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1Back to top Go down    North to Alaska! on Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:47 pm

Two Wheels Better

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I find myself with a North American Summer off to ride and few responsibilities to dictate how I spend my time from June through October. On the 31st of May I'm off to Alaska.

In my time in the States I've managed to travel through, stay over and ride extensively in all 49 other states, including Hawaii, as well as the maritime and the western provinces of Canada, most of Mexico and a fair bit of central America. But the great northern state has never been reachable in the time I've had available to me to make the journey worthy.

First night will be spent with Canadian/Aussie friends in White Rock BC, just over the border from Blaine, Washington. My old mate Peter, who was the service manager at Motorline in Brissie when I was parts manager, will likely ride a portion of the first few days 'til we reach the ferry at Prince Rupert BC. It'll be three easy days of moderate riding, stopping at quaint, log cabin-like motels in places like Williams Lake ("Billy's Puddle", in the local vernacular), Smithers, Houston, etc. The terrain will vary as will the road conditions. Spring is roadwork time, along with RVs and other travellers making their way north, which could make for a slippery surface in the mud. With that in mind I'm fitting some Shinko E705 tyres to the K1200GT. These are light duty (not knobbies) tyres with deeper tread than a typical road-going tyre, similar to Continental's TKC70.

After a night in Prince Rupert we board an inland passage ferry to Juneau, an overnight stop there, then onto Haines & Skagway to disembark and begin the ride north to Alaska.

At this stage the route will take us to Tok, Whitehorse, then anti-clockwise from Fairbanks, down through Denali NP (formerly Mt McKinley) to Anchorage. If time and road conditions permit we'll go over the Top of the World Highway to Dawson City, then wend our way back through BC from Prince George and southward.

The plans are being laid, the ferry tickets and several of the first night's accommodation booked, and slowly it becomes reality.


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

2Back to top Go down    nice work if you can find it on Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:43 pm

nvboy

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So where do I get a job to get four months off?? Obviously doing better than I am...
I zoomed through your neck of the woods last Friday on day 3 of a 4 day ride down the coast almost to California then back up through Tacoma, Bremerton (where I was stopped and questioned by Military Police for taking pictures of aircraft carriers), Port Townsend, Whistler then home to the Island. If you wish, and I can organize my time, I might be able to join you for your first day through Canada.

nvboy


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3Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Tue Apr 05, 2016 5:13 pm

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It's not, for me, about "doing well" being the rationale or giving me the ability to take time off, it's about taking time while we can. Otherwise, poof, it could be gone. Plus, I live cheaply. Motorbikes and travel are my only vices. Wink

I'll check with my mate about riding company. We're old mates and haven't had a lot of time together the past several years. But advice on historical or scenic sites, interesting routes, would be most welcome.

I'll bet you had constabulary visitors whilst pointing a camera towards products of the military/industrial establishment, especially in times like these. The weather the past coupla days have been sweet for quick moto blasts. Too bad work gets in the way...



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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

4Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Wed Apr 06, 2016 4:51 am

charlie99

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a nice venture indeed
don't forget to take the aerogard...ive heard horror stories of midgies and mozzies at that time of the year ....perhaps some mr sheen might keep the visor a little cleaner along the path


have fun mate !


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cheezy grin whilst riding, kinda bloke ....oh the joy !!!! ...... ( brick aviator )

'86 K100 RT..#0090401 ..."Gerty" ( Gertrude Von Clickandshift ) --------O%O
    

5Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:21 am

brickrider2

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Livin' the dream indeed! Good luck.

    

6Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:31 am

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The mossies are reputed to have human baby carrying-away powers, and there's swarms of them! I imagine the front of the bike and me will be wearing a fair few. I'm gathering up all manner of repellent, both artificial/chemical and natural.

These items together, Rosemary, Clove, Cajeput, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus, are well-known repellents when 30 to 50 drops of any of the above are mixed with about 300 ml of boiled water, along with 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin are used as a misting spray. Of course, DEET, is the best known but also the most carcinogenic. I'll try both in equal measure and see what result I get.

Reckon an outback fly net would look bloody silly in Alaska, but we do what we have to!


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

7Back to top Go down    routes and mosquitoes on Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:28 pm

nvboy

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My group is pretty picky about who they ride with so I understand you wanting to stick to riding with your friend.

