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Old 04-13-2014, 09:51 AM   #1
Wyngs OP
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Alaska Trip

Hey all, I have a question concerning the trip up north that I am planning in June. Starting from Cinci, hopefully ending up at Deadhorse. My question is, tires........ I plan to run Tourances on the way up but plan to switch to TKC's once there in Fairbanks. Now, I dont know how much of the Tourances will be left. I do plan to cut through the TOW highway on the way, However I think it prudent to switch to knobbies for the Dalton and Denali. I hear some people get lucky with the weather but if I am one of them it would be the first time I am going back down to Haines and catching the boat back to Washington.

My concern is, if the tourances are worn down I will end up buying 2 sets of tires insread of one, as the Contis wont last that long (down to Wash and across the US to Ky)

Any advice from people who have done this trip? What would be the best way and what did you do?

Thx
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:46 PM   #2
bush pilot
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You should be able to make it on one set.
I did the same new TKC's in Fairbanks, rode the Dalton and Denali hwy. Then came down through Saskatchewan staying mostly on gravel then from MN to NM.

How long the TKC lasts largely depends on how you ride. Some guys can chew up a rear tire in 1000 miles others can nurse 20k out one in a pinch. (That was Simon on a r1150gs in Brazil)
I got 9000 miles out of a rear TKC on the KLR coming back to the lower 48. I could've gone more if had to.
High speeds and tarmac kill tires. Stay off the big hwy and keep the speed down.

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bush pilot screwed with this post 04-13-2014 at 12:53 PM
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Old 04-13-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
terrapinneck
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K60's

I'm putting on K60's before we head out to AK last week of May. I want to make one set last there and back, about 10,000 miles. I've heard good and bad about K60's but on the whole I think they'll serve my purpose of having traction in loose rock and mud when that time comes. I'll be riding slower than usual I'm sure, account wildlife, scenery, RV's, and Kat telling me to pull over so she can take a picture. Good luck on your trip.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
Wyngs OP
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I have thought about the K-60s but like you have heard bad things about them such as wet road grip but no idea how true that is. As far as the Contis go, the problem is coming back from Washington. I will have 5 days to get home from there which means slabbing and hauling ass hopefully with a detour on the Beartooth.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:03 PM   #5
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I rode K60's from Ontario to Fairbanks with a side trip to Yellowknife and was going to change up in Fairbanks but was told by a local that I would have no problem going up to Deadhorse and back on the 45% or so that was left of the tread...turned out he was right, even with the damp road!

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Old 04-14-2014, 04:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrapinneck View Post
I'm putting on K60's before we head out to AK last week of May. I want to make one set last there and back, about 10,000 miles. I've heard good and bad about K60's but on the whole I think they'll serve my purpose of having traction in loose rock and mud when that time comes. I'll be riding slower than usual I'm sure, account wildlife, scenery, RV's, and Kat telling me to pull over so she can take a picture. Good luck on your trip.
I've had bad experiences with K60's on wet lane markings, but I'm still considering them for my Alaska trip in June for the reasons above. I don't want to deal with tire changes and I know they'll last 10,000mi. The other contender for me is the Mitas E07. Most folks claim similar mileage, but wet road behavior seems to be a bit better since they don't have that slick center strip. They're a bit cheaper as well.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:56 AM   #7
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Okay I have about decided to go with the k60s and just learn to ride them. Just hope i dont regret it. The prospect of not having to do a tire swap is worth the risk. Also was informed by a senior inmate that there are a blue million threads on this. Apologies for that. Another concern is installing a tube to get me down the road should i need to. Have heard they are stiff as a wedding d%<}.....
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Old 04-16-2014, 04:24 AM   #8
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I rode the K60's from Chicago up to The Arctic Circle and had tires waiting for me in down in Portland. Admittedly I got lucky with the weather on the Dalton.
If I was going to do it again and wanted to be extravagant ($$) I would put a TKC-80 on the front for the trip up to Deadhorse and switch back to the K60 back in Fairbanks. I was happy to dump the K60's in Portland because of the vibration. My ride from Portland back to Chicago was much smoother.
But if I was younger and a little tougher I could have easily made the entire trip on the K60's. Hard as rocks and didn't look too bad when I swapped them with about 7k on them. pk
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:49 PM   #9
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Best is TKC front and k60 rear. next is k60 all round. Both will get you there and back.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:07 AM   #10
Wyngs OP
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I finally got my puter to where i can play a video Nice Vid Lapperman

