Thinking of a California to Alaska trip

M

Moto-Kafe

Chip Seal.........Calcium Chloride (I think) is what they spray on certain gravel stretches in Alaska, to slow down erosion of the road, but I have read where it speeds up erosion of tires. I hope to make the trip from BamaLand next May 2020.....10,000 miles round trip, and I will have a rear tire shipped to Fairbanks ahead of time.......just in case. I don't want to be riding back thru the US states on my way home on a bald tire and 70-80mph interstates. Whole different discussion: what tire to use?? (depends on what you plan on riding....all asphalt and/or parts gravel/dirt?)

NOTE: I will be on my vstrom 650
 

potter0o

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I see there are shops in the Yukon and Alaska. The prices might be higher due to less competition and freight. Maybe check out the local stores via phone to get a feel for what's available.
 

ld_rider

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Yes, they sell motorcycle tires in Alaska...You can even get an oil change ;-)
 
M

Moto-Kafe

The problem with tires is finding one in your specific size and Manufacture, the same hour you pull up to the shop. Have the tire of your choice shipped and it's reserved in your name. Yes, there are multiple ADV shops in Fairblanks/Anchortown, but if a group of riders comes into the shop a day or two before you do, they could wipe out the tire supply. I'm not against using local brick/motar shops, but I don't want to be stuck waiting 1-3 days while a tire is sent over/mailed from somewhere else.
 

ld_rider

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The problem with tires is finding one in your specific size and Manufacture, the same hour you pull up to the shop.
Never had that problem but I suppose with a one off weird tire size /tread pattern it could happen.

If I'm worried about "right now" availability I just call a M/C shop in the general area (days/weeks before leaving Maine) and pay for the tires over the phone. They change them when I show up and I don't pay for shipping ;-)

I had to do that twice, once in Albuquerque, NM and again in Seattle, WA when I was under serious time/schedule restraints and like you, didn't want to chance waiting around for a couple of days if the tires had to be ordered.

I did have work done a large Honda dealership in Whitehorse, YT (tires) and a service (oil change, etc) done in Anchorage, AK....Seems like the further north you go, the more $$ everything is..

Do what you have to do make the whole trip less stressful....if that means guaranteeing tire availability then do it. One less thing to think/worry about when traversing 6 inches of freshly oiled gravel on a decreasing radius, off camber turn with a 35' drop off... in the rain ;-)
 
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Rapturee

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Just a heads up, my Dad lives in Fairbanks off of Peger Rd, just down the street from the Super 8, and he is all too happy to accept tires/parts shipped to him if needed. PM me if you're interested and i can get you his address and #. He is in his late 70's and still fabricates some pretty cool stuff. He also has a well stocked personal machine shop, welders, Lathes, Milling machines etc. If anyone broke down or got stranded for one reason or another i'm sure he'd be all to happy to rescue/lend a hand if he could. Over the years he has made hundreds of trips up to Deadhorse.

On a lighter note, he's a regular early morning fixture at the HillTop Truck Stop, Dad likes his coffee and visiting with his old buddies. :{)
 
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JimTid

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I rode in from Spokane then took the ferry Columbia from Haines to Bellingham WA. I slept in my tent on the aft deck for the four night trip. The inner passage is more scenic than the ride in (IMHO). You get to exit the ferry on foot for a couple hours each day while they load/unload vehicles. You pay for food and drinks while on board.
 

Rapturee

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Hey Ripp, are you still planning your Alaska trip? I will be headed up there myself sometime in June 2020, sure be great to meet up and travel together if you'd like or just catch you on the road somewhere if you'd prefer. I'll be headed to D2D first, then off to Fairbanks from there to see my Dad. Depending on how he is doing and how things are going, i may just ride up to the Arctic Circle. However, if time allows and he is doing well then i'll make a run for Deadhorse!! I am taking 3 weeks off from work next year for that trip so all is well time wise. :{)
 

rippin209

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Hey Ripp, are you still planning your Alaska trip? I will be headed up there myself sometime in June 2020, sure be great to meet up and travel together if you'd like or just catch you on the road somewhere if you'd prefer. I'll be headed to D2D first, then off to Fairbanks from there to see my Dad. Depending on how he is doing and how things are going, i may just ride up to the Arctic Circle. However, if time allows and he is doing well then i'll make a run for Deadhorse!! I am taking 3 weeks off from work next year for that trip so all is well time wise. :{)
There's still too much in the air for me to know for sure, ask me again in December and I should be able to give you more of a concrete answer one way or another.

If I'm able to go I'd prefer it not be solo sense I've never been north of Washington, besides riding out in the sticks its best not to be alone in case something does happen
 

ld_rider

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I rode in from Spokane then took the ferry Columbia from Haines to Bellingham WA. I slept in my tent on the aft deck for the four night trip. The inner passage is more scenic than the ride in (IMHO).
I also took a ferry when returning back to Maine: Haines AK, to Prince Rupert, BC.

I didn't get a stateroom until after the ferry left the terminal. I found a purser and I negotiated a cash deal for a cabin after leaving at a considerable savings ;-)

It was NICE to get off the bike for a few days and relax watching the scenery go by while coming down the inside passage. Had a great ride across the Trans Canadian from Maine and up to Inuvik via the Dempster Highway, back to to Dawson City and then over the Top of The World Highway to Chicken, AK.

Was ready for a break before slogging it back to Maine and the ferry ride worked out perfectly!
 

Rapturee

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If I'm able to go I'd prefer it not be solo sense I've never been north of Washington, besides riding out in the sticks its best not to be alone in case something does happen
You are more than welcome to ride along with me and i'd be happy to rearrange my departure schedule a little to accommodate that my friend, I am fairly flexible. PM me if you'd like to talk/plan further. I'd be happy to ride over there and we can head north from your place or vise-versa.

"Tentatively"... I have 3 weeks vacation time for the trip and am otherwise not in a hurry. I do plan on camping most of the time(occasional motel for shower/laundry of course). Anything we need we can have shipped to my Dad in Fairbanks and we can do any maint necessary there as well. He is a great machinist/fabricator. I'm headed to Skagway AK where i went to highschool for a rest day, then off to D2D(June 20th). From there up to Fairbanks where my Dad lives and depending on the weather/ride, i'll at least hit the Arctic Circle and possibly Deadhorse. Then home through a more westerly track through Canada just to see something different. :{)
 
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