While either going up or down you should try Hwy 99 which is Squamish to Whistler to Lillooet to Cache Creek. A fabulous and popular ride that gets better as you get closer to Lillooet. Having coffee at the Squamish Starbucks is the thing to do for bikers.

Mosquitoes: My wife worked up in Deadhorse Alaska years ago. She said home concoctions are cute but nothing beats DEET. Ya, it might be a bit carcinogenic but having swarms of bugs sucking litres of blood out of you ALL the time isn't too healthy, either.

We expect pictures.

nvboy


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8Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:44 am

duck

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Be sure to take good rain gear.

I was in touch with some guys who went up there in June before I went who got monsooned for the whole ride.

By dumb luck, my ride to AK in August of 04 and back was 14 days and I was only subjected to a mere two hours of rain for the whole ride.

Just me but I can't understand why you would take a boat. I rode up through some wicked roads in eastern BC and then up through Banff and Jasper and then up the AlCan.

On my way back I rode The Cassiar (with the obligatory stop at Hyder) and then down through BC.


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Current stable:
86 Custom K100 (standard fairing, K75 Belly pan, Ceramic chromed engine covers, paralever)
K75 Frankenbrick (Paralever, K11 front end, hybrid ABS, K1100RS fairing, radial tires)
86 K75C Turbo w/ paralever
94 K1100RS
93 K1100LT (x2)
91 K1
93 K75S (K11 front end)
91 K75S (K1 front end)
14 Yamaha WR250R
http://www.ClassicKBikes.com
    

9Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:48 am

charlie99

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I'm imagining something a little worse than this ...I guess


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cheezy grin whilst riding, kinda bloke ....oh the joy !!!! ...... ( brick aviator )

'86 K100 RT..#0090401 ..."Gerty" ( Gertrude Von Clickandshift ) --------O%O
    

10Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:37 pm

Two Wheels Better

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Riding up a bit (1,000 miles to Prince Rupert), then taking the Alaska ferry to Juneau and a second ferry into Skagway, allows us to see the Inside Passage, all part of the total experience. The choice of roads homeward will be additional entertainment. We have given ourselves at least three weeks so we can go with the flow.


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

11Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:48 pm

duck

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Another thing. There are essentially two seasons in AK - winter and road construction. Be prepared for lots of gravel sections and waiting for road crews.

You might also want to consider a headlight protector like an Aeroflow. Most oncoming pickups on gravel sections are courteous and keep to a decent speed but some are aholes who will blast past you going the other way and throw up lots of gravel. (Cost me a K75RT headlight lens - but fortunately only the top part which I was able to duct tape to make it back to Seattle.)


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Current stable:
86 Custom K100 (standard fairing, K75 Belly pan, Ceramic chromed engine covers, paralever)
K75 Frankenbrick (Paralever, K11 front end, hybrid ABS, K1100RS fairing, radial tires)
86 K75C Turbo w/ paralever
94 K1100RS
93 K1100LT (x2)
91 K1
93 K75S (K11 front end)
91 K75S (K1 front end)
14 Yamaha WR250R
http://www.ClassicKBikes.com
    

12Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:34 pm

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I'm most fortunate in that my travel partner lived in various places in Alaksa for 16 years where she worked on pipeline support and eventually for Alaska Airways. Anchorage, Fairbanks to name two of the usual places, but also more 'exotic' locales like Prince of Wales Island (Little Naukiti), and Kotzebue. Her regular access to a Cessna meant she explored inland, mountainous as well as coastal regions. She also paddled the Kenai from its headwaters. We hope to re-visit some of those places for her as well as for the FNG, me!

I'll be wearing the raingear in my Gore-tex lined Comfort Shell and Triumph riding trousers, Forma boots & Atlantis gloves. These have never let me down, even in a far north Queensland frog strangler.


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

13Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 16, 2016 9:57 pm

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We're two weeks out from departure. I've decided to ride the R1150RT given its luggage capacity, protective fairing and upright comfort. In case of potholey, rough, muddy, slimy roads - lotsa roadworks along the way - I whacked a set of Metzeler Tourance tyres onto her. In the main we'll be staying to sealed roads except for the Top of the World Highway from Chicken, Alaska to Dawson City in Yukon Territory. Old girl had a bit of a clackety idle so I rebuilt the throttle bodies with new bushings, seals and shafts, plus o-rings for the fuel injectors. Today I sync'd them with my Twinmax, after adjusting the valve clearances and the rocker arm end play. I chucked in a new set of sparkies (top 'n' bottom holes) even though they looked clean and square with just 8,000 miles on 'em. The BMC air cleaner got a clean and re-oil and fasteners the bike over got a torque to spec treatment. Fresh oil filter and Mobil One 15W50 for the motor, and 75W140 for the gearbox and final drive. The PITA was the serpentine belt which as some of you may know is buried under the front engine cover but behind the Telelever and accessible only after removing an acre of plastic - that protective one I mentioned earlier - the exhaust system and the Ohlins shock! The belt looked good but had at least 36,000 miles on it. I take no chances. I do believe she's ready to go.

Now, just two more full work weeks left and the Summer of roadtrips officially begins!


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

14Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Tue May 17, 2016 12:26 am

club_c

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Safe travels TWB. You have already acknowledged the perils of driving up that way, so I won't repeat them. I retired a couple of weeks ago so my calendar is opening up a bit if you want to make a day of it sometime after you return from AK...


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"There's never enough time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over."

1988 K100RS SE VIN 01477554
    

15Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Tue May 17, 2016 1:16 am

RicK G

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Ah Ha retirement so now the fun starts you wont know how you managed to fit in a job.
You haven't been round for some time so you must have been getting in some riding practice. You are both well I trust?


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"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." from Mencken's 1919 Prejudices

Bikes 1993 K1100 LT, 1998 K1100 LT, 1993 K75 RT, 1996 K75RT, 1986 K75 GS, 1979 Z1300 Kawasaki X 2 for now
    

16Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Tue May 17, 2016 4:42 am

charlie99

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I can feel your excitement twb

safe travels for when it all comes together

cheers


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cheezy grin whilst riding, kinda bloke ....oh the joy !!!! ...... ( brick aviator )

'86 K100 RT..#0090401 ..."Gerty" ( Gertrude Von Clickandshift ) --------O%O
    

17Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Sun May 29, 2016 9:39 pm

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I finished up at work for the remainder of the year, yesterday, Saturday the 28th. The RT is serviced, new tyres fitted (Metzeler Tourance Next), fasteners torqued to spec, etc. We depart early tomorrow. After a night's stop near Vancouver, BC with mates we've got just about a thousand miles to ride to Prince Rupert, BC where we'll catch the first of two ferries along the Inland Passage - think protective islands to port (west) and rugged mountains down to the sea to starboard (east). We're taking it easy and doing the thousand miles up to the first ferry in two and a half days. The forecast suggests frequent sunshine and possibly mid 20s the remainder of the week, but we have the kit for inclement weather. First ferry stop after a night aboard, Juneau, capital of Alaska. After a night there with a friend, we're off to Haines and then Skagway, where we'll ride up and up the Klondike Highway, back into Canada, then towards Whitehorse, capital of Yukon Territory. If all goes well we'll reach Anchorage on the day before my birfday, the 10th. The ridden route is calculated to be round about 5,000 miles (about 8,050 kms). We have a set schedule of three-plus weeks due to a need to be back at the house for visitors on the 23rd of June.

As possible we'll post piccies and commentary to the forum. If the legendary mozzies are a-buzzin', we have DEET!


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

18Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 30, 2016 4:33 am

charlie99

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woohoo !!


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cheezy grin whilst riding, kinda bloke ....oh the joy !!!! ...... ( brick aviator )

'86 K100 RT..#0090401 ..."Gerty" ( Gertrude Von Clickandshift ) --------O%O
    

19Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 30, 2016 5:59 am

blaKey

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Sounds like you're going to have a crappy time TWB (jealousy's a curse!). Very Happy

Enjoy.


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Neil
K100RS 1986 RED!
K100RT 1987 (now nekkid with red bits)

Remember Rule No. 6
    

20Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 30, 2016 6:07 am

Ed

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looks like TWB has borrowed our sun to enhance his northern holiday , as its started to feel a bit fresh down this way. like Blakey says " enjoy".


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1987 K100RT Ex- police
1989 K100LT Ol' Blue and "Kart" the Kamper trailer. now KAPUT .
1993 K1100RS 0194321 Colour #690 Silk Blue aka" Smurfette"
    

21Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 30, 2016 7:21 pm

Two Wheels Better

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A timing snarl occurred with our Aussie/Canadian mates just over the border so we're departing tomorrow morning instead of today. It's a good thing as there was some last minute packing & reorganising needed on our part.

It's a beauty out there! I reckon it's nearing 25 (77f) here this arvo (Memorial Day holiday) and prolly gunna crack 30 tomorrow!


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

22Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 30, 2016 8:28 pm

RicK G

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All the best for the trip mate I hope it is as good as it should be for both of you, wish I was with you.


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"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." from Mencken's 1919 Prejudices

Bikes 1993 K1100 LT, 1998 K1100 LT, 1993 K75 RT, 1996 K75RT, 1986 K75 GS, 1979 Z1300 Kawasaki X 2 for now
    

23Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 30, 2016 8:40 pm

Two Wheels Better

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Thanks Rick. I wish to reiterate my previous offer that any 'furriner' who'd like to come and stay with us and ride one of my bikes is welcome. We've got a comfy spare bedroom, big garage, enjoy the luxury of an excellent airport nearby and are minutes from some fine escape routes of the Seattle/Tacoma metro area...

We've got the northern hemisphere Summer off too!
Smile


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

24Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 30, 2016 9:06 pm

RicK G

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My problem with getting there is that I keep spending the air fare on more bikes. I just picked up a 1996 K75RT to replace the K1100.


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"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." from Mencken's 1919 Prejudices

Bikes 1993 K1100 LT, 1998 K1100 LT, 1993 K75 RT, 1996 K75RT, 1986 K75 GS, 1979 Z1300 Kawasaki X 2 for now
    

25Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Mon May 30, 2016 10:42 pm

Two Wheels Better

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@RicK G wrote:My problem with getting there is that I keep spending the air fare on more bikes. I just picked up a 1996 K75RT to replace the K1100.

Quarantine that bloke! He too has got the pox.


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

26Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Tue May 31, 2016 3:22 am

Shep

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I am not sure of your final plan and if you have reservations on the first ferry but I would like to offer you lunch or supper in the next few days if you pass through Prince George. I also have a reasonably equipped garage for any adjustments you may want to make after being on the road for 1000 kms. Vancouver to Prince George is 490 miles (788 kms) and Prince George to Prince Rupert is 446 miles (718 kms).
Please call Home 250-564-7845 or (Cell) 250-961-5349 for any support or a coffee. Do this on your way to Alaska or your return trip.
Be aware of the wild life, totally road spontaneous they are!
Shep


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Model Production Date/Serial Number
K100RS 1984 July/ (F0040448)
K100RS 1986 Dec/ (H0142581)
    

27Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Sat Jun 04, 2016 3:32 pm

Two Wheels Better

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We are five days in so far and have had some fun and adventure. Unfortunately we missed Shep when we passed through Prince George BC (in a hailstorm) due to timing. Perhaps on the ride back south we'll connect. Thanks for the offer, Shep.

Right now we're sitting in the galley of the M/V Matanuska ferry having just enjoyed a hot cuppa and brekky. The sea is calm today after some ferocious wind yesterday as we made our way along the magnificent Skeena River towards Prince Rupert BC. The ride has been relaxing and peaceful, never a riding day longer than 620 kms. It's rained a fair bit, we expected that, and have good, tight gear and heated liners inside our jackets. The heated hand grips have come in handy as well.

Though the signs clearly warn of moose, bear, caribou, deer and elk, we've seen none, save a piglet running for its little life down the middle of highway 97 near Cache Creek BC! We were overtaking a line of slower traffic when everyone locked 'em up. Expecting a dog or a deer, we were surprised to see the porcine escapee, head up, eyes wide, trotting as fast as his little pink legs could carry him right past our front wheel and off to the side of the three lane road. As we continued overtaking the car in front of us the driver put his hands up as if to say WTF, and with a big smile started laughing at the absurdity of the scene. We nearly pissed ourselves laughing as well.

The many bald eagles, hawks and other carrion eaters are prolific in number, as were the seals bobbing in the deep and fast Skeena River, still snow-covered peaks abound, the sights and sounds of the wild are glorious to behold. North America has a certain majesty about it. We are in awe at every turn in the road.

As I'm using my mobile I'm not able to post pics but promise I've got a few worthy scenes to share when I can.

Next stop, after as few small coastal towns like Ketchican, Wrangle, Petersburg, is Juneau, the state capital of Alaska.


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

28Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:56 pm

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We're eleven days in, currently in Cantwell, Alaska, near Denali NP. It's been an amazing ride with mountain range after mountain range, glacier after glacier, moose, bears, eagles, orcas, a breaching whale, and gobs of RVs full of tourists. The best part has been the incredibly friendly people we've met whilst travelling, some tourists, but mostly it's the locals. We are awestruck at the beauty and majesty of this incredible place.


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

29Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:17 am

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Top of the World highway from Chicken, Alaska to Dawson City, Yukon Territory has been vanquished, but not before its snot-slick smooth, wet surface had me clenching the seat with my cheeks!

Tomorrow, southward again to Whitehorse.


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

30Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:54 am

Holister

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I just checked those places out on Google maps. Looks like wild country and a top ride.
Cheers


__________________________________________________
1988 K100RT VIN No. 0094680
1989 K100RT VIN No. 0097367 (naked)
1996 K1100RS VIN No. 0451808
Fuel: 95 Octane
Engine Oil:Nulon Full Synthetic 15W50
Gear Box Oil: Nulon Synthetic 75W90
    

31Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:34 pm

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Zero dramas, great trip, 8191 kms (5091 miles), 20 days, never more than 405 miles in a day, spotted 14 bears, 3 moose, alone deer, several orcas, porpoise, a breaching whale from the decks of the ferry Matanuska on the Inside Passage near Ketchikan, a red fox, one piglet in the middle of Highway 97 in BC, used 3/5 of a quart of oil, got 42 to 54 US mpg (ethanol-free premium, available in Canada from Shell at 94 AKI octane, delivers easily 10% better mileage and the bike idles and runs smoother), suffered no flats and the only mechanical issue was a leaking Telelever seal which I 'cured' temporarily with a mechanic's rag and two zip ties to mop up the fork oil residue as the suspension moved through its travel. I will use a proper dualsport tyre next time. Metzeler Tourance Next leave a lot to be desired on a 500kg bike (about 1100 lb) with riders and gear on snot-slick, when it's wet, Top of the World Highway from Chicken, Alaskato Dawson City, Yukon. I reckon every motorcyclist who's serious outta visit Alaska, but I thoroughly enjoyed Yukon Territory and upper BC!




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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

32Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:36 pm

Shep

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Wow, an incredible trip.
I thought you were on two bikes so now your comments on the slithery roads with a fully loaded bike, two-up, conjures a much more exciting picture of your Chicken to Dawson City ride.
Really saddened by the BC weather that was thrown at you. For it to continuously rain for two to four days in our part of the country is not normal. On the B.C. coast and parts of Vancouver Island it would be quite normal.
Glad to see you're safely back.
If you ever venture back this way please call.
Shep



Last edited by Shep on Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Grammar correction)


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Model Production Date/Serial Number
K100RS 1984 July/ (F0040448)
K100RS 1986 Dec/ (H0142581)
    

33Back to top Go down    Re: North to Alaska! on Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:53 pm

Two Wheels Better

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Thanks, Shep. For sure I want to explore more of the region, and will give you plenty of notice beforehand. We actually missed most of the rain, as we arrived it was waning (oops, pardon the pun), and we had only wet roads. Also, we came down the Cassiar (excellent, newly re-paved) in sunshine and didn't get anywhere near Highway 97, which as you know was closed due to wash outs. Overall, we had rain in Juneau for a day, rain and hail in Fairbanks and heading south towards Delta Junction, then rain going across the Top of the World highway two days later. It barely sprinkled once we re-entered BC, then drizzled a bit near Hope, but we were beyond it by then, hope, that is. Not bad, twenty days total with only about four days of precipitation.

A good ride indeed.


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'87 K100RS, '93 K1100RS frame, forks, Paralever & gearbox with '02 K1200RS motor, brakes & wheels, aka theBig Block.
    

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