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Tips on Riding Your Motorcycle to Alaska

By Edited May 11, 2015 1 2

Many people who ride motorcycles have a dream to one day ride their motorcycles to Alaska and go up on the Alcan Highway. Riding a motorcycle to Alaska and up the Alcan Highway is not an easy task. Here are some tips on riding your motorcycle to Alaska.

Right Motorcycle


You need to have a good motorcycle and an appropriate motorcycle fro your Journey from the “Lower 48” to Alaska and then up the Alcan Highway. If you attempt to ride to Alaska on a Harley Davidson Sportster then you will suffer dearly for your piss poor choices. The Harley Davidson Sportster is a great motorcycle and I am not ridiculing