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Old 10-06-2011, 04:45 PM   #31
aquadog
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Interesting link for the fenders. An off-the-shelf solution might be to buy raft thwarts, such as http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.a...8&pdeptid=1128 , the thwarts are 16.25". Another option would be cataraft tubes, like http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.a...0&pdeptid=2301 which would be a lot of inflation. These cat tubes, being coated nylon, are going to pack easier and weigh less than an equivalent PVC or Hypalon product. With some planning, you could probably rig the tubes so you could each straddle a tube on opposite sides of the bikes and paddle across. With the right cat tubes, you might be able to rig the bikes nose to tail and make it across in one trip, which would be a big bonus for time. A couple poles lashed on strategically would assist if necessary. Going down the MacKenzie you could have a floor, which gets dropped at Norman Wells, keeping just tubes and paddles. Lots of options.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:06 AM   #32
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Something to think about with the tubes. I think the tubes would need a cover to support expansion of the weight. When I laid my bike on a watersport tube (pull behind boat) it puffed out alot but when I put the cover on it stayed tighter.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:35 PM   #33
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Something to think about with the tubes. I think the tubes would need a cover to support expansion of the weight. When I laid my bike on a watersport tube (pull behind boat) it puffed out alot but when I put the cover on it stayed tighter.
Hey Robin, can you post pics of what you experienced with the tube deforming? I know with inflatbles like a zodiac there is little deformation with stress... more details to look into... did you get my PM?
Jason
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:51 PM   #34
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Hey Robin, can you post pics of what you experienced with the tube deforming? I know with inflatbles like a zodiac there is little deformation with stress... more details to look into... did you get my PM?
Jason







This is all I have. I remember it being really squishy for the bike. The other tube with the cover was stiffer but no pics. With a smaller bike It might have been good enough to get across a small river but maybe not the Mackenzie. The cover has no donut hole in it either so it might be better for floating. I'm not sure what the float ratings are but we pulled a fat guy in it. I actually have two with a cover and wonder if they could be strapped together somehow or one for the bike and one for the paddler. I can't see them taking up TOO much space when folded.

Yes I did get your PM but I've been busy riding with my daughter these last couple of days I didn't get time to reply. She's 6 and I just bought her a little 70 yesterday. She's loving it so much.

Next season I plan on buying a a TW 200 or Sherpa 250 for my wife. She's riding my '08 KLR right now and I want her to get more comfortable with gravel and trails on a smaller bike. When you know which other bikes you are considering let me know so I can possibly buy one testing. Although the WR 250 is a great dirtbike I wonder how it would handle the load (subframe), also the shorter inseam bikes might be easier on the Canol. They are both aircooled also = easy maintenance and no rad fluid to deal with.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:58 PM   #35
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How about a two wheel drive Ural with a sidecar? Too big maybe.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:14 PM   #36
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With respect, if quads were having a difficult time, a Ural with sidecar would die early. Because it was a "road" in 1944 and is still called a Trail, it's easy to assume that it's at least a two-track - which for some portions, it is, and in quite decent condition - rock doesn't erode all that much. In other portions, it's neither. There's a reason motorized trips are so rarely successful - one quad trip, and the Archie fellow who reportedly took two seasons, with resupply. Check the Land Rover group that tried from the west (good) side, they have some decent images at http://picasaweb.google.com/10816943...969IjGV6uCXvkQ and a bit of info at http://buddstanley.blogspot.com/2009...anol-road.html

Keep in mind that the Land Rovers didn't get as far as the quad trip I supported. What you're seeing is the easy portion of the trail. Looks like the crossings they show are mostly the Ekwi, a small river in comparison. I'm sure the entire trail can be done in one reasonable attempt, but it will take the right combination of factors, not the least of which will be weather luck - the right water levels at the right time. That means that planning for a turn back/bail out option is important too.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:05 AM   #37
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You mention weather luck, I think this is the big factor that could stop an otherwise well planned out trip. If a week in it begins raining hard and dramatically raising water levels you could get stuck. Turning back may not be an option if you have covered terrain you really struggled with and now it's deeper and wetter. Going forward may become near impossible. So TIME becomes a huge factor, sitting out days of bad weather might be the only solution. This in turn brings about the demise to any sort of fast and light approach. Food and supplies and not having moral fail all become important. To keep moral alive some level of comfort needs to be brought, again working against fast and light. Of course you might get a couple of weeks of perfect weather but to plan on that would be really rolling the dice.

