Alaska or Bust - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Versys-X 300 General Discussion Please post any 2017+ Kawasaki Versys-X 300 related topics that DO NOT fit into any of the other topics here.

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Alaska or Bust

Recently retired so now have time I have never had before. Starting to put together plans for a 2 month trip to Alaska from Tennessee In June / July 2019. I have a good friend considering joining me. Expect the trip to take full 2 months with 12,000+ mile of riding. I drove the Alaskan highway in '86 in a van with family from where I was working in Alberta, and visited again in '07 by cruise ship, plus bus and train up to Fairbanks. No interest in haul road as few I have talked to considered the road anything but a challenge to allow them to say they have done it, but not particularly fun. It is not about the destination but the journey seeing as much as we can on the way. Will be a mix of camping with occasional hotel.

Initial rough idea of route is to work northwest from Tennessee through South Dakota Black Hills, Idaho then north along Alberta / British Columbia border picking up the highway in Dawson Creek, B.C. Turn north at Whitehorse to Dawson City then over Top of World Highway into Alaska. Back south to Haines Alaska. Couple days break from riding taking the Alaskan Ferry to Prince Rupert, B.C. then work south into Washington and Oregon before turning back east to Tennessee.

Only significant gravel will be Top of the World Highway for a day.

200 miles a typical day leaves time for seeing sites on the way and staying off the interstates.

Will need tire replacement air filter, and oil changes on the road and probably other maintenance.

I am wide open to any and all suggestions and ideas for the trip. It will be at least 4 times the longest motorcycle journey I have taken to date.
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Last edited by Fuzzy74; 02-19-2019 at 07:17 PM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 09:18 PM
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First off...congrats on retirement!

Next, I think an Alaska trip would be awesome and an incredible experience. My best advice - have fun, take your time and enjoy everything along the way!!!

(Oh, and take plenty of pictures! )
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 11:08 PM
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Congrats on your retirement and since you have a few month to go before the long ride, get your health checked and pump up some muscle for the long ride.

Your physical well been is priority No1.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 08:50 AM
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Hey Fuzzy! I'm envious - sounds like a great trip. Are you planning to do this ride on the stock seat of your V-x 300? ...Or maybe you're gonna ride your other bike?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Fuzzy! I'm envious - sounds like a great trip. Are you planning to do this ride on the stock seat of your V-x 300? ...Or maybe you're gonna ride your other bike?
I’m riding my 300X. Have a Corbin seat on order. I think the 300 X is a great bike for travel. Hopefully will feel the same next fall 😉
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 11:52 AM
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Take your time and enjoy the ride. Sounds fantastic. If you need a "rest stop/maintenance stop" in the Black Hills I live in the southern end and have a shop and all the tools you would need. A big back yard for camping also.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 02:15 PM
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That Corbin seat sounds like a necessary mod for a long day in the saddle. I don't know about you but I can only take about 1 1/2 hours and then my butt needs a break. I'm looking into something similar.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 02:33 PM
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Excellent choice for an epic trip! I've only ridden up to Dawson City once and it was on a KLR which is probably similar to a V300.

There is so much to see on this trip but I would personally recommend that you consider taking the Cassiar highway either on the way up or back. Boya Lake, Jade City are highlights along this route. When on the Alaska Highway I really suggest visiting Liard River Hotsprings. A great way to relax after a long ride.

Check out fasteddie's posts on the forum about riding up north. They will help you I'm sure.

If you choose to ride instead of taking the ferry back here is the map route on the Cassiar. https://goo.gl/maps/Pta1Fb59usH2
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 03:59 PM
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As you've "done" the whole Alcan before, I TOO suggest you ride the Stewart-Cassiar Hwy from BC 16 to Watson Lake, THEN follow the Alcan to Whitehorse, then N to Dawson. IMHO - the Alcan between Dawson Creek and Watson Lake is a bit "ho-humm" IF you've already done it before, so I AVOID it.

Have you thought about getting to Dawson in time for D2D '19? Happens around the mid point of June (AS CLOSE TO THE SUMMER SOLSTICE as possible), and it IS worth going to, AND riding N from there to Inuvik on the Dempster Hwy is INCREDIBLE!!! Now the Hwy continues to 'Tuk' after Inuvik, so you can put a toe into the Arctic Ocean there.

I wrote-up riding my '09 V650 to Inuvik in '15 in this thread:

https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...2d-2015-a.html

Have fun riding up N...!

-
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent choice for an epic trip! I've only ridden up to Dawson City once and it was on a KLR which is probably similar to a V300.

There is so much to see on this trip but I would personally recommend that you consider taking the Cassiar highway either on the way up or back. Boya Lake, Jade City are highlights along this route. When on the Alaska Highway I really suggest visiting Liard River Hotsprings. A great way to relax after a long ride.

Check out fasteddie's posts on the forum about riding up north. They will help you I'm sure.

If you choose to ride instead of taking the ferry back here is the map route on the Cassiar. https://goo.gl/maps/Pta1Fb59usH2
Thanks for the advice. I plan to return from Haines to Prince Rupert on ferry. On the way up I hope to visit Grande Prairie, AB where I spent 6 years in the 80s - 90s. It is 70 miles from Dawson Creek, the start of the highway making Cassiar a longer route and crossing BC on hwy 16 to get to it is nothing special. You are not the first to suggest so I will definitely thing about it as I refine my plans.

I will definitely visit the hot springs as we did in '86.

