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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 10 Oct 2012
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Question Experienced world traveller got unexperienced

Hi guys,

Gionata here. Been almost 8 years on the road with my old rusted Honda Transalp and after a long await here in Santiago the Chile, I am planning to head up north in January to get to Alaska and finish my journey in Italy, aftert shipping from somewhere in the east coast of CANADA-USA to Portugal.

Would anyone from Alaska know if around March the weather allow riderds to ride all the way to the top of the continent?

How many kms will I have to ride from Panama to Alaska, including the nice bits?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Gionata Nencini
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Old 10 Oct 2012
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In March? In the northern half of the continent you'll definitely be dealing with ice, snow, and cold temps until late spring.
I rode the Alaska Highway in early June, and the conditions ranged from warm and sunny to cold with heavy rain.
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  #3  
Old 10 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by brclarke View Post
In March? In the northern half of the continent you'll definitely be dealing with ice, snow, and cold temps until late spring.
I rode the Alaska Highway in early June, and the conditions ranged from warm and sunny to cold with heavy rain.
Hi BRClarck,
thanks for your hint. Cold shouldn't be a problem as long as the roads are being cleaned by showplw.

Does that work during that time of the year?
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Old 11 Oct 2012
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I'm about as far south in Alberta Canada as you can get. I wouldn't want to go to Alaska in March. I'm not really comfortable with riding on icy roads and sliding under a semitrailer truck doesn't strike me as a productive way to see the world. Your mileage may vary... If you'd like a video perspective of riding up north in late February, do a search on You Tube for "Curbsyde Productions" and look for "The North" videos. There are clips from a series they sell on their website available. March in southern Alberta can be extremely unpredictable, anywhere from -30 C to 25 C, the farther north you go, the more likely you can expect to see worse weather. Just my opinion but I'd be awfully cautious about planning that trip then.
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by roger2002 View Post
I'm about as far south in Alberta Canada as you can get. I wouldn't want to go to Alaska in March. I'm not really comfortable with riding on icy roads and sliding under a semitrailer truck doesn't strike me as a productive way to see the world. Your mileage may vary... If you'd like a video perspective of riding up north in late February, do a search on You Tube for "Curbsyde Productions" and look for "The North" videos. There are clips from a series they sell on their website available. March in southern Alberta can be extremely unpredictable, anywhere from -30 C to 25 C, the farther north you go, the more likely you can expect to see worse weather. Just my opinion but I'd be awfully cautious about planning that trip then.
Roger, thanks for the post. I don't really know if I should thank you for helping me understanding how tough conditions get up there or is I should thank you for inspiring me even more to do that in March, being able to see all that show and beauty and animals and peace.

What are the main cities i can find fuel in to make my way north to the tip of Alaska?

Can I buy nailed motorcycle tires somewhere there?

Cheers
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  #6  
Old 15 Oct 2012
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Deadhorse, Alaska - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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I've heard that some motorcycle shops will install "studs" in to your tires to allow you some semblance of traction on ice. You may have to bend the truth and tell them that you are not going to be riding on the roads to get them to do it though. You should investigate thoroughly the road closures before arriving. I believe some roads are not passable in early spring after the ice melts and before the roads dry enough for traffic. Dress warmly and best wishes!
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by partireper.it View Post
Hi guys,

Gionata here. Been almost 8 years on the road with my old rusted Honda Transalp and after a long await here in Santiago the Chile, I am planning to head up north in January to get to Alaska and finish my journey in Italy, aftert shipping from somewhere in the east coast of CANADA-USA to Portugal.

Would anyone from Alaska know if around March the weather allow riderds to ride all the way to the top of the continent?

How many kms will I have to ride from Panama to Alaska, including the nice bits?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Gionata Nencini
Never mind Alaska, you'll be lucky to make it out of BC in March.

Pretty dangerous and unpleasant weather for a motorbike - why not wait a couple of months and enjoy the ride? Find a nice beach down in Central America and wile away the time until about May, then turn north...

Just sayin'....
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by roger2002 View Post
I've heard that some motorcycle shops will install "studs" in to your tires to allow you some semblance of traction on ice. You may have to bend the truth and tell them that you are not going to be riding on the roads to get them to do it though. You should investigate thoroughly the road closures before arriving. I believe some roads are not passable in early spring after the ice melts and before the roads dry enough for traffic. Dress warmly and best wishes!
I thought the same too, but according to the video I watched these guys rode on a pretty flatten snowy /ice road. I didn't see them entering deep and soft snow trails at all... or am I missing something?
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Old 15 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by Docsherlock View Post
Never mind Alaska, you'll be lucky to make it out of BC in March.

Pretty dangerous and unpleasant weather for a motorbike - why not wait a couple of months and enjoy the ride? Find a nice beach down in Central America and wile away the time until about May, then turn north...

Just sayin'....
Hi Sherlock,
it is an inviting idea, but I am running late with time and I guess if I want to see something or the whole thing I'll have to feel the cold. I have a friend that got to Ushuaia in late winter on a transalp like mine. Wasn't easy, but he got there....
If roads are open to trucks I can make my way there too I guess.
Could you specifiy where is "OUT OF BC" just to understand how far north that would be?
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Old 20 Oct 2012
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Crazy idea, but it can be done, and has been. You will need good prep, maybe even air tube down the jacket to pre-heat the air. You are talking about an environment that can be brutal so plan well.

On your way up be sure to stop by here, Chehalis WA, for a warm up and swap some stories.
Bob
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Old 20 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by partireper.it View Post
Hi Sherlock,
it is an inviting idea, but I am running late with time and I guess if I want to see something or the whole thing I'll have to feel the cold. I have a friend that got to Ushuaia in late winter on a transalp like mine. Wasn't easy, but he got there....
If roads are open to trucks I can make my way there too I guess.
Could you specifiy where is "OUT OF BC" just to understand how far north that would be?
BC=British Columbia in Canada - first province after you cross north out of Washington State.

Good luck and ride safe.
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  #13  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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I once rode a bike to the north of Finland in late March. Very wintry, lots of snow & ice, also on the road. I had studded tyres, and they were a must. Also choosing correct riding gear will be critical, it can become extremely uncomfortable and also very dangerous, if your gear isn't up to the task.

But although latitudes may be somewhat similar to Alaska, over here in Scandinavia we have the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. So I'm thinking Alaska will probably be even colder.
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  #14  
Old 20 Oct 2012
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Have you ever experienced -40c ? and wind chill ?
If you have you will know that temperatures that low HAVE to be taken seriously , you can die very quickly .[ But it's supposed to be a pleasant death ]
If you really want to go to Deadhorse in March , take a 4wd vehicle and a survival kit and "enjoy" the very short ,very cold days .
Your buddy went to Ushuaia in winter , but that's not Alaska or northern BC or the Yukon and it's not a good reason to embark on something as foolish as riding a motorcycle in winter in unforgiving territory.
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Old 20 Oct 2012
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Yes, Alaska will be colder. Ushuaia is warm and balmy by comparison--all winter long.

To get to the far north, you've got to spend a lot of time in the interior--Yukon, Alaska, BC. It'll be cold and potentially quite dangerous. Don't do it if you're expecting it to resemble Tierra del Fuego, which is an island with weather tempered by the sea.

On the other hand, of course it's been done, and it'll get done again. Just don't get too uppity about what you know or don't know.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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