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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey folks, I thought that I'd share with you my experience with the Versys on TLH.

First, I want to clarify something: THERE ARE NO BUGS IN LABRADOR!!! going there when I did, mid May, might help :D

My bike is pretty stock, except the handguards, aux lighting, Happy Trails side racks, SW Motech tail rack, HB crash bars, blinged footpegs, modified headlight, heated grips, DIY mud cover for shock and electrics, Shinko 705 (120/90-17 front and 150/70-17 rear) with about 4k km on them prior to departure, raised and modified seat, fender extender, rad guard, and other small things to call this bike my own. Point being that what I did to it can be done by anyone, with the same lack of skills as I.

Now, I am happy to report that the only things that failed to make it back were things I added to the bike, everything that was stock stayed put, well, almost everything, but that is a different story... Some made it back, but in the sadlebags. I should mention that almost every bolt on this bike has been loctited and torqued back to factory settings though.

Will be back with more, but just came back and there are so many things to do after being away for a while. This pic was taken immediately after getting off the ferry in Blanc Sablon.


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Discussion Starter #3
twowheeladdict- yes and no :) Technically there are paved sections around towns. Some extend a bit farther- there are rumours about having the highway paved in totality. I don't know whether or not this will ever happen given that they don't seem to be able to mantain it properly with a gravel top, but what do I know about roads... In Quebec, the Northern section prior to Manic 5, the gravel and tarmac sections alternate.

The link below is an estimate of my trip not including the side trips. I will only focus on the TLH in order to provide my perspective on the abilities of this bike to ride gravel roads. From the rest of the trip I'll post pictures.

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Regional+Road+99+S&daddr=NL-230+N+to:NL-430+N+to:Ferry+Ramp+to:Trans-Labrador+Hwy/NL-510+S+to:Newfoundland+and+Labrador+500+E/Trans-Labrador+Hwy+to:Newfoundland+and+Labrador+500+W/Trans-Labrador+Hwy+to:Boulevard+Comeau/QC-138+O+to:46.69444,-71.89176+to:Regional+Road+19/Riverside+Dr&hl=en&geocode=FUBJtQId3Ap9-w;FfiY5AId3kTW_A;FXy6EQMd6oSt_A;FYiMEAMdQOqX_A;FfjOIQMdEtmk_A;FQgvLQMdquBm_A;FXzmMAMdmHMv_A;FbT67gIdBGvv-w;FSiAyAId0AS3-ykfocKyRnfHTDGz84ODO2cwIQ;Faq3tAIdtl19-w&mra=dpe&mrsp=8&sz=8&via=8&sll=46.441642,-71.867065&sspn=2.577723,4.916382&ie=UTF8&ll=47.249407,-64.907227&spn=20.324616,39.331055&z=5
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
So, prior to the TLH report, here are some pics from Newfoundland. I highly recommend this island, it's a different culture in a way, and the scenery is not bad either.

The following pics are from the Eastern?Northern side of NFLD- pleas excuse the quality, I am not a photographer...

This was one of the only 2 days in which it rained and snowed, the rest of the trip was great sunny weather- cold but nice.










An interesting place




























the following are pics with the Tabletops- the picture with the road looks very similar to the road to Jasper for those who have been there










some artsy pics






to be continued...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
WOW! Looks like you had a memorable adventure. I'm getting chilled just looking at those photos. Did you wear heated gear?
yes, it was a memorable adventure in more ways than one :) I did have a heated jacket and have heated grips- I should've taken the heated gloves, but I don't like them much for their bulkiness. For legs, in Labrador I had a good pair of thermal underwear, the riding pants, and rain pants- Froggs, and could've used another pair of thermal underwear :D

Glad you like the scenery guys, it's quite interesting over there. I have lots of pics from Newfoundland, and less so from Labrador- over there I was more concerned with being cold and staying upright :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Sorry for the slow coming report, work's crazy... Until I get to writing about the TLH, I'll post more pics taken in Newfoundland, no brain power required :D

Looking at pictures again the memories of the roads come back... They have quite nice roads, unexpected to me... Unexpected was the fact that the speed limit was respected...

