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Old 03-18-2015, 06:58 PM   #1
Crusty OP
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Location: Central Massachusetts
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I Want To Ride My Sportster To The Arctic Circle

This summer, I'm going to be living on the road. I'm going to be travelling all over the US and camping out. For many years, I've wanted to ride up the Haul Road to the Arctic Circle. I know it's no big deal to a lot of the denizens here, but for me, it's a Bucket List kind of item. What do I need to know, and what helpful advice can you share with me?
I have some concern that the drive belt might not be able to withstand a lot of gravel road. Is that a valid thing to worry about? My Bike has the 3 1/4 gallon tank. Should I get a 2 gallon gas can and strap it to the sissy bar?
Tomorrow, I'm going down to my local Library and see if they have or can get the latest copy of the Milepost. What else should I do?
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:12 PM   #2
sarhog
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There's a ride report here somewhere about a guy that went from Michigan I think, to Alaska on an 883....
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:15 PM   #3
Tim_Tom
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You should go! And yes you will need that gas can. If you don't already have a tent, get a 2 man backpacker tent that packs up small. Get a rain suit, waterproof your boots and gloves, and a full face helmet if you don't have one. Rain at 60 mph stings the facial region.

Ohh get some paper maps of the areas you are planning on going through. It's nice to know where you are without relying on a GPS to get you some where. Really gives you the freedom to play each day by ear.

Camp in state parks when you can. They are cheaper and way nicer than most campgrounds. Or look into stealth camping.

But most importantly GO. While you have the chance. And take pictures.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:19 PM   #4
DutchVDub
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I wouldn't be super worried about the belt. There is at least one guy on here that made the trip on a Victory Cross Country that is also belt drive, the belts are pretty damn durable really.

I would definitely bring a fuel can of some type. Post up pics of your bike, and make sure you do a ride report. I also want to make the Artic Circle ride. A co-worker of mine did it after he retired on his early 90's Seca2.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:36 PM   #5
850 Combat
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The Dalton is so full of commerce. Trucks, Trucks, Trucks. I've driven it more times than I can remember, but at least I was paid. Its alright for a novelty, but it really isn't that fun. Thinking of going all the way to Deadhorse, or getting gas in Coldfoot and heading back South? I'll be spending a lot of the next two years between the Yukon River and Coldfoot around Prospect Creek. You can't ride to Prudhoe Bay, you have to get through BP security. The big lake in Deadhorse is Lake Coleen. Seen plenty of ADV stories with folks dipping their foot in it. We have a shop across the street. I used to keep a sabot there to sail on it.

Personally, I don't think its a great place to go, but i can understand why people want to.

Put a big gas tank on the Sportster.

Watch for bears. Its thick with Grizzly Bears.

I know a guy from a club who did it on a Commando, then went to Florida and Maine on his way back. A friend of mine from Anchorage used to ride an Ultra to Sturgis every year. He lost a belt around Destruction Bay from rock(s) getting under it. It can happen, but it hardly ever does.

t is about 237 miles from Hilltop to coldfoot. Those are gas stations. The next gas is in Deadhorse, about the same distance away. It might be soft or even muddy. Don't expect your normal highway mileage.

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Old 03-18-2015, 07:39 PM   #6
jersey jim
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A 2 1/2 gallon gas can bungied on somewhere and bring a spare belt for peace of mind, they can be changed on a Sportster a lot easier than on a big twin. But I bet you won't need it as long as you have the stock belt guards on.

Take lots of pics and post them for us, I also plan to ride up there when I can put enough time together to do it properly and I love to look at the pics.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:43 AM   #7
greer
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Trucks sling rocks, rocks, rocks

Rig up some sort of headlight guard; a piece of lexan cut to fit and fastened with super Velcro worked for me and my DR. That's a must have, and I'd also strongly suggest fork boots; see here for Sportster fork boots on the cheap:

http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s...ghlight=rancho

Those cost me less than $10 bucks and were a piece of cake to install. Take some time to log on and learn your way around the XL forum, those folks know their bikes and they'll offer tons of support.

Good for you, I wouldn't miss Alaska for the world.

Sarah
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:24 AM   #8
Minimike
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We went to Deadhorse in June 2012. The mud towards the end was quite deep, slick as snot, freezing fog and snowing like a bitch too. A couple flat tires due to screws. We got in at 1:30am. Left the next day at noon in a snow storm. A helicopter pilot in the hotel was telling his boss he wasn't flying in this weather. Three years later, I'm still scraping that calcium chloride stuff out of the nooks on my bike.

Deadhorse is ugly. It looks like a military / industrial complex in the snow. We sacrificed seeing some beautiful areas of Alaska just to have bragging rights. I wouldn't do it again unless I had unlimited vacation time.

We did see a lot of wildlife on the road though. Only place we saw musk Ox. And the number of really big bears is amazing.

About halfway between Coldfoot and Deadhorse, around 9pm.



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Old 03-19-2015, 05:38 AM   #9
devildogg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minimike View Post
We went to Deadhorse in June 2012. The mud towards the end was quite deep, slick as snot, freezing fog and snowing like a bitch too. A couple flat tires due to screws. We got in at 1:30am. Left the next day at noon in a snow storm. A helicopter pilot in the hotel was telling his boss he wasn't flying in this weather. Three years later, I'm still scraping that calcium chloride stuff out of the nooks on my bike.

Deadhorse is ugly. It looks like a military / industrial complex in the snow. We sacrificed seeing some beautiful areas of Alaska just to have bragging rights. I wouldn't do it again unless I had unlimited vacation time.

We did see a lot of wildlife on the road though. Only place we saw musk Ox. And the number of really big bears is amazing.
On the other hand if it's just the arctic circle you are chasing the ride from Dawson City Yukon to the arctic circle is quite beutiful and has virtully no traffic. I have been up the Dempster twice but wouldn't hesitate to make a third trip but like others have mentioned if it dry its a piece of cake, wet it gets nasty especially with street tires. But yes you should go either route will be great
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:51 AM   #10
davevv
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If it were me, I'd carry that spare gas can as long as I was in Alaska. Just because there is a station listed in the Milepost doesn't mean that it will still be in business when you get there. Two of the places I'd planned to stop when I was there in '07 were closed down. A real good rule is to never pass up a chance to fill your tank when in Alaska.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:02 AM   #11
DutchVDub
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Originally Posted by devildogg View Post
On the other hand if it's just the arctic circle you are chasing the ride from Dawson City Yukon to the arctic circle is quite beutiful and has virtully no traffic. I have been up the Dempster twice but wouldn't hesitate to make a third trip but like others have mentioned if it dry its a piece of cake, wet it gets nasty especially with street tires. But yes you should go either route will be great

Any more details on that route? What road and where the end point is? Is there a sign or something marking the Artic Circle?
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