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Thread: North to Alaska …

  1. #1
    Senior Member GregC's Avatar
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    North to Alaska …

    Just finished a week in Alaska. Did about 1,500 miles on a rented BMW 700GS. Did the Dalton to Coldfoot - lost our weather window so could not get to Deadhorse, but utterly amazing nonetheless. Went to Wiseman (about 15 miles north of Coldfoot - and completely off the grid). Road back through south side of Denali park, hit Talkeetna, Portage Glacier, Whittier, Fairbanks. Got very lucky and actually saw Denali - apparently only about 20-30% of folks get to see it from the road because of cloud cover. An amazing adventure.




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  2. #2
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    Great pics and a great trip! I’d be interested on your review and thoughts on the bike. I took a hard look at one recently..


    I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now ..

  3. #3
    Senior Member GregC's Avatar
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    North to Alaska …

    It was the first time spending any serious amount of time on a bike other than my ‘15 NC700x DCT. Candidly, it made me appreciate my bike all the more. The BMW was fine, but nothing really lept out at me as that much better. It had a chain, tubeless tires, mag wheels (not spoke), and being a 700gs the power was about the same. On the bike I had it had the stock seat which was seriously uncomfortable after 2 hours It had some unknown aftermarket screen that did nothing but generate turbulence.

    The bike performed well on all types of road - asphalt, packed dirt, packed gravel, and loose gravel, and wet asphalt. The bike had Shinko’s and they were surprisingly good (I’ve run PR4s and currently Pirelli scorpion trail on my NC).

    Lastly, I came away not understanding why every manufacturer doesn’t offer DCT. And I don’t understand why they don’t describe it as “clutchless shifting” with the option to go automatic if you want. Just like high performance cars. I saw no advantage to the manual transmission over DCT in manual mode - other than constantly futzing with the clutch.

    I’ve been jonesing over the 1200RT’s , but after this trip I think I’ll just hang on to the NC700 a few more years and see what else develops in DCT.


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    Last edited by GregC; 28th July 2019 at 18:14.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregC View Post
    It was the first time spending any serious amount of time on a bike other than my ‘15 NC700x DCT. Candidly, it made me appreciate my bike all the more. The BMW was fine, but nothing really lept out at me as that much better. It had a chain, tubeless tires, mag wheels (not spoke), and being a 700gs the power was about the same. On the bike I had it had the stock seat which was seriously uncomfortable after 2 hours It had some unknown aftermarket screen that did nothing but generate turbulence.

    The bike performed well on all types of road - asphalt, packed dirt, packed gravel, and loose gravel, and wet asphalt. The bike had Shinko’s and they were surprisingly good (I’ve run PR4s and currently Pirelli scorpion trail on my NC).

    Lastly, I came away not understanding why every manufacturer doesn’t offer DCT. And I don’t understand why they don’t describe it as “clutchless shifting” with the option to go automatic if you want. Just like high performance cars. I saw no advantage to the manual transmission over DCT in manual mode - other than constantly futzing with the clutch.

    I’ve been jonesing over the 1200RT’s , but after this trip I think I’ll just hang on to the NC700 a few more years and see what else develops in DCT.


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    Thanks for the review of the bike. I drooled on one but couldn’t swing a test ride. The dealer tried to steer me onto the 1200 (yeah, my eyes lit up) but that doesn’t fit with my “less is more” stage of life. And, like you, I came away with a renewed appreciation for what I have. Every time I get a little serious about making a switch I come to the conclusion that improving on my NC DCT (for what I need and want in a bike) is just darn near impossible. And I have it set up just the way I want it.


    I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now ..

  5. #5
    Senior Member GregC's Avatar
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    I’ve also decided that for the next remote trip I’ll likely ship my bike rather than rent. I would still rent if riding the Dalton just because it’s so hard on the bike (there’s a $500 surcharge on the rental bikes if they are going up the Dalton because of the extra prep and wear & tear). But otherwise I’d rather have my bike and the shipping would be just a bit more than renting. Met 2 guys from Australia that shipped their 1200gs’s air freight to Seattle and it was about US$1800.


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  6. #6
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    Sounds like a good strategy. Having my own bike under me would make for a more pleasurable trip (for me anyway) for sure.


    I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now ..

  7. #7
    Senior Member GregC's Avatar
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    Thought I’d also share the rental company we used - Alaska Motorcycle Adventures. They were great, bikes well maintained, knowledgeable and helpful.

    Alaska Motorbike Hire | United States | Alaska Motorcycle Adventures



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