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Old 10-10-2011, 05:00 PM   #46
El Birdo
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What do I think.......Simply great !

Those Cataraft tubes I think are the bomb. Light and pack small. Excellent price too....even for the 13ft. What's the load rating on them?

Wow! I love the rope pulley. Looks like it might come in handy, but essential???

My guess is that the DRZ would be a high revver and suck the gas. I agree that fuel economy is important and that the Giant Loop is a great piece of kit eliminating the rack.

Tell us more about the "exhaust pump" I'm a little skeptical about the heat and fumes.

Robin
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:24 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by El Birdo View Post
What do I think.......Simply great !

Those Cataraft tubes I think are the bomb. Light and pack small. Excellent price too....even for the 13ft. What's the load rating on them?

Wow! I love the rope pulley. Looks like it might come in handy, but essential???

My guess is that the DRZ would be a high revver and suck the gas. I agree that fuel economy is important and that the Giant Loop is a great piece of kit eliminating the rack.

Tell us more about the "exhaust pump" I'm a little skeptical about the heat and fumes.

Robin
Hey Robin, they don't give a load rating on them but the 13' ones give a total of 2672lbs of buoyancy, so at a 38% load that gives you about 1015lbs of gear with only 38% of the floats below the water. In reality I estimated a total weight per person of 600lbs so on the 13' cataraft your looking at a load of 25%. On the 15' one there is a total of 3117lbs of buoyancy , so to get 1200lb load ( 2 guys) would mean that 38% of the float (volume) would be underwater.

The pulleys are nice, I think that the "winch" is too much for what we need, might be better served in a solo trip. But I think a couple pulley may be required for river crossing etc, time will tell but either way a pulley that size is only 1-200 grams.

I think the GL will work great, im pretty sure there will be many low speed drops on a trip like this especially in the steep scree and boulder fields... this is where the GL will shine. We'll have to make sure that we do a good job with the seam sealer...

I don't have much information about the exhaust pump yet. Basically the idea is to run a rubber hose(that can withstand the heat touching the tip of the muffler) from the tip of the muffler to the inflation valve. This is how I see the scenario play out:

-pull up to a river, shut off the bikes
-set up one guy in a dry suit, to swim across the river to set up a line
-Other guys would get the bikes and gear ready with the cataraft tubes.
-Other guys would then have semi cold bikes/exhaust
-Hook up hose to the valve and exhaust, run the bike until bikes/tubes max pressure is achieved.
-If that doesnt make sufficient pressure, perhaps an adpater could be made to fit the tire pump to add the required pressure. (im hoping that this wont be necessary, but im confident we can come up with a solution if need be)

As far as heat I dont see any problem. With fumes I can't imagine that its that good for a tube. But you have to remeber it's only going to be done a few dozen times not continuously for 3 years so I don't think we will have any problems. Keep in mind we will test all of these ideas until we are happy/confident that they will work out in the field...

Perhaps a good test trip would be the Thebatcha road, kinda like a mini-canol???

Jason
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:27 PM   #48
aquadog
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Good looking ratchet set up, might be great for bogs. Doubt it would do enough for river crossings. However, I have a strong feeling - based on river rescue practice in the past - that once you do some tests on comparable rivers with strong current/cold, etc. you may end up free floating. This is particularly true with the cat tubes, where you can probably just paddle everything across. The trick with cat tubes is to keep the load reasonable, once they get too deep in the water, they, like all other boats, become pigs. I have a set of 16'/24" tubes and have on one occasion, put about 1,500 pounds on them. This would be too much for real white water, but worked for gentler water. Floatation increases considerably with tube diameter, so the 18" will carry less load.