I will look up fastedie's posts.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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As you've "done" the whole Alcan before, I TOO suggest you ride the Stewart-Cassiar Hwy from BC 16 to Watson Lake, THEN follow the Alcan to Whitehorse, then N to Dawson. IMHO - the Alcan between Dawson Creek and Watson Lake is a bit "ho-humm" IF you've already done it before, so I AVOID it.

Have you thought about getting to Dawson in time for D2D '19? Happens around the mid point of June (AS CLOSE TO THE SUMMER SOLSTICE as possible), and it IS worth going to, AND riding N from there to Inuvik on the Dempster Hwy is INCREDIBLE!!! Now the Hwy continues to 'Tuk' after Inuvik, so you can put a toe into the Arctic Ocean there.

I wrote-up riding my '09 V650 to Inuvik in '15 in this thread:

https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...2d-2015-a.html

Have fun riding up N...!

-
Choosing route from Kelowna a little easier than from Grande Prairie. After 25 years may not find anyone I worked with left there and head to Prince George from Jasper instead of Grande Prairie. Definitely making me think about Cassier on the way up.

Read the thread you linked and enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing. Not sure your experience on the Dempster makes me more tempted to ride it. Real issue is time. I want to have shorter riding days around 200 miles to allow time to stop and smell the wild roses. Trying to fit too much in is the concern.

D2D sounds like a good option. I would have about 3 weeks to get there, Again don't want to rush things on the way trying to see Black Hills, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Icefields parkway and more on the way up.

Thanks for all the tips. Gives me something to think about.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 01:27 AM
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DUST TO DAWSON 2019 WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY, JUNE 20 & FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2019

at the Triple J Hotel, Fifth Ave, Dawson, YT
Y0B 1G0, Canada

worth a shot. in any case, give a holler when you come to AK, there is lots to do & see
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if I'm answering your question I assume the basic points have been addressed, such as: did you do a compression test? is it still on fire?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 02:36 PM
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...I will look up fasteddie's posts.
I'm currently in the process of replacing ALL the pics that got removed from my D2D '16 ride when "Photobucket" got 'greedy'. Here's a link:

https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...dventures.html

FWIW - I consider my 'low-side' crash in '15 as VERY unusual. EXCEPT for that area near Inuvik, my recollection is that you could always see a LONG way ahead, and plan a stop if necessary when meeting big trucks.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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I wrote-up riding my '09 V650 to Inuvik in '15 in this thread:

https://www.kawasakiversys.com/forum...2d-2015-a.html

Have fun riding up N...!

-
The thread was a great read but you had to cut your plans short from the low side. It impacts my decision on luggage. I am going back and forth over luggage.

Already have a Givi top case on my X. I have Givi Trekker side cases on my Honda NC700 and just need to buy the mounts for the X to use them. Many adventure riders swear by soft panniers for what happens in a crash. I have zeroed in on Magadan Paniers. How much did your well built aluminum hard cases contribute to bike damage and would you have possibly faired better with soft cases?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 02:02 PM
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...How much did your well built aluminum hard cases contribute to bike damage and would you have possibly faired better with soft cases?
I can't answer either question, except to say that the aluminum hard case on the left protected my leg as I was going down, until it 'parted ways' w/ the bike as I stopped.

I guess the best answer is - TRY NOT to low-side....

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Installed SWM crash bars. Look like they should do the job.

Tomorrow start wiring. Have a PDM 60 distribution block, Denali DM2 lights, Admore tail light, Denali horn, connection for heated jacket, and USB outlets.

Also received Corbin seat and 11" Madstadd screen.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Took a test ride. Stopped for 2 nights at Two Wheels of Suches in north GA on way to Virginia Beach. 1100 miles and bike rode fine. Found out my 30F bag inadequate for 38F. Picked up a Nemo Disco 15F at REI. Good reviews and will let me sleep in my side. Will test on way back to Tennessee this week.

Also need to rethink luggage setup. Going to get Givi rack for 33L Trekkers I already own. 60 liter dry bag on back seat too big pushing me forward from desired seat position. If I need the room have smaller dry bags for back seat.

Received my updated passport in mail so that key piece of kit in hand.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 01:33 PM
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Took a test ride. Stopped for 2 nights at Two Wheels of Suches in north GA on way to Virginia Beach. 1100 miles and bike rode fine. Found out my 30F bag inadequate for 38F. Picked up a Nemo Disco 15F at REI. Good reviews and will let me sleep in my side. Will test on way back to Tennessee this week.

Also need to rethink luggage setup. Going to get Givi rack for 33L Trekkers I already own. 60 liter dry bag on back seat too big pushing me forward from desired seat position. If I need the room have smaller dry bags for back seat.

Received my updated passport in mail so that key piece of kit in hand.
TWoS, cool place. I'm heading up that way for a few days on my way to AR for a rally, may or may not spend a night or two there.

Yeah, 60 liter would seem a bit large. I use a 35 liter dry bag that seems about right, with the tent and air mattress rolled up and on top of it. Rok straps keep it all solid.
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 06:12 PM
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Here's my '15 enroute to Alaska (via D2D 2016) in June '16.



and here it is for my 25 day Cross-Canada odyssey back in '17 - every night but ONE camping>





My 3-man tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat [self-inflating], a 100 ounce NALGENE plastic water-container, full, a hammer, ground sheet and probably a few other minor things are in that yellow dry-bag attached to a home-made aluminum rack, visible in the last pic.


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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Started ride report on adv. https://advrider.com/f/threads/three...#post-37735776

Other two on wings and not enough time to post 2 places. 1300 miles in and going well.
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