Monday, December 21, 2009

Dad and I took a little practice ride in Arizona back in October of 2008. The ride was about 400 miles in one day. Pretty long ride for dad on his sportster all day. I road the Beamer with all the bags for practice with the weight. We left Show Low AZ at 7am and headed south for Globe. The drive from Show Low to Globe changes Elevation from 6500 to 2500 feet. Then ride to Safford AZ where the elevation is about 1800 feet. Head for Alpine on hwy 191. Alpine is about 8500 feet. So in one day lots of changes cold to hot then cold again. The old Carburated Harley did great all day. The first pic is between Globe and Safford. The Second is up by Alpine notice all the Aspens changing colors. The other is at a gas station where we met a guy on a triumph chopper.

Oil Cooler Guard

Here is the oil cooler in its new location. Also has a home built guard on it. Should be way better than the stock location. Stock was right behind the front tire.

Here are the Crash bars I attempted to make, or made. They came out ok.

The tank bag is a Wolfman bag made in Colorado. Pretty waterproof.

Nice Rack

Here is the rack for the side panniers. Used the bender that Mark and I bought from Nathan. Worked great.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Well here it is less than six months from my departure and the bike is not even close to ready.

I have had many of different ideas for the bike to store all my camping gear and clothing. I finally made a decision on the side boxes (panniers) that I will be using. First idea was to build some out of aluminum but with time and having to use the equipment at work and price wise I decided on Pelican 1440 boxes. These boxes are made of a very strong plastic. The military uses them now instead of the heavy steel boxes. I have made an Aluminum radiator sheild/guard that from what I have seen online looks to be built much better. The guard will have to protect the radiator for roughly 3,000 miles of extremely rocky dirt roads. I have also added a fusebox under the seat away from the elements. The fuse box will power acc such as fog lights, heated clothing and an auxillary plug for and air compressor or GPS. For safety I have added a brake light Back Off modulator. This thing will make the brake light fash five times quickly then the light will be on normally. Riding this far I will try to do everything that I can do to keep safe. Another safety is I will be adding some TrailTech fog lights. These are very bright HID light. The comfort creatures added so far are hand guards, Heated grips and a comfy seat.

The components I still have to add are:

1 Engine Guard/Tank Guard I will build these myself. Hopefully.

2 Rear box mounts. I will also try and build these.

3 Taller windshield. Probably a CeeBailey

4 More rear lights and brake lights.

5 If possible a GPS I have looked at the Tom Tom and the Zumo.

6 Metzler Tourance tires for the majority of the ride

7 Continental TKC 80 knobby tires for the 3,000 miles of dirt.

Sometimes I feel that June 6 of 09 is just not possible. Well with money and work being scarce.
Put aside the feelings I will still seek my goal. June 6 09.
I will let you all know when I have finished something of the seven things left for the bike.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A little history with a plan.

From the time we are young children, almost everyone has a dream of “taming the west”. It has mostly been tamed; this new dream will be our Great American Adventure, our west. The year 2009 will be Alaska’s 50th Birthday celebration. It has also been 50 years since my dad has lived in Alaska. He moved to Alaska from New York. At that time it was dirt roads all the way there; that had to be an adventure in itself. For the last 17 years or so we have been talking about riding motorcycles across the country and through Alaska. My dad will turn 58 on our trip to Alaska. If we don’t go now we may lose our opportunity to pursue the dream of the Great American Adventure. Time has passed and we have not pursued our dream - until now.

My brother and I live in Kannapolis, North Carolina. This is where we will start our adventure. The bikes we chose are Suzuki 650 V-Stroms. These are adventure touring bikes made for the long hours and rough conditions. My dad and Alvin live in Show Low, Arizona. This is where they will start from. My dad will be riding a F650GS BMW Dakar adventure bike while Alvin is still deciding on his ride. We chose the 650’s because they are light, nimble and have great fuel mileage.

On June 6th, Mark and I will leave Kannapolis, NC and my dad and Alvin will leave Show Low, AZ. We will all meet up in Rugby, North Dakota which is the center point for North America. From there we will cross into Canada and ride for the famous Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. From there we will ride into the Yukon Territory to Dawson City. Once in Dawson City in the Yukon Territory we will prepare for our 1000 mile roundtrip ride along the Dempster Highway (a dirt road) which leads to the Artic Circle and a little town named Inuvik in the Northwest Territory. We will have to check over our bikes which will involve checking equipment, doing oil changes and possibly changing out tires to a more aggressive off road (knobby) tire. Once we are back in the Yukon we will be crossing into Alaska at the Northern most border crossing, also a dirt road. From this point we will ride to the Alaska Highway and head straight for Fairbanks, Alaska. Once again this is a place where we will prepare the bikes and check equipment for the Dalton Highway ride. The Dalton Highway coincides with the Alaska pipeline and is a 1,000 mile dirt road roundtrip that will lead us past the Artic Circle, again, and over to Prudhoe Bay Alaska (Artic Ocean). Once we are there it will be time for us to celebrate and, if brave enough, take a swim in the Artic Ocean.

As soon as we get back to Fairbanks, we will head for Mt. McKinley then over to Anchorage. After Anchorage it will be time to head home. To avoid riding the same highway twice we will be taking the Cassair Highway through British Columbia and pass through Jasper National Park to get to Calgary. We will then cross back into the states and ride to Great Falls, Montana where my brother and I will head back to North Carolina and the others will head back to Arizona; ending our journey on July 5th.

As long as we are healthy and God willing, we will be heading out June 2009 for our journey. Our dreams and ideas will become reality!

Thanks for taking the time to read our post. Please check back for future updates.