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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I'm riding to Atlin, BC, which requires crossing into the Yukon before cutting south to Atlin. I'm debating about taking the Stewart-Cassiar (HWY 37) or the Alaska HWY (97). The distance is almost the same so my considerations are road conditions, twisties and gas distances. I'll be riding an FZ6 and needing to ride about 700km's a day so making good time is also a factor.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has done either of these roads.
cheers,
Ian
 

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Bill should be able to provide some good info on this as he does the IB Rides.

My opinion is do Hwy 37. Waaay less traffic, waaayyyy more bears. And I believe the whole thing is fully paved now. And it gives an awesome view of how big this province is. Something to think about as you pass through Vanderhoof, that is the geographic centre of BC.

Just be aware that you are a helluva long way from anywhere, there won't be cell phone contact and you'll be own your own for a bit if you have problems. However up there, unlike down here, people will stop and check on you if you are stopped beside the road. And unlike Hollywood, the Mexican/US border and Langley ....... people will most likely not be kidnapping for murder/money/sex when they do.

A plug kit and electric tire pump will provide some piece of mind.

From Kitwanga on Hwy16 to Mezzadine Jctn 180 km give or take a few. Last time I went through the gas station was closed, so I ended up riding another 70 km into Stewart.

So from Stewart on it was another 160 km to Bell II where you can buy gas.

Another 240 odd km to Dease Lake.

Then just about as far again to a gas stop on the Yukon/BC border.

Then its easy-peasy as you are back on the main road.
 

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Any bike without carrying auxiliary fuel can make the distances. Only if you are very prudent about buying gas when and where you can.
Ridden both ways to the Yukon/Alaska multiple times on many bikes. As there is constant construction and maintenance in the summer, having new (fully tread) tires will reduce the risk of a puncture, not eliminate it. Carry a flat repair kit, mini air compressor and be familiar with it.
I'd recommend carrying water, enough for 24 hours and a first aid kit.
With only those things, a risky incident has been reduced to a major inconvenience.

Oh, and I prefer the Cassiar route.

Have fun, the riding is great up north.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cool, I appreciate the advice.
I'm planning to get a flat repair kit and bring a long stroke travel bicycle pump as a way of inflating the tire. How do you recommend I become familiar with the flat repair kit?
 

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Cool, I appreciate the advice.
I'm planning to get a flat repair kit and bring a long stroke travel bicycle pump as a way of inflating the tire. How do you recommend I become familiar with the flat repair kit?
Do yourself a favor and get a little air comp from Canadian Tire or somewhere. If you don't think it is worth it deflate your rear tire and experiance the effort required to inflate it with your bicycle pump.
 

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Do yourself a favor and get a little air comp from Canadian Tire or somewhere. If you don't think it is worth it deflate your rear tire and experiance the effort required to inflate it with your bicycle pump.
+1. Nothing like working a hand pump like a madman for 45 minutes and only getting 20 PSI for the effort.
 

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What do these mini air compressors run off?
12 volts. They're built as emergency comps for cars and have a 12 vlt plug on the power cord to go in a cig lighter affair. About 20 bux at Canadian Tire. You could put any kind of an end on it to connect to whatever power source you may have.
 

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I'm planning to get a flat repair kit and bring a long stroke travel bicycle pump as a way of inflating the tire. How do you recommend I become familiar with the flat repair kit?
borrow an "expired," (worn out) tire and drill a few holes in it. I know you'll be mounting new tires before you go, so try it with real (inflated) tires to see how it works and work out the bugs.
Tire pump? You'll be pumping for 20 minutes (as noted before) while simultaneously giving up flesh and blood to the insects up there. Please, please invest in a small compressor. It'll plug right into the plug you are using for an 'lectric vest. They can be had very inexpensively. If you decide not to buy one that's small and motorcycle specific, merely buy the smallest you can find at say, Canadian Tire and merely cut off the plastic surrounding the working parts. Most will pump to 150 PSI, but they to take very, very small sips of air to do it. Don't leave home without it.
Besides, if you are confident you'll never have a problem (like some Honda owners) they merely take along tools and flat repair equipment for the ill equipped riders they'll meet on the road.
 

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Do it in the parking lot of the shop where you'll be getting your tires replaced. Hammer, sharp nail, practice.

If you have any problems, get the guys from the shop to come out and show you what you're doing wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Brilliant. I'm getting a new front tire next week (back has little wear). I'll show up early and give myself a flat.

I'm still leaning towards the bike pump for air. I've taken a 180 rear tire from 20psi to 36 psi - it only took about 10minutes and was excellent exercise for the arms. I'm camping for this entire trip so I'll have to deal with the bugs and I don't have an electric vest or a plug for one...
 

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Brilliant. I'm getting a new front tire next week (back has little wear). I'll show up early and give myself a flat.

I'm still leaning towards the bike pump for air. I've taken a 180 rear tire from 20psi to 36 psi - it only took about 10minutes and was excellent exercise for the arms. I'm camping for this entire trip so I'll have to deal with the bugs and I don't have an electric vest or a plug for one...
On the side of the highway, in the pouring rain, fighting off about 12 billion mosquitoes, watching for large meat eating animals and heading towards a tent to sleep in again for the 8th night in a row ....... or stand and wait as the engine runs, the pump does its thing and your heated gear keeps you warm. I'd take the 30 minutes and wire in a 12V socket. I may even pay a shop $100 to do the job if I didn't know how.
 

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I have a little electric pump that plugs into my vest plug on the bike,Takes up very little room and is easy peasy. And yes on the 12 billion skeeters trying to eat you,especially when you start to sweat.:surrender
 

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... And sweat you will pumping on a bicycle pump for an hour..
 

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I've taken a 180 rear tire from 20psi to 36 psi - it only took about 10minute
So at least 20 minutes from 0 PSI to 36 then yes?

Seriously, spend the time and effort and be well prepared, not just prepared. That's why you posed the question on this site.
Your pump (hand) will take as much packing room as an electric pump.
And I do recommend a heated vest. (I presume everyone on any trip of any distance wears an electric vest or equivalent)
Yes, the days are long up north, not necessarily warm all the time. Life sucks when the weather turns cold, then wet. Remember too that repairs never happen when convenient. Especially when an omnivore is looking for a protein meal.
My recommendations were minimal, as we're assuming you have a first aid kit, water for 24 hours, emergency food supply, an ability to communicate with the outside world (not a cell phone) and a SPOT for emergencies.
A simple chain break of non-repairable flat can leave you stranded.
A simple roll over on your ankle can leave you stranded.

There are too many chance occurrences that can ruin your day here, yet put you in peril in the north.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I feel like I'm under scrutiny for having a slower, but functional way of inflating a tire...I am crazy to think that inflating the tire is the important thing and not care about saving 15 minutes?

Well prepared is what I am trying to be. Having food and warm-shelter, being able to deal minor repairs. If an omnivore is lurking then having bear spray in the top pouch of my tank bag seems more important than having a quicker way to pump up my tire.
When I get to Atlin, I'm catching a float plane to the base of the Llewellyn glacier where I'll be spending a week ice-climbing and hopefully doing a peak. I'm not totally naive to being in a remote area.

I'd love to have an electric vest and heated grips, but it's not in the budget right now. I averaged riding 4 - days a week all through last winter in all types of conditions (except snow) so I will have to pull this one off too.
 

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Ian, Ride the Cassier, take a small 1.5 gallon gas can. Fill it at Kitwanga. Try not to use it. Always refill it when you top up. Once you are at the Alaska Highway fill your tank with the gas you are carrying, there is a gas station at the corner. Try not to eat in Watson Lake. The signs that indicate gas ahead are wrong. Your first stretch is to the Heli Ski Lodge. There is no gas station at Meziadin Junction the guide books are all wrong. Jade City has a gas tank out back if you are strapped I paid $7.50 a litre there in the night in 2007.

The issues on the Cassier are close road proximity to the forest so bear and deer step out and are in your path.

Run a SPOT

Take this 3 part combo for tire repair

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/AutoRepairAccessories/SpecialtyRepair/PRDOVR~0092139P/Victor+Car+Tubeless+Tire+Repair+Kit.jsp?locale=en


http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/AutoRepairAccessories/SpecialtyRepair/PRDOVR~0092310P/Victor+Tire+Rubber+Cement.jsp?locale=en


http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/4/Auto/AutoRepairAccessories/SpecialtyRepair/PRDOVR~0092101P/Victor+Truck+Tire+Repair+Refills,+5-pk.jsp?locale=en
 

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I feel like I'm under scrutiny for having a slower, but functional way of inflating a tire...I am crazy to think that inflating the tire is the important thing and not care about saving 15 minutes?
Scrutiny? I apologize if my comments impelled you to feel that way. Having ridden up north on more than one occasion on a selection of motorcycles, merely trying to limit the little annoyances that an interfere with a safe and enjoyable journey.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the info everyone, I appreciate the insight. My bike's loaded up and I hit the road tomorrow morning.
 
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