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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All-
I am newbie more or less, do not have a huge amount of motorcycle experience, maybe 10-15k lifetime miles before I bought my Wing 2 years ago, but have put 8500 miles on it including a couple of IronButt 1000's. I am planning a solo trip from FL to AK this summer. Even considering a run up the Dalton if the weather is near perfect. I do not feel I am a good enough rider to start under adverse conditions. My itinerary is ambitious, 17 days round trip, lots of long days riding.
Interested in your advice about tires. Mine are still the original factory tires. My riding is pretty conservative, roads are all strait and flat here and the tires have plenty of tread left. I think they should be good for the 10K round trip, but I have some concerns about needing to change en route. Seems wasteful to replace them now before they are worn out. Writings on the Dalton advise 2 mounted spares for cars. What is the likelihood of a flat? Should I carry a plug kit and compressor or can of Fix-a-Flat? Spare tire even? I do not see any spares on the bike photos from the Dalton. Should I learn how to change a tire myself? I doubt it is not beyond me, I just have never done it.
 

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Hello All-
I am newbie more or less, do not have a huge amount of motorcycle experience, maybe 10-15k lifetime miles before I bought my Wing 2 years ago, but have put 8500 miles on it including a couple of IronButt 1000's. I am planning a solo trip from FL to AK this summer. Even considering a run up the Dalton if the weather is near perfect. I do not feel I am a good enough rider to start under adverse conditions. My itinerary is ambitious, 17 days round trip, lots of long days riding.
Interested in your advice about tires. Mine are still the original factory tires. My riding is pretty conservative, roads are all strait and flat here and the tires have plenty of tread left. I think they should be good for the 10K round trip, but I have some concerns about needing to change en route. Seems wasteful to replace them now before they are worn out. Writings on the Dalton advise 2 mounted spares for cars. What is the likelihood of a flat? Should I carry a plug kit and compressor or can of Fix-a-Flat? Spare tire even? I do not see any spares on the bike photos from the Dalton. Should I learn how to change a tire myself? I doubt it is not beyond me, I just have never done it.
Yes you need to Carry a flat repair kit with compressor ,, and new tires Should be put on .
IMOP
 

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slime compressor fits in compartment in trunck ( if no cb ) tire plug kit at harbor frt . is $5 !! wouldnt take a trip without ! also i run the funny tire on back so dont worry getting stranded/wreck with rear tire.drink plenty fluids !!!!!! 5 hr energy works great too.!i've fallen asleep plenty times :eek:4::22yikes:. aint good thing! that trip on my bucket list. good luck.
 

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The ride up the Haul Rd isn't for the faint of heart, I've driven that road 3 times in a vehicle and it was a rough ride. It depends on just far up the Dalton you are planning on going, once you leave Coldfoot there are no services until you hit Deadhorse, about 260 miles, the weather is another concern, it can and does change in an instant no matter what time of the year it is. I would advise you at least carry a spare tire or have your tires replaced in Fairbanks.
 

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:agree::agree:

I have seen GW's on the Haul Road so it's more than feasible. Make sure you have tires that are good on gravel and wet/slippery mud. Some of the road is paved but most is under construction and I have found that stock GW tires really suck in those conditions. I have seen bicycles, antique cars and all sorts of motorcycles on the road. Take your time and be prepared. If you push to hard, you'll lay her down and it may be 400 miles to a GW shop. There is a thread here somewhere from a guy that lives up that way and runs dirt tires on his GW with no front fender. You may want to find it and read it.

It's an unforgettable trip! I may do it again (don't tell my wife!)
 

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In 07 I left Jacksonville Beach via Ark, OK Mt, Alberta. British Columbia, Alcan to Arctic Circle, all over Alaska and return via Chicken, top of the world highway Dawson City and back to Jacksonville Beach all on one set of tires with plenty of tread left when I got back total Mileage 15250 round trip. Went up the 1st of June No spare needed

I have a lot of riding experience on multi gold wing and cruisers but would not attempt the haul road and further than the Circle. Some have gone all the way on a wing but road is really rough. From Fairbanks to the circle is a fairly good road as long as it hasn't rain in the last 2 days. Some paved sections. The Top of the World highway is ok also as long as its not raining . Lot of Dust when dry on both roads trucks can really make it dusty
 

