2019 Alaska Tour - Page 2 - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #51 of 126 Old Jun 4th, 2019, 10:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

The best view I ever have had for an oil change.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #52 of 126 Old Jun 4th, 2019, 11:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 14: Healy, AK to Anchorage, AK
Odometer: 77,969
Miles: 258

The coldest start to date and delayed a few minutes as last night I had a brain fart and took my turn at getting the ignition in the Park position. I sure wish BMW had made that a lock-out design where you have to push the key in to enable that position. Like a reverse on a standard shift car. Luckily our neighbor was just pulling put and gave us a jump start.

It was 45 when we left, but dropped to 36 when we entered a shaded valley for several miles. Got to see the snowflake and flashing temp indication on the dash. Nippy! We stopped for breakfast after about 10 miles and let it warm to 50 before hitting the road to Anchorage.

The weather was very nice and we basically got to look at Mt McKinley for about 150 miles. Unfortunately, when we got south to the closest point to the mountain, the clouds had formed obscuring the top. However, Linda still got some very nice pictures.

We got to Anchorage about 2:30 and I headed to Autozone for oil and then to the airport to change my oil and look at the cruise. The oil change was done with a spectacular view in the background. Very distracting! I finally got the cover off to look at the micro switches and as best I can tell, the plastic body on the lower switch is cracked allowing the actuation tab to move with the lever rather than sliding against the lever. I am not 100% sure this is the issue, but further work will have to wait until I get home and can tear it apart more completely to remove the switches for closer inspection.
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1976 Kawasaki KH400
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1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #53 of 126 Old Jun 5th, 2019, 11:11 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 15: Anchorage, AK to Tok, AK
Odometer: 78,313
Miles: 344

We had planned to spend two nights in Anchorage, but since I got the oil change done the day we arrived, I did not need to stay an extra day for that. And there isnít a lot we wanted to do in Anchorage. The weather looked great for riding, so we decided to hit the road.

It was a little cool, in the 50s again, but sunny and nice as we left Anchorage. I saw the sign for the old Glenn Highway to Palmer and since it added only 5 miles I decided to take it. It was a good decision as it was a nice two lane road with some great scenery.

From Palmer we headed out the Glenn Highway towards Glennallen. This section of road was the best we have ridden thus far. The scenery was great and the road was twisty and in pretty good shape. We stopped for gas at the only gas station between Palmer and Glennallen and also got some lunch and their 25 cent coffees. Yes, that is not a typo, they still sell coffee for 25 cents and keep refilling it for that price! I think the place is called the Eureka Roadhouse. Nice place.

At Glennallen, we turned onto the Richardson highway and went the short stretch up to the Tok Cut-off, which I believe is still technically part of the Glenn Highway as it is still AK route 1. The Tok cut-off was in terrible condition. We still had good scenery, but this is the worst road we have ridden to date. It had many heaved and potholed sections and several construction sites. We were stopped three times for 10-20 minutes each which made the day a fair bit longer than I had planned, but we had a great talk with the native Alaskan flagman. We were the first vehicle he stopped and we were there 10 minutes before the second vehicle came along. This is remote country folks.

The last 30 or so miles of road into Tok was in quite good shape, albeit flat and with dull scenery. However, we did finally see a moose pretty close to the road so Linda finally got her moose sighting and a few pictures. A good day all in all.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
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1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #54 of 126 Old Jun 6th, 2019, 8:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 16: Tok, AK to Haines Junction, Yukon Territory
Odometer: 78,610
Miles: 297

We left Tok a little late at close to 9:00 as we stayed at a B&B that didnít serve breakfast until 8:00. The blueberry pancakes and bacon made it worth the wait. The only downside was when the guests in the room above us decided to leave at 3:30 AM and were talking loudly (in French) and walking around and making far more noise than necessary. So, it was not a good nights sleep.

The temps were nice starting out at 56 and rising slowly into the low 60s as we headed towards the border. The border was empty and I think we woke up the nice lady border agent when we rode up. The LT is good for sneaking up on people. We stopped in Beaver Creek for fuel and coffee and then headed on down the road.

We did not see a lot of wildlife, but we did see a grizzly mama and her two cubs eating right alongside the road. I saw a motor home and two cars pulled over which means either an accident or interesting wildlife and thankfully this was the latter. We stopped in a gap between the cars and got a few pictures. I am always cautious around a mother bear with her cubs, especially a grizzly, but these ones seemed completely indifferent to us and just went about munching. However, I would not want to ever get complacent around such animals and I was ready to rock and roll if needed.

We ran through a few very light showers as we approached Kluane Lake and were actually able to get some good pictures this time. Last time was very cold and rainy, but today was 62 and mostly sunny. After lunch at Destruction Bay, we headed on to our motel in Haines Junction. A very nice riding day.

