Thinking of a California to Alaska trip

rippin209

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It wouldn't be for a year or two so no rush on anything but I'm curious of routes and destinations.

I've read more then a few people post about previous rides up to Alaska but very little details. I've lived up and down the west coast but never been to Alaska.

Weigh in please

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kumatae

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I’ve been all over the west coast in a car and have been thinking about it down the road but from what I read, it costs so much more than going down to Baja or even flying to Asia and scootering around. It’s something I want to do but just not that high on my priority list. Planning to go down to Baja towards end of the year.


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rippin209

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I’ve been all over the west coast in a car and have been thinking about it down the road but from what I read, it costs so much more than going down to Baja or even flying to Asia and scootering around. It’s something I want to do but just not that high on my priority list. Planning to go down to Baja towards end of the year.


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I've thought about that, Baja is closer so I might go down to Baja first but I'm not a fan of the heat, so I'm not keen on going during the summer. What's the expensive cost in going to Alaska?
 
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kumatae

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From what I’ve read assuming you have every gear already purchased, you are looking at about 30 days and costs ranging $3000 -$5000. Guess it can be much cheaper if you camp more.


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1wiseguy2

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Gas is much more expensive in Canada. But the NC sips fuel. Camping would keep the cost down. The roads are much better these days. I would buy a DestinationHighway.com British Columbia book for the possible routes along the way.

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Rapturee

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I have personally traveled the Alcan three times. The most recent was about 6 years ago and each time it has always been in a vehicle. I went to highschool in Alaska and have always wanted to make that trip on a motorcycle. My Dad still lives up in Fairbanks and has been there for about 40 years now. My eldest son and i are planning a trip as well ourselves in the late spring/early summer of 2019! I ride the NC and my son has the HD. We'll be leaving northern Idaho and heading up through Canada to Fairbanks. We have our schedule pretty well planned. We have allowed 7 days to make it to Fairbanks, spend several days there visiting and riding a few local areas, then 8 days to make the return trip back home. Our plan is to camp the majority of the time. Wishing you the very best in your travels! :{)
dad and michael riding to lunch june 11th 2018.jpg
 
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Olythom

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my younger brother did Utah>Fairbanks a few years ago. one thing he did ahead of time was the purchase of a rear tire - which he had shipped to a location on his route so it was waiting for him when he needed it. lots of those gravel roads will eat up tires faster than our normal commuting.
 

Rapturee

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Good point Oly. I planned on and should have mentioned, that i'll be installing a new front and new rear tire on mine prior to departure. Cheap insurance, always been a fan of controlling the cost while you can! :{)
 

rippin209

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I'm at 76,700 now and mileage would be over 100,000 by the time I go.

I'd replace the clutch, clutch and throttle cable, recent fluid change and new brake pads and tires before hitting the road.

While lubing the cables I noticed one of them has a few strands that broke at one of the anchor points, so it wouldn't be a complete waste and I'd attach the old cables with zip ties for a back up
 

rippin209

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my younger brother did Utah>Fairbanks a few years ago. one thing he did ahead of time was the purchase of a rear tire - which he had shipped to a location on his route so it was waiting for him when he needed it. lots of those gravel roads will eat up tires faster than our normal commuting.
I think a trip to Alaska is a pretty short trip to get a tire on the way. Either your brother didn't have much litre in his current tire or I'm really underestimating how abrasive the gravel is on the road to Alaska
 

Olythom

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Hoping for an update on this thread.... Rapturee, is your trip still on? I just sold our small business and 'officially' retired. I have a million things on my to-do list but a trip like this has considerable appeal. I'd love to hear about your prep and your trip.

Rippin... Re: Brother's trip to AK and tire wear... He and his buddy put over 8k miles on their bikes during the trip from Utah to Alaska, including many side trips. A good chunk of the mileage was on gravel. It was not a brand new rear tire but it was not old either. They were both on big BMWs, heavily loaded and, for much of the time, had reduced tire pressures. i suppose all of that added to tire wear. He almost made it back to the US/Canada border before having to replace the rear tire.

After talking to him, the trip sounds even more interesting. I've been to Alaska many times and always loved it. Maybe it's time time to do it on the bike. ;-)
>Thom
 

Junkie

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I think a trip to Alaska is a pretty short trip to get a tire on the way. Either your brother didn't have much litre in his current tire or I'm really underestimating how abrasive the gravel is on the road to Alaska
In my experience, gravel roads destroy tires on streetbikes. Then again, I'm used to 100hp or so rather than the half that the NC has, and I'm talking more twisty roads.

