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Old 01-18-2013, 02:09 PM   #1
ErnieC
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Default Is the VN900 Good enough to Tour You bet!

Well hate to post another thread from another forum but I was impressed of what this bike did !!


http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ighlight=vn900
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:43 PM   #2
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Great find Ernie! I'm planning a 6 to 8 week trip in the spring and there is a lot to learn here. Thanks.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErnieC View Post
Well hate to post another thread from another forum but I was impressed of what this bike did !!


http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...ighlight=vn900
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Originally Posted by Old Syko View Post
Great find Ernie! I'm planning a 6 to 8 week trip in the spring and there is a lot to learn here. Thanks.
Absolutely, a great find. Really enjoyed reading this guys trip. Just shows how solid the 900 is for the long haul. Gutzy trip to do solo.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:15 AM   #4
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I was impressed with what he was able to do with so little mods, makes me re-think if I even need to change anything on mine
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**********
Crash Bars,Rear Tail Lights in Bags,Cooler bag on Sisy Bar,hand made Bag on Windshield,Wally world Cup Holder,Lower Shields,Gas Tank Bib,Baron Front Pulley


******************************************
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******************************************

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:07 AM   #5
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Default Thank you so much!

Great read and amazing pics! I am doing this trip from Ontario to the Kenai in the summer of 2014 on my 900. I have done the trip twice by truck (a 27' foot uhaul to be exact, pulling my cage behind it!), so i know what to expect. I plan to keep to the Alcan though. I've done the Dalton by pickup truck, doing it on a Vulcan was gutsy!!
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:30 AM   #6
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OK, this will be a lengthy post, so I will apologize in advance. So here goes.

I've done the Alaska Hwy numerous time, but never on a motorcycle, though. It's not that big a deal, in that the road is generally very good, high-speed paved highway. There will always be a sections where they are repairing places that have been damaged by frost heaves, but unless it's raining hard, those areas are easily traversed. Any motorcycle in good condition can easily make this trip. Fuel is available during the summer months every 100 miles or less, as are accommodations and food. Admittedly, if one is motelling it, some of those places are, how shall we say, quaint? But it beats sleeping out in the rain on a plastic picnic chair. Places to camp are numerous.

The road to Alaska is mostly long--2500 miles from Seattle to Anchorage, to be exact. It's a longer trip if you come from farther East. As for its toll on the motorcycle, it shouldn't be any worse than taking a similarly long trip somewhere else. In short, it's not the frontier adventure that it was, say, back in the 60's and 70's before it was paved and sections relocated.

My personal recommendations for bike preparation for such an undertaking would include starting out with a fresh oil and filter change, new air filter, and new tires, as you are going to put on anywhere from 5000 to 10000 miles on an Alcan trip. And don't forget, you have the entire Alaska road system to explore, as well.

This trip shouldn't be any harder on the bike than any other. I always suggest not trying for marathon mileage days, (unless time is of the essence) and just make it a leisurely ride so as to enjoy the scenery and wildlife along the way. You will see all sorts of game, including bear and bison, as well as the occasional moose, and in southern BC, elk. I can almost guarantee that while going through the Stone Mountain area and Muncho Lake, you will see caribou and mountain sheep on or next to the road. Makes for great photo ops. So do carry a good, yet compact digital camera with you, as well a couple of high capacity SD cards, like 16 or 32 gig cards, because you will take lots of photos.

Take a cell phone with you, and most carriers will have a Canadian access feature that you can sign up for, then cancel at the end of your trip. Otherwise, calling from within Canada will be seriously expensive. A GPS is a good thing to take, but once you are on the Alaska Hwy, there is only one road and one way to go, so you can hardly get lost. It is good for letting you know how far it is to the next location, intersection, etc. If you have a late model Garmin, it may already have the Canada data in it. If not, it can be downloaded. I don't know about any of the other brands.

