

Cheers
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:18 AM   #11
murphyKTM OP
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Thanks for that Ron, that might make a good 1st day ride from Rossland where I am staying with friends prior to migrating north. I will PM you closer to the time.
One week to go to leaving NZ, reality of trip, away for nearly two months is setting in, so much to do here before I leave.
I am a bit worried about how the dogs will cope without me, not worried about how my wife will cope, she is the organized one, but the dogs are not high on her radar.
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