I'm planning on a trip to Alaska this summer as well. Don't have things planned at all yet, but would be happy to have company.
 

rippin209

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In my experience, gravel roads destroy tires on streetbikes. Then again, I'm used to 100hp or so rather than the half that the NC has, and I'm talking more twisty roads.

I'm planning on a trip to Alaska this summer as well. Don't have things planned at all yet, but would be happy to have company.
I'm moving to Washington this summer or next depending on a couple possibilities so my Alaska trip will be postponed until after that, so it'll be awhile.
If you go this summer try to post a ride report about it
 

Rapturee

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Oly, that is so good to hear!! Congrats and good for you!!

My Alaska 2019 trip has been placed on hold, sadly. I've been released to return to work monday 01/28th after being off for 7 weeks. Been down with a terrible arthritic(gout) attack that effected both knees, both ankles and both feet all at the same time. I've been unable to stand or even walk for several of those weeks and stuck in a wheelchair. I'v been getting around pretty well the past few days with a cane and today walked gingerly without one. Progress!! So i'll live/ride vicariously through you guys!! :{P
 

ScottHump

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I've become a big fan of this guy's YouTube channel - MotoGeo. I recently watched the episode where he rode from Seattle to Alaska (Anchorage), it was very cool. He posts the route he took on his site. It's not the only way you can go, of course, but there's certainly some info there that you'll probably find useful. One great point he made is that gas stations can be pretty far apart so bringing an extra gas can could be necessary.

Seattle to Alaska Route - MotoGeo Routes - Moto+Adventure=MotoGeo
 

drdubb

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I always carry wheel bearings, fork seals, spare cables and spare levers. If I have them, I won't need them.

Maybe a tube in case a tire casing is torn far from help.

As far as sites, Tewster2 (ADVforum) has some good ride reports and you tube videos of a couple of Alaska trips. I modeled one of my western trips after one of his vids.

He just purchased and outfitted an NC750.

Tiny Bike to Alaska 2016 (Planning and Bike Prep) | Adventure Rider

Tewsters Traveling Circus Alaska 2018 (the ride) | Adventure Rider

Tewster's Traveling Circus Alaska 2017 | Adventure Rider
 

ld_rider

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Hoping for an update on this thread....
I rode up to Alaska (from Maine) and found it not much different than any other ride. My route was from Maine to Vermont (where I crossed the International Border) and then I turned left across the Trans Canadian highway to Eagle Plains in the Yukon Territory. The ride from Dawson City YT to Eagle Plains and the Arctic Circle was the only real gravel rode I was on (Dempster Highway). Check that, the Top of The World Highway was also gravel but likewise wasn't too bad at all, unless you hit an area that hadn't been compacted by traffic yet and it was raining. That wasn't fun at all ;-)

Most (all?) of the other major highways in Alaska (all four or five of them) are paved, including Alcan highway (paved in 1992).

But, you will hit short stretches of gravel where road construction is going on, but other than that, no worries. I did it on street tires and if the gravel sections were dry and compacted (usual situation) it wasn't too bad.

I took a ferry from Haines, AK to Prince Rupert BC on the way back, so I can't comment on the highways between those two points.

Stay off the Dempster and Top of the World Highways and stick to main routes and you will practically eliminate the need to ride on gravel (except for the mentioned construction).

The ride was completed on a Honda Goldwing with regular street tires. Zero issues. Next time I go will be on the NC and with new street tires I could probably make the round trip without a tire swap.

HTH
 

rippin209

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I always carry wheel bearings, fork seals, spare cables and spare levers. If I have them, I won't need them.

Maybe a tube in case a tire casing is torn far from help.

As far as sites, Tewster2 (ADVforum) has some good ride reports and you tube videos of a couple of Alaska trips. I modeled one of my western trips after one of his vids.

He just purchased and outfitted an NC750.

Tiny Bike to Alaska 2016 (Planning and Bike Prep) | Adventure Rider

Tewsters Traveling Circus Alaska 2018 (the ride) | Adventure Rider

Tewster's Traveling Circus Alaska 2017 | Adventure Rider
Murphy's law, I'd agree better to be prepared and yeah you'd probably not need it
 

drdubb

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all those items pack small. You'll still might need a mechanic, but you won't be waiting on parts.
 
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