Here's a kinky idea, use 3 of the 18" tubes...tube, bike, tube, bike, tube. You could probably use shorter tubes then, and the wider stance will be very stable. This gives you a "real raft" that you can probably paddle pretty easily, as in sitting on the bike easy (long paddles ). At that point, finding the right entry/exit spots (as noted before, scout well up and down river) and paddling hard in a ferry position might be really slick and very fast to accomplish in comparison to a line across. I envision getting to the river, scouting for about an hour, setting up for about an hour +, and getting across and taking down in another 2 hours - basically half a day per larger crossing. Way faster than a line, the water level is less of a concern (you're now a boat), way safer, as you're not in the water. Still want a dry suit and inflatable PFD for safety. Obviously I like this option! But it's an opinion based on experience on the water. Back up is a throw bag, if you feel you're really losing it downstream, one person swims for shore towing the bag, runs downstream to find an anchor to do a pendulum ferry to shore. With a cataraft and rowing, you can get across a pretty strong current without going downstream all that much. You wouldn't have the force of oars, but I bet you could do pretty well.

I have a KLX400R, the Kawi badged version of the DRZ, and it's a reasonable option, but I have no idea of economy. It does not need high revs to be effective, it can chug a bit. I'm more of an explorer (slow and looking around) versus racy rider, and it works well for me. The exhaust filler can work fine, but use a metal funnel (plastic melts), and a hose that can take the temperature (braided line for hot fluids is fine), and an end that matches the tube valve. This will get you most of the way inflated, probably enough for your purposes. Commonly, you'd top off with a hand pump to get the last bit of pressure, if you were rafting. You'll find the balance between filling the tube and choking off the engine soon enough...think playing a brass instrument with a mute!
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:14 PM   #49
El Birdo
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I was thinking that maybe the fumes might melt the plastic for some reason.

I read Jupiter's Travels a few years ago and remember that the old triumph's had a pump adapter that would switch out with the spark plug to inflate tires. Anyone know if this might still exist?

Aquadog, any idea if the West side bank of the Mackenzie might be rideable, any beach at all?

I like the floating across idea vs setting up a line but I have no idea what the rivers' current look like. I will most likely join Jason on his quest, so we need to start thinking in more than 2 for numbers. What about taking the tanks off and laying them down? to cross or on the Mackenzie?

As far as swimming across goes I am a VERY good swimmer. So I volunteer to cross for the line. I swim about 2.5+ km 2-3 times per week in about 45min. I am also a decent paddler mostly flatwater though....I have taken a reading rivers course but need a refresher. I am comfortable in the water but also respect its power.

Thebatcha would be the perfect trial for the bikes, I don't remember what sorts of rivers/creeks we'd need to cross.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:57 PM   #50
aquadog
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Spark plug pumps are still around, but you need a multiple cylinder engine so that the motor keeps running while one cylinder pumps air - at least that's how mine works. I've used it on my truck, and it works great. Fumes are not a big issue for melting tubes, maybe if raw fuel was getting out you'd have problems. No idea about the banks of the MacKenzie. River current from as far as I've been, and pictures I've seen, is strong, depending on water level. Think 15 mph. Swimming ability is great, but crossing with a line is a different game, lots of drag as noted before, make sure you have a harness that instantly releases the line under pressure as a safety measure.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:33 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by aquadog View Post
Good looking ratchet set up, might be great for bogs. Doubt it would do enough for river crossings. However, I have a strong feeling - based on river rescue practice in the past - that once you do some tests on comparable rivers with strong current/cold, etc. you may end up free floating. This is particularly true with the cat tubes, where you can probably just paddle everything across. The trick with cat tubes is to keep the load reasonable, once they get too deep in the water, they, like all other boats, become pigs. I have a set of 16'/24" tubes and have on one occasion, put about 1,500 pounds on them. This would be too much for real white water, but worked for gentler water. Floatation increases considerably with tube diameter, so the 18" will carry less load.

