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Arctic Ocean - Tuktoyaktuk

16284 Views 81 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Critter
After months of planning and preparing I made it to the Arctic Ocean. It was an adventure!














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Wow! It's hard to believe that pristine motorcycle is a veteran of the Tuk!
It did turn out better than I had hoped.
Glad you are OK

Today I started the cleaning and repairs, that will keep me busy for awhile.

On the way back from Tuk I crashed hard on the Dempster Highway, hard enough that I don't remember any of it. I don't remember hitting a berm in the road, or hitting the ground, standing up, taking off my helmet or the people that stopped and lifted the bike. The last thing I remember is seeing a grader in the road and thinking that will be a problem to deal with.
I was standing there and kind of came to and saw people standing but by my bike and asked "what happened?"
Per the people that saw it happen I hit a berm in the road and the bike went back and forth across the berm and then I went face/head first into the gravel. All of my gear paid for itself, I will need a new helmet and gloves. No damage to my coat but had deep cuts and bruises on my left elbow.
I was 125 miles from the nearest town and the dash was bent back into the fork so I couldn't move the bars. Damage to the windshield, headlight, dash, gas tank, all of the left side body panels, crash bars slider and left saddle bag. I was more that 3000 miles from home and the little DL got me home.
Was able to bend the dash enough to move the bars enough to get to the next town.
Had a headache for a few days and other injuries, some that are still healing.

What happened? I wish I knew. At the time I had the best conditions of the ride on the Dempster, sun, warm and almost pavement like conditions. I had completed 1000 miles of gravel travel and crashed in the last 100 miles. I left a lot of bike parts in Canada but I still feel very lucky.
Sounds really nasty, i didn't like the look of the road before, now read this bit will be avoiding, don't mind a bit of mud but not hundreds of miles of it, very tiring i should think, glad you got home OK, thanks for sharing
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Shirley and I have been talking about camper vans, a pickup with a camper, or using my 006 Dodge Caravan, and tow a small camper trailer. The Dodge is quite comfortable, and has good fuel economy. I have a small utility trailer that I could build a lightweight camper on. I tested it with 2200 pounds of cement. 1500 pounds would be better.

UK
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This was a shock. Wow!
Posted today on YouTube. Video from one of the riders that helped me after the crash. I don't remember any of this, my first memory was sometime after the bike was lifted.
Quote from the rider "You had just passed us about 5 minutes before so I'm guessing we were only a few minutes behind you if not less.
After we pulled up we talked for a second but you were pretty out of it. Then you walked over to your bike and were about to pick it up and me and my friend jumped in to give you a hand. It's funny how I just posted that today and was looking on youtube and seen your video arriving at the ocean and I noticed Johns bike parked there. Then I seen the yellow tank bag and figured it had to be you."

my first memory was sometime after the bike was lifted.
Glad you are okay! You are okay, right?

Were you able to determine how it happened?
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Would be interesting to go from the artic down to the tip of South America
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Glad you are okay! You are okay, right?

Were you able to determine how it happened?
Yes. I'm okay. Don't know what happened. All I remember is riding and then the next thing I remember is standing on the side of the road and wondering what happened. Was sore for awhile but nothing broken.
Boy do I know that feeling. Glad you faired better than I did. (y) (y) (y)
Rollin, why don't you repost the link to your trip? We have a lot of new members here, besides I wouldn't mind reading it again.

Thanks,
John
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Rollin, why don't you repost the link to your trip? We have a lot of new members here, besides I wouldn't mind reading it again.

Thanks,
John
Thank you! I did add more detail to the story.
Link to the trip story - Back to the Arctic - Tuktoyaktuk

Video of the ride through Tuktoyaktuk -

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Rollin. In your opinion, would it be okay to tow my new cargo trailer to Tutoyaktuk with my Dodge Caravan.

Often when the front slides out, it happens so fast you hit the ground before you can do much. With the rear sliding out it is not as dramatic or fast. Those 650 Suzukis are an excellent bike, IMO.
Up here the insurance cost is based on engine size and some other nebulous concept. Even a 400 is too much $$$.
$390 for my 83 XS400, opposition coverage only. A 650 Suzuki would be an all round better bike, but as a back up, I will not pay the extra.

