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Old 07-10-2007, 10:58 AM   #16
btretired
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Thumb Fly In- Ride out!

Good Job so far-- I've been to Alaska and Denali before but not on a bike.. But with all these trips looks like I've gotta figure out how. You may have the best idea, fly in- ride out..

more please!
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:12 AM   #17
bross
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Great report, thanks for posting. What are your impressions of the Uly?
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:21 AM   #18
cirrus365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davevv

Years ago I quit carrying a camera on my trips because I found myself spending more time worrying about the photography than actually enjoying the sights and experiences I had made the trip for. Now, I tend to forget about the camera occasionally.
+1 Its always the little things that I forget to photo too.

I am also interested in your opinion overall of the Uly.

Thanks for the R.R.
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:31 AM   #19
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Sunday, 6-24-07

Filled up with gas and headed north on the Taylor Highway.


One of the views from the Taylor Highway.


The Taylor Highway is a good road, but soon you get to the turnoff for the Top of the World Highway which is all dirt and gravel to the border with the Yukon Territory in Canada. No rain today, so the TOW wasn't really too bad. I easily ran 45 to 50 the whole way.

Passed through Chicken, but stopped only for pictures.




My plan was to buy gas at Boundary, Alaska which I could make easily on what I had left in the tank. This is what I found in Boundary.




Notice that there are no signs of life. The SALE sign on the building doesn't refer to a sale on merchandise inside, the whole place is for sale. Therefore, no fuel available.

This is the road back to Chicken from the same spot in Boundary.


The Uly doesn't have a gas gauge, just a light that comes on when you are down to .83 gallons left in the tank. I figured my extra gallon of gas was good for at least 40 miles and I wasn't on reserve yet, so I probably had at least 40 more miles left in the tank. That should be enough to get me into Dawson City. Don't pass up a chance to buy fuel in Alaska!

The Milepost says that the road from the Canadian border into Dawson City is paved with stretches of gravel in construction areas. That's not quite accurate. When I went through, it was mostly gravel with short stretches of pavement. Total distance on dirt and gravel today was probably over 100 miles. The Uly handled it very well and the reduced speeds improved it's already great mileage. The reserve light didn't come on until I got to the ferry to cross the Yukon River directly across from Dawson City. 198 miles on 3.6 gallons that day.

I got a spot at the campground in the city. I don't recommend it for tent camping as it's basically an RV park with no shade and little soft ground. The kicker is that the only other campground is on the other side of the river.

Pictures from Dawson City. The green building on the right is Sourdough Joe's restaurant. Excellent fish and chips there.


















Dawson City is a touristy kind of place, but interesting. It has dirt streets and boardwalks like you see in the movies and gold is still important there.

Lost $40 at the blackjack table in Diamond Tooth Gertie's gambling hall. Had heavy rain at 3:00AM but the Eureka Apex tent handled it well.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bross
Great report, thanks for posting. What are your impressions of the Uly?
I was going to wait 'til the end to give a review on the bike, but since two of you have asked, I will say here that it is an outstanding motorcycle. Compared to my 1100GS, it is lighter, more agile, has more power and useable torque, and is much more comfortable for me. I realize we are all built different, but for me, the ergonomics on the Uly are much better. I was 14 days into the trip before I wished for highway pegs the first time. I put on a total of 5,302 miles with no pain between my shoulder blades that I get on most bikes. It also has a stock seat that is comfortable. Something that is very rare, especially on the GSs that are so popular on this site.

The suspension is fabulous. It handles the frost heaves up there at 65-70mph without effort and is very stable at highway speeds. It is one of the most stable bikes I've ever been on in crosswinds. Also, last year when I did a 3200 mile trip on the GS, I had sore kidneys for a long time afterward. I haven't had one ache from this trip.

Mechanically, it had no problems. A nut did vibrate off one of the two studs holding the belt tension idler pulley mount somewhere in Montana, but that is the sum total of it's mechanical problems. It used practically no oil, though checking it is as tricky as a GS. It is supposed to be checked hot. If you check immediately after cutting off the motor, it will be .5 to .75" higher on the stick than what you will see when checking a couple minutes later. Also, once when I checked it, it was completely off the bottom of the stick. I checked three times, then added about 1/3 quart and it showed overfilled about 10 miles later. I ended up taking the oil I had added back out again with a straw.

It will get 45-50mpg fully loaded in headwinds at 75mph.

It is tall though. I can flatfoot the GS easily, but with the Uly I'm on the balls of my feet. Also, a lot of people complain about a large turning radius at low speed because the front wheel only turns 54 degrees lock to lock, but it was never a problem for me on this trip and the '08 models have been changed to 74 degrees.