I still laugh at how Canada does their roadside rest areas. Almost all of them are 2 km outside of a town that has full services. You can ride for 100 km with no rest area and then come up to one 2 km from the next town. Can any of our Canadian forum members explain the logic to this? Other than making them easy to service being close to a town, but that sort of defeats the purpose of have road side rest areas in rural places.
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post #55 of 126 Old Jun 6th, 2019, 9:02 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

That last one with the bike is a money shot. Just WOW!
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post #56 of 126 Old Jun 7th, 2019, 10:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 17: Haines Junction, Yukon Territory to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory
Odometer: 78,981
Miles: 371

Today was spent backtracking down the Alaska highway so not many new pictures. Also, it rained for a good part of the way on and off so the camera was safely stored in the top case.

We didn’t see much wildlife other than one elk and he scampered into the woods before we could get a picture. Otherwise, it was a fairly boring day although we did get a much better view of Marsh Lake. It was raining on our way up past that lake so we didn’t see much the the first time.

We broke for lunch at Teslin and it began to rain there just before we left. The only thing more fun than a six span steel grate bridge is a wet six span steel grate bridge.

We also got to ride the 9 miles of dirt road near Spring Creek in the rain and mud rather than the dry and dust we had on the way up. The LT handled it very well though. It wasn’t too greasy and I was able to easily ride at and above the 70 km/h posted speed for that section of newly graded road.

We had to ride past the Casssiar highway (route 37) junction for about 14 miles as Watson Lake has the nearest hotels and restaurants. So, we get to ride that section of road for the 4th time tomorrow morning before heading down the Cassiar. I must say as I exit the Alaska highway that it was good to ride it once, but really is a pretty boring highway most of the way. The Cassiar looks much better with more turns and hills and the Google time estimates are a fair bit longer for the same miles traveled so that is a good sign. We shall find out tomorrow!

Apparently, most folks wait until June to head to Alaska. We passed a lot of north bound traffic today including countless GS1200s and a few Wings and Harleys. And the gas stations and restaurants were all 2-3 times busier than just a week ago when we went up. I am glad we went in May as we missed a lot of the traffic and congestion at stopping points.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #57 of 126 Old Jun 8th, 2019, 11:26 am
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

The Cassiar is not a bad road , a little narrower that the Alaskan Highway ...but it is good. If you get a chance , take the side trip out to Hyder AK . It is 37A at Meziadin Junction , a nice ride out there ,well worth the trip. We went out there in 2007 , The border gaurd was out at a camp fire the day we got in , she said that was me waving to you guys when you road in..

Patric Blackman
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2010 R1200GSA ...1987 Helix...
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post #58 of 126 Old Jun 8th, 2019, 7:52 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 18: Watson Lake, Yukon Territory to Bell II, British Columbia
Odometer: 79,291
Miles: 310

We woke to rain and 41 degrees and it was only up to 45 when we left. We stopped for gas at the J37 Services station which I would not recommend and which had only 87 octane. I should have filled up in Watson Lake last night when it wasnít raining.

The rain continued all morning as we rode down the Cassiar. The northern part had very rough pavement with the same washboard surface as much of the Alaska highway. The road was more curvy and hilly than the Alaska, but the scenery was not much different on the northern end. The speed limit was only 80 km/h and you couldnít go much faster than that anyway. The chip seal used here in Canada is very coarse and it is hard to tell old well seasoned road from freshly stoned road with loose stone as it all looks the same. So, I rode at a pace where I figured I could handle loose stones in a curve. And the Canadians seem to have a way to kay down their chips seal in a washboard texture that just rattles your teeth. It is like riding on continuous rumble strips. After 80 miles of that, I noticed my CB seemed to be vibrating in greater amplitude than the handgrip so I checked and it was loose. I stopped to tighten it and not only were the two screws holding the CB loose, but so was every other screw on both the clutch AND brake master cylinder covers. I have never had them come loose before.

60 or so miles down the road we came upon a car wreck. A man had rolled his car over landing it back on its wheels. A couple other cars had stopped and I pulled over to see if we could help. One man asked if we could check again at the convenience store as he had went there for help 30 minutes ago, but didnít seem confident that help was on the way. I found out why when I stopped. The store was run by First Nation native Canadians and the girl there seemed pretty clueless. She seemed to be on the phone trying to get help, but without success. I knew I could not help by going back so I continued on and figured I would stop at the next place which was the Cassiar Mountain Jade store which offered free coffee and restrooms. The lady there got the RCMP on the phone and they wanted to talk to me. So, I answered their questions as best I could.