UK
Rollin. In your opinion, would it be okay to tow my new cargo trailer to Tutoyaktuk with my Dodge Caravan.

Often when the front slides out, it happens so fast you hit the ground before you can do much. With the rear sliding out it is not as dramatic or fast. Those 650 Suzukis are an excellent bike, IMO.
Up here the insurance cost is based on engine size and some other nebulous concept. Even a 400 is too much $$$.
$390 for my 83 XS400, opposition coverage only. A 650 Suzuki would be an all round better bike, but as a back up, I will not pay the extra.

UK
It can do done and if its dry it will be easier. I took this photo in Eagle Plains, just south of the Arctic Circle, he was carrying two extra full size spares. I have met people that had two flats in one day.
This rig will never be the same.

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Sweet. Thank you. My new cargo trailer is 14' 6" overall. 10 X 6 for the box, and weighs 1250 empty. So nothing like the size of that big rig. And it has 16 inch wheels. My tow vehicle is a Dodge Caravan, and has room for spare wheels and stuff. My job now is to install all the camping gear in the trailer. Started planning today. Will take a year, in between building a new place on my Island, and working on the bikes. I will mount the Honda Trail 90 across the front over the hitch. Meanwhile Shirley will be taking a boat cruise up there later this year I think.

UK
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Steve,
Just finished re-reading the entire report. Great read and pictures. How are you doing any aches and pains? And how is your wife doing?

John
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Yes, during all your incredible rides your wife has been nervously waiting for your return and with her own story, so how is she doing my man?
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Steve,
Just finished re-reading the entire report. Great read and pictures. How are you doing any aches and pains? And how is your wife doing?

John
Yes, during all your incredible rides your wife has been nervously waiting for your return and with her own story, so how is she doing my man?
She continues to get worse. I had to add more equipment and make more changes to the house to keep her here.
I should start another post to explain her condition but basically its brain damage from cancer treatments that were done years ago.

John
Thank you!
The only lingering pain I had was on the back of my head. Right side at the base of my skull, like it might have been pressure from the bottom of the helmet. Was a sore spot for months, I probably should have gone to a doctor but it does feel better now.
basically its brain damage from cancer treatments that were done years ago.
Oh do I ever know what that is all about. That鈥檚 what took my mom when she was just 34 years old. But this was back in the very late 60鈥檚.
I shipped my bike to Whitehorse to ride to Tuk, 2 days in when I landed in Dawson City I realized I was pushing coolant into the motor, ( I screwed up my water pump rebuild), and I'd gotten what I thought was a clogged carb running across the Top of the World highway. It was a long weekend so I camped behind Dawson up on the Dome for 4 days then got my bike back to Whitehorse and put it right back into the same crate. Good thing I didn't try to do a water pump fix as what I thought was the carb was the main bearing had failed. That turned into a full motor rebuild. One day I might get back.

The guy who had those "I Made it to Tuk" stickers made is from DC, he did a little crowd funding to pay for them and gave the stickers and all of the extra $$ to the town. I donated a few bucks towards it. He gave me one but it has to stay put away until I can get there. He and another guy were the first 2 bikes to make it to Tuk when the road opened. There are a few Tuk threads on ADV. If anyone wants the links PM me.
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The cruise Shirley had booked has been cancelled. My trailer work is on hold as the new cottage gets built. When we get back to normal, and the cottage is mostly finished, we plan to take the boat to Haida Gwaii. That should in 2021.
UK
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Time is flying by. It's already been a year today since I returned home after the ride to the Arctic Ocean. Made it to the ocean on July 2nd, crashed on July 3rd and made it home on July 11th. Still don't remember anything about...just before, during and or just after the crash and I guess I will never know what really happened.
No memory I guess is a good thing because I have no fear from it, hard to be afraid of something you can't remember.

It was the last ride on my to-do list and nothing else was planned. It's still my favorite ride!
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