As for gear to take/wear, take and wear what you normally do anywhere else, but I would add that it can get pretty cold at night from time to time, and having some electrically heated gear is a blessing when starting out on a cold morning. Gerbings and Warm & Safe are two good brands that work well and keep you comfy when it's cold. Rain gear is essential--raingear that performs, that is, not rain repellent. I can't emphasize strongly enough that you can't beat GoreTex gear. Its' expensive, but worth it on an all day ride in the rain. Make sure you have boots that are 100% waterproof, or have rubber rain boots to slip over your regular boots.

There are mosquitos!!! Lots of voracious mosquitos and they are just waiting for some unsuspecting person to come along, for a feast. If you wish to donate blood, go to the Red Cross. Otherwise carry along some good insect repellent, and up here, make sure it's 100% deet!!!! It's the only stuff that works adequately.

Finally, if you are planning an Alaska trip, start out your planning by picking up a copy of "The Milepost." It is the "bible" of the Alcan. It's updated annually and the information is exhaustive and accurate. From that you can determine your route up here and what there is along the way. Should leave you with no surprises along the way. After that, ask questions. I am always open for questions and will do my best to answer them, especially questions about Alaska riding and what there is to see up here.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strompilot View Post
OK, this will be a lengthy post, so I will apologize in advance. So here goes.

I've done the Alaska Hwy numerous time, but never on a motorcycle, though. It's not that big a deal, in that the road is generally very good, high-speed paved highway. There will always be a sections where they are repairing places that have been damaged by frost heaves, but unless it's raining hard, those areas are easily traversed. Any motorcycle in good condition can easily make this trip. Fuel is available during the summer months every 100 miles or less, as are accommodations and food. Admittedly, if one is motelling it, some of those places are, how shall we say, quaint? But it beats sleeping out in the rain on a plastic picnic chair. Places to camp are numerous.

The road to Alaska is mostly long--2500 miles from Seattle to Anchorage, to be exact. It's a longer trip if you come from farther East. As for its toll on the motorcycle, it shouldn't be any worse than taking a similarly long trip somewhere else. In short, it's not the frontier adventure that it was, say, back in the 60's and 70's before it was paved and sections relocated.

My personal recommendations for bike preparation for such an undertaking would include starting out with a fresh oil and filter change, new air filter, and new tires, as you are going to put on anywhere from 5000 to 10000 miles on an Alcan trip. And don't forget, you have the entire Alaska road system to explore, as well.

This trip shouldn't be any harder on the bike than any other. I always suggest not trying for marathon mileage days, (unless time is of the essence) and just make it a leisurely ride so as to enjoy the scenery and wildlife along the way. You will see all sorts of game, including bear and bison, as well as the occasional moose, and in southern BC, elk. I can almost guarantee that while going through the Stone Mountain area and Muncho Lake, you will see caribou and mountain sheep on or next to the road. Makes for great photo ops. So do carry a good, yet compact digital camera with you, as well a couple of high capacity SD cards, like 16 or 32 gig cards, because you will take lots of photos.

Take a cell phone with you, and most carriers will have a Canadian access feature that you can sign up for, then cancel at the end of your trip. Otherwise, calling from within Canada will be seriously expensive. A GPS is a good thing to take, but once you are on the Alaska Hwy, there is only one road and one way to go, so you can hardly get lost. It is good for letting you know how far it is to the next location, intersection, etc. If you have a late model Garmin, it may already have the Canada data in it. If not, it can be downloaded. I don't know about any of the other brands.

As for gear to take/wear, take and wear what you normally do anywhere else, but I would add that it can get pretty cold at night from time to time, and having some electrically heated gear is a blessing when starting out on a cold morning. Gerbings and Warm & Safe are two good brands that work well and keep you comfy when it's cold. Rain gear is essential--raingear that performs, that is, not rain repellent. I can't emphasize strongly enough that you can't beat GoreTex gear. Its' expensive, but worth it on an all day ride in the rain. Make sure you have boots that are 100% waterproof, or have rubber rain boots to slip over your regular boots.

There are mosquitos!!! Lots of voracious mosquitos and they are just waiting for some unsuspecting person to come along, for a feast. If you wish to donate blood, go to the Red Cross. Otherwise carry along some good insect repellent, and up here, make sure it's 100% deet!!!! It's the only stuff that works adequately.

