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Thread: NY to Alaska
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-26-2019, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
Lee R
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Join Date: Feb 2016
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NY to Alaska

Hello everyone.

I've got a 30 day trip coming up starting on June 4th up to Alaska and back. For those that have made the voyage or other longer trips with your Versys I was wondering what kind of mileage you saw on your tires and any modifications you made that were well worth it. Stuff like highway pegs (I've never used them) etc.

I've ridden my V650 12 hours to see how the comfort felt compared to past bikes I've owned (VStrom, Tiger 1050, MG Stelvio) and it's similar to the Tiger 1050 I had where it gets pretty uncomfortable past about 10 hours which is what I'm limiting each days ride too. In the past I've completed Iron Butt rides on the Tiger 1050 and the Stelvio but would obviously rather avoid that and take in the scenery.

My main points of discomfort were in the knees and the seat after a long day (stock, with airhawk). I'll be stopping much more than I normally do so that'll probably help with this trip, I typically cover 500-900 miles a day on cross country trips but this time it's with my dad and a friend so limiting to 500ish.

I'm wondering how to time the tire change up there so I can possibly make it on one tire change. Right now we're looking at swapping out tires in Whitehorse. If that set doesn't make it back to NY probaby Winnipeg or Edmonton would be the next best options on the way back if the tires get smoked by the Alaskan and Yukon roads. Right now I don't know what to expect for tire life as I've only worn out the stock set that came with the bike which lasted about 4500 miles.

The current route has us going NY-Ontario-Upper Michigan-Minnesota-South Dakota-Wyoming-Montana-Albera-BC-Yukon-Alaska. Return leg is pretty much direct back through Canada for about 9 days. I'm taking 14-15 days to get to Alaska then spending 5-6 days there before heading home. We aren't going up the Dempster or Dalton on this trip and won't be on anything other than improved dirt roads.

I've got Avon Spirit ii's on for the way there with plans to swap to Continental Trail attack 3 in Whitehorse at the moment. I'm concerned they won't make it all the way back to NY though as they'll need to go about 6-7k to do that. I'm not a fan of Shinko 705 as I had a harrowing experience with them after a summer in Arizona and having almost no traction in rain on the way home to NY once the temps dropped.

The Versys isn't heavily loaded, probably 35lbs of gear in two panniers and one dry bag as I'm from a lightweight backpacking background and don't like carrying more than i need. I've got the typical layer's, one heated jacket and wear a roadcrafter R3 for outer. Camping is with a hammock with a ground cloth as I'll need to go to ground a few times I'm sure.

I'm from Maine and experienced in midwinter camping, I'm prepped for a low of 35 on the trip. (hopefully not though)

How long do the brake pads last on this bike? I'm not a heavy brake user.
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