Why TKC on the front? Is it a better handling or more useful combo? I did ask about the K60s and was going to order them, but they told me tubes only on the front for them which was a deal breaker for me (K60). Not sure if the sales guy was correct am still looking into it. Not particularly thrilled about getting something like a screw in the tire and having to go through all that when you could just plug it and 10 minutes later your down the road. I am carrying tubes for an emergency though. (Side wall puncture ect)
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:00 PM   #11
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Wyngs - this isn't addressed just to you. There will be others making preparation to travel to Alaska who may get something from this as well.

In nearly 60 years of living here in Alaska, one thing has never changed - first time travelers to the region will always over-prepare. Years ago, when the Alcan was virtually all gravel and somewhat deserved its reputation, people would carry spare belts, spare alternators, extra spare tires, motor oil and filters, etc. Most damage, however, could be traced to having their vehicles overloaded - with all those extra parts.

Every year we read in ride reports that when riders got here - sometimes even before arriving - they shipped half of their gear back home... they realized it wasn't needed. In many, many trips back and forth over the Alcan and Cassiar Hwys, plus trips all over the South 48 as well as over a dozen up and down the Dalton Hwy, I have yet to have a flat on a bike. The only time I had a flat on the Alcan (not just one, but about six) was in '65 when driving a pickup, in a big hurry to get home, and was trying to maintain a 70 mph average on gravel in the rain. Wet rubber cuts much more readily than dry rubber, as I discovered on that trip. Putting that knowledge to use on subsequent drives helped me restrict all my tire changing to my own driveway.

Some things to consider: A. You don't need anything more aggressive than a street tread to ride to, and within Alaska unless you are going to Prudhoe Bay and like the added confidence you get from having a knobby or two under you.
B. If you break down up north you are far more likely to get help from a passing motorist here than on an interstate in the South 48.
C. If you do everything possible to make sure your bike is in top shape before you leave home, chances are you won't have to unpack your tools while traveling.
D. If you think the miles you'll be riding will come close to wearing out your tires, make plans for getting new ones installed part way through. That way you can (hopefully) get the best price and it will take that worry off your mind.

We riders need to remember that our tires are the only link between our bike and the road. Why attempt to ride a tire down to the last mm of tread? Tires are expensive, yes. But out of overall trip costs they are only a small percentage. Yet they are a major factor in our safety. A pair of tires for my Wing might cost $400. If I throw them away while they still have 25% of their tread left I'm tossing $100. But with the new tires I've gained safety and reliability worth far more than that. Cheap insurance in the long run.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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Hey Alcan, Dont get me wrong. Am taking a tent, pad, sleeping bag. 4 pairs underwear 6 pairs of socks, extra gloves and 2 layer sets and 1 fleece for under my shell. Water shoes for showers and a set of street clothes. If no showers a bad of baby wipes. Lappy, small camera and maybe a go pro havent decided. Reader glasses Tool kit, tire kit with a pump, qt of oil, zip ties small wire and electical tape, an inner tube for each tire; thing like that. Found a nice and small camp chair just today. Am either tenting or hostel as much as possible until the boat, mainly because i want to experience the coastline. Some other incidentals but they dont amount to much. Everything but the fleece and street clothes can be washed in a sink and hung to dry while sleeping. Spare gas but I havent worked that out yet. I did splurge and get a heated liner and glove liners.

I am doing the Dalton, as well as the TOW and Denali, hence the reason Im so picky about tires because, as you said, that isnt an item to cheap out on. I grew up riding dirt but havent done it since I was a kid, soooo the added grip of an aggressive tire is a comforting idea. These are heavy bikes as well. I know that Mother Nature calls the shots up there but that doesnt mean I wont push it if I have to.
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Old 04-18-2014, 12:54 AM   #13
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Helped spoon on a rear K60 this week (flat, roadside repair) but either my tire irons are too short or those K60s sidewalls are too stiff. What a sumofabich to put on.

That would be a deal-breaker for me right there.

Anyway enjoy yoir trip. Love reading these Alaska threads!
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:35 AM   #14
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Head net and tarp too.
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:41 AM   #15
Wyngs OP
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Yea Ive heard the skeeters up there are so big they have to file a flight plan with the FAA
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