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Old 02-02-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Kannapolis
Oddometer: 109
Yukon Alaska Bound 09... 4 guys ride the 3D's!

Back in 2007 I had the idea of riding my motorcyle to Alaska. Not knowing anything about Canada or Alaska only hearing of the Alaska Hwy. That summer my brother was getting married. That meant all my family would be hear to tell them of my idea and ask if they are interested in riding along with me. Right away my brother Mark was in so was Dad and Alvin. Now all we needed was bikes and a plan.

This will be my first real post and my first ride report so hang on. I work with metal all day so not very good at writing or typing. I will try to give info on the bikes and the gear as I go along. Ok lets get this ride going.

Now we have a plan. We plan for 11,400 miles in 30 days averaging 380 miles per day. AZ crew 1,000 miles less. We plan to camp most every night and do our own tire changes. My brother Mark and I will ride from Kannapolis NC to Rugby ND, the center point of North America. Dad and Alvin our Step Dad will be riding from Show Low AZ to Rugby ND. We will Be leaving on June 06 2009. Plan to be back to work July 7th. This gives us two years to prepare.


We bought some bikes My brother and I bought new Stroms mine is an 07 Marks is an 08. Alvin went the used route alot more affordable with all boxes and ready to go his is also an 07. My dad was the first to buy a bike he went with an almost ready to go 2006 BMW Dakar 650.

Here is my bike the Silver 07 and my brothers Flat black 08 in the Smokey Mountains.

Mark and I took Our first practice ride in June of 08. Four hundred miles in one day Kannapolis NC to the Smokey Mountians and found some dirt roads to ride. Our butts were so sore this being my first ride over 100 miles at one time. This is Marks first street bike and first long ride of any kind.

Now I go home in Oct 08 to visit family. Dad and I go on a practice ride while I was out there. We ride from Show Low AZ down through the Salt river. Some of the best roads in AZ. Head from Globe to Morenci AZ there is a huge open pit mine there. We are on hwy 191 heading North to Alpine. What a scenery change you start in the desert where it was about 80 degrees and head up to the Mountains and the Aspen trees. Just a great day for a ride. Dad road his 81 sportster all day and I got to ride his Dakar. I really like the Dakar.
Dad and I standing next to the open pit mine in Morenci AZ.

The dragon of the Southwest Hwy 191 use to be hwy 666.

Dads Dakar

Now that was a fun 400 mile day in AZ with dad.

Alvin finally buys his bike in early 2009 with all the boxes and bike gear.

Here are the riders:
Alvin (Step Dad)



Mark (Bro)

Now lets get to the ride report.
Time to head out! We leave for our adventure at 7:00 am June 06 2009. All the NC family is here to watch us leave and wish us luck and a safe ride. My friend Nathan rides over on his CB900f to ride the first 50 miles with us.

Day 1 June 6th
Bikes loaded and ready.

One of the hardest bye bye's ever. To my son and my wife Melissa.

Lets Roll.

Tomorrow I will post Day 1 and beyond.

CAGE FREE screwed with this post 03-09-2010 at 06:11 PM
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:24 PM   #2
Joined: Oct 2006
Oddometer: 66
Can't wait to follow this!!!!! I want to see how the V Stroms handle Alaska, it's on the short list of adventure tourers I'm looking at. How do they do!!!!

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Old 02-02-2010, 06:39 PM   #3
kootenay kid
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Location: kootenays canada
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Looks good, lets have it.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:10 PM   #4
Ride Fast Travel Slo
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: High Level, Alberta
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Hope you don't mind if I tag along.
13 Triumph Exp, 12Vstrom 650
You don't travel to see different things, You travel to see things differently.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:29 PM   #5
smilin jack
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Lebanon Oregon
Oddometer: 1,234
Report on your riding gear

Originally Posted by Bluesjammer
Can't wait to follow this!!!!! I want to see how the V Stroms handle Alaska, it's on the short list of adventure tourers I'm looking at. How do they do!!!!