The accident occurred roughly 88 miles north of Dease Lake according to my GPS. I think the Jade store was only 15-20 miles past the accident site and we didnít pass the RCMP vehicle with its lights and siren until we were 13 miles from Dease Lake. I figure the response time to the accident scene was at least 3 hours. So, it pays not to have an accident in this part of the country.

We saw a moose running down the road, but he headed over the bank before we got any close pictures. We also saw a couple of black bear and a fox and that was all for the 300 miles we rode.

We planned a break in Dease Lake, but found no open restaurant after fueling up there. So, given the rain and cool temps (in the 40s most of the morning), we soldiered on south.

The scenery got progressively better and finally the rain began to let up around 2:00. We did get a few pictures and had some sun and warmer temps for the last couple hours until we reached the lodge at Bell II. The lodge provides only one hour of free internet and then charges $10/hr thereafter so I will probably not upload anything tonight.

The lodge is quite nice with a soapstone wood stove in the room for heat in addition to the little electric heaters.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
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1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #59 of 126 Old Jun 8th, 2019, 8:14 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

How are your tires wearing with the chip seal? Based on your daily mileage you should have 6k miles on them.

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post #60 of 126 Old Jun 9th, 2019, 7:35 am
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I got the two small allen screws out, but the cover will not come out of the larger housing with the audio control even though it looks to be two parts (part 8 I think in the diagram you posted). IT looks like it just snaps into the audio control housing, but I am hesitant to reef on it too hard as I don't want to outright break it this far from home.
...
...
Although, I still can’t see why pushing forward on the clutch has an impact unless it is the top switch that controls the cruise. I could only see the bottom switch and maybe that is the one that controls starting with the clutch pulled in. I could not tell from the fiche which one was which. I would have thought the cruise switch would be on the bottom since cruise was an option added after the LT was released as I recall, but I simply don’t know.
When you remove the combo switch under-cover, THE FIRST switch that you see is the one for the cruise-control - this one should "click" with a very small initial movement of the clutch lever - but NOT so little that it will be triggered at every bump.

The other similar switch is stacked up behind the one for the cruise- deeper into the handlebar assy. This one should "click" much later when the Clutch lever is about half-way pulled. Its only purpose is to allow the engine to be started "out of neutral - any gear" ONLY IF the clutch lever is pulled.

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post #61 of 126 Old Jun 9th, 2019, 9:13 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

A few more day 18 pictures that I couldnít upload last night.
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post #62 of 126 Old Jun 9th, 2019, 9:15 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by rspyder View Post
How are your tires wearing with the chip seal? Based on your daily mileage you should have 6k miles on them.
The rear is about half gone so I think I will make it. It will be close.

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2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #63 of 126 Old Jun 9th, 2019, 9:18 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
When you remove the combo switch under-cover, THE FIRST switch that you see is the one for the cruise-control - this one should "click" with a very small initial movement of the clutch lever - but NOT so little that it will be triggered at every bump.

The other similar switch is stacked up behind the one for the cruise- deeper into the handlebar assy. This one should "click" much later when the Clutch lever is about half-way pulled. Its only purpose is to allow the engine to be started "out of neutral - any gear" ONLY IF the clutch lever is pulled.
I think my switch is bad. It seems to be a tri-state switch rather than bi-state. If the switch is all the way in (lever pushed forward), the cruise disconnects. If the switch is partway out (lever pulled bike very slightly), the cruise works. If the lever is pulled further back, the cruise disconnects. So, there seems to be one place where the switch is making contact and if the switch is either further in or further out, it loses contact.

If I pull the lever back and release it carefully, the cruise will work. However, if I push the lever forward or pull it back, it will not work. And often after shifting, the lever goes to rest too far forward and the cruise will not engage until I pull it back and slowly release it.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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post #64 of 126 Old Jun 9th, 2019, 2:46 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I think my switch is bad. It seems to be a tri-state switch rather than bi-state. If the switch is all the way in (lever pushed forward), the cruise disconnects. If the switch is partway out (lever pulled bike very slightly), the cruise works. If the lever is pulled further back, the cruise disconnects. So, there seems to be one place where the switch is making contact and if the switch is either further in or further out, it loses contact.

If I pull the lever back and release it carefully, the cruise will work. However, if I push the lever forward or pull it back, it will not work. And often after shifting, the lever goes to rest too far forward and the cruise will not engage until I pull it back and slowly release it.
During your trip, the main problem is access as the end-connector is in the electrical junction box below Relays - not a very good job to attempt on the road...

