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Thread: New member headin for Alaska

  1. #1
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    New member headin for Alaska

    My son (20 years old) and I are heading for Alaska on July 5 for a 3 week trip. He is ridin my 1150RT and me on the HD Ultra. Any suggestions for the trip? I have got the bikes in pretty good shape ( I hope) with new tires, brakes, oil etc. We arn't taking any camping with, just motels and relatives. Would like to do some halibut or salmon fishing up there if possible. We are really looking forward to the ride!!! "Yes damnit both ways"

  2. #2
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    Deet!
    Nose

  3. #3
    Registered User Kerrymcrider's Avatar
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    I have an Electra Glide and a GS.

    You know they always say "the right tool for the right job" well, that Harley is going to be a fish out of water.
    Kerrymcrider

  4. #4
    Jack Herbst
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53920 View Post
    I have an Electra Glide and a GS.

    You know they always say "the right tool for the right job" well, that Harley is going to be a fish out of water.
    Not true "harley breath". You will find more Harleys in. going to , and coming from Alaska than all the other brands combined. Goldwing comes in second. Just thought ya otter know before making any more uninformed statements.

    JACK

  5. #5
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    While I have not yet made the trip, going in '12, I'm told nearly any bike is fine unless your doing something like the Dalton Highway. Some may do better than others, but nearly every kind of bike imaginable has already made the trip with few issues. I know of some Goldwings that have done the Dalton.

    I think it is more a case of the rider's skill and desire to ride a specific bike. I'm only 5'6 with a 30" inseam but I love my GSA. Yet most people seem to think you need to be at least 6' and have long legs to ride this type of bike.

    I'm sure the Harley will do just fine. Not to make fun of Harleys, but compared to being way up in the air on my BMW, they seem like riding a toy with the seat being so low to the ground. And that is good thing when riding a bike in a bit of less than perfect road surface.

    So have fun, provide a ride report, takes lots of pictures.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

  6. #6
    Registered User richardak's Avatar
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    Like others have said, any bike will do just fine unless you want to go to Dawson or up the Dalton or down the Denali Highway. Even then, it depends on the weather. The Alaska Hwy is a great trip.

    AKbeemer has a link for bargain housing in Fairbanks at the university.

    Have a great trip!
    1983 R100RT hacked w/Cozy Rocket My blog
    Airhead #10576

  7. #7
    Ambassador at Large JIMSHAW's Avatar
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    Cool June in AK

    Your biggest enemy riding to Alaska is.... drum roll...

    rain.

    That means, RT or HD, your best friend can be... drum roll...

    tires.

    After rain, there are, in no particular order, forest fires, road construction, bluehairs buying out the hotels at 4:30 in the afternoon, RVs throwing rocks at your oil or water cooler, helmet, headlights, and um,

    rain.

    You can pretty easily ride your HD to Dawson or Deadhorse, if it doesn't...

    rain.

    If you didn't know it, Homer (Kenai Peninsula) is the capital of Halibut fishing. And alcohol consumption. A drinking village with a little fishing problem.

    June is, statistically, AK's driest summer month. You missed it.

    Jim
    thinking your son has the better bike for the trip
    Last edited by jimshaw; 06-22-2010 at 04:02 PM.

  8. #8
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Where are you starting from?

    We rode to AK from Atlanta, and on the advice of a good friend, I got a new rear tire in Whitefish, MT even though I really didn't need one.

    My riding partner didn't and he was really wishing he did. Cords were showing by the time we made Anchorage. The chipseal up there is abrasive and really does a number on tires.

    As Jabherst says above, there are a LOT of Harley riders that make the trip and seem to have no problem. That said, the GS is the way to go... the long travel suspension and carrying capacity make the ideal combination on the rough roads. (since you won't be camping, the carrying capacity isn't as important, but the roads are ROUGH in many areas.

    be sure to stop at the Salmon Bake in Tok.



    have fun!

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  9. #9
    slowrider
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    Made the trip in 2008 two up on a E-Glide Classic (all the time wishing I was riding my GS) without any problems. Got the same life out of my rear tire as riding in the lower 48. Some back up camping gear is a good idea, we had to camp several times when motels were full. The constuction areas can be treacherous and it always seems to be raining when you hit them. The further north you get the rougher the roads get, be carefull and watch for the areas where the permafrost has thawed. Usually they are only marked with an orange cone or flag. Fantastic scenery, friendly people, lots of bears and a great ride.

  10. #10
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    Just returned from Alaska

    Just got back last week from trip to Alaska with my son. He was on the RT and me on the Ultra. Glad I was riding the HD. BMW broke down in Calgary and had to have it trailered to dealer. Lucky it was only the alt belt. (Long story) Nice dealership.
    Weather was rainy at times, Had rain gear on about half the time, hail 3 times one day. Rode on about 40 miles of gravel total with crummy rods near Ak border in Youkon. Spent up to $1.25 a litre for fuel, breakfast with 3 pancakes for each was $24. OUCH. Fished for halibut near Nililchick AK. Sent home #50 fillets, great taste.

  11. #11
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!

    I can see your sMile from here!

    Voni
    sMiling
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  12. #12
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmodel52 View Post
    crummy roads near Ak border in Yukon.
    A traveler passing through Fairbanks showed me a picture of a "pot hole" he encountered last week on the ALCAN between Beaver Creek and the border. He was standing in it and it was as deep as his arm pits! Be careful out there!!
    Kevin Huddy
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  13. #13
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    Road Construction

    I just returned from a 3 week trip from Colorado to Fairbanks.
    The Lt was fine but the chip seal between Fort Nelson and Watson Lake was nasty. Between Destruction Bay and the border has a lot of frost heaves but is better than previous years. Between the border and Tuk is very nasty if it is raining, 15 miles of 1 inch deep mud.
    The road from Chicken to Eagle is gone and will not be repaired this year. Currently the only way to Dawson City is through Whitehorse.

  14. #14
    franze
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmodel52 View Post
    Just got back last week from trip to Alaska with my son. He was on the RT and me on the Ultra. Glad I was riding the HD. BMW broke down in Calgary and had to have it trailered to dealer. Lucky it was only the alt belt. (Long story) Nice dealership.
    Weather was rainy at times, Had rain gear on about half the time, hail 3 times one day. Rode on about 40 miles of gravel total with crummy rods near Ak border in Youkon. Spent up to $1.25 a litre for fuel, breakfast with 3 pancakes for each was $24. OUCH. Fished for halibut near Nililchick AK. Sent home #50 fillets, great taste.
    don't know why people on this forum are so quick to trash HD. I just rode 5k miles in the upper northwest and probably saw 500 other bikers............. 450 were HD. I probably saw 25 BMW's. If I would have gone another 50 miles south towards the Black Hills I probably would have seen another 1,000 HD's. Only saw one bike left "for grabs" on the side of the road and that was a V=twin HD knock off. The brand is extremely popular, people are out having fun. What was it that my mom used to say............. Oh yeah, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say any thing.

    by the way, my dream is to do a ride like that with my sons some day. Good for you.

  15. #15
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaherbst View Post
    ............You will find more Harleys in. going to , and coming from Alaska than all the other brands combined. Goldwing comes in second. .....
    Not sure that is an accurate assessment. We've had close to 300 bikes pass through the dorms this summer so I get to see a pretty good representation of who is riding what up here. Fairbanks is a small town so I can also get a pretty good idea of what is passing through as I ride around town. I also have friends who work at the local BMW/Harley/Honda dealer; including the service manager. In my experience BMWs are the most popular bike being ridden to Fairbanks; maybe 40-50%, but V-Stroms/KLRs/KLMs/Goldwings/KLMs are all in the mix. I'd wager I've seen about as many V-Stroms as Harleys this year. The dealer has all the service work he can handle and then some from the BMWs passing through.

    This year the Hoka Hey! contest probably skewed the numbers towards Harley, but those guys did not stay in town so were not very visible.

    We are seeing an increase in the number of Harley riders staying on campus this year. We are starting to get our info posted in forums where they tend to venture. Of course, when they do come up here they tend to be here for different reasons than the folks on DS bikes. Most are on baggers, tend to be over 40 and are not heading up the Dalton. Some may venture to the Arctic Circle and every now and then one will go to Prudhoe. We've never had an issue with a Harley rider and like all the other riders who pass through, I enjoy talking to them about their adventures. The Harley travelers are more like all the other travelers than the Harley riders you see in every town cruising from bar to bar with their drive-on rag on their head, leather vest and well practiced thousand mile stare.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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