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Discussion Starter #1
I' ve been dreaming

Can an LT make it to Alaska? OK aside from the weight issue would you do it for the comfort of a long distance tour?
I been looking at some threads on another channel and have seen all forms of tow-wheeled machines pictured at the end of the line DH (Prudhoe Bay).
No wonder instead of counting sheep at night I have been imagining being at the Artic Circle. And though much of the road is paved there is still 1500 or so miles of he11 ie(gravel, unpaved, construction or just mother nature showing her teeth). How many would make that adventure with an LT and any special prep? Would masking the plastics have any significant impact? Well I'm all ears. In case you might be wondering trip planning is the best substitute for winter follies in Chicago.

ride safe :bmw:
 

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I' ve been dreaming

Can an LT make it to Alaska? OK aside from the weight issue would you do it for the comfort of a long distance tour?
I been looking at some threads on another channel and have seen all forms of tow-wheeled machines pictured at the end of the line DH (Prudhoe Bay).
No wonder instead of counting sheep at night I have been imagining being at the Artic Circle. And though much of the road is paved there is still 1500 or so miles of he11 ie(gravel, unpaved, construction or just mother nature showing her teeth). How many would make that adventure with an LT and any special prep? Would masking the plastics have any significant impact? Well I'm all ears. In case you might be wondering trip planning is the best substitute for winter follies in Chicago.

ride safe :bmw:
With My LT, I would make that journey today because I have addressed the final drive, the leaking main seal and O-Ring and I have an 01 and not newer where the ABS could impact my journey. Since I have attended to those short comings, I would take that journey today and only turn back for something insurmountable. I have journeys like that in my sights already!!!
 

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There are plenty of Alaska U-tube videos out there and I don't think the LT would be a good choice when you hit the unpaved section. Of course Saddleman rides his in the snow so I could be wrong.
 

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Can an LT make it to Alaska?

Sure.

Is it the best choice for the ride?

No, not really.

But if it's what you own, you've done all the proper maintenance so you trust its reliability, and you're a skilled rider that can handle the big beast in difficult conditions and aren't worried about dirt roads, weather, mud, and large trucks blasting past you at full speed raising dust and signifigantly reducing visibility, then yeah, you can do it...
 
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I have been to Alaska on my RT. I did not go to Prudhoe Bay. I hit a lot of rain and the dirt traveling through construction areas (and there were lots!) was like riding on snot! If the weather cooperates you will be ok but I would not go back without an adventure type bike. And....I will be going back because it is incredible!
 
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Enjoy The Ride
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I've never had the desire to go to Alaska. If I ever did & did it on my LT I wouldn't do it alone because it is to hard to pick up on a slick muddy road by yourself. I have spare rims & would ship a set with the TKC-80 Continental mounted that I use for winter riding here to put on while riding in Alaska. The limited clearance between the front tire & fender might be a problem on muddy roads.
 

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I' ve been dreaming

Can an LT make it to Alaska? OK aside from the weight issue would you do it for the comfort of a long distance tour?
I been looking at some threads on another channel and have seen all forms of tow-wheeled machines pictured at the end of the line DH (Prudhoe Bay).
No wonder instead of counting sheep at night I have been imagining being at the Artic Circle. And though much of the road is paved there is still 1500 or so miles of he11 ie(gravel, unpaved, construction or just mother nature showing her teeth). How many would make that adventure with an LT and any special prep? Would masking the plastics have any significant impact? Well I'm all ears. In case you might be wondering trip planning is the best substitute for winter follies in Chicago.

ride safe :bmw:
How would you deal with Icy/frozen roads ? Or black ice?

I rode mine through Arizona a year ago & hit a snow storm. Slid twice in one day and the last one was over black ice on the freeway....I did not see it and lost all control of the bike & the front wheel basically disappeared from under me. Not sure if there was anything that could be done to gain control.

The mirror was completely destroyed along with the black rubber & plastic covering the crash side bars and the bar was bent. I walked away with left side bruises and it was impossible to lift the beast (even with the help of a big guy).

I could not simply exist off the freeway because all the exists were covered with snow/ice so I had to keep riding till I found a clear/clean exist. I thought I was going to freeze to death since the seat & hand warmers almost had no effect in such severe conditions. I never wished for death as much as that day, at times it was snowing & I could not see anything. My toes were frozen along with everything else.

So I don't know how Alaska would compare but the LT is a very heavy bike and a bitch to deal with when dropped.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
With My LT, I would make that journey today because I have addressed the final drive, the leaking main seal and O-Ring and I have an 01 and not newer where the ABS could impact my journey. Since I have attended to those short comings, I would take that journey today and only turn back for something insurmountable. I have journeys like that in my sights already!!!
I did not start this thread to count heads as to how many would or won't.
More so to see what ground I need to go over and things I have not thought about. But I value viewpoints that could help me make some sound decisions.
So thanks.

ride safe :bmw:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Can an LT make it to Alaska?

Sure.

Is it the best choice for the ride?

No, not really.

But if it's what you own, you've done all the proper maintenance so you trust its reliability, and you're a skilled rider that can handle the big beast in difficult conditions and aren't worried about dirt roads, weather, mud, and large trucks blasting past you at full speed raising dust and signifigantly reducing visibility, then yeah, you can do it...
Sadly it's the only horse in the stable.
I have a lot of confidence that my dealer provided service has been reliable thus far.
Skilled rider definitely not. But I do feel competent after 30k + miles from new ('09LT) in 2010 across some far flung spaces of 40 states. No none of them spell ALASKA but I enjoy the comfort level and weather protection of all those rides. If you say the LT could make it then the only way I see that happening is with me in the saddle . . . I guess I would have to improve my skills much more. Thanks much I respect your accomplishments.

ride safe :bmw:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've never had the desire to go to Alaska. If I ever did & did it on my LT I wouldn't do it alone because it is to hard to pick up on a slick muddy road by yourself. I have spare rims & would ship a set with the TKC-80 Continental mounted that I use for winter riding here to put on while riding in Alaska.

The limited clearance between the front tire & fender might be a problem on muddy roads.
Agreed! Definitely would not try alone. I had a hard time and then some much needed help at a camp ground above Yellowstone NP to right the ship.
Interesting idea. I have read many of your threads of your winter riding escapades . . . . I envy that experience. Mine is limited to a couple Toys 4 Tots rides in slush not really snow. I did encounter a driving rain somewhere past Cody WY all the way into Buffalo but no mud.

Another gem of experience thanks good to know.

ride safe :bmw:
 

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I know guys who have taken "worse" bikes up to Prudhoe Bay and made it back.



And some who broke down, and got towed out (really not cheap). But all bikes, street, dual-sport, or other, showed significant wear and cosmetic issues afterwards.

If you kinda think it would be a fun ride, then I'd probably advise against it.

If it's your lifelong bucket list item, then figure it out and go for it. But know that it's not trivial, and there are notable expenses and dangers to be dealt with.

And don't be in a hurry. It takes as long as it takes...

Have you ridden the LT at all on dirt/gravel roads? Are you comfortable with how the big beast handles in poor traction and rough roads? Can you manhandle the LT's weight at slow speeds? Can you pick her up if she drops?

Do you know of a trustworthy friend who'd also like to do the ride? Good company can make the trip better, and a bit safer.

I won't tell you no. That's your decision.

This can be a once-in-a-lifetime ride, to be sure.

But I will suggest that you do a lot of research, and that you're sure of your abilities and your plan before heading out.

Start with this link, then this link, this link, this link, this link, this link, and this link.

And be sure to take lots of pics, then come back and tell us all about it...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
meese
Sir I am not taking this lightly.
I research over on the adventure network. I respect those who have already done it. It is not going to be an overnight decision or a wham bang thank you mamme ride.
I know such a ride is not fun but I want to enjoy it. I'm retired so nothing but time. Again the main reason for putting it out there on our channel is to get the best advice and infomation to better prepare myself in all aspects. The final decision of course is for a good outcome. And yes plenty of pictures to last a lifetime. My off road riding is next to non-existant with just a few miles into and out of camping situations. I don't like the B word but yes it's on my List. Thanks again.

ride safe :bmw:
 

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I've not done that trip, but in reading many reports of those that have the ability to take a bike like the LT would be highly weather dependent. When those roads get wet, they immediately turn into a gooey mess. With knobbies, it's still navigable, but I've seen many photos where the goo has completely packed the clearance between forks and fenders. It would take considerable skill to keep a top heavy bike like the LT upright in that stuff with highway tires. Not trying to discourage you, but I do believe the weather is the unknown you would need to be aware of and plan for.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
meese
Thanks for all the links.
Those on the Adv side with Dave out of AZ I had read a couple summers ago. But those on the RT/LT side were new reading and guys been doing it with LT from way back '07 '08. One common thread is the uncertainty of the weather/road conditions. There were also inbeded sub links. This is rich.

ride safe :bmw:
 

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I rode my LT to Alaska in 2004. A GS is a better choice, but you see a lot of Harley baggers, so an LT can do it. As with most things, the bike is probably not the limiting factor, the rider is. If you've never taken your LT down a forest road, you might want to get some off road practice--Alaskans love to surprise those from the lower 48 with what they jokingly call 'construction', more like destruction. My main advice is to arrive in Alaska on as fresh tires as you can manage. And carry a tire patch kit and air pump.
 

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Bill,

If it were me, I would:
  • carry a spare front tire
    rationale: hitting an unsuspecting pot hole is more likely to cut the front tire then the back, but hell what do I know
  • apply a 3M Chip Guard film across the front of the bike
  • the film might be sufficient for your headlights but you may want something specifically for that purpose
  • significant spare gas
  • bear spray Velcroed to the adventure jacket
  • tire studs to be deployed if needed/last resort
  • mosquito net + 1000% DEET solution :smile:
  • GPS memory card for Canada and Alaska (purely optional, as you're probably going to have the route locked in in your tank bag)
And I guess you have to reassess all your camping gear, sleeping bag in particular, etc.

Seems to me the most important factor is picking a good weather window, so I would have all my stuff on standby and then follow the weather for a launch window. That might involve hanging around Seattle or somewhere thereabouts for a start.

But that's just me being ultra cautious.

Let me know what your "final" solution is.
 

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Agreed! Definitely would not try alone. I had a hard time and then some much needed help at a camp ground above Yellowstone NP to right the ship.
Interesting idea. I have read many of your threads of your winter riding escapades . . . . I envy that experience. Mine is limited to a couple Toys 4 Tots rides in slush not really snow. I did encounter a driving rain somewhere past Cody WY all the way into Buffalo but no mud.

Another gem of experience thanks good to know.

ride safe :bmw:
I will be on my LT and a buddy of mine will be on a Harley We are thinking the second week of July taking off but
we are going as far as Fairbanks were not going try going to Prudhoe Bay but who knows
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I rode my LT to Alaska in 2004. A GS is a better choice, but you see a lot of Harley baggers, so an LT can do it. As with most things, the bike is probably not the limiting factor, the rider is. If you've never taken your LT down a forest road, you might want to get some off road practice--Alaskans love to surprise those from the lower 48 with what they jokingly call 'construction', more like destruction. My main advice is to arrive in Alaska on as fresh tires as you can manage. And carry a tire patch kit and air pump.
Thanks.
Actual experience is one he11 of a teacher. Love such details.

ride safe :bmw:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bill,

If it were me, I would:
  • carry a spare front tire
    rationale: hitting an unsuspecting pot hole is more likely to cut the front tire then the back, but hell what do I know
  • apply a 3M Chip Guard film across the front of the bike
  • the film might be sufficient for your headlights but you may want something specifically for that purpose
  • significant spare gas
  • bear spray Velcroed to the adventure jacket
  • tire studs to be deployed if needed/last resort
  • mosquito net + 1000% DEET solution :smile:
  • GPS memory card for Canada and Alaska (purely optional, as you're probably going to have the route locked in in your tank bag)
And I guess you have to reassess all your camping gear, sleeping bag in particular, etc.

Seems to me the most important factor is picking a good weather window, so I would have all my stuff on standby and then follow the weather for a launch window. That might involve hanging around Seattle or somewhere thereabouts for a start.

But that's just me being ultra cautious.

Let me know what your "final" solution is.

All good tips.
The camping and riding gear I am good on might even add or update. The clear film to cover for plastics is good idea. Windshield and lights are hard to protect even here in highway traffic but I 'm mindfull. From a tip on the adventure rider side Sawyer's insect repellant seems to get the node over the deet I been using. I might be trying that out on my next camp trip.

ride safe :bmw:
 
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