Here's a kinky idea, use 3 of the 18" tubes...tube, bike, tube, bike, tube. You could probably use shorter tubes then, and the wider stance will be very stable. This gives you a "real raft" that you can probably paddle pretty easily, as in sitting on the bike easy (long paddles ). At that point, finding the right entry/exit spots (as noted before, scout well up and down river) and paddling hard in a ferry position might be really slick and very fast to accomplish in comparison to a line across. I envision getting to the river, scouting for about an hour, setting up for about an hour +, and getting across and taking down in another 2 hours - basically half a day per larger crossing. Way faster than a line, the water level is less of a concern (you're now a boat), way safer, as you're not in the water. Still want a dry suit and inflatable PFD for safety. Obviously I like this option! But it's an opinion based on experience on the water. Back up is a throw bag, if you feel you're really losing it downstream, one person swims for shore towing the bag, runs downstream to find an anchor to do a pendulum ferry to shore. With a cataraft and rowing, you can get across a pretty strong current without going downstream all that much. You wouldn't have the force of oars, but I bet you could do pretty well.

I have a KLX400R, the Kawi badged version of the DRZ, and it's a reasonable option, but I have no idea of economy. It does not need high revs to be effective, it can chug a bit. I'm more of an explorer (slow and looking around) versus racy rider, and it works well for me. The exhaust filler can work fine, but use a metal funnel (plastic melts), and a hose that can take the temperature (braided line for hot fluids is fine), and an end that matches the tube valve. This will get you most of the way inflated, probably enough for your purposes. Commonly, you'd top off with a hand pump to get the last bit of pressure, if you were rafting. You'll find the balance between filling the tube and choking off the engine soon enough...think playing a brass instrument with a mute!
Aquadog, I agree with you that the ratchet might work good in a bog, but I never had any intention of using it for any sort of river crossing, it would probably take a week!

The 1200lb load I talked about in my previous posts was for 2 guys+gear+bikes for the Mackenzie river section from Wrigley to Norman Wells. This weight also included a frame to hold all the gear and stuff out of the water. Once we get across the river at Norman Wells to Camp Canol we would be ditching the frame. I like the idea of free padding across rivers, does seem like it would be potentially faster. I think this would work great on less intense rivers.

My favorite river crossing idea right now is the Pendulum Ferry. I think(could be wrong) this would be safer/more controlled setup for the more wild rivers to cross. My thought is that one guy in a dry suit and life jacket would swim across the river(ending up further dowstream of course) with a light line. He would then tie to an anchor to the other side of the river. Mean while the other guy/guys would be loading up the bikes/gear onto the cat tubes. They would tie the line to the "raft" and let it out into the river where the force of the river would create a pendulum effect. thereby moving the raft to the other side of the river where the guy in the dry suit can meet them on the other side of the river in one shot, as opposed to multiple crossings. I am taking a guess here and saying this would probably work best with 2-4 people.

I liked your idea on shorter cataraft tubes but use 3 instead of 2 for 2 guys. The only problem is that they sell the the cataraft tube in sets of 3. Though as I am typing this even the cost of purchasing 2 sets of 13 foot cataraft tubes is $1000, and only using 3 on the trip. At least then each guy has his own set of tubes when he gets home and can keep them or sell them after the trip. Then your only looking at $500/guy which is still way less then the $1000/guy that the custom fenders would cost. Plus Im kinda thinking I would like a little cataraft for myself when Im done... I've been kinda bummed since I sold my little Bombard inflatable with the yamaha 2.5hp outboard. That motor would have been awesome for the Mackenzie river section from Wrigley to Norman Wells. That thing would run full throttle for 2 days on less then a liter of gas...

You mentioned "paddle the ferry position" what does that mean?

Last question (for now), You said that the river current is 15mph. Were you refering to the Mackenzie river or to others such as the twitya, little keele etc?

Jason
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:40 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Birdo View Post
I was thinking that maybe the fumes might melt the plastic for some reason.

I read Jupiter's Travels a few years ago and remember that the old triumph's had a pump adapter that would switch out with the spark plug to inflate tires. Anyone know if this might still exist? Good idea, but I would be worried about running a battery down trying to pump up a tube. I think the exhaust will work best in our scenario...

