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Old 05-21-2009, 09:46 AM   #46
marcoue OP
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Post Mortem

Post Mortem
My trip to Western Canada was planned for a long time. In fact, the research began in September 2007 with the purchase (order in advance) of my 2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure.
The Internet is a source of unlimited information and sites as:… helped me a great deal to prepare mentally as well as for the planning of necessary equipment to undertake a voyage to the Arctic Circle.
Here is my planned roadmap (PDF). You will find that the differences are mainly in the time allotted for each portion of the trip. In fact, I realize that distances of 1200 km are very easy to do in this part of the world and that the places I had planned to stop to stop (visit and sleep) didn’t offer much to see, therefore, this was an incentive to keep going and accumulate a few more miles each day.
Also, here are the PDF list of my planned route, my equipment and detailed modifications to the bike.Looking back at the trip, I’m quite happy with the general planning but of course, many things would be different…
Here are the highlights of my preparation:
  1. GPS: mandatory! And the model chosen (zumo 550) was perfect. Yes I know, some say that the good old maps are case but for my part, I have no time to lose to get lost! There are so many interesting things to see that I do not have one or two hours to lose to find an address or just a motel. It is a tool that existed in 2008. It is THE tool that I use at most;
  2. GPS Touratech lockable Support: Allows peace of mind when you leave the bike a few minutes and the strength needed to tackle the trails or roads in poor condition;
  3. Tires TKC80: saved my life comming back from of Inuvik and having them on the bike provided protection against possible punctures. In addition, they save me a fortune since buying them out west is unaffordable;
  4. Widder heated vest with sleeves: I cannot imagine a bike trip without this piece of equipment. It’s as simple as that! The advantage of the Widder was the strength of its connection and dimmer which allows precise adjustment of desired temperature;
  5. Electronic Suspension ASC: This option on the new 2008 GS provides real advantages when driving off-road and especially with a heavily loaded vehicle.
  6. Throttle Lock: While not a cruise control as such, this mechanism block the accelerator handle and permits rest the arm from time to time. In addition, it allows you to manipulate things in the right hand (zipper, helmet, food …) which is a great advantage. I could not imagine such a journey without this piece of equipment!
  7. Tire change, mechanical basis: Having practiced changing tires and making a summary disassembly of the motorcycle safe before leaving and preparing to possible problems.


****



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Weaknesses or things to improve

1. BMW Gloves: These leather gloves do the work in 95% of the time but do not offer sufficient protection against the cold and rain. I will try to find a waterproof shell to wear over them in case of inclement weather.
2. Sleeping bag: My sleeping bag (+7), although ultra compact, made the majority of my nights uncomfortable. Unfortunately, you need a -7 type of sleeping bag in Canada, even in summer wich increases the luggage volume.
3. Luggage System: My strategy was simple: nothing should be unlocked on the bike except for a cheap cooler. I will review this strategy because it does not allow me to bring the equipment needed for camping in Canada.
4. Lighting: The lights of the GS series are not sufficient to drive comfortably at night, even with the fog lights that help. Frankly, it is unsafe. (HID on he way!)
5. The original seat of my BMW R1200 GS Adventure is firm, solid and comfortable for many situations, but is not designed for long days of driving and was certainly one of the most negative point of the trip. Despite the addition of an Airhawk 2 cushion, the pain was quick to appear and quite severe at times. Seargent seat please!

One quick word to complete this blog, I have to mention the invaluable help of the residents of Western Canada. People are generally very friendly, polite and helpful.

Despite the obvious difficulties of such a trip, I’m surprised to already feel the need to return.

Western Canada is a majestic place. The scenery is breathtaking, especially in mountain areas. The sea is beautiful although a little cold (ok, polar cold!).

It should also be noted that distances between destinations or simply refueling points are uge, especially up north. It’s essential to carry a survival kit, ie, tent, sleeping bag, rations for 2 or 3 days, water filter, warm clothing even in summer. All this just seem cumbersome, but a mechanical failure or incident can have serious consequences if the minimum preparation isn’t done. Do not rely on others to help us because often there is simply no one else around!

I hope this travel blog will be of some use if you are planning such an adventure, or simply, if you are dreaming of one!

