Lake Superior Circle Tour - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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Lake Superior Circle Tour

The V is put away for a long winter's nap, there's frost on the windshild, and it's time for me to start thinking about a way to wear out a set of tires next summer. I am considering doing the Lake Superior Circle tour next year. Has anyone here taken this trip? How was it?

I have seen a couple of posts on other webpages that said that the "Duluth to Thunder Bay" portion had by far the best scenery, and also that it was not recommended to do the Canadian portion of the trip alone due to it being so isolated with no cell phone service.

Thoughts?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 10:11 AM
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First, some clarification: Are you looking for companions, or just advice? If the former...

Sounds amazing, but also very long. The whole loop would be, what, a three-day trip perhaps? I've personally never been on a trip longer than a couple of hours each way, but would probably be reasonably comfortable pushing my comfort zone if there were an experienced distance rider or two along.

I'll not pontificate further, in the case that you're planning on flying solo.

Jon
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, riding companions would be great. Syncronizing schedules can sometimes be an issue, though. We have plenty of time to work that out.

As far as experience goes, my longest trip on the V has been Wisconsin to West Virginia to Washington DC and back, mostly camping along the way, for about 10 days. I met a riding buddy in WV, and rode in the mountains most of the time. That trip was great.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80-watt Hamster View Post
... The whole loop would be, what, a three-day trip perhaps? ... .
I came across this website for a Lake Superior Rally that is no longer in operation:

http://www.wolfsheadrally.com/circletour/itinerary.htm

It shows a map route, and notes a 5 day trip, 300 miles/day leaving extra time for side trips along the way.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 02:27 PM
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I did the 5 lakes in 2009. I did it for an IBA cert ride, and did it in about 65 hours. My V was fairly bone stock at that time. If you're just doing Superior its not that isolated on the roads surrounding the lake. You'll see a car a most times, and less than a 5 minute wait if you dont happen to see one. Your route through north Wisconsin and UP might be more isolated.

On my 5 lakes ride my route took me inland at WaWa to Chapleau and then south to Iron Bridge. This is the only section where fuel is a challenge. You must fuel at Chapleau or ride super easy on the throttle and be on fumes at Iron Bridge. This was my favorite section of the ride, so if you have some extra time I'd recommend the side trip.

Have fun!

Steve

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lonerockz View Post
...On my 5 lakes ride my route took me inland at WaWa to Chapleau and then south to Iron Bridge. This is the only section where fuel is a challenge. You must fuel at Chapleau or ride super easy on the throttle and be on fumes at Iron Bridge. This was my favorite section of the ride, so if you have some extra time I'd recommend the side trip.

Have fun!
Thanks for the info. It looks like you have alot of miles under your belt.

It appears to be about a 5 hour side trip, one way. What was it about that route that made it your favorite part of the trip? Scenery? Twisties? Hills? Places to stop and hike or eat? People you met? Was it a paved road or gravel?

Thanks.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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I came across a good article in Rider Magazine (Sept 2012) on "Touring the forgotten Iron Range". It's an interesting guide to the south shore of Lake Superior in Wisconsin and western U.P. Its written by a local, who seems to know the best scenic spots in that area. Here is a link to the article: http://www.ridermagazine.com/travel-...-michigan.htm/

Dve
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 05:08 AM
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My brother and I did that trip a few years ago and it's a great trip. The scenery in Minn. is nice but I preferred the rugged landscape on the Ontario side. As lonerockz said, you're far from alone on the Canadian side: it's the major road linking Ontario and western Canada, so plenty of people to help you out if something goes wrong.
300 mile days are what we usually aim for - gives you time to stop and smell the roses, meet people, plan accommodations for the night, etc. It was a 9-day trip coming from where we live in E. Ont., W. Que.
I read that article in Rider when it came out in the magazine and it was good. Wish I'd read it before we did the trip because, to be honest, I found the Wisconsin part of the trip the least interesting. Stopping and seeing some of the old mine operations would have been cool.
I'll say it again: it's a great trip, go for it!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2013, 03:34 PM
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March issue of Motorcycle Mojo mag has a story by Paddy Tyson about his Superior circle tour. Good story, nice photos and the issue also includes a nice full size map for subscribers. Silly bugger rode it in late October which would not be my recommendation. Late June to mid September would be prime time.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiley View Post
March issue of Motorcycle Mojo mag has a story by Paddy Tyson about his Superior circle tour. Good story, nice photos and the issue also includes a nice full size map for subscribers. Silly bugger rode it in late October which would not be my recommendation. Late June to mid September would be prime time.
If the ice ever goes off and the snow ever melts,

I have a circle tour planned for June 19 - 22. There is a thread around here somewhere if anyone is interested.

Oh, and here's the link to the article you were referring to: http://www.motorcyclemojo.com/2013/03/superiorride/ but they only let you read a teaser portion of it online.

Mitch

Last edited by Slow-Steady; 04-10-2013 at 09:13 PM.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 11:50 PM
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I did a ride around Lake Superior last year, riding from Northern IL, up to the UP, then counter-clockwise. I camped at a couple of Provincial parks, which were incredibly nice but fairly expensive (about $45 US dollars a night). The camping spot right near the lake was INCREDIBLE at Rainbow Falls. Falling asleep to the lake crashing against the pebble beach was so incredibly relaxing. The Trans Canadian Highway was beautiful - lots of ooo's and aahh's... Right around Thunder Bay it got incredibly boring. Then down in Duluth I stayed at another campground, visited Aerostich in the morning, then rode more along the lake and back home.

It took me 5 days to do all that... I could easily have added a couple more and had taken a more leisurely ride.

Oh, and here's a lesson learned.. don't buy a giftcard at a McDonald's in Canada thinking it will save you time. It's only good in Canada. (It's sitting on my desk waiting until my next ride!)

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https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=a866778a93

Michelle

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 04:25 PM
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Thanks for the photos!

Mitch
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