Aquadog, any idea if the West side bank of the Mackenzie might be rideable, any beach at all? There was 3 hikers that did the trip west to east, had a really good write up, i'll check it out to see if they had any good description of the bank.

I like the floating across idea vs setting up a line but I have no idea what the rivers' current look like. I will most likely join Jason on his quest, so we need to start thinking in more than 2 for numbers. What about taking the tanks off and laying them down? to cross or on the Mackenzie? I see no need to take the tanks off, that would just exponentiate the time required to cross the rivers, if we want to we can still easily lay the bikes on their sides if need be.

As far as swimming across goes I am a VERY good swimmer. So I volunteer to cross for the line. I swim about 2.5+ km 2-3 times per week in about 45min. I am also a decent paddler mostly flatwater though....I have taken a reading rivers course but need a refresher. I am comfortable in the water but also respect its power. Sounds like you're a strong swimmer, I think it would be great if all of us took a river course so we are all comfortable doing this in the even one of us can't.

Thebatcha would be the perfect trial for the bikes, I don't remember what sorts of rivers/creeks we'd need to cross.
Mostly really soft cut line that you experience on your trip, sand, shitty trail etc, lots of creek crossings, and a few river crossings. Obviously not as far in terms of distance without gas(about 300km). All in all I think it would be a great test run to determine an required changes.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:21 AM   #53
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2 great reasons to start this thread...
1) Since this topic often comes up a few times a year I thought I would compile all the threads about the Canol here to make it easier for inmates to locate information about this road/trail.
2) Myself and inmate b.ringrose are planning on attempting to ride the complete North Canol. Since a lot of planning will be required, a central place to discuss, ponder, and plan is in order.

Advrider.com Links about the Canol from previous threads:
N. Canol Road
Canol Trail Question
North Canol Road
Canol Road
Canol road: attempt #1
North Canol Road Anyone?
Up The South Canol Road
Digs on the Canol /

Links about the Canol from other sources:
Motorcycle Explorer
Long Trails Hiking the Canol in 1998
Canol Heritage Trail (WARNING: website has popups)
Canol Trail Hiking

Few facts of the Canol...
-The North Canol is approximately 575km from Camp Canol(Norman Wells) to Ross River
-The South Canol is approximately 219km from Ross River to Johnson Crossing
-Most people that hike or bycicle the North Canol go West to East
-The North Canol has no gas supply between Ross River and Norman Wells
-The only lodging along the North Canol is here: Dechenla Adventure Nature Tours It's expensive and the services are basic due to its remoteness. It can be found 276km east of Ross River.

Possible Bikes for the Trip:
-Yamaha TW200 (max fuel economy est.33.00km/L)
-Kawasaki Super Sherpa 250 (max. fuel economy is est.27.03-29.41km/L)
-Yamaha WR250R/X (max fuel economy is est. 30.00km/L)
-Kawasaki KLX250S (max fuel economy is est. 30.30km/L)

Possible Inmates for the Trip:
-windquest
-b.ringrose
-El Birdo
-Deadly 99
Hey guys, I added some new links about the Canol. Most are from hikers. The one with the pop ups has a ton of imformation especially on the history along with some great pictures... enjoy

Jason
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:23 AM   #54
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Aquadog, any idea if the West side bank of the Mackenzie might be rideable, any beach at all?
Robin, I checked the hiking report from 1998. They described where they waited on the bank of the Mackenzie for their boat ride across as " dry sand"

Jason
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:01 PM   #55
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Robin, I checked the hiking report from 1998. They described where they waited on the bank of the Mackenzie for their boat ride across as " dry sand"

Jason
I thought is might be rocky, but I have seen images of it being mucky. It might be rideable but would cost more in fuel. I know a couple of oil people who spent time in Norman Wells. I will quiz one of them today to see if she remembers anything about it and maybe she knows some people that are still up there.