I like it well enough that the 1100GS is now surplus and is probably already sold to another ADVer who posted a couple days ago that he was looking for one.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:51 PM   #21
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Monday, 6-25-07

Rode the Klondike Highway to Whitehorse today. It was cloudy with off and on showers most of the day. Had about 20 more miles of gravel in construction areas but it wasn't too bad. Enough traffic had been through to pack the gravel down in the wheel ruts, so as long as you were in them, it was pretty easy.

Pictures on the way.
Yukon River.


Fireweed.


Five Finger Rapids, a famous spot on the Yukon River.


When I got to Whitehorse, I was tired and ready for a good bed, so I stopped at the visitor center and checked out motels. Most were full, but the Mountain Ridge View Motel and RV Park had a trapper's cabin that was available and only about $50.00. This was it.




It's only about 10'X10' inside, so with all my stuff unpacked it was plenty full. Also, my tent was still damp from the rain in Dawson City so I had it spread out on the bed for a few hours 'til it dried out. The cabin has a great bed and I slept well. Restrooms, showers, and laundry room were only about 20 yards away. I'd definitely recommend it.
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:14 PM   #22
bross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davevv
[COLOR=orange]



It's only about 10'X10' inside, so with all my stuff unpacked it was plenty full. Also, my tent was still damp from the rain in Dawson City so I had it spread out on the bed for a few hours 'til it dried out. The cabin has a great bed and I slept well. Restrooms, showers, and laundry room were only about 20 yards away. I'd definitely recommend it.
Which bag do you keep your coffee maker in?

PS Thanks for the update on the bike.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:50 PM   #23
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Tuesday, 6-26-07

Packed up this morning and headed back down into Whitehorse to find Yukon Harley-Davidson. My dad was a Harley mechanic most of his life and I've been wearing the tee shirts and riding the bikes since before most of today's posers ever thought about them. So, I was looking for a souvenir tee shirt. They make useful reminders of the trip, and when they are worn, I cut them up and make them into quilts. It's what I do since I retired from 30 years in the electronics business. You can make them from any kind of tee shirts (collegiate, travel, athletic themes, etc.) and that way your memories are saved in something useful instead of being stuck in a drawer or trashed. If anyone is interested in one, PM me. Found the place and bought the shirt.


Headed out on the way to Watson Lake, and the first interesting event of the day was a construction zone. I'd been through lots of them and there were always wheel ruts to ride in where the gravel wasn't too bad. This one was fresh and it was misting a bit so the visibility made it hard to pick out detail. I'd just gotten to trust the ruts, so I hit this one at about 60 and quickly discovered that the gravel was still 4 to 5" deep. Luckily the section was short and I made it through without much trouble, but the front wheel swimming through gravel that deep will wake you up quick.

I opted not to buy gas in Teslin because the RVs were lined up 6 deep at every pump and my GPS said there was another station just 33km down the road. A mistake once again because the next station was also out of business. The great mileage on the Uly did get me into the next station at Swift River without using my extra gallon, but I was 20 miles into the reserve.

For some reason, I only have one picture from along the road that day. I had stopped at a rest stop and when I looked down the hill into a swamp, there were two moose grazing along. You can only see one in the picture as the other one wandered off into some trees on the right while I was getting the camera out.


When I got to Watson Lake, I stopped at the visitor center to take the mandatory picture of the signpost forest.


The young blonde sitting at the picnic table in the picture above is Romy. She and her friend Katja were from northern Germany. They had just nailed up a sign and had me take their picture beside it. They were here for a year, so Romy had brought her dog with her. This is Bert.


Headed down the road and found a nice wooded campground not too far away. I set up camp and a few minutes later Romy and Katja pulled in. It was their tent that was already set up next to my space. They were pleasant, but turned out not to be particularly sociable.

A short while later, a guy named Jack on a five or six year old Goldwing with Texas plates pulled into the space the other side of the German girls. Turns out he's from Grand Prairie, Texas and lives about 20 miles from me. He had already ridden to Alaska and was headed home, but had a rear wheel bearing fail earlier in the day and just managed to limp back into town. The bearing was a common one and the NAPA store in town had one coming in for him in two days. He had also secured the corner of a local garage to work in, so at that point there wasn't much I could do for him.

I ate dinner at the Belvedere hotel where they had prime rib and swiss steak on a buffet for $13.00. Both were excellent, and the price was definitely right.

Back at camp, Jack and I chatted 'til about 10:00 and then I turned in.
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davevv screwed with this post 07-11-2007 at 04:37 PM
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:14 PM   #24
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:30 PM   #25
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Wednesday, 6-27-07

Packed up in the morning and headed for Fort Nelson. Had rain for a good bit of the day and the country was beautiful but the same as what I had been riding through so not many pictures today.



