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Drove The Motorcycle to Anchorage Today;

Posted 03-21-2011 at 09:40 PM by Ard
Updated 03-22-2011 at 02:05 PM by Ard

With the cost of fuel here just a tad below $4 / gallon I have been waiting for the roads to become clear of ice so that I could begin using my bike again. Today I had a trip to Anchorage that had to be made (53 miles one way) and the temperature was at 36* so away I went. The motorcycle gets right around 50 mpg depending on how hard you turn the throttle but 50 is average. That alone makes it an attractive way to get around these days. The big aluminum panniers are water tight and allow you to even hit the grocery store while you're out. When I bought this bike I set it up to be a utility vehicle and it has been really handy to have around. About those side cases, there are two different mounting levels. I can raise them so that they are even with the rear rack and when you do that a 40 gallon cooler can be attached across the top of the area. Now this is the long range set up because you use the cooler to carry food and etc. to the destination and then for transporting salmon on the ride home. I have already hauled a full camp and 50 pounds of fillets home this way.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Our drive is still covered by snow and ice (we had 6" 3 days ago) but once I make the hill going out the roads are clear. Because I ride in Alaska I have a set of First Gear pants & jacket. These keep you really warm considering the wind chill and all. My bike also has heated hand grips and with my gloves the hands stay warm relatively speaking. The ride was actually pretty nice and as always the scenery was good.

I'm not going to go on at length about a to town and back ride but I will include a couple shots of the driveway so you get the general idea. These were taken on Saturday when I plowed the snow off.

Looking out the drive from the front porch area, I move the vehicles up the hill so I can clear the parking area.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

Looking to the right this is like a big cul de sac area for turning the truck when pulling the boat or snowmachine on trailers.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

This machine plows the drive and will skid logs as big as I can cut so it has proven its worth for years.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

I also have used the 4X4 to access some pretty remote places. With the winch and an extra 200' of cable you can go darn near anywhere with that thing.

Used to take the motorcycle on fishing trips often but after I got Boss (big German Shepherd) I use the bike less. When I take it this year I'll get some photos from the rides because traveling by bike has some advantages. I can stop anywhere and get it off the road and taking a trail along one of the big rivers is always fun. The bike is a 2006 Kawasaki KLR 650 and these are like a two wheeled Humvee. Of course 2 wheels has its limitations but they can go many places if you are good at handling one. I have been driving motorcycles since I was 15 and have gotten good at not making bad decisions when it comes to what I can safely do or can't do. Right now with the prices for gas rising I figure I'll be using it for runs down to Anchor River and that vicinity. This is a 300 mile trip one way and although the rivers down that way offer the chance to fish for steelhead that are good size the distance is a big factor. I think I'll be doing more float trips and boat camping this season. I have a plan for the king season that requires a prolonged camp if I hope to get into the big fish. But sooner or later the motorcycle will see some use.

That's all for today,

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  1. Old Comment
    milt spawn's Avatar
    Heated grips!!! Luxurious!!! milt.
    Posted 03-22-2011 at 03:33 PM by milt spawn milt spawn is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Ard's Avatar
    Having Hot Grips is the thing! With the proper riding pants and jacket / gloves / boots, if you can keep those fingers from getting cold you can ride almost any time. When the high is not predicted above 30 I don't use the bike unless it's just so sunny you can't refuse.

    Posted 03-25-2011 at 03:05 PM by Ard Ard is online now
  3. Old Comment
    milt spawn's Avatar
    Two more questions. Are the grips heated electrically? Did you buy those panniers or make them? milt.
    Posted 04-01-2011 at 09:26 PM by milt spawn milt spawn is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Liphookedau's Avatar
    Very good,interesting tales & photos.
    As I told friends I could live in Anchorage however I would have to go elsewhere for winter as your pics tell,our winters sometimes go down to -10C.
    You are correct the 4x4 ATVs will go just about anywhere I have a 650 4x4 EFI CAnAm,a mate has just bought a 800 RT with Power Steering after his former 800 was stolen..
    Two Others have Artic Cats,one a 700,the other a 960 cc job.
    Fuel over here is $2.55 per litre,4.55 litres to our Gallon,3.85 litres to yours.
    Posted 04-18-2011 at 08:06 AM by Liphookedau Liphookedau is offline

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