Finally, if you are planning an Alaska trip, start out your planning by picking up a copy of "The Milepost." It is the "bible" of the Alcan. It's updated annually and the information is exhaustive and accurate. From that you can determine your route up here and what there is along the way. Should leave you with no surprises along the way. After that, ask questions. I am always open for questions and will do my best to answer them, especially questions about Alaska riding and what there is to see up here.
Good info, thanks!

I'd love to do a similar trip like that, the biggest issue for me is just how far I am from Alaska! I really want to take the time to enjoy something like that. There's riding a motorcycle.. and then there's forcing yourself to get from point A to point B while tired and worn out. What's the point?

I'd love to take a MONTH and do the Alaska thing. Spend a week getting there and a week getting back and really enjoy a couple weeks there.

I've found that 600 miles is a good day, though I've done as much as 1,200 in one day. What I haven't done, is strung several 600 mile days together. I imagine that might be a little harder! I want to try it though! Though my goal for a long multi-day trip is usually 400-500 miles a day. It gives you time to explore, time to enjoy a cool sight, take breaks; and most importantly- not be tired the next day! Wife and I did a 2,000 mile trip on our honeymoon this way. Really got to enjoy it without being worn out or tired. We could've the the same trip with 600 or even 1,000 mile days, but I think it's a lot more enjoyable at a slower pace.

I know a lot of people like to push themselves and do these Iron Butt Rallies and insane 1,500 mile days back to back, but, to me that's not much fun. I want to travel and enjoy where I'm going, not buzz by the scenery on the superslab stopping only for gas hour after hour after hour! (But to each their own I guess!)
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #8
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That was a fascinating account and great pics. Was up til about 1:00 AM reading because I just couldn't put it down. Great info - gives me something to dream about - an Alaska trip and a 900 Classic LT!
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gary W. View Post
That was a fascinating account and great pics. Was up til about 1:00 AM reading because I just couldn't put it down. Great info - gives me something to dream about - an Alaska trip and a 900 Classic LT!
Okay so since everyone is on the edge of their seat reading his story.. I've got a great idea..

How about everyone send ME money to finance the trip, and I'll take the trip with a camera strapped to my helmet and tell you all about my crazy antics?

LOL.

Just kidding, it WAS a good read (not finished yet), and I LOVE reading these travel stories. There's been a few good notables ones here as well. Whiting57 on this forum has some fantastic stuff written on here on his 5k~ish mile trips he's taken with his 900. (Two I believe, or at least two he's written about). Both excellent reads.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:12 AM   #10
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Google Maps says it's 3500 miles from KC, Mo, to Anchorage, the most direct way, with a travel time of 63 hours. Or, at a daily average of 500 miles, that's roughly 6 days each way. Personally, at my age (just shy of 67 by a couple months), that pace would wear me out, I think. Still, I think I could do it. Shouldn't be a problem for someone younger. All you need is the time to do it.

My fuzzy math shows that at an average of 45 miles per gallon at an average price of $5.00 a gallon (Just an arbitrary figure because gas along the Alcan is terribly high--currently about $6.00+ a gallon, USD) your fuel bill for just the up and back portion of the trip should be somewhere in the neighborhood of $777.00. If you motel it, figure about $80.00 a night, so add an additional $960.00 for lodging plus another $1000.00 for food, roughly, depending on how you want to eat. If you camp and eat on the cheap, it will be less, of course. That's $2737.00 so far. You'll need to add to that whatever it will cost to do some things on the trip other than just riding. Factor in another $1000 for incidentals, including the possible need for an oil & filter change at least once, and maybe a tire. (I mean, who knows what you might encounter along the way?) Then add to all of that the cost of pre-trip preparation and you can make a rough guesstimate of a minimum of $5000.00 for such a trip. That's it in a nutshell.

Happy planning. We'll keep the light on for ya. Oh, forgot, it doesn't get dark up here in the summer. LOL!! We'll keep it on anyway.
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