Journeyman28778

"And this one is just right" ~ Goldilocks
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
936
Location
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
Ride
'11 Rocket III Roadster
In the process of divorce, kids grown, parents getting older. I'm thinking the Alaska Highway this summer IF the Canadian border is open by then and other aspects of life don't get in the way. Has anyone here, or should I say, who here has done it before?

I've done many long-distance rides and lots of shorter outings. When I first got back into riding I loaded up a 2007 Bonneville with camping gear in NC and rode solo to the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia, back through New Brunswick to Quebec and then returned home. Only three nights in a motel and almost every bit on back roads. I'm always up for a good adventure.

So, I want to take the Rocket the entire way, but I don't want to trash it in the process riding above Canada. I'm wondering if it would be a bad idea to take the Roadster the entire way- I see photos of lots of cruisers on the route. Or, plan B would be to Ride up to Montana or Washington, park the Rocket, buy a used dual sport to complete the ride, return and sell the dual sport, and then make it back home on the Rocket. It all depends on the real deal with road conditions up there- it's hard to separate fact from exaggeration.

I'm starting to plan.....

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 4.43.04 PM.png


This map very subject to change.
 

CCjon

All who wander... seeking fresh cup of coffee
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
123
Location
Cypress, Texas
Ride
2011 R3 sidecamper, GSA/EZS rig
Have ridden to Alaska from Texas four times now, any bagger, cruiser or road sofa can make it, no problem. Yes there will be road construction with gravel sections, but not miles and miles of mud and stone. When you come to a construction section with waiting traffic, motorcycles go to the head of the line to follow the pilot vehicle. If you should happen to drop your bike there, everybody will help get you going again so the other vehicles can get through. Going north of Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle and Prudhoe Bay, you will encounter miles ands miles and miles of gravels and mud. A dual sport bike is better suited for that, but there have been cruisers who made the trek, if they were lucky enough to catch a dry spell with dry roads. And yes, every year several riders are killed on the Dalton Higheway to Prudhoe Bay. Though, most accidents are on the return ride coming back when they are over confident and in a hurry. The Governor of South(?) Dakota wrecked his bike, broke his legs returning from Prudhoe Bay several years back.

Your biggest challenges will be keeping your speed down and closed gas stations. The road has many blind curves and hills with limited sight distance, animals graze along the roadways and cross it frequently. Loose sand, mud, rocks and boulders find their way to the pavement after a heavy rain. Do not expect to ride your normal 70 mph up there. 55 is more the norm because of the conditions.
Just because there is a gas station shown on the Milepost map, there is no guarantee it is still open. When you get down to half a tank, start looking for a station. Carry a spare gas can.

If you haven't yet, get a currently copy of The Milepost. If has all the information you will need, from gas, motels and food stops to things to see along the way. The biggest mistake riders make is not allowing enough time to enjoy the trip. If you only have a two weeks vacation to ride up and back, you won't see anything but the road in front of you.

Was planning a fifth ride up for last summer, then Canada closed their borders. Will go this summer if they open up.

Be glad to answer an specific questions, shoot me a PM.

CCjon
 

CCjon

All who wander... seeking fresh cup of coffee
Joined
Aug 24, 2017
Messages
123
Location
Cypress, Texas
Ride
2011 R3 sidecamper, GSA/EZS rig
Journeyman, just looked closer at the map you posted, that western route, Cassiar Highway, definitely has many more miles of unpaved road with limited services. The eastern route called the Alaska Highway up thru Dawson Creek is in better condition, mostly paved with more Services, lodging, foods, gas etc.
 

FE_rex

Bob Wills is still the King
Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
925
Location
TEXAS
Ride
2006 Rocket III
.................................Going north of Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle and Prudhoe Bay, you will encounter miles ands miles and miles of gravels and mud. A dual sport bike is better suited for that, but there have been cruisers who made the trek, ................................

I was in Deadhorse running a yard test around 20 yrs ago July/August. 4 guys who had to be in their late-60's to 70's rolled up on full-dress Harleys to the hotel up there and stayed a few days. Due to the hours I was working (onetime we did 42hr straight), I was unable to get time to talk with them.

I was happy and sad for them. Happy they had accomplished something on their "bucket list", sad they had one less thing to strive for in their life. Hopefully they made it home and after marking "ride to the top of the world" off the bucket list, added a new, more exciting goal.
 

elcanaco

It ain't easy being me!
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
103
Location
Castlegar, BC, Canada
Ride
2008 Rocket III
I’ve done the ride to Alaska 3 times on my Triumph Explorer and was planning to do it again this coming summer on my Ural Gear Up but I seriously doubt the border will be open. No problem, the North is not moving anywhere anytime soon! CCjon isn’t entirely correct about going to the front of the line at a construction delay UNLESS you’re waved to the front by the traffic control person. I’ve been chastised for doing it and waved to the front also so both can happen. Unless you’re going to Prudhoe Bay or Inuvik you’re pretty much ok for gas but I carry a 3 gallon bladder (that the Australian marine rescue carry on their Seadoos) if I ‘think’ there might be an issue. It rolls up nicely in the pannier lid when not in use. The Explorer gets very good mileage so the only time it became necessary was between Dawson City and Eagle Plains. I always stopped at any gas station after the tank hit 1/2 empty. Tires can be an issue depending on how far you travel and the road conditions. I chewed up a pair of Kendas that barely got me home so used Heidenau K60 Scouts the last 2 times with lots of tread to spare. Road conditions can vary HUGELY depending on time of year and weather. The last trip was to go to Tuktoyaktuk but everything north on highway 5 (I had spent the night in Dawson City after riding the Top of the World Hwy) was in such poor condition highways dept. was warning against it and several bikers had gone down and got injured (told to me by the border officer at Pleasant Camp north of Haines). IMHO unless I was ONLY doing asphalt I would not go north unless I was on a dual sport. Having said that, there are THOUSANDS of miles of beautiful paved roads up there. Lots of guys have done it on everything from baggers to cruisers but between the difficulties of windrows, road construction and weather affected road conditions I’d only attempt it with a bike designed for the north. PM me if you’d like any more particulars. I LOVE riding the North, both Canada AND the US. If the border stays closed next summer I plan to go back to Yellowknife on the Ural 🤞
 

Boog

Traveling Story Teller
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
7,541
Location
Dumfries, Virginia
Ride
2014 R3T, TORs, RAMAIR
Prudhoe Bay is on my bucket list.
I can't find story right now, it may have been on the .com site, but one rider on a R3 rode from Key West to Prudhoe. His biggest challenge was the tires. He ended up getting a darkside rear tire for his Rocket and did well through Canada, Alaska and back on it. I do recall him also stating how important extra fuel was.
 

elcanaco

It ain't easy being me!
Joined
Jan 23, 2017
Messages
103
Location
Castlegar, BC, Canada
Ride
2008 Rocket III
My first trip to Alaska was with Dan Moore (who has been 7 times or more) and Navigator. Dan sent me photos of his ride back from Prudhoe Bay one trip. It had rained and he had to foot paddle his way back to asphalt because the calcium chloride they use on the roads for dust control turns into snot when it gets wet! His bike looked like a clay casting of a Beemer. Everyone sets their own goals but when I reached Fairbanks I couldn’t convince myself the Dalton Hwy to Deadhorse was worth the risk and aggravation. At a road construction delay after leaving Homer, I pulled up behind 2 Beemers that were ridden by husband and wife from Europe. They had JUST had Continental TKC80’s put on their bikes in Anchorage. When I asked about the tires, they told me they had planned to ride to Deadhorse but had THEN learned the road was in TERRIBLE shape so they weren’t going up the Dalton and were going to stop somewhere and have the tires replaced with something more asphalt intended. Have a plan when you go north but prepare to be flexible!
 

Journeyman28778

"And this one is just right" ~ Goldilocks
Thread starter
Joined
Aug 13, 2017
Messages
936
Location
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
Ride
'11 Rocket III Roadster
I’ve done the ride to Alaska 3 times on my Triumph Explorer and was planning to do it again this coming summer on my Ural Gear Up but I seriously doubt the border will be open. No problem, the North is not moving anywhere anytime soon! .........
The news is not improving- I'm afraid that you're probably right about the border, but I'm going to plan and strike out if it does open.

If not, maybe I'll just hit Oregon and Washington, two of the few states that so far I've not yet visited.

I briefly entertained going the other direction down to the tip of South America. Traveling without a bike would not stop me (been to Peru, Guatemala, Mexico), but with the worries of breakdowns (Triumph?) and sketchy situations camping, I'm thinking otherwise, at least for now.
 
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