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So, been doing a week+ trip with friends since 94, this year we decided to explore some new areas as we've been everywhere from New Mexico to North Dakota to central BC and all roads in between, so flew up to Anchorage and rented bikes from Phil at AkRider.

Only did 2k miles but about 500 of those were gravel, getting from Tok, AK to Dawson in the Yukon, and heading north from Fairbanks to Coldfoot on the Haul Road 60 miles inside the Arctic Circle.

No real drama except Theo launching his bike off a cliff on the Top of the World Hiway into trees and totalling his second bmw in as many years, fortunately he's got plenty of money and wasn't hurt so serious issues avoided.

The KLR worked great for a dirtbike on the road, vstroms were pretty poor offroad, F650 Dakar's were the best all around bike.


Entering Canada on the T.O.T.W hiway. Gravel road for about 100 miles with a little border crossing in the middle of nowhere, general elevation was 4-5k feet. The little KLR will hit 90 on gravel when being chased by a massive rain cloud :)


The road is up there about 30 feet. Took 5 of us to haul/ride the bike back up as the sat phone was sporatic and Dawson and a wrecker were 30 miles away...


Hit the sign and continued north for another 60 miles. No, it never get's dark up there this time of year and difficult to tell the time after about 8 pm.


Camped in Coldfoot inside the circle and road an ATV trail to a stream. Avoided local mother Moose, apparently the most dangerous animal around, but didn't avoid the rainstorm that lasted all night.


Jeff, friend I race enduro's with, finds out how bad the vstrom is on slimy trails, dumps it over and possibly blows his MCL (get's it scanned today)..


Headed north up the Haul road constructed to get equipment to the Prudhoe bay oil station and maintain the pipeline.




Stopped in the circle for a couple of pics of the trusty KLR.


Last night of camping, on the Kaleetna river between Anchorage and Denali with McKinley in the background, it's about midnight in this shot. Having a few cocktails, playing F your buddy :)




This years participants. Range in age from 27 to 44 but all feeling pretty young :)


All in all a great trip with some drama, as usual, but everyone makes it back safe.

If anyone has ever thought about doing Alaska, don't wait, totally worth the time and money!

Next big trip is South America in a few years:hail
 

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Sweet! Looks likes tons of fun:drool
 

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Great pics. Looks however like the tires on the Strom were much more street oriented than those on the other bikes. I wonder how it might have faired with similar tires.

Looks like a great time, I'd love to ride up there sometime. Nice to hear that the BMW's handle everything but flight very well. :thumbup
 

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We actually all had the same rear tires on, F650's and the KLR had 19 fronts with more dirt oriented tires with definately made a difference, but the vstrom was too heavy and wide to be much good on the gravel. Bmw has the gas tank under the seat so it's still very narrow and handles great. Time for a ktm to do more of this type riding....
 

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Ahh ok, most of the pics of other bikes all you can see are the fronts. I'd be very interested to hear a comparison of those bikes with the KTM of course...maybe the buell as well.
 

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I think it all really depends on how fast/competent you want the bike to be on gravel. Folks ride Goldwings and harlyes up there with alarming frequency, but I imagine the bikes are somewhat ill-suited for the task. Piet Boonstra wrote about his adventures in alaska (and south america) in his book. He's ridden it on I think an a GS750 Suzuki, an old goldwing and an F650. He currently has an F650 with something like 200k miles on it IIRC. He also rode an XT225 to AK just to be a little different (and he's probably 6'5" tall so must have been quite a site!).

I wouldn't mind doing that trip on my DR250SE, I think the bike would actually be quite suited for it:) Biggest trouble is the 3k miles of boring middle america slab between me and the start of a good ak trip:banghead

What kind of ktm are you thinking about there WSMC? 690ADV?
 

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I can see how a Goldwing could handle it. Those things have such a low center of gravity that it could actually be better than a Strom. I remember how suprised I was at how light the pig of a goldwing felt when I rode one. Can't speak for the BMW's though.
 

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I'd be comfortable riding a strom most anywhere I'd drive a stock 4x4 truck I think (except perhaps deep snow) and probably as slowly. Its no dirt bike, but most any street bike can be plunked along on beat up dirt roads and two track as long as its not really rough or muddy.

I rode my neighbors and it was really quite easy to handle at low speeds (for a 500lbs street bike anyway). Certainly better low-speed maneuvering than the TLS.

Check out the ride reports section of advrider.com and you can find people riding the dalton highway on most anything from 250cc singles on up. :)
 

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Looks like a great adventure .... nice roads... good friends.... I'll like to do a tryp like this some day...

Here in Europe the most typical trip is go to North Cap in Finland, from my home around 8000km including returning way..... One day I'll do for sure....
 

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........... Avoided local mother Moose, apparently the most dangerous animal around, ..........
Ain't that the truth :laugh :laugh :laugh :laugh

Looks like a great trip. Big tours on the bike are the one thing I miss since having the kids :coocoo
 

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Awesome pics mate :hail ........... must be real weird being daylight 24/7 :dowhat
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think it all really depends on how fast/competent you want the bike to be on gravel. Folks ride Goldwings and harlyes up there with alarming frequency, but I imagine the bikes are somewhat ill-suited for the task. Piet Boonstra wrote about his adventures in alaska (and south america) in his book. He's ridden it on I think an a GS750 Suzuki, an old goldwing and an F650. He currently has an F650 with something like 200k miles on it IIRC. He also rode an XT225 to AK just to be a little different (and he's probably 6'5" tall so must have been quite a site!).

I wouldn't mind doing that trip on my DR250SE, I think the bike would actually be quite suited for it:) Biggest trouble is the 3k miles of boring middle america slab between me and the start of a good ak trip:banghead

What kind of ktm are you thinking about there WSMC? 690ADV?
I would love the new Duke III coming out, but my wife and morgage suggest otherwise...so hopefully something like a Duke II, SMC or LC4. Friend I've been riding/racing with since 92 has an 04 SMC and said it's still superior to the F650 so I believe him...and I've always been a KTM fan.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like a great trip, you do one every year? Green with envy here.
Thanks for sharing the pics. :thumbup
Yep, I moved down to Cali in 94 and had a group of about 5 competant riders, one day we just said "lets take a week off and go ride somewhere".

been doing it every year since. Made it to New Mexico, North Dakota and Central B.C. in various trips, next summer is BC again because the roads are so nice.

South America and Europe in the next 10 years.

it's an easy and cheap vacation if anyone has ever thought about it but hasn't done it...just get a couple good friends and go! :)
 

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Looks like a great adventure .... nice roads... good friends.... I'll like to do a tryp like this some day...

Here in Europe the most typical trip is go to North Cap in Finland, from my home around 8000km including returning way..... One day I'll do for sure....

Now THAT sounds like a trip! Our longest was 4200 miles over 9 days, but that included Utah, Nebraska and the Dakota's....good roads were few and far between unfortunately.
 
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Looks like a great adventure .... nice roads... good friends.... I'll like to do a tryp like this some day...

Here in Europe the most typical trip is go to North Cap in Finland, from my home around 8000km including returning way..... One day I'll do for sure....
yep, I was planning little trip up to lapland.(that is the northern part of finland). probably during this summer holiday that just started.

it's probably 1000km from where I live.(Tampere)
 
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