Looks like your wearing Kathmandu Pants and Jacket. I just got some and am interested in how the riding gear performs on your long trip. Haven't worn mine yet... still wearing the FirstGear insulated rain suit. It's the best and doesn't leak.

The highway worker vest helps cage drivers see me. I always wear it.

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Old 02-03-2010, 06:10 AM   #6
Sherpa-ing around
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Lone Pine, ON, Canada
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sounds like an adventure is about to unfold..............
I'd rather die living than live dying.

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Old 02-03-2010, 06:23 AM   #7
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Rochester, MN
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Can we have more details on your water bottle setup ....
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:33 AM   #8
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: South Louisiana
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Right on!! I plan on a similar trip in the near future.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:13 AM   #9
He'll Stab Your Cat
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Indian Mills, New Jersey
Oddometer: 413
I noticed that even though you chose the same steed, you farkled them slighty different. I am interested to hear the comparisons.

How did the windshields perform?

And I hate to ask the question as to which set of crash-bars worked better.... Don't want to imply that you had to use them... haha.

07 DL 1000
06 KLR 650
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:41 PM   #10
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Kannapolis
Oddometer: 109
Shall we continue?

Before I start day 1 I am going to give a little info on the two DL650 V-Stroms and our gear.

2007 Strom. Marks 2008 Strom flat black
Crash bars built at home. Marks bike Givi crash bars weld skid plate tabs
Pannier Mount and rack built at home
Pelican cases for panniers. Marks Military boxes Kitchen use
Rear rack home built
Radiator guards home built
Oil cooler relocation Touratech. My 07 has home built guard on cooler.
Seats Day long
Windshield National cylce V stream. Marks Givi
Tires Tourances. Marks Stock Battle wings
17 tooth front sprocket
Hand guards Suzuki w/ ext. Marks Suzuki
Wolfman tank bag. Marks Joe rocket tank bag
Powerlet plug by key
AP 2 fuse box under seat
Cigarette lighter under seat for cell phone charging.
Home made water bottle holders Made from sheet Aluminum. Put in a roller then tig weld down seam. Gravity held the camelback water bottles in place. Velcro hose to tank bag. Drinking and riding no problem. Water that is.
Ortlieb bags bought online one new one was used.

My riding gear
I am wearing Fieldsheer Highland Jacket and Katmandu pants Gaerni 2009 boots tall and Arai profile helmet for my weird shaped head. Mark is wearing Fieldsheer Highland Jacket and Fieldsheer mercury style pants, Gaerni boots and Shoe helmet. We both wear Bodz under wear top and bottom and socks. Only had one pair for whole trip. Ha Ha.
Ok if any questions please feel free to ask.

Bikes are loaded and ready we both have Continental TKC 80s on back. Thought of shipping tires north or buying up there but one cost and two peace of mind. What if I had a bad flat and need a tire early. One day before the trip I was riding to work with the stock tires and ran over something I did not see and the back tire went flat. I had four large gashes in the tire. No way could you plug mayby patch with large patches.

Ok Day 1 June 6th 2009
Plan to ride from Kannapolis NC to Danville Illinois Kickapoo SP. Starts out cool and warms up to be a great day just a little rain in Charelston WV. We got off of I 64 and headed north west on Historic 52 along the Ohio River to Cincinnati. Then I 74 to Danville Illinois.
Day one we had our first parts failure. Riding up I 77 I noticed he was dropping back so I slow down and he catches up. We pull to the median and his center stand is dragging on the ground. The springs were gone. He was lucky that the rear tire did not find the springs. So he wips out some wire ties from his jacket and fixes her up.

Our lunch off of I 77 in WV Wife made bread.

Toll booth

Hwy 52

Ohio river

Make it to first nights camp. We rode through six states. NC,VA,WV,OH,IN. and IL. The bikes sure are heavy.

Sure was alot of emotions the first night out away from my little boy and wife. So not much of an appetite this night.

deer near camp

Funny thing about first night camping. It was right next to a dirt track. They had Ump modifieds and Sprint cars that night so it was late when finally went to sleep.