I don't think a portable raft is the way to do the Mackenie.

Start on the west.
Do a few extra days of riding in fuel and food caches (at least you can go further because you know how much fuel you would need to get back to the cache versus a full return).
That extra few days or a week of creating a base camp (truck and trailer maybe) and a cache a day or two ride in, would also help you get prepared and work out the kinks in the bike and gear.
When you get to NW leave your bike to be shipped at a later date and grab a flight back to your base camp, aka truck and trailer.

This approach seems to make sense and offers a good chance at success.

As for a raft

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...postcount=1392


Think about what it will take to pack for this.....

Long ropes to get it across currents
Wetsuits?
At least three people, two holding the bike and one to work a pulley system
Pumps
The pontoons probably aren't light or small when packed, again three + people to spread the weight and bulk gear would help


Small bikes might have a hard time carrying all the needed gear, big bikes would be a pig in the more technical stuff. Somewhere in the middle I guess is a compromise. 400-650 maybe? Efi and electronics in the water versus a carb....just adding points of failure IMO I think a drz or xrl might be the way go...just an opinion. Both are cheap enough to ditch if you had to. Both are time proven, both are easy to work on if flooded with water, both can be had for a modest price tag, both have large tanks avaiable, both can carry a good sized load.

Just some thoughts, them or leave them. Good luck
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:13 AM   #38
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I agree with the bigger bikes vs smaller bikes. I was thinking DRZ is the middle compromise. Its not that much heavier than the 200's or 250's. I own an XRL and its very heavy with the large tank, I have taken it in muskeg and it plows through like a tractor. I do get tired of picking it up though on rocky singletrack, maybe because its such a tall bike for me.

Racks are available also for the DRZ's and XRL's. maybe more for XRL's.

I like the pontoon raft.....it almost looks like you can put a paddle tire on it and zoom across the water.

I think a ride through one way on the Canol saves time and planning and supplies vs. a base camp. I prefer the boat across from NW than the paddle across. Then we can go with one raft instead of three....or more
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:53 AM   #39
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[QUOTE=aquadog;17033056]they have some decent images at http://picasaweb.google.com/10816943...969IjGV6uCXvkQ and a bit of info at http://buddstanley.blogspot.com/2009...anol-road.html

Just went through the full 400 plus photos. That is one beautiful part of the world.

Thanks for posting the info. Hijack off.

YK
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:59 AM   #40
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...=707236&page=2

The link is to Crooked Creek's trip planning for the rail grade, someone sent this. Note that most river crossings ever photographed are (1) in warm enough water that you can wear shorts, (2) have a bunch of helpful locals assisting. This trip will have neither. Nevertheless, this type of float rig is what I'm talking about, some raft thwarts or cat tubes strapped to each side of the bike, riders in - preferably - GoreTex drysuits, paddle or swim the bike across. Coated nylon pontoons like the link I posted are probably as light as you can get while still being durable. Hypalon and PVC are tougher, though, but it's not like you're actually rafting full time. Since you'll be testing the crossing system, it'll be interesting to see if you end up with a line/pulley system or free floating. Think wide rivers, lots of rope, you're going to find that the drag of the rope in the fast current, even while trying to get it across the first time, is surprisingly high. Be prepared to ditch the rope, don't have it tied to yourself. Fast release buckle that will release under pressure. You're going to need PFD as well, possibly the inflatable ones so they're not bulky unless you need them. It might be a good idea to take a river rescue course prior to the trip so you get familiar with the forces involved, and rope systems if you choose that route.

And then there's the boulder fields, side hill scree slopes, mud bogs... Deadly99 noted that you can get trapped out there, basically what happened to the quad trip. They got stopped by the Twitya, then coming back found that even the Ekwi, which they had crossed with little problem on the way out, had kept rising with the rain and was now a more significant obstacle. It took them a day longer than planned to get back to where I was picking them up (12km east of the NWT border at the first ford). 99 also has a point about starting from the west, to feel it out.
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:41 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by El Birdo View Post







This is all I have. I remember it being really squishy for the bike. The other tube with the cover was stiffer but no pics. With a smaller bike It might have been good enough to get across a small river but maybe not the Mackenzie. The cover has no donut hole in it either so it might be better for floating. I'm not sure what the float ratings are but we pulled a fat guy in it. I actually have two with a cover and wonder if they could be strapped together somehow or one for the bike and one for the paddler. I can't see them taking up TOO much space when folded.