Assuming you badly want your cruise to work BEFORE you get home AND assuming you have enough evidence to believe the switch is to be replaced anyway, there is a way out: cut one of both wires leading to the switch and insulate so it does not make contact with anything. Not so easy on the road as the wiring coming out of left handlebar is tied tight (and the 2 pair of wires are very similar for both stacked micro-switches).

The Cruise system is designed in such a way that both the Throttle-bodies Micro-switch AND the outermost clutch switch can be disconnected from the cruise-control circuit (normally open circuit at rest). The only negative effect is that you will not be able to cancel cruise using a clutch pull - however all other cancel methods will continue to work (throttle forward and either brakes).
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-------------------------------------------------
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post #65 of 126 Old Jun 9th, 2019, 9:36 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 19: Bell II, British Columbia to Smithers, British Columbia
Odometer: 79,516
Miles: 225

The mosquitos were thick as we packed up to leave the lodge this morning and head south again on the Cassiar, even with the 50 degree temps. We had a nice ride and saw several more black beer. They are everywhere out here. The roads and scenery were all very nice today and had just a few showers and a little construction to ride through.

We had one stretch from Meziadin Junction to Kitwanga which is 95 miles with no services. We then hit route 16 and are back to civilization as we now have to deal with traffic again. Even though a breakdown would be a major nuisance out here, there is something nice about riding all day and seeing only a dozen or so cars.

We made this a fairly short day as it is laundry day again so we arrived at our hotel at about 2:00. The hotel has a guest laundry which is nice even though it is quite expensive.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
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1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #66 of 126 Old Jun 10th, 2019, 12:25 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor View Post
During your trip, the main problem is access as the end-connector is in the electrical junction box below Relays - not a very good job to attempt on the road...

Assuming you badly want your cruise to work BEFORE you get home AND assuming you have enough evidence to believe the switch is to be replaced anyway, there is a way out: cut one of both wires leading to the switch and insulate so it does not make contact with anything. Not so easy on the road as the wiring coming out of left handlebar is tied tight (and the 2 pair of wires are very similar for both stacked micro-switches).

The Cruise system is designed in such a way that both the Throttle-bodies Micro-switch AND the outermost clutch switch can be disconnected from the cruise-control circuit (normally open circuit at rest). The only negative effect is that you will not be able to cancel cruise using a clutch pull - however all other cancel methods will continue to work (throttle forward and either brakes).
Yes, when I saw how small the switch was and how hard to get at, I decided it was not a repair to attempt on the road. So far I have been able to keep the cruise on most of the time by finessing the clutch lever. I just need to pull it back a little and release it slowly and the cruise works until I shift gears again or hit a hard bump.

I figured the connector wasnít in a logical place like beside the switch or under the bar covers. Only BMW would connectorize a component in such a place that it takes 3 hours to replace. If I can confirm it is this switch, I probably will buy a new one and put a connector near the switch and leave the old wiring harness in place. Much easier to install a weatherproof connector than to remove the tank to access the electrical box.
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post #67 of 126 Old Jun 10th, 2019, 10:28 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 20: Smithers, British Columbia to McBride, British Columbia
Odometer: 79,879
Miles: 363

We departed in 50 degree temps under overcast skies yet again. Rode through rain showers to our first stop in Burns Lake. We had coffee at an A&W and the LT was treated to some Chevron 94 octane non-ethanol gas! Everyone was happy.

The rain eased and the temps rose as we approached Prince George and it was up to 60 when we stopped for lunch.

The ride from Prince George was warmer, but we were in and out of showers all day long. I was wishing I had filled up in Prince George when I saw that there was no gas between there and McBride, our stop for the night, and I was slightly less than half a tank with 130 miles ahead. Thankfully, the LT was getting great mileage and went 272 miles on the tank of real Chevron gas and still had 40 miles left according to the computer. Still just a little closer than I like to cut it in this country. We saw many black bear (6 or more) and several deer during the ride from Prince George to our hotel. The scenery and road were both very nice, but the rain and truck traffic water spray made the ride less fun than it would have been.

Due to the continual showers, the camera was stowed most of the day and the pictures are few.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
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1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #68 of 126 Old Jun 11th, 2019, 9:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 21: McBride, British Columbia to Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
Odometer: 80,211
Miles: 332

We had another cool ride this morning from McBride to Jasper. The skies were overcast and many of the mountain peaks were shrouded in clouds. However, it was a nice ride on good roads.

After fueling in Jasper, the ride got really nice as we entered Jasper National Park. Other than getting here a little too late in the summer and having to deal with hordes of tourists in buses and motorhomes and campers, the scenery was amazing and reminded me somewhat of the Dolomites in northern Italy. We saw more black beer and a moose and elk. The only downside is the park has almost no services between Jasper and Lake Louis so coffee breaks did not happen.

The LT rolled over 80,000 miles near the Athabasca glacier. Only 20,000 more and it will be time to trade it in for an R1250RT!

The ride through Banff from Lake Louise to Radium Hot Springs was also fantastic and the roads were just fabulous compared to what we endured in Alaska, Yukon and northern BC. I would have liked a few more curves, but the big sweepers were nice even if the Canadians have draconian speed limits. That is one area where the Alps have it all over the US and Canada. Far fewer restrictions on riders and speed limits that are almost laughably HIGH. Some of the small roads in the Alps were posted at 62 MPH and you wold be crazy to ride 50.

We rode through a number of avalanche zones and you can see on the mountain long swaths of trees that were flattened by avalanches.

The hard part is selecting out a few pictures as Linda took a LOT of pictures today (123 plus several videos!).
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
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1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #69 of 126 Old Jun 11th, 2019, 9:54 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

And a few more day 21 pictures.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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post #70 of 126 Old Jun 11th, 2019, 10:45 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Nice moose photo!

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post #71 of 126 Old Jun 12th, 2019, 5:19 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

I think the third picture in the second group is Mt Robson , it's a big one
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post #72 of 126 Old Jun 12th, 2019, 8:43 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 22: Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia to Kalispell, MT
Odometer: 80,425
Miles: 214

We had a nice ride to the border from Radium Hot Springs. It was 64 degrees when we left and it warmed to 80 as we went south in the sunshine. We had a very easy border crossing. The agent didnít even ask us to remove our helmets. The only one of our 6 crossings where we didnít have to do that. I answered three quick questions and we were on our way.

Today was a fairly short riding day as we want to rest up for an early departure in the morning to try to get on the Going to the Sun road before the Mongolian hoard arrives. I wish we could have ridden it when we were here in September of 2017 as that was past the tourist season, but at least this time there are no fires in the area. Although we learned tonight that the middle third is still closed due to snow. So, we will ride in from the west as far as possible, then circumnavigate the park on routes 2, 49 and 89 and come in from the east as far as possible. That should take the better part of tomorrow.

We checked into a really nice new hotel. The only downside is they have no restaurants in walking distance. The good news is that they offered to make a reservation at a local steakhouse and shuttle us there and back! Very nice ... as was the steakhouse.

The scenery today was nice, but not spectacular so not a lot of pictures. It was a nice relaxing ride though on fairly good roads with light traffic.
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post #73 of 126 Old Jun 13th, 2019, 8:22 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 23: Kalispell, MT to Great Falls, MT
Odometer: 80,760
Miles: 335

Today was GNP day. We got to the western entrance a little after 9:00 and had to wait in a construction line as they were paving near the entrance. The good news is that we went through the entrance and did not have to pay admission. However, they got us later on the eastern entrance.

We beat most of the rush and the ride in on the 14 miles of road that was open was very nice with little traffic to slow us down. The scenery was very nice and we stopped several times for photos on the way out since almost all of the pull-overs were on that side of the road. It was a little chilly at 59 when we started, but slowly warmed through the morning.

We then rode around the park on route 2 and took the route 49 shortcut up the 89. 49 was a rough road, but very interesting to ride with lots of sharp turns. The only bad part was waiting on construction. And then 89 had a lot more construction, something like 8 miles worth which slowed us down considerably.

We got to the eastern entrance about 1:30 and rode in the 14 or so miles that this end of the Going to the Sun road was open. The eastern end of the road was much nicer other than we were now seeing much more traffic. I assume the middle part that is still buried under 20 feet of snow is probably fantastic. We saw two bears on the way out, but there were up the hill a ways making it hard to get good pictures.

The lady at the park entrance told us about route 464, Duck Lake road, which bypassed the route 89 construction. It added a few miles to the trip to Great Falls, but it was a fantastic two-lane road and with the normal Montana 70 MPH speed limit, we still made pretty good time. The temps continued to rise as we rode towards Great Falls reaching 90 as we arrived at the hotel. This was not much fun compared to the cooler temps we had grown accustomed to in Canada and Alaska.

We are staying in the historic Hotel Arvon which is a nicely renovated 1890 building, apparently the oldest commercial building in Great Falls. The rooms are small, but nice and they have an indoor parking garage so we donít have to cover the LT for the first time this trip.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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post #74 of 126 Old Jun 13th, 2019, 8:25 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

And a few more pictures from Glacier National Park. Definitely a motorcycles ďmust rideĒ destination.
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post #75 of 126 Old Jun 13th, 2019, 8:49 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Are you at an altitude that what I am seeing in your pics is the tree line?

Gordon
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2001 K1200LTI Ė Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
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post #76 of 126 Old Jun 14th, 2019, 7:46 am
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

What a great ride report! How's that seat breaking in for you?
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post #77 of 126 Old Jun 14th, 2019, 9:08 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Are you at an altitude that what I am seeing in your pics is the tree line?
I am not at that altitude, but the mountains extend well above the tree line in many cases.

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post #78 of 126 Old Jun 14th, 2019, 9:12 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOGnDAS View Post
What a great ride report! How's that seat breaking in for you?
It has gotten a little better, especially on the cooler days, However, yesterday it got to upper 80s in the afternoon and the seat got pretty uncomfortable after 4 hours. It feels like I am sitting on a bar at about the point you would balance if actually sitting on a bar (under your thighs a couple inches in front of your butt). There is a lot of pressure under my thighs and not nearly enough under my butt as on the stock saddle.

I would say comfort at this point is at most comparable to the stock seat with Bead Rider. It hurts different places than the stock seat, but overall comfort is no better than what I had before.

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post #79 of 126 Old Jun 14th, 2019, 9:24 am
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I am not at that altitude, but the mountains extend well above the tree line in many cases.
I guess it is difficult to get a true sense of scale in these pictures. Very beautiful.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Ė Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Ė Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #80 of 126 Old Jun 14th, 2019, 12:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
I guess it is difficult to get a true sense of scale in these pictures. Very beautiful.
Yes, things are on a very large scale out here compared to in the east where you just canít see as far. You can see why they call this big sky country. You just need to point your LT west and come see it yourself.

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post #81 of 126 Old Jun 14th, 2019, 6:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 24: Great Falls, MT to Billings, MT
Odometer: 81,035
Miles: 218

It was sunny, clear and 70 degrees when we left Great Falls and headed south on 89 towards the Lewis and Clark National Forest. We had a great ride through the forest. It is somewhat like parts of PA except all conifers instead of deciduous trees, and the mountains may be a tad taller. We rode over one pass that got above 5,000 feet and the temp dropped to 60 for a while, but warmed back to 70 at the bottom of the other side.

Lots of cattle out here and we saw several pronghorn antelope, one close enough to the road that I hit the brakes just in case it decided to cross the road, but it stayed put.

We stayed on 89 after the park until it runs into I90 and then we took the slab east to Billings. Even I90 had some decent scenery, but certainly no match for the Lewis and Clark. We did see several very long trains, one carrying airliner fuselages! We had a line of thunderstorms chasing us most of the afternoon, but we got to our hotel abut 30 minutes before the sprinkles began and the main storms passed north of town. They are calling for more storms tonight though so we shall see. Hopefully, not until after we get back from dinner.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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post #82 of 126 Old Jun 15th, 2019, 9:35 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 25: Billings, MT to Buffalo, WY
Odometer: 81,368
Miles: 333

We had excellent weather this morning with temps around 70 and bright sunshine. As we were traveling down I90, I saw the sign for the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and I have always wanted to visit there so we decided to stop even though we really hadn’t planned on that. We spent nearly two hours there and it was very educational and peaceful.

We then headed south to Ranchester where we planned to take route 14 west through Bighorn National Forest. What a fantastic ride. I finally got to use some of the rubber on the edges of my tires. We saw two moose and several deer. We got slightly above 9,000’ and the temp dropped from 82 to 49 before we started back down towards Greybull.

At Greybull we headed south on route 20 as we wanted to ride route 16 through the southern end of the Bighorn National Forest back to our hotel in Buffalo. We followed the Garmin recommended shortcut on county routes 31 and 49 to Ten Sleep where we joined 16. We could see thunderstorms coming in from the west as we left Ten Sleep headed east.

Route 16 was a very nice ride, but not as nice as 14 through the northern part of the forest. The altitude was a little higher though reaching nearly 9,700 feet with a fair bit of snow still alongside the road. And the temp dropped to 47 and it began to rain and hail as we started down the other side. We did see a few more deer and another moose. We saw the moose just after the rain and hail began, but we stopped anyway for a picture. Thankfully, the hail was only 1/4” or so in size and was sparse enough on the road to not pose any significant traction issues.

The rain lasted only 15 minutes or so and the rest of the ride down into Buffalo was nice and progressively warmer reaching 70 at the bottom. All in all, a very nice day of riding and sightseeing.
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post #83 of 126 Old Jun 15th, 2019, 9:40 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

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post #84 of 126 Old Jun 15th, 2019, 10:54 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

ALT 14 is even a nicer and more scenic ride than 14. Taking both 14 and 16 gave you a lot of scenery. Those Wyoming storms seem to crop up most days.
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post #85 of 126 Old Jun 16th, 2019, 7:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 26: Buffalo, WY to Ogallala, NE
Odometer: 81,784
Miles: 416

We had a nice ride today, but nothing in the way of sightseeing and not much in the way of scenery. The roads are getting flatter and straighter and the terrain becoming mostly prairie. So we made a somewhat longer day of it since we were on I25 a good part of the way before hitting US26 for the remainder.

