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  #1  
Old 15 Oct 2012
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Riding Canada and Alaska on March / April 2013

Hello guys,
my name in Gionata, been on the road for almost 8 years with my old and rusted Honda Transalp 600.
I rode in many countries with different climate conditions but I need an extra insight about Canada and Alaska for the months of March and April as it seems I will be riding around that area in that period.
Could someone from the area suggest what could it be like trying to get to the northern tip of Alaska during that period?
Much appreciated.
Cheers
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  #2  
Old 15 Oct 2012
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Deadhorse, Alaska - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  #3  
Old 13 Nov 2012
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Alaska winter lasts to May. Canada has spring in about April so it's cold but you could do it.. You could take the Alaska Marine ferry to Alaska but expect snow when you get there.
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  #4  
Old 13 Nov 2012
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The climate chart linked by #2 should tell you much of what you need to know. If you're properly prepped for -30C temps, wind and snow, icy roads and long distances between services or habitation....by all means head for Deadhorse in March or April.

If you're one of the 99.999% not properly prepared, best come up with another plan. Even the southern stretches of Canada will be difficult-to-impossible at times during that part of the year. Above the Arctic Circle? Make arrangements in advance with your next of kin.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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  #5  
Old 3 Dec 2012
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Hi guys and thanks for the info.
I had a talk with Sjaak Lucassen who did the Alaska ride in February with his Yamaha R1. Although he was fully sponsored he said that with a good prep I could make it myself. He also said that the road to Fairbanks it's well mantained and selad while instead from Fairbanks to Pradhow Bay no asphald at all and very limited fuel. Woud you agree on this?
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  #6  
Old 8 Dec 2012
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The last few years the trend has been for late running winters out in Western Canada... I live way down the coast from Alaska and while the main routes are usually open {kept plowed} some side roads were not passable until May... RTW {Ronin} Noah came through here in early May on his way North and while he made it all the way to the top he suffered with some pretty crappy conditions along the way...

March/April could be worse yet but if your well prepared you could do it, but would it be much fun? You may spend a lot of time waiting for a weather window to travel...

Here is a bit of ride Video from last April:April 8th Ride.wmv - YouTube
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  #7  
Old 8 Dec 2012
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Thank Island Hoppen,

I watched the video and my question is: is vancouver island as well maintained as the alaska highway?

thanks
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  #8  
Old 9 Dec 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partireper.it View Post
Thank Island Hoppen,

I watched the video and my question is: is vancouver island as well maintained as the alaska highway?

thanks

Vancouver Island has 1 main HWY from the bottom to the top and it is open all year round... Most of the HWY runs close to the coast near sea level and sees very little snow in a year, mostly rain ... The HWY weaves through the mountains up towards the Northern end and that area receives more snow, in fact there is snow on it right now... The temps are also more moderate than the BC interior through the winter often staying at just above freezing most of the time...
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  #9  
Old 7 Feb 2013
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The winters in Alaska and northern Canada are nothing to trifle with. From the time you head north from Edmonton, you will experience very long stretches of isolated highway. If something goes wrong, you could find yourself in serious circumstances. Anyone passing you on the road will almost always stop and help. The truckers that work up there are fabulous. You have to understand the risks.

I would advise against any unsupported motorcycle travel in the far north until at least May, simply for the sake of safety. If you have never experienced -30 to -40 C before, riding a motorcycle on an isolated highway is not a wise way to introduce yourself to Big Cold. It is a completely different world at those temperatures. Mix in a wind over 20 kph mixed with snow and you are in deep yogurt if anything goes wrong.

Don't try and be a hero.
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  #10  
Old 17 Feb 2013
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Looking for Company?

Hey Gionata,
I too am looking into riding up to AK this spring. I start work in Fairbanks on the 29th of April. I am currently living in Denver but would like to ride my rusty old KLR from here to there. Do you have an estimated time frame?
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  #11  
Old 17 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHShelto View Post
Hey Gionata,
I too am looking into riding up to AK this spring. I start work in Fairbanks on the 29th of April. I am currently living in Denver but would like to ride my rusty old KLR from here to there. Do you have an estimated time frame?
Whenever I want to know what the weather is likely to be in an area I have found Weather Forecast & Reports - Long Range & Local | Wunderground | Weather Underground useful.

Just type in Fairbanks , and go down to the historical weather section to see what the average historical temps are in mid April. Looks like mid 30sF in the day and mid 20sF at night. That is damn cold. With ice and snow. And unpredictable spring weather that can change in a heartbeat on long lonely highways.

I believe the Darwin award is called for. Details at 11.

In other news a rusty KLR was found with a rider frozen to the seat on the road yesterday in........


Kindest regards,
John Downs
johnthomasdowns
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  #12  
Old 21 Mar 2013
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Hello

I live in Fannystelle Manitoba winter this year is hanging on still storm just came across western Canada. Edmonton hit hard as well . Its going down to minus 25 C here tonight.

Lived in the north for a while its possible still have ice on the roads till end of May in Dawson Creek BC
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  #13  
Old 26 Mar 2013
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Vancouver

After almost 3 months riding from South America I finally made it to Vancouver and I am staying at the International Hostel. I will spend some time tomorrow visiting hardware stores and motorcycle stores to buy some stuff to deal with the weather from now on.

If someone is from here and would like to join me while I go gear hunting is more than welcome.

I don't have a phone but I will get notifications on this post if you ever reply.

Studs: If I buy them here should I mount them on right away or wait until the road it's actually iced?

Does anybody in Anchorage know where I can find a motorcycle metal crate?

Thanks

Gionata Nencini
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  #14  
Old 26 Mar 2013
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In regards to studs, I don't think anyone will have the motorcycle studs in stock in Vancouver, most likely you'll have to order them in. They aren't cheap so be prepared.

In regards to mounting them, they are supposed to be mounted on new tires so you'll want to pick up new tires in Vancouver as selection and cost is only worse the further north you go.

As far as where to mount your and new and studded tires, it's basically a guess as to how far up you will experience first winter weather as opposed spring weather. You should be able to make it to Prince George on dry roads without. After that you have to cross the Pine Pass. Last time I rode across it in April there was snow at the pass so you may go and it may be bone dry or there may be snow.

Options after that to mount would be Dawson Creek/Ft. St. John. I wouldn't really go past that point unless it's been a bone dry year as you will usually encounter at least patches of compact ice on the highway after that. In a truck, you would hardly notice it. On a bike, makes for some interesting riding.

It's just the early days of spring so check the temperatures and weather regularly. The longer you can faff around in Vancouver, the warmer the weather will get.
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  #15  
Old 26 Mar 2013
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As anyone ever tried to ride without studs? I know for sure that If I don't find them I will leave to the north anyway, I am that stubborn..
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