back from Alaska - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-13-2007, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5
back from Alaska

My wife and I just returned from our Alaska Adventure where we rented a
KLR in Anchorage and rode two-up for 1,600 miles.

The KLR had 20,000 miles on it, felt and sounded like a rattle-trap, but
performed flawlessly. The only issue with it was that the rear shock
pre-load ajustment wouldn't go past "2", so I had to re-arrange some
packing and move weight forward so the front end didn't feel so light.

The route was Anchorage to Fairbanks to Arctic Circle to Fairbanks to
Veldez and back up and then over to Anchorage.

The highlight, KLR gravel road and weather wise, was our excursion on
the Denali highway. This connects Cantwell to Paxton, and was once the main route to Denali National Park. We rode from Cantwell 60 miles east and then back 60 miles west. We putted along all day with the camera in my wifes's hands with no traffic around and nothing but mountain after mountain in the Alaska Range. It was the best day of riding in my life.

The Dalton Highway (haul road) was an adventure in torture. There were
many varieties of road surfaces, all designed to rattle your teeth. The gravel sections were the good parts, as those that are called "paved sections" are just more torture in disguise. There was one section near the arctic circle that was once asphalt where we couldn't go 20 MPH without severe agony.

We hooked up with two bikers who had ridden from Utah who were going all the way to the arctic ocean. We pulled over with these 650 Beemer's and under the helmets were these two 60'sish gray haired ladies. Very impressive.

Things got ugly heading south out of Fairbanks. We left dressed for the current 80 degree weather, and as the rain set in and the crotch of my
Aerostich suit sprung a leak, the temperature had dropped 40 degrees.
My wife's feet were wet as her suit had pulled up above her boot.
(We bought big rainsuits to fit over our riding suits to solve this. It had
poured on us our first day out, but apparently, our gear doesn't leak while it is warm!)

The rain continued for the last half of our 10 day trip. It obscurred our views and ability to take pictures, but did not diminish the thrill of it all.

I was generally pleased with my packing and preparations. It is good to
not need tools and spare tubes!

Our last two days were spent around Anchorage. We finally saw a Moose,
in a residential neighborhood!

Oh, yeah, that last day... We rode to Whittier. This requires riding through a two and one half mile tunnel, between the railroad rails. It's a single track with vehicular traffic alternating directions every half-hour. Motorcyles go last, and we were the only one. It was a complete head rush of knee knocking proportions.
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-14-2007, 02:03 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 206
Brooksie,

Sounds like you two had a great time. I just move to Anchorage this summer and have done the Denali hwy and the Whittier Tunnel, (on a nice day believe it or not). On the Denali ride I met many people renting from AKrider. They were all super happy and it sounds like they've got another customer to add to this list.

I have also seen more moose in town then I have anywhere else. The first day I rode my KLR to the office a HUGE cow stopped traffic at the intersection of 36th and the Seward Highway. Go figure.

Do you see a KLR in your future???

Brian
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-14-2007, 02:04 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 206
whoops
see that you already have one.

Welcome to the board.

Brian
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-14-2007, 09:23 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: St.Marys wv
Posts: 603
Hey brooksie-dog,glad all went well.I remember your post about gear packing.Let us know what you have found out about gear.Will be waiting on a full trip report with pics.

happy Trails

Mike

You can't shake hands with a fist
If you can read this,thank a teacher.Since it's in English,
thank a soldier.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-14-2007, 11:34 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 54
Awsome!!!! Been wanting to go to alaska.
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