 

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Thanks for posting. Great pictures. You say there are no flies, but what about polar bears in coastal areas. I understand the migrate up and down the coast line and will attack and kill people.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for posting. Great pictures. You say there are no flies, but what about polar bears in coastal areas. I understand the migrate up and down the coast line and will attack and kill people.
none of those either... I thought long and har about bears, and then I realized that I'm old enough for them to go look for something more fresh... problem solved :)

glad you like the pictures... and no, bears are not such a big of a threat as they're made to be. Although I have only met brown and black bears, no polar ones yet...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Loved the humour of Newfoundlanders...




there's also Grandma's hole, as in this, if I didn't somehow mixed the pictures

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, the Trans-Labrador highway… heard about it, read couple reports, and figured that this will be a good trip on the Versys. After all, I’ve done quite a few gravel roads over last season and a half, I’ve done also a bit or a bit more, depending from whose perspective, of off-road. I thought I knew my limitations… I came to realize that the TLH is a bit more than just a gravel road…

Bike prep for this trip was something along a visual inspection of the bolts, looked at the tires, Shinko 705s, and figured that they’re going to last, changed the oil, greased the cables, and then loaded the bike. I was riding once with a group and one of the guys saved my butt by giving me a bolt and nut to replace the one I lost from my top rack. I was very impressed with the selection of bolts/washers/nuts/safety wire of that guy and told myself that I have to get myself one of those sets to take with me on the bike- I still tell myself that, never got around doing it…

Beside the bike set, I took a wrench, few sockets- but not the most essential one, the one I will later on need, and a vice-grip (locking pliers). Figured that if I need something more than that it’s time to give up because I wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Trans Lab trip started with departing from Corner Brook at about 8am- distance to the ferry to Sablonc is about 350km, the ferry was at 1pm, plenty of time to get there- paved, scenic road. I made that time no problem. I didn’t stop for pics much because I had already done this road few days before on our way to L’Anse aux Meadows. One thing that stood out on that road were the enclosures next to the road… left scratching my head, the ground looked in some places like it was cultivated, so I guess they’re some gardens of sorts- but why so close to the road??? I don’t know the answer, but it might have something to do with the tundra like mossy land thingy that was everywhere else…

Anyhow, back to the TLH… the ferry, old, abused but still ticking... Same as it was with the previous ferry from Nova Scoia to Nfld, the only bike, mine, went last on the ferry. Until then I was used to be the first in first out, not so here...





 

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Discussion Starter #19
Being the only one on the bike people felt like asking all kinds of questions. Don’t mind that… what I did mind was one loud trucker who pretended to live only on that highway…now loud people don’t bother me, but loud ignorant people do bother me… he predicted that I won’t make it across, because of the loose deep gravel, because the 50t trucks create a huge dust cloud and when you have 2 trucks coming from opposite directions you’re in an even worse cloud and so on and so forth… my only questions to him were why would anyone put him/herself in such situation- as in behind a truck, and whether he saw the numerous other bikes who travelled on that road … I’m not trying to win the Dakar, I figured that if the wind is blowing hard enough to clear the dust cloud I’ll pass, if not I’ll put behind at a distance that allows me to breath mostly air and not dust. However, trying to reason with him was not worth the time…

The highlight on that ferry cross was that I met 2 folks from my own city who were traveling in an old full size van… I guess we were the oddities over there, bike and full size van on TLH… as far as I know he made it at least to Labrador city, then we didn’t see each other anymore.

Was already 3pm by the time I made it to Sablonc… so I figured that it’s late to gun it to Happy Valley Goose Bay, figured that Port Hope Simpson is more realistic…And so it was.
Wow, I'm in Labrador...


 
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