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I made the Alaska ride in 2009 . Pa to Alaska and back 12,851 miles on a Dunlop E3s and still had some tread remaining. Personally I would take the Original tires with 8500 miles off before leaving for Alaska but thats just me. I was with a group of other some of the riders had to replace tires on the trip. Roads up that way are rough on tires. A lady riding with us had a new tire mounted in Fairbanks and had a rock puncture it riding up the haul road. You will have roads under construction either dust or mud. The Fairbanks dealer is very busy so it's not a quick stop place. Carry a repair kit and a compressor. Spare light bulbs too. Do any maintenance a couple of weeks before you leave for problems to show up. Most gas stations close early as do motels as most are family run. If you are at half a tank and see a gas station better grab it. 17 days will keep you humping with not much sight seeing in other words ride up ride back. I was gone 23 days and am planning a ride back to Alaska in 2015. I chose not to ride the haul road but stayed on hard top roads.Lyle
 

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I would spend the $300 or so to get them done before I set out, just one less thing to worry about. Unless of course you make arrangements a head of time to get them changed out along your route. You may want to read up on putting a Cr Tire on. For a trip like that I would consider a Run Flat tire that way even with zero pressure you can keep riding for another 50 miles or so. CT also go between 20,000 and 30,000 miles. Pick out a good front tire that will go the distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
:agree::agree:

I have seen GW's on the Haul Road so it's more than feasible.

There is a thread here somewhere from a guy that lives up that way and runs dirt tires on his GW with no front fender. You may want to find it and read it.
I read AKLDRIDER's thread yesterday which changed my mind about even considering the haul road. He is way out of my league, up and back in a day, kind of a GL1800 dualsport, but makes it seem doable. He runs a studded car tire on the front for winter.
 

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Interested in your advice about tires. Mine are still the original factory tires. My riding is pretty conservative, roads are all strait and flat here and the tires have plenty of tread left. I think they should be good for the 10K round trip, but I have some concerns about needing to change en route.
If I read it right, you have 8,500 miles on the original (at least 2 year old) tires and are planning a 10,000 mile trip.

I know some folks speak of tremendous tire mileage, but from my over 200K miles I've never seen a rear tire last 18,500 miles. Heck, I'm proud if I get 10-11K out of a rear.

If it were me, I would leave home with a fresh set of the tires of your choice, pack a compressor and every kind of tire repair (mushroom, sticky rope, etc) you can find. Practice fixing an old tire so you know what to expect.

A set of new tires somewhere in Alaska would not be something I would try and find and certainly not pay for.
 

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Alaska

I rode to Alaska from Ohio in 2012. I rode up the Haul road to the Artic Circle. My choice of tires were both Darkside. A Michelin Alpin Run Flat on the rear, and a BT-45 on the front. 10,000 miles never a problem. We are heading back to Alaska in June this summer 2014. Good luck. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry
 

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I think AK is on most riders bucket list, but I doubt if most ever make the trip. If you do go for it, I wish you the best of luck. Reading your post, you don't have many miles under your belt for this type of trip alone. You ask for advice on tires, but that would not be at the top of my list of concerns. I am also planning a AK trip and while looking at the roads in Alaska, every where that is interesting to me is down a gravel road. The funny thing about gravel roads is that if they get wet enough they become muddy roads. Even though I am comfortable with a bike sliding around sometimes (grew up racing on dirt), I don't want to wrestle a 900lb bike for miles and possibly 100's of miles on a slick muddy road. I would think more about a different bike, than different tires. The other thing that concerns me about riding my GL1800 around in AK is that my bike does not rattle now, but after all those rough roads it will. That is why I will buy a lighter bike to make the trip on and sell it when I get back, ok, I doubt I will sell it when I get back (you can never have too many bikes)!
 

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Alaska

Rode to Alaska in 2012. Road up to the Artic Circle, total trip almost 10,000 miles. There were very few area of gravel not including to Haul Road. When I got back and washed the Wing the bike was in the same great shape as when I left. I'm going back this summer in June. A must trip if you can go. The Goldwing was a great bike for the trip, that's why I going back. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry
 

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I rode to Alaska from Ohio in 2012. I rode up the Haul road to the Artic Circle. My choice of tires were both Darkside. A Michelin Alpin Run Flat on the rear, and a BT-45 on the front. 10,000 miles never a problem. We are heading back to Alaska in June this summer 2014. Good luck. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry
:agree:

Having two Alaska trips under my belt, there is absolutely no way I would set out with tires with 8k miles already on them. You will spend more time and energy worrying and if needed, buying and having new tires installed than it is worth. If you only have seventeen days and are spending several thousand dollars on this trip, do you really want to scrimp and save a few hundred on tires, let alone the possibility of wasting a full day getting tires bought and changed out?

Obviously, it is your call, but the first trip we took was on motorcycle tires (GL1500) and the second with a run flat CT on the back. There is no comparison for safety or stability between the two. (Just my personal opinion). YMMV

this is the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy EVERY minute of it and don't put your brain in a place where worry robs your attention for a moment.

Have Great trip!

:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like I need new tires. I will try to use up the remaining tread in the meanwhile.
I have lots of concerns, this is just one. Gravel roads, even gravel in corners scares me. My GPS recently sent me down a 10 mile gravel road thru the orange groves at night. That's what I get for trusting it, lesson learned.
Watched a video about getting the front wheel off. Do you guys change your own tires? Can it be done with hand tools? Anyone can send me a good link? Thanks
 

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Sounds like I need new tires. I will try to use up the remaining tread in the meanwhile.
I have lots of concerns, this is just one. Gravel roads, even gravel in corners scares me. My GPS recently sent me down a 10 mile gravel road thru the orange groves at night. That's what I get for trusting it, lesson learned.
Watched a video about getting the front wheel off. Do you guys change your own tires? Can it be done with hand tools? Anyone can send me a good link? Thanks
Is there anything stopping you from keeping your existing tires? Put new ones one for the trip and hang on to the ones you take off - you can put them back one to finish using them up when you get back. It would be even easier if you picked up an extra front and rear rim - put the new tires on them and you won't need to unmount/remount the old tires, just swap the entire wheel assemblies...
 

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Definitely new tires; I would not take off on a 3000 mile trip with tires that have 8500 miles on them already; much less a trip of this length.
put a run flat car tire-- the Michelin alpin that is popular is a GREAT tire for the rear.
either a new Bridgestone 709 for the front; or one of the rear mc tires that people are using for " double dark" .
also tire repair kits, extra headlight bulbs. Many other things as well.--- I carry the tools to remove the rear wheel- a 3/4inch socket, a breaker bar, and a 30 inch piece of black pipe to use as an extension for the breaker bar.
if you don't have a belly pan on the bike-- put one on before you leave.
the car tire will take you across terrain that a standard mc tire will not!!!
 

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Sounds like I need new tires. I will try to use up the remaining tread in the meanwhile.
I have lots of concerns, this is just one. Gravel roads, even gravel in corners scares me. My GPS recently sent me down a 10 mile gravel road thru the orange groves at night. That's what I get for trusting it, lesson learned.
Watched a video about getting the front wheel off. Do you guys change your own tires? Can it be done with hand tools? Anyone can send me a good link? Thanks
Best thing you can do here is to face your fears and ride as many miles on gravel as you can.

The biggest issue for tires on your trip is the ChipSeal roads. Chips of gravel/rock/shell sealed together with tar. It is an aggressive surface and tires wear out much faster on them. If I were you, I would plan my route so the tire change was anticipated, meaning ride your current tires but make arrangements ahead of time so when you get to "John Doe's Motorcycle Shop" the tires are waiting for you. Gets truly fresh tires on your bike right before you hit the US/Canada border. Even doing this you *may* still need to change the tire(s) before you get home.

Maxx out your suspension. If you have the money I can not push you hard enough to upgrade your suspension. Traxxion is the best IMHO but there are others and ANYTHING is going to be significantly better than stock.

Don't forget, you can always make plans to take tire(s) with you so you do not have to wait for a shop to order them. You can also call a shop in Alaska to order/make sure they have the tire(s) you want to replace.

For this trip, as others have stated, I would heavily suggest the Mich CT for the rear.

If you are going near Denali, bring the strongest bug repellant you can. The mosquitoes will carry your motorcycle off just to mess with you while you sleep. Seriously though, they get bad.

If you are not a member of GWRRA, PM me as I have some info that will help you on your trip. If you are a member, check out your Gold Book. Contact a guy in Wasilla (Jim Petito). He'll have all kinds of info for you and he is a wild man on gravel!! Tell him I said hey.

Depending on what time of year you are going to be there, be prepared for unusual events such as the sun not going down "When it should.".

I shot the video during our trip and ended up on a Midnight Sun Run with the local CMA Chapter and a few others... YES - it's midnight during this video.

 

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Basics

I'm going this June also. I would never consider going to this kind of place without some basic repair and maintenance abilities. A couple of weeks ago, I got the drill out and put a hole in a tire, so that I could put a plug in it. I'd never done one and felt that I had to have some hands-on experience before the trip. I expect to do more than 10k miles, so I plan that I'll do a couple of oil changes on this trip. If you haven't done any of this and it sounds like you haven't, get either Fred's or cruiseman's dvds and get started. I have Fred's and if you go through Fred's, it'll give you the confidence to get some grease under your fingernails. Being able to change/plug a tire when you're 200 miles from the nearest town will be good to know. You will have to ride some gravel. Deal with it. Practice is a good idea. I hope to wave as you go by.

Richard
 

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Change your tire here. I went to AK in 2009 and had to change both tires in Fairbanks plus oil change and it was $1000. I won't make that mistake again.
 
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