Day 2 June 7th 2009
This is My 11 year wedding Anniversary. I got out of that one. Ha Ha.
Ride from Danville IL to Amnicon Falls SP by Superior Wisconsin.

Mark and I by the lake at Kickapoo.

I sure was slow packing. It was the first time to break camp and I was slow! It took me 2 hours to eat and load the bike. Better pick it up. I will.
Friendly people in Illinois took this. Today I did not take alot of pics. The day started of nice and warm. Then in Peoria IL rain all the way to Rockford IL. The temp just kept on dropping. Ride into Wisconsin heavy traffic and cold. There was a cold front that we hit. Once we got to hwy 53 in Eau Claire traffic was light and it was a nice ride to Amnicon Falls SP in Wisconsin next to lake Superior.
Not alot of pics today.

Stop and buy some cheese in Wisconsin. And put our warm clothes on.

Stop and get gas just before camp that night and ask a guy the Temp he said it is 46 deg. Rain all night he said.

Feel much better tonight getting into the whole not at home thing.

Art Decco at camp

Checking out the reflectivity of the bikes.

Day 2 was a good day. Just got cold. We stayed dry all day.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:09 PM   #11
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Location: Kannapolis
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Day 3 June 8th 2009
We get up at 5:30 am and leave at seven. This is 30 minutes quicker than yesterday. We Saddle up just as it begins to rain. We are pretty cold still. We ride into Superior and stop next to the lake the temp on a sign says it is 37 deg. It was super windy out to you had to make sure you put the kick stand on left of lake. Plan to day is ride to Rugby ND on hwy 2 all the way there. Our first day without interstate. Finally!
Lake Superior

Crossing the bridge in Duluth was pretty trick in the high cross wind. It was a blast. We get on Hwy 2 and head for Bemidji MN. Rained hard all the way there. Foggy and Wet. Get to Bemidji and find the Babe and Blue Ox. Try to take pics in rain and camera stops working.

We are wet and cold. We had the glove gounlets on the outside of jackets and rain ran down sleeves into gloves. Gloves and lower sleeves wet. We find and eve to park under right next to Paul Bunnon Subs. Girl working there was really nice and did not mind us warming up there and drying off.
Great food.

We are warm and ready to hit the road still raining.

Stop at a rest stop near Crookston MN. Rain stopped.

We made it to Rugby tonight. We almost ran out of gas on the way here. We filled the bikes when we pulled into rugby and the bikes took 5.4 gal in 5.8 gallon tanks. Tonight we were going to head north on hwy 3 toward Canada to camp but decided to get a room. This is where we met the other to tonight. They showed up about two hours after us. They road 600 miles today. They said on there way from AZ on day one they had a great day. Day two they had snow in Colorado and a tornado by Denver. It was cold for them too. Tonight we stay in and rest for the ride to Canada tomorrow.

I will post some tomorrow night. Thanks
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:27 PM   #12
Throttle Junkie
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Chicagoland
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I'll be tuned in on this one, I'm taking this trip with my Dad and a friend of his this summer.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:38 AM   #13
Tragic Overlander
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Location: Rocky Mountains
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Thanks for letting us all tag along . This looks like a great ride, and one I am seriously considering in June. Good luck, and keep up the good work!
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:38 AM   #14
Utah Bones
Gas X ready!
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Brain in Utah but homeless in Wisconsin....
Oddometer: 1,607
Great looking bikes!
Lefthand brew, a weber grill and the rocky mountains, all goes away!
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:48 AM   #15
Plane Dr
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: North TX Metromess
Oddometer: 888
Enjoy the ride. It is beautiful country all the way to the end. Granted I've only made it to the Alaska/Yukon border.
01/09 DRZ470SSW more bits than necesary
2005 R1200 GS AKA The Mothership
2003 Z1000 Nuclear Pumpkin (gone)
86 RG500WW (gone)

Bikes are like women. What you think you want, and what you want, change after the first ride.
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