I'm loving the Pendulum Ferry idea, it sounds like much less effort crossing with gear. I know a guy with a drysuit, I will quiz him tomorrow about it.

YOu mentioned the cataraft packs small how small is that? I have an inflatable canoe and its not so small, bigger than a school backpack for sure, like probably 60 litre pack.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:08 PM   #56
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A pendulum ferry should work pretty well, picking the right spot is important. The guys on the raft can help by poling - a lot of these rivers are fast and wide (seasonally), with only a few deep spots. Cut a couple 10' poles on the bank and help the current.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:21 PM   #57
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Good stuff

I rode the N Canol via Watson Lake up the Campbell on my R100GS in 2010 on my way to D2D and the Dempster, Lots of activity up that way, Mostly Geologist surveying for gold.
I also have a Super Sherpa, and have considered doing what you guys are planning, The biggest drawback using a Sherpa, at least to me anyway is no kickstart, only the magic button, and I can't think of a worse possible place to be in to lose the magic. I don't know if they still offer the T-Dub with kickstart, but the older models did, and a big plus with them is the fatty tires in the bog. I trust my Sherpa pretty good, and have ridden it all the way down the Baja peninsula, but lots of riders around. I like the Catacraft idea, and had thought of something similar using pontoons welding attachment points to the bike then hooking bars to it or thru to the pontoons, some sort of bolt up attachment.
Maybe time for me to think about a getting my hands on a older T-Dub and some pontoons
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:45 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by El Birdo View Post
I thought is might be rocky, but I have seen images of it being mucky. It might be rideable but would cost more in fuel. I know a couple of oil people who spent time in Norman Wells. I will quiz one of them today to see if she remembers anything about it and maybe she knows some people that are still up there.

I'm loving the Pendulum Ferry idea, it sounds like much less effort crossing with gear. I know a guy with a drysuit, I will quiz him tomorrow about it.

YOu mentioned the cataraft packs small how small is that? I have an inflatable canoe and its not so small, bigger than a school backpack for sure, like probably 60 litre pack.
Robin,
I imagine some spots might be rocky, others sand or silt. The mighty Mackenzie does move 100 million tons of sediment each year... My current fuel consumption calculations do inlcude this section.

I used to have a dry suit from my competetive sailing days on the Alberta Sailing Team, kinda wish I hadn't got rid of it now... They're expensive, usually $500-$1200. I was hoping we could get by with only 1 if we all properly fit it, or 2 if not...

I had a 8 foot zodiac that had a roll up wood floor, and a full wood transom. It packed up with oars and pump in about 45 liters. one 15 foot tube has no oars, frame, or pump and has lighter material so I would expect it to roll up to about 20 liters at the most. I will have to confirm this with MN boats though.

jason
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:47 PM   #59
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Aquadog, do you know how fast the current of the Mackenzie river is around Norman Wells?
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:49 PM   #60
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I rode the N Canol via Watson Lake up the Campbell on my R100GS in 2010 on my way to D2D and the Dempster, Lots of activity up that way, Mostly Geologist surveying for gold.
I also have a Super Sherpa, and have considered doing what you guys are planning, The biggest drawback using a Sherpa, at least to me anyway is no kickstart, only the magic button, and I can't think of a worse possible place to be in to lose the magic. I don't know if they still offer the T-Dub with kickstart, but the older models did, and a big plus with them is the fatty tires in the bog. I trust my Sherpa pretty good, and have ridden it all the way down the Baja peninsula, but lots of riders around. I like the Catacraft idea, and had thought of something similar using pontoons welding attachment points to the bike then hooking bars to it or thru to the pontoons, some sort of bolt up attachment.
Maybe time for me to think about a getting my hands on a older T-Dub and some pontoons
Good point on the magic button vs kickstarter. I decided that new battery technology ie lightweight batteries would eliminate this problem. take 2 batteries each, which would still weigh less than a standard battery, then everybody has a backup...

I agree that a tw200 would be great in the muck! keep it coming...
Jason
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