Deep winter riding - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 10-23-2017, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Location: cache valley utah
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Deep winter riding

Reason seems to be the first question asked. "why".... I've always wanted to see the northern lights and challenging conditions are exhilarating. The wanderlust is intense being stuck in engineering school and not able to travel how I wish.

People I'm already talking to so far include Brokentooth and some motel phone calls met with chuckles.

I'll be riding up through western Canada in December 2018-January 2019 time frame and my schedule is below. I'm looking for help with winter lodging in any of these towns or anywhere close by during this time frame as well as guidance or wisdom on riding in the expected temp range of -40 to -70 during some parts. I'll be geared up insulation wise for this hopefully this year and I need some input and criticism of my planned route, gear, plans.

Gear includes my extreme cold weather suit from the army as well as army sleep system rated to -20 with three added layers 2 woold and an extra outer insulation layer.
My sister is making me cold weather grip covers that go up past my elbows heavy gauge leather with rabbit lining. Room for mittens and/or snowmobile gloves.
Wool and polyester sub layers. Goretex outer layers sized to fit over everything worn at once.
Boots I've been looking at getting some icefishing type boots but I'm really open to suggestions as I've never bought boots for this kind of thing. I know they make boot covers for snowmobiling that I'm looking at.

Emergency trauma kit. Emergency heating supplies in event of exposure. Sleeping arrangement/four season tent, in case of failure to make a town or rendezvous.
Food for three days at all times and water to match.

I'm working out the mileage on studs weighed down this winter and I'll settle on a safe 300 mile range and adjust gas capacity to make that happen under full load.

Bike maintenance: Fluids in the bike have all been Okayed down to -60 F no problem. Switch over to straight antifreeze no water and use thinner oil. Bring extra battery and possibly look into a kick-start system for emergencies. Use gas along the way rated for these temps. Extra studs in kit for maintaining tires as needed. Kevlar belt from school composites shop for inside tire to protect from studs pressing through. Going to make a block heater to help when I can use it.


Something that hasn't been answered is how will gaskets/seals hold up?

Inventory of days for trip: Winter Prudhoe Bay

1. Logan UT to Baker City Oregon
2. Baker City Oregon to Seattle Washington
3. Seattle Washington to 100 Mile House BC
4. 100 Mile House BC to Bear Lake BC
5. Bear Lake BC to Fort Nelson BC
6. Fort Nelson BC to Watson Lake Yukon
7. Watson Lake Yukon to Whitehorse Yukon
8. Whitehorse Yukon to Beaver Creek Yukon
9. Beaver creek Yukon to Fairbanks
10. Fairbanks to Coldfoot
11. Coldfoot to Prudhoe Bay
12. CELEBRATE!!
13. Prudhoe Bay to Coldfoot
14. Coldfoot to Fairbanks
15. Fairbanks to Beaver Creek Yukon
16. Beaver Creek Yukon to Whitehorse Yukon
17. Whitehorse Yukon to Watson Lake
18. Watson Lake Yukon to Fort Nelson BC
19. Fort Nelson BC to Bear Lake BC
20. Bear Lake BC to 100 Mile House BC
21. 100 Mile House BC to Seattle Washington
22. Seattle Washington to Baker City Oregon
23. Backer City Oregon to Logan
Plus one week of Emergency Days.
7,054 miles round trip.
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post #2 of 37 Old 10-24-2017, 07:57 AM
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Don't use 100% antifreeze. You won't have any heat transfer and you'll actually freeze up. A 60 -70% mixture is what you will want.
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post #3 of 37 Old 10-24-2017, 06:17 PM
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Look up c90 adventures on youtube episodes 5 and 6 ... they did some of it quite simply ...
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post #4 of 37 Old 10-25-2017, 06:08 AM
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You're going to ride in -40 to -70 temps! I think you should see a psychiatrist. 1000 years from now, some archeologist will discover your remains, frozen in time and put your popsicled ass on display in a museum, propped up, sitting there on your KLR, next to a woolly mammoth. Kids will look at you and ask their parents "Dad,, did we really evolve from that?"
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post #5 of 37 Old 10-25-2017, 12:20 PM
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Hey Minesweeper Sounds like you have most every thing covered. Good luck and safe riding on your trip. I,too, am planning my winter riding. Thinking things through, maybe a jacket will be in order. Seriously, sounds like a great adventure. James
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post #6 of 37 Old 10-25-2017, 02:56 PM
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Switch the lights to LED's, add a headlight switch so you can kill the lowbeam and get heated gear. My KLR ran socks, gloves and a jacket all at the same time. Gerbing brand stuff.

Heated grips help but the thumbs and top of your hands get cold. Heated gloves are better in bitter cold.

Muffs for the handlebars

Consider making a wind deflector in front of the radiator outlet vents so that heat blows over your legs.

The biggest windshield money can buy.

Health & life insurance.

Can I be the life insurance beneficiary?

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post #7 of 37 Old 10-25-2017, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toney View Post
Switch the lights to LED's, add a headlight switch so you can kill the lowbeam and get heated gear.
:
Good idea to reduce the charging load, but LED's do not produce any heat to clear away any build up of ice and snow on the lens. We see that all the time in winter in the GWN, especially the rears
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post #8 of 37 Old 10-25-2017, 06:56 PM
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Good idea to reduce the charging load, but LED's do not produce any heat to clear away any build up of ice and snow on the lens. We see that all the time in winter in the GWN, especially the rears
I'll second the thought about heating the headlight lens. But one really hopes to not need to ride even 5 miles in the dark on a winter expedition like you are planning. Sometimes one has little choice but to soldier on-ward!

Once got snowed-in, in Evanston WY because of having to stop and scrape the ice build-up off of the plastic lenses of a Ford Explorer every 2-3 miles between Park City UT and Evanston WY.
(I still think the Federal DOT or IIHS would/should investigate the issue.)

Counted ourselves lucky that we probably got one of the last smokey motel rooms available. Next morning, I80 looked like one LONG Parking lot!

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post #9 of 37 Old 10-25-2017, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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I might go with some extra LED lights to up my visibility when I need it. As far as electrically heated components go, they are really nice but, they can break. If heated gear fails to work or I have a wiring fault at -50 it won't just be a little uncomfortable if I rely on them so the plan is to have nothing heated unless it's in addition to gear that is already rated for the cold.
I completely forgot about the bigger windshield so thanks for mentioning that. I've already talked to C90 guy and while he's def helpful his bike is so radically different that many things don't apply the same way. Plus at the moment he's hard to get in contact with as he's way down south for the moment.

Antifreeze graph was really helpful thank you.
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post #10 of 37 Old 10-26-2017, 07:28 AM
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I can think of all kinds of reasons NOT to do a ride like this..... but it all comes down to that "rush" you get by doing something different, unusual, or dangerous.

Right on man, I respect you wanting to do this.
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