Feel free to contact me if you need additional information. (marc.ouellet@gmail.com) .
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:51 PM   #47
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Great trip report, thanks a lot for posting it.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:45 PM   #48
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Thanks for the great story.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:46 PM   #49
mightymatt43
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fantastic report and summary at the end. loads of really helpful information that i will definitely come back to as i'm doing the dempster late this summer - i have to say your experience makes me both excited and scared!

really loved the bit about meeting Sev Heiberg - i feel that meeting people like him make an entire trip worthwhile!

thanks so much for posting this report!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:07 PM   #50
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Laugh

Hey marcoue, nice to see your ride report. Only one problem theat I can see, you should have let me know you where taking the pic of me working on your bike, I would have put on a hair piece to cover the shiney spot.
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:35 PM   #51
marcoue OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cozen


Awesome report! An honest and at times dramatic story, with a sense of how you became stronger as the journey went on. Beautiful pictures! And the "post mortem" is a well thought out bonus, especially for n00bs.

Btw, your english is very, very good. The occasional wonkiness that creeps into it simply adds to the character and the international flavour of this great website. I hope you don't change anything when you repost here... which I sincerely hope you do!
Thanks for being so forgiving!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:37 PM   #52
marcoue OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yukoner2
Hey marcoue, nice to see your ride report. Only one problem theat I can see, you should have let me know you where taking the pic of me working on your bike, I would have put on a hair piece to cover the shiney spot.
NO???!!! Are you kidding me? Nice to hear from you and thanks again for the nice and rapid work! You literally saved me a hole day by squeezing me in between jobs like you did!

Hope everything is fine up there and keep up the good work! Hope to see you guys again one day!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:40 PM   #53
marcoue OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymatt43
fantastic report and summary at the end. loads of really helpful information that i will definitely come back to as i'm doing the dempster late this summer - i have to say your experience makes me both excited and scared!

really loved the bit about meeting Sev Heiberg - i feel that meeting people like him make an entire trip worthwhile!

thanks so much for posting this report!
I was wondering if I should have put that in this report considering this is a motorcycle site but it was certainly part of my memories so it's nice to see that it's no too smoochy for some!

Good luck in you adventures!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:41 PM   #54
marcoue OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brice
Salut cousin Quebequois,

Publie ton RR sur Advrider, comme souvent wordpress.com est bloqué depuis la Chine.

Merci
C'est fait, j'espère que la sencure te permettra quand même de me lire!
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:46 PM   #55
marcoue OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2uprtw
Salut Marcoue,

Great to see these pics once again! Give us more!



C'est quand le prochain voyage?
Hey salut Brian!!!

J'espère que tu vas bien! Good to hear from you! I can't believe how far you are now considering that we only met a few months ago in Buenos Aires!

Next trip will be smaller (construction at home!!!$$$) so I might be heading Newfoundland thru Labrador!

Are you ever comming back to Montréal?

Take car and hello to your Marie of course!
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:38 PM   #56
Brice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoue
C'est fait, j'espère que la sencure te permettra quand même de me lire!
Merci Marc. Comme toutes les censures, elle est idiote et contournable.

Superbes photos et commentaires, ton récit donne envie de faire une balade dans l'ouest Canadien.
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Ride report - Few weeks in South West China
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:19 AM   #57
KL__07
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Merci

Marc,

thanks a lot. that was a fantastic story with amazing pics.
I think you 're going to the extremes and, obviously, to your own limits.

Your starting picture of the GSA on this muddy road is fantastic and threatening as well.

Well done mate

KL
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:48 AM   #58
BOOGIEMAN
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great trip

I enjoyed your RR. I have hunted,traveled, snowmobiled in your country and toured by bike. But only in the eastern part.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:35 PM   #59
marcoue OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOGIEMAN
I enjoyed your RR. I have hunted,traveled, snowmobiled in your country and toured by bike. But only in the eastern part.
Happy to see you liked it! safe riding!
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:35 PM   #60
Abenteuerfahrer
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Incredible story and fabulous pictures.....Thank you for having taken us along. I(we) failed to do the Dempster in 2009 due to a weak sidecar wheel bearing and would like to challenge it again but porbably not in the mud!

Cheers....
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