Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Re: Bike for an Alaska trip.
I am very interested in an Alaska trip as well and I have given the matter a good bit of research and thought.
The above discussion is good but I want to add some personal thoughts.
The GT... no, not a good choice. I owned a K1200RS and while it is a wonderful machine it is a highway machine, not a dual sport. The GT is lighter than the LT but it is still heavy. Think about picking it up while in deep mud... its gonna happen and you might as well plan on it.
The other major factor in MY decision is that I do not want to beat up my RT. This trip will beat up a bike. Gravel chips, headlight and front/forward damage etc. Most of the time you will be on paved roads but consider that there are two seasons in Alaska. Winter and Road Repair.
Most rider reports mention the difficulty of dealing with the gravel, dirt, muck of torn up roads. You mentioned the Arctic Circle. If you go there you are going to have to navigate hundreds of miles on unpaved roads. Roads that turn to muck and goo when it rains- which it often does and will.
You are going to need something you can work on, while sitting on the side of the road. Chances are it is not an LT/RT/GT.
My current tendency is the F800GS in Short configuration, or the GS in Short which will be available next year, or a used but strong V-Strom. Something I can beat the hell out of and not worry.
2014 R1200RT WC
“As Woody Guthrie says, ‘Left wing, right wing, chicken wing.’I keep my mind open. Whatever you believe, it’s all a mystery in the end.”