Yes I did get your PM but I've been busy riding with my daughter these last couple of days I didn't get time to reply. She's 6 and I just bought her a little 70 yesterday. She's loving it so much.

Next season I plan on buying a a TW 200 or Sherpa 250 for my wife. She's riding my '08 KLR right now and I want her to get more comfortable with gravel and trails on a smaller bike. When you know which other bikes you are considering let me know so I can possibly buy one testing. Although the WR 250 is a great dirtbike I wonder how it would handle the load (subframe), also the shorter inseam bikes might be easier on the Canol. They are both aircooled also = easy maintenance and no rad fluid to deal with.
Hey Robin, I've never ridden a tw200 but ive had some seat time on the sherpa and its a great little bike. The WR250R has an excellent sub frame. There was a guy that put 30,000miles on one trip with one down to south america and he had an average of 60+lbs of luggage on it. I have yet to see one break. Can't say the same on my 650R... They also only need a valve check every 40,000km and oil changes every 5000km. They are taller then the other bikes you mentioned but you can lower them a good 2 inches without seat modification. Then only downside as you mentioned is the water cooled aspect, although with a large tank it's kind of a moot point.
Jason
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by aquadog View Post
Interesting link for the fenders. An off-the-shelf solution might be to buy raft thwarts, such as http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.a...8&pdeptid=1128 , the thwarts are 16.25". Another option would be cataraft tubes, like http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.a...0&pdeptid=2301 which would be a lot of inflation. These cat tubes, being coated nylon, are going to pack easier and weigh less than an equivalent PVC or Hypalon product. With some planning, you could probably rig the tubes so you could each straddle a tube on opposite sides of the bikes and paddle across. With the right cat tubes, you might be able to rig the bikes nose to tail and make it across in one trip, which would be a big bonus for time. A couple poles lashed on strategically would assist if necessary. Going down the MacKenzie you could have a floor, which gets dropped at Norman Wells, keeping just tubes and paddles. Lots of options.
aquadog, I got a quote back from that fender place, $485/float, so about a grand to float one bike not including the frame or extra d-rings... However I really liked your suggestion and ended up finding some cataraft tubes DIY style... They are from MN Boats in ontario, they carry the Saturn cataraft tubes in 3 sizes: 13,14,15 foot versions. They are respectively $500, $600, $700 per set. and they weigh less than the fenders I looked at, about 15 lbs per float for the 15' version which could easily float two bikes head to tail


These come with a pump, glue, 20 d-rings, grab handles u can place where you like and are IMO perfect for this purpose!
Jason

windquest screwed with this post 10-10-2011 at 04:43 PM
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:06 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by El Birdo View Post
I agree with the bigger bikes vs smaller bikes. I was thinking DRZ is the middle compromise. Its not that much heavier than the 200's or 250's. I own an XRL and its very heavy with the large tank, I have taken it in muskeg and it plows through like a tractor. I do get tired of picking it up though on rocky singletrack, maybe because its such a tall bike for me.

Racks are available also for the DRZ's and XRL's. maybe more for XRL's.

I like the pontoon raft.....it almost looks like you can put a paddle tire on it and zoom across the water.

I think a ride through one way on the Canol saves time and planning and supplies vs. a base camp. I prefer the boat across from NW than the paddle across. Then we can go with one raft instead of three....or more
You guys have definetly touched an important part of planning here. Bike size is cruicial. I agree that the DRZ is about the same weight as some of the 250's but weight is not the only issue. Does anyone know what the fuel economy is for the DRZ? I know that these 200-250's get between 46-80pmg from worst to best depending on the conditions. I think that if any other bike is compared here it must either be equal or greater in fuel economy in order to be a serious contender. I too agree that on some sections of the trail a 650 would be fine, some more sections a 400, but like aquadog stated the trail by in large is not two track, it's no trail at all. Given that any bike that will require more fuel will IMO guaranty that we will fail..

As far as racks, Ben and I were thinking a small rear fender rack and giant loop bags would be the best for weight and crashability, trying to keep im mind lighter, faster and more durable. Im not to worried about what racks are available off the shelf for this trip. I have access to all sorts of equipment that we can custom make for a very reasonable(less than off the shelf) price.

