The haul road to Deadhorse is on my bucket list and I was shooting for either 2019 or 2020, depending on when my knee replacement is.
Even though I have a SPOT, my wife does not want me to do that ride alone.
From northern California, the one way trip is ~3700 miles and I have it mapped at 10 days each way.
Coldfoot to Deadhorse is 246 miles according to google, with no fuel stations, so I was planning on carrying 1-2 gallons of aux fuel.
I switched from my 2001 LT to an FJR1300 this year because the LT was just getting too heavy for my knees. The FJR is 300 pounds lighter and has a lower center of gravity and was quite comfortable for my 2017 4000 mile trip.
I would like to ride Alaska next year, but my sister and brother-in-law want to tour Ireland and I don't think my retirement budget can support two trips in one year. And Ireland will be fun.
It is nearly 4,600 miles to Deadhorse from my home. I would not tackle the haul road on my LT. Street tires, 850 lbs, and lots of plastic to get pelted by gravel simply makes it impractical.
I was leaning towards getting a GS1200 when the wife said she didn't want to ride to Deadhorse. However, when she said she would like to ride to Alaska, just not the haul road (we did that on a Princess bus several years ago so she knows what it is like), we have settled on riding to either Anchorage or Fairbanks together and she will enjoy a few days there while I make the trek to Deadhorse.
From what I have researched thus far, I think the LT is fine to get to Anchorage or Fairbanks. I am now leaning towards renting a bike from Motoquest for the 2-4 day ride to Deadhorse and back, which dictates Anchorage rather than Fairbanks. I have read about folks doing it in one day each way, but I think it more enjoyable to use two days and overnight in Coldfoot or Wiseman.
Lots yet to plan and decide, but that is my rough plan. Ride the LT two-up to Anchorage, leave wife there, take four days on rental GS for the Deadhorse ride, then return to PA.
I test rode an FJR a few years ago when they added cruise control. I really liked it, but it clearly is not suited to riding long distance with my wife. In our 30s, might have worked, but not in our late 50s. I would love having a reliable bike again though! Just not sure what to replace the LT with. Yamaha missed the boat with their new Venture just as Kawasaki did a few years ago with the Vulcan Voyager. Suzuki is out of play as is Harley. I am holding out hope for the new Wing, but if it goes automatic then that is out for me.
I probably will try an RT, even though I dislike the vibration. Although, I have heard that the new wet head is much smoother than the oil head I last test rode. The 1600 is just too expensive a bike when it needs at least another grand of spending to get it even close to the LT in passenger comfort. I'd rather invest the $1,000 in the much less expensive RT.