Final Preparations

A three week motorcycle trip to Alaska definitely requires a bit of preparation and I started serious planning about four months back with details such as where did I want to go, what did I want to take with me, what modifications were needed on the bike, etc. I thought I was ahead of my planning, but I got set back by some mechanical issues I was trying to fix on the bike (some stripped bolts, etc) and I ended up rushing a lot towards my planned departure date. A few days before departure, I was still running around trying to mount the Scottoiler, fabricate some highway pegs and shorten the kick stand. I had planned to practice packing the bike a few times, so that I could remove things I didn't think were needed and could make sure everything would fit. But, as last minute as I was, I was packing for the first time the night before leaving and didn't get to bed before 2 am. But I was finally done and ready to commence on this journey.

Taking an adjustable walking cane and making it an adjustable bike stand. I would need this to lift up the rear tire so that I could repair it any punctures and it would also work for the front. Being aluminum, it's very light weight and it cost only around $10 and about two hours of my labor.

My Happy Trails panniers with the mounting plate for the Top Box. To reduce vibrations in the Top Box for sensitive equipment, I used rubber bushings between the luggage rack and the mounting plate. It worked well.

Cutting some steel at Rick's garage for my bike stand.

Rick welding on the wide plate to the shortened kick stand. Being more a dirt bike, the DR's stand is quite long and with the weight of all the luggage, the kick stand would not deploy fully. And I welded the wide plate on there for soft surfaces, so that the stand wont sink.

Mounting the touring version of the Scottoiler, which is an automatic chain oiler. If a motorcycle chain can be properly lubricated at all times, it will increase the life of the chain and I knew I would be doing quite a few 600 mile or more days and I didn't want to deal with chain issues because of my negligence to manually spray it, if I didn't have the oiler.

The nozzle from the oiler is setup to release a drop of oil every minute that the engine is running and centrifugal force helps spread the oil around the chain as it goes around the sprocket.

Mounting my license plate to cover the Scottoiler and using an LED plate light to be 100% legal.

Using some PVC tube as a tent pole carrier so that I could fold up my tent even smaller and stuff it in my top case (the poles were too long for the top case).

My Highway Pegs that I fabricated last minute with lots of help from Rick. This is one of the best additions to a touring bike, because just having your legs a few more inches forward greatly reduces the fatigue in your legs and lower back. Taking the idea from an Aussie who posted this on ADVrider, I used my rear passenger foot pegs and welded them on to some bar stock and screwed it into the mounting holes of the skid plate. Cost maybe $10.

Rider's view of the Highway Pegs. I never had any issues with my leg accidentally touching the brake lever or the exhaust pipe. It worked really well.

And now I present to you my custom Suzuki DR650 Adventure, auDRey. There she is fully setup about 15 minutes before departure. I was carrying a spare rear tire as I knew I would have to mount a new one somewhere in the middle of the trip and it worked well as a backrest too! Yes, those are beads on the seat as it's the best solution for me for long distance traveling. This is a few months worth of research, planning, fabricating and installing and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Next: Day 1 - 2, Chicago to Great Falls, Montana

Ride Report Index

No comments: