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Old 08-04-2012, 10:25 PM   #16
X1Glider
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Is there a particular shop in SJ you recommend? A quick search turns up Honda One and the HD dealear. I think I know which one I'd pick of the 2. The sooner I get them to order a set of TKCs for me, the better.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:04 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by damurph View Post
Lots of motorcycle shops in St Johns to install rubber. Of course you know of the trailway from St Johns to Port aux Basques and everywhere in between but the coastal loops are where it is at for scenery and people. You can talk to anyone anywhere anytime. No strange looks just anything you want or need is just to ask.

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Old 08-05-2012, 07:20 AM   #18
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Excellent, great questions:

1. Ferry from NS to NF: I have a few stops until I get to Sydney, NS so I don't know what day I'll be there. Do I "have to" reserve the space on the ferry ahead of time? Or is it easy enough to just slip in unannounced? I plan on going into Argentia to get to St. John for the sole reason I am not interested in backtracking the same road before heading north.

You should definitely make reservations for the ferry, also may consider getting a berth as you will be on the cattle boat for 18 hours

2. Money: Cash-wise, I hate carrying cash and would rather pay by card but realize there are times that I must. Going into the middle of nowhere is one of those times. I'll be hotelling it the whole way.

Credit cards and insta bank no problems anywhere that I can recall. Carrying a lot of cash is unneccessay.

So, for hotels, eats and fuel, what's a good rule of thumb for how much cash to bring along? Likelyhood of being able to use the card?

3. Ferry from NF to LAB. Again...is it necessary to have a reservation from St. Barbe?

When you get closer or can confirm when you will be crossing, it would be wise to book. Make note that some days it leaves St Barbe at 8 am and others at 10:30am (other crossings throughout the day I am unsure of times)

4. Hotels: As I don't know what day I'll be where or at what rate I'll be traveling at, how do you feel about availablity from just showing up?

For the most part there shouldn't be any problems with accomodations, OUTIDE OF LAB CITY, near impossible to get a room there. The place is booming with activity and accomodationsare at a premium.

5. Fuel? I've got 8.5 gallons in the Stelvio. Good range for the trip from what I can tell. What's the furthest between fuel stop? Also, operating hours... do I need to make sure I hit certain places before 4 or 5 pm? Worries about someone not opening up one day because they felt like staying in?

From Port Hope to Goose was the longest distance between gas stops, 410 kms. Port Hope station opened between 8-6 (IIRC), if your bike cannot go that far, instead f carrying a gas can on the entire trip, in Port Hope, buy a gallon of windsheild wash, and dump out the cotents and use that for the extra gas (Not UL approved, but should work)

6. Road conditions and tires? Sounds like there's more pavement than I anticipated. I was only expecting to see a mile's worth in HVGB and LC.

Red Bay to Goose - dirt, first 60 or so kms from Goose to Lab City paved, the last 100 or so kms into Lab City is paved, 40 kms south of Lab city paved, section from Fire Lake to the top of Lac Manicouagan is paved and boring, with construction. Dirt then to Manic 5, then pavement the rest of the way.

Are the gravel raods pretty well graded and hard? Or are there deep and soft sections that will sink the battleship
unexpectedly?

Roads are well graded, loose service, keep an eye on the grader berms, and going around corners too fast

I was thinking of prepaying for some TKC80s at a shop in St. Johns to get them ordered up and then swapped out on arrival. Sound like I have the right idea? Now I'll need to find a shop in St. Johns...

What DaMurph said !

7. Can't think of any other concerns except what I shouldn't miss out on. I've riden to NS twice but never had enough vaction time until now to actually ferry over to NF. So what recommendations for "must see" things do you have?

Western Brook Gorge north of Rocky Hr, Red Bay Museum, Churchhill Falls Hydro tour (must see)
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:52 AM   #19
damurph
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There are these options in St Johns but might i suggest the Toy Box as well. Honda One is fabulous at getting tires. Toy Box is Avalon Motorrad and as such has experience balancing single sided rear wheels. If you want to start the Trans Lab on the freshest rubber possible there is a shop in Lanse au Loup, Labrador that has helped many an ADV rider. Rapid Power in Steady Brook NL will put you only a few hundred KMs below the ferry at St Barbe. I only have experience with the St John's shops and if you are gonna ride the trailway you may wish to apply new rubber there. Hope this is helpful.

Hi back, Backdraft/ Newfie Rider. Rose Bowl location gave it away for me long ago.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:29 PM   #20
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Thanks a lot guys for the good info.

I'd like to do a little look around on the rock before crossing over. Place looks amazing on Google Street view. So that should give me time to plan a ferry reservation at St. Barbe. Sounds like the big ride really needs to be narrowed down to a solid date so I'll have to plan my days on the way up there. I thought I'd take a day to mess around in NB and enjoy the infinite number of dirt roads and covered bridges.

Good advice on Avalon. Looks like I'll be calling them come Tuesday.

As for hotel stays in Lab City, I expected to get raped on price considering the location. Considering it's a miningtown, I guess I didn't expect it to be a vacation destination for people other than us nuts enough to ride through for no other reason than to do it.
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:58 AM   #21
markbvt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X1Glider View Post
1. Ferry from NS to NF: I have a few stops until I get to Sydney, NS so I don't know what day I'll be there. Do I "have to" reserve the space on the ferry ahead of time? Or is it easy enough to just slip in unannounced? I plan on going into Argentia to get to St. John for the sole reason I am not interested in backtracking the same road before heading north.
The Argentia ferry only runs a few days a week, so advance reservations would be a very good idea. I have heard of it filling up regularly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by X1Glider View Post
2. Money: Cash-wise, I hate carrying cash and would rather pay by card but realize there are times that I must. Going into the middle of nowhere is one of those times. I'll be hotelling it the whole way.
Pretty much everywhere along the way takes cards, though be advised that US cards don't always work at Canadian gas pumps. They're usually fine if you pay inside though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by X1Glider View Post
3. Ferry from NF to LAB. Again...is it necessary to have a reservation from St. Barbe?
No, not necessary there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by X1Glider View Post
5. Fuel? I've got 8.5 gallons in the Stelvio. Good range for the trip from what I can tell. What's the furthest between fuel stop? Also, operating hours... do I need to make sure I hit certain places before 4 or 5 pm? Worries about someone not opening up one day because they felt like staying in?
Longest stretch is 260 miles between Port Hope Simpson and Happy Valley-Goose Bay. I wouldn't worry about operating hours, as long as you're not planning to ride in the middle of the night...

Quote:
Originally Posted by X1Glider View Post
6. Road conditions and tires? Sounds like there's more pavement than I anticipated. I was only expecting to see a mile's worth in HVGB and LC.

Are the gravel raods pretty well graded and hard? Or are there deep and soft sections that will sink the battleship unexpectedly?

I was thinking of prepaying for some TKC80s at a shop in St. Johns to get them ordered up and then swapped out on arrival. Sound like I have the right idea? Now I'll need to find a shop in St. Johns...
You should absolutely run TKC-80s or similar on the Trans-Lab. The conditions are wildly variable, and even though they're in the process of paving it, you'll still see six or seven hundred miles of gravel. You'll encounter everything from scraped-off hardpack that's as good as pavement to freshly-graded loose gravel that's sketchy as hell. And very possibly some muddy patches as well. Plan for the worst while hoping for the best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by X1Glider View Post
7. Can't think of any other concerns except what I shouldn't miss out on. I've riden to NS twice but never had enough vaction time until now to actually ferry over to NF. So what recommendations for "must see" things do you have?
Go up to L'Anse aux Meadows.

--mark
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:35 AM   #22
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Thanks Mark. I'll spend this week mapping out my days getting to and through NF so that I can plan for the Argentia ferry and probably St Barbe as well, just to be on the safe side.


As for time on the Trans-Lab, should I plan to double my hours, given the amount of gravel? Seems like it would be a 2 day ride if were strictly blacktop. 4 on these roads?


As for knobby tires, in BMW GS sizes, is there anything else out there besides the TKC-80? I looked at all the major manufacturers and came up with nothing from Dunlop, Pirelli, Bridgestone and Michelin...only the Conti. Not sure who else I would trust.

Any recommendations on a good pressure for the knobbies on the Italian tanker?
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:03 AM   #23
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I ran the TKC's on my R1150GS no problems. Loaded down with too much gear that I didn't need or use. Kept tire pressure at the loaded recommendations, didn't air down at all during the trip.

There is another great tire avaliable called Heidenau-K60 Scout . Although a long lasting tire, I don't think they hook up as well as the TKCs

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Old 08-07-2012, 08:16 PM   #24
X1Glider
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I ran the TKC's on my R1150GS no problems. Loaded down with too much gear that I didn't need or use. Kept tire pressure at the loaded recommendations, didn't air down at all during the trip.

There is another great tire avaliable called Heidenau-K60 Scout . Although a long lasting tire, I don't think they hook up as well as the TKCs

May not hold up as well either.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:48 PM   #25
markbvt
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As for time on the Trans-Lab, should I plan to double my hours, given the amount of gravel? Seems like it would be a 2 day ride if were strictly blacktop. 4 on these roads?
Yeah, I would plan on four days. You could do it in less, but this is not a road to rush on -- both because of the beauty of Labrador and also because rushing is a good way to get yourself in trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by X1Glider View Post
As for knobby tires, in BMW GS sizes, is there anything else out there besides the TKC-80? I looked at all the major manufacturers and came up with nothing from Dunlop, Pirelli, Bridgestone and Michelin...only the Conti. Not sure who else I would trust.

Any recommendations on a good pressure for the knobbies on the Italian tanker?
The other obvious choice would be Metzeler Karoo T's. I'm not sure how those compare to the TKCs though in terms of mileage. Just don't go with the MCE Karoos -- those are more aggressive, but from what I've heard they wear extremely quickly.

Or as mentioned above, you could go with Heidenaus. A lot of people seem to be really liking those.

Other option would be to run a TKC or similar front tire and a less aggressive rear such as a Full Bore M-40 (looks like a Shinko 705, but the grooves between the tread blocks are wider). That tire does much better in the dirt than it looks like it should, and wears much, much better than a TKC. I've got over 7000 miles on the Full Bore on the back of my Tiger right now, and while it's time to take it off, it's not critical yet. Still tread showing in the middle, it's just getting shallow.

I'm heading up to Labrador in a week and a half and will be running a new Full Bore rear with an IRC TR8 front tire (similar to a TKC but I've heard it lasts a little longer; only comes in a 21" size though).

As for pressures, most people seem to agree that about 25psi is good for the unpaved parts of the Trans-Lab.

--mark
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:22 PM   #26
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We did the Trans-Lab last summer and it took 4 days IIRC and we didn't have time to smell the roses so to speak. If you just want to ride and not see what else is there maybe but I would think 5 just to ride seeing as how the ferry system is what is dictating your trip as it was ours also.....which is a huge pain in the ass! Even if we wanted to sit around and explore we couldn't......without missing out on something else along our route. Plus IF you do get into any issues, you are then forced to rush and possibly have even more troubles......just my take on it. I will be doing it CCW next time with the ferry service at the front of the trip so it can't screw us up.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #27
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Our group went in 2010 after phase III opened up in the fall of 2009. Our ride report covers a lot of questions you may have of the area and trip. Here is a tid-bit of the ride report you can link to from my signature line.


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Old 08-09-2012, 12:15 PM   #28
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Re: Tires: I rode with Translab with Tourances on a 1200GS and they did fine, including an all-day soaker from Baie Comeau to Lab City. I'm riding Heidenaus up to Inuvik starting in a week. Ran into three guys outside of Glacier Nat'l Park coming back from an Arctic/Dalton ride who praised their Heidenaus. Much longer tread life than TKCs. They had about 7k miles on when I ran into them, and I'm guessing they had at least 3.5k left in them (riding Super Teneres). But they are pricey.

Re: Credit cards vs cash: I'd definitely keep cash on you, just 'cause. Be sure to call up your credit card company in advance of your trip, otherwise they'll start freezing them when they see Canadian transactions.

Re: Houston: You're going to another planet, weather-wise . Be prepared for cold and wet.

Re: Newfoundland: I only saw the west, but I highly recommend a day's layover in Gros Morne Nat'l Park. Fantastic scenery, great hiking, super beach-side campgrounds, and some fun, tucked-away towns.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:35 AM   #29
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We did the TLH last year. See my signature below for a link to our ride report. Includes all the information I used to plan the trip, hope it helps others out.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #30
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Tires and other stuff

The wife and I both did the trip last year starting out in Maryland and going CW. We both ran TKC 80's up front and the Heidi K60's in the back. The tires worked great and probably had 2k+ left when we got home and total mileage was 5800 miles. You can see pictures of what our tires looked like at the end of the trip on page 13 of our ride report. One other thing is that we typically ran 26psi in the tires when not on asphalt which seemed to work well. I also have GPX files of our trip in the ride report if you want to download them. The highlight of our trip was the trip to Esker....take a look!!!!! We also rode the rails to trails in Newfoundland and had a great time, don't be fooled into thinking that there are no dirt roads in Newfoundland to ride...great back country views!!!! Hope this helps. Camp at the overlook at Manic 5...great view!!!! I loved that trip and may do it again next year.

Planning: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=635003
Ride report: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=715622

High Side...I still love that video and reading your guys reports, it definitely inspired me!

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