The only excitement today was as I was pulling into the motorcycle parking space at the hotel. Due to a combination of fatigue and, I think, looking down at the stripes, I misjudged the turn and slope of the parking lot and did a nearly zero speed drop of the LT after 12 years and nearly 82,000 miles. I think I could have held it up 10 years ago, but just donít have the leg strength anymore. No damage other than a scuff on the tip-over cover. I just knew this Alaska trip was going to get me, but thought it would be on the gravel in Canada or Alaska, not asphalt in Nebraska. LOL.
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post #86 of 126 Old Jun 16th, 2019, 8:37 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

From one LT owner to another, there is no shame in a low speed or zero speed drop. There are very few who could toss the first stone.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Ė Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
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post #87 of 126 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 8:44 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
From one LT owner to another, there is no shame in a low speed or zero speed drop. There are very few who could toss the first stone.
True. The weird part is I donít remember what happened. I was turning into the spot and the next thing I know I was halfway down and trying to slow the fall. It was weird. Oh well, other than a sore knee, I donít see any real damage to the bike. Will look at it more closely this morning when I am thinking more clearly. I then dehydration may have been an issue as it almost is like I blacked out for a second. Very strange, but looks like no really harm done and Linda rolled off behind me with no issue at all. I hit my knee pretty good as I someone hit above my knee armor so my kneecap got the pavement directly. That smarted for a few seconds!

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post #88 of 126 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 8:51 am
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

All it takes is an unexpected pillion wiggle during a distraction and over you go DAMHIK.

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post #89 of 126 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 9:41 am
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Finishing a long riding day where I did not stop for lunch, I managed to drop my LT as I pulled into my driveway. Lot to say for hydration and food.

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post #90 of 126 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 10:18 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

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All it takes is an unexpected pillion wiggle during a distraction and over you go DAMHIK.
Yes, Iíve had her wiggle at a gas pump when my hands were off the bars and holding the bike with legs alone can get dicey. I donít think I can blame her this time. I think I was either daydreaming or had a brain fart. Every time in the past I felt the LT going off balance and could catch it. This time it was halfway down before I even knew it. I was almost like waking up from a dream and it was already gone. It was just weird.

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post #91 of 126 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 10:21 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

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Finishing a long riding day where I did not stop for lunch, I managed to drop my LT as I pulled into my driveway. Lot to say for hydration and food.
I am wondering about that also. We had a very small snack for lunch and had stopped only twice in the 400+ miles we rode yesterday. May have been a little blood sugar deficiency and dehydration. Or just a momentary lapse in judgement. The good news is that an inspection this morning shows no damage other than a scuff on the bar cover. The brake level seems fine and I see no damage to the rear pannier chrome strip or anything else. I hope we didn’t mess up the intercom connections when the cords got yanked out. We will know in a few minutes as it is time to hit the road!

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post #92 of 126 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 7:30 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 27: Ogallala, NE to Hays, KS
Odometer: 82,045
Miles: 261

We had nice riding weather today and narrowly missed one rain storm that moved across I80 right before we got to it. Had some wet road to ride, but missed all of the rain. We then got a few drops as we headed south on US183 towards Hays, but nothing to bother other than cooling things off a little. It started out at 65 today and warmed to 84 as we arrived in Kansas.

Nebraska and Kansas are as flat as I remember from our ride through here back in 1988. Nothing much to see other than fields, cows, tractors, oil pumps and a number of large tanks that went past us on flatbed trucks heading up 183. They were large tanks, probably 20+ feet in diameter.

We are now in the central time zone so only an hour ahead of home. We meet the folks at RANS Designs tomorrow for a tour of their facility and a look at the S-21 Outbound kit plane.

I noticed an oily residue on my right fork leg when I was changing the oil in Alaska. Since we had ridden a number of oiled roads, I though it was stuff picked up off the road so I just wiped it off. However, it is reappearing and we have been only on paved roads for a long whule now. It diesn’t appear to be a fork seal leak as the top of the fork leg is still clean. It looks like the Spieglers brake lines or fittings may be misting out fluid. No low fluid warning yet from the ABS and it appears to be a very slow leak as it doesn’t have a wet look. So, I will continue on until I either get home or it gets worse.