While I was sitting waiting for the pilot car in a construction zone, a guy named Ernie pulled up beside me on a Harley Heritage softail. Ernie was from Virginia. He's 65, a retired mechanical engineer, and had only been riding for four years, but he's a serious rider. His first bike was a new '03 Heritage and two years later it had 58,000 miles when he traded it for the '05 he's riding now which has 47,000 miles on it already. He's been in every state except Hawaii, all the Canadian provinces, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on his bike. Don't ever let anybody tell you that all the Harley riders are posers. In fact, the large majority of bikes I saw traveling on this trip were Harleys.

Ernie was also headed for Fort Nelson, so we ended up riding together the rest of the day. There was lots of wildlife out. I must have stopped a dozen times for bison, Stone sheep, caribou, and deer in the road. You can't see him in this picture, but Ernie is stopped just to the left waiting for this herd of sheep to get off the road.


This is the sheep I had actually stopped to take a picture of when I took the previous one.


It was raining again when we got to Fort Nelson, so I just got a room at the Blue Bell Inn where Ernie already had a reservation. After I cleaned up, Ernie's bike was in the lot, but I couldn't raise him in the room. So, I just walked to a pub across the street for dinner and turned in early. For some reason, I was really tired that day.

I'm aware that this report has flattened out a bit, but hang in there. It gets better again.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:02 PM   #26
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Thursday, 6-28-07

Packed up and on the road by about 6:30. Quickly ran into heavy fog that lasted for about 40 miles which made it very had to see the animals in the road. About 50 miles further on, I ran through a thunderstorm that lasted about 7 or 8 miles. When that finally cleared, it turned into a pretty nice day afterward.

My original plan for the day was only to go to Dawson Creek (mile 0 of the Alcan), but I got there at 1:15. The roads are getting better and the brush is cleared back farther on the sides, so you have better visibility of the wildlife as you're riding. The end result is that it's becoming a lot easier to cover miles and I ended up going all the way to Grande Cache. I think the total was 476 miles that day when I had usually only been doing about 300.

There were polished granite picnic tables at one of the rest stops along the way today.


I stopped for the night at the municipal campground in Grande Cache. It's a nice place.


Notice the riding pants hanging in the spruce tree behind the tent? They had finally gotten so rank I couldn't stand them anymore, so I hand washed them in the shower. The low humidity in the mountains had them dry by morning.

Saw four deer and two black bear along the road today.

Tomorrow, Jasper and Banff national parks.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:32 PM   #27
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Excellent! On to Banff and Jasper.. and bring lots of cash, and don't forget the camera.. lots of natural beauty there to click
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:50 PM   #28
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Friday, 6-29-07

My pants had dried overnight. I packed up and left the campground about 7:00. Continued down highway 40 to highway 16 which heads into Jasper. From there I took 93 towards the city of Banff, but turned off at Castle Junction toward Radium Hot Springs just before I would have gotten to Banff.

Jasper National Park is beautiful, but Banff National Park is spectacular. The first three pictures are in Jasper, the rest in Banff.





















I really don't have the ability to express how magnificent the scenery is in Banff National Park. The pictures are good, but you really need to see it in person.

When I got to Radium Hot Springs, I got caught in a strong thunderstorm, so I pulled into a motel parking lot and stood under their awning for about 20 minutes while the worst part passed over. There was a sign right in front of me that said "Parking for motel customers only", but no one ever came out and told me to leave. I headed on down the road, had a lot of high (30-40mph) wind, and got caught in another small storm and eventually turned off to Cranbrook because I needed gas.

When I filled the tank, I also checked the contents of the MotoFizz tailbag since I hadn't had the rain cover on it when the storm hit. It really wasn't bad, but my sleeping bag was slightly damp. I was actually impressed so little water got in during the downpour and the storm later on the road. I ruled out the camping I had planned for that night and checked into the Super 8 Motel instead.

That turned out to be a wise decision because 20 minutes after I checked in one hell of a storm came through. We had 60+mph winds with trees and power lines down across the roads. The power was out at the motel for about four hours. Just as the storm was beginning to ease up a little, I was standing at the front door talking to the lady running the place when two couples pulled up riding Harley Ultra Classics (the biggest touring bike) and both pulling trailers. The ladies were wearing helmets with face shields, but the guys had no helmets. I'm not going to accuse them of being smart, but I have to give them credit for the skill it must have taken to ride through that storm (which included hail). I was very happy to have just watched it from inside a dry motel.
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:20 PM   #29
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nice....

Awesome pics, and ride report....look forward to reading more! By the way I love my 06 Uly
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:23 PM   #30
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Great report, keep it up
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