Check out my post about the floats, I really think this is the best idea right now, only problem is that the biggest floats will only float 2 bikes plus gear, which means 2 trips across the river or 2 sets of rafts( at least for the Mackenzie portion). Best part about them is that we can customize the d-rings and grab handles and they are relatively cheap. For instance the 15' version is $700 CDN which is good for 2 bikes, people and their gear. which is $350/guy. That is way better then the custom fenders at $1000/guy.
Jason
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:30 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Deadly99 View Post
You mention weather luck, I think this is the big factor that could stop an otherwise well planned out trip. If a week in it begins raining hard and dramatically raising water levels you could get stuck. Turning back may not be an option if you have covered terrain you really struggled with and now it's deeper and wetter. Going forward may become near impossible. So TIME becomes a huge factor, sitting out days of bad weather might be the only solution. This in turn brings about the demise to any sort of fast and light approach. Food and supplies and not having moral fail all become important. To keep moral alive some level of comfort needs to be brought, again working against fast and light. Of course you might get a couple of weeks of perfect weather but to plan on that would be really rolling the dice. I think we have to fully understand that there wont be much comfort on that portion of the trip. I think having warm meals, proper gortex riding gear and undergarments to stay dry and warm will help greatly. Weather will play a big role in planning, constant monitoring will be essential including keeping up to date real time via sattelite phone.

I don't think a portable raft is the way to do the Mackenie.
I respectfully dissagree, I think if the cataraft tubes I suggested in another post are used, with a proper frame to mount gear/bikes. This setup would be no different then some guys floating down the mackenzie in a canoe or kayak, it does take more time then flying but at that point your getting into some real $$$. plus the floats can be sold after the trip to recoup some costs. shipping your bike is a one time cost that can't be recouperated.

Start on the west.
Do a few extra days of riding in fuel and food caches (at least you can go further because you know how much fuel you would need to get back to the cache versus a full return).
That extra few days or a week of creating a base camp (truck and trailer maybe) and a cache a day or two ride in, would also help you get prepared and work out the kinks in the bike and gear.
When you get to NW leave your bike to be shipped at a later date and grab a flight back to your base camp, aka truck and trailer.
I think that this would be a great idea if we had lots of time and money, but bringing a truck and trailer up, then doing your own food/fuel drops will cost a lot of time and money. Plus I don't intend on seeing if my gear and set up work on the bike when I get there, the equipment must be tested and pushed to the limit prior to leaving so there is no question about whether the setup will or will not work whe the time comes

This approach seems to make sense and offers a good chance at success.

As for a raft

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...postcount=1392


Think about what it will take to pack for this.....

Long ropes to get it across currents Yes, however there are many small diameter hi strength ropes from the sailing industry that will work great here and be light.
Wetsuits?Drysuit
At least three people, two holding the bike and one to work a pulley system
Pumps Our plan is to use the exhaust of the bikes to perform this duty
The pontoons probably aren't light or small when packed, again three + people to spread the weight and bulk gear would help The 15' cataraft tubes weigh under 15lbs per tube. 2 tubes are good for 2 bikes plus guys plus gear. and they pack small...


Small bikes might have a hard time carrying all the needed gear, big bikes would be a pig in the more technical stuff. Somewhere in the middle I guess is a compromise. 400-650 maybe? Efi and electronics in the water versus a carb....just adding points of failure IMO I think a drz or xrl might be the way go...just an opinion. Both are cheap enough to ditch if you had to. Both are time proven, both are easy to work on if flooded with water, both can be had for a modest price tag, both have large tanks avaiable, both can carry a good sized load.
If we keep our gear compact and small a bike in the 200-250cc size should work. 400-650 will just burn too much fuel especially at low speed with lots of reving. As far as EFI vs Carb, keep in mind that the elevation change will be very significant so adjustment will be required. I dont see a bike with EFI as a point of failure, to me fuel consumption is going to be more imprtant. As far as cost if you have to ditch, you have to pay a helicopter to come get you, so you might as well pay him to haul your bikes out too, cheaper then abandoning your equipment not to mention that you wouldn't be leaving "garbage" behind with you...

Just some thoughts, them or leave them. Good luck
Ted, you bring up some great points... see above
Jason
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:36 PM   #45
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Hey guys I found this in the vendors section...






it's super light and the pulley system is rated for 500lb, and the ratchet even more. Could be a great as a "come-along".. what do you guys think?

Jason

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