I included a couple of photos showing the tip-over damage, well one photo. I am pretty sure from the rust and the way the metal is rolled off the back edge that the brake damage is from last year’s Tail of the Dragon visit. I made one pretty brisk run and touched down pretty hard on both sides. And with the Wilburs suspension and riding solo, I no longer drag the center stand first.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #93 of 126 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 8:37 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Hays, KS is where my final drive gave out returning from CCR Breckinridge. Put my LT in back of a pickup truck back to Denver. Wasted most of the day but was back on the road later that day. Fortunately Denver BMW had a FD in stock.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #94 of 126 Old Jun 17th, 2019, 9:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

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Originally Posted by mtrevelino View Post
Hays, KS is where my final drive gave out returning from CCR Breckinridge. Put my LT in back of a pickup truck back to Denver. Wasted most of the day but was back on the road later that day. Fortunately Denver BMW had a FD in stock.
So you have great memories of Hays.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #95 of 126 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 7:38 pm
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

You're slipping.........I need my daily report. That does make one worry a bit though........Hope all is well..........
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post #96 of 126 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 7:57 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

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You're slipping.........I need my daily report. That does make one worry a bit though........Hope all is well..........
Slipping? It isnít even 8:00 in my time zone.

Just got back from supper and waiting for the wife to review the pictures and delete the fuzzy ones before I download them.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #97 of 126 Old Jun 18th, 2019, 8:21 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 28: Hays, KS to Independence, MO
Odometer: 82,338
Miles: 293

We began the day with a rain system approaching, but we got to RANS Design, Inc. before the rain hit. We had a great tour of the factory and discussion of the S-21 Outbound with the designer and his wife, Randy and Michele Schlitter. Unfortunately, the rain moved in shortly after we arrived so a demo flight was not possible.

We left Hays in the rain and rode for probably 80 miles in moderate, to at times heavy, rain. We finally outran the system and had about 30 miles of dry weather to dry off a little before stopping at the Eisenhower Library and Museum. Even though the museum is closed for renovation, the visit was still nice and it was a good reminder of the character and accomplishments of Dwight D. If only we could muster such in politics today.

We left as a very black sky was approaching and headed east away from the storm again. Shortly after, the radio came alive with tornado, heavy rain and hail, and flood warnings just behind us. We managed to distance ourselves from the storm and got through the Kansas City rush hour in reasonably good time. Spent probably an extra 20 minutes in the traffic.

We walked to dinner about 10 minutes from the hotel and got back just as the dark sky was closing in again. I hope it doesnít blow the cover off the bike tonight. It looks pretty sinister.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #98 of 126 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 6:15 am
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Glad all was well and hope the storm was not as bad as it looked. Once again, THANK YOU for the wonderful ride reports. I guess its obvious several of us are following your ride every day.
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post #99 of 126 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 7:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

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Glad all was well and hope the storm was not as bad as it looked. Once again, THANK YOU for the wonderful ride reports. I guess its obvious several of us are following your ride every day.
I enjoy reading othersí ride reports also, but I most enjoy the videos. I really enjoyed watching BWOM and tewster (tewster2 now), but both are fairly inactive now. The driving force behind BWOM died very young at 45, but his site is still up and being maintained by one of his BWOM cohorts and is worth watching on cold winter nights. He had a real knack for video making and was one of the first on youtube to make motorcycle ride videos.

My wife suggested I try vlogging, but I am just not a video personality. It takes a certain personality for that and I am just not it.

Now you all need to get out there and exercise your LTs on a long ride.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #100 of 126 Old Jun 19th, 2019, 7:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: 2019 Alaska Tour

Day 29: Independence, MO to Mt, Vernon, IL
Odometer: 82,655
Miles: 317

Today was planned to be a ďmaking mileageĒ day, but that all changed in St. Louis. I felt a light thumping in the front end as we were going through St. Louis. I thought it was expansion strips at first as the road was rough and had many, but the thumping continued when I hit some smooth pavement. A quick check showed a large bulge on the front tire where the tread had separated from the casing.

The nearest BMW dealer was nearly 20 miles in the wrong direction, but I found Metroeast Motorsports about 6 miles away and right on our route on I64. They are a Polaris, Victory, Indian, Kawasaki, and Honda dealership, but they had a tire of the right size and were willing to squeeze us right in to their shop. We had a good chat with Brett, the owner, who is a super friendly man and very accommodating. It took nearly two hours (probably faster if they had let me remove the wheel as I offered), but we were on our way by about 4:30 after arriving there about 2:30. They could not have treated us better and they have a fantastic dealership. I wish I had a dealer like this near home.

We decided to ride just one more hour and call it a night. We had originally planned to ride 400+ miles and get to Louisville, but that wasnít in the cards. No photos today other than of my tire. Not much to see on I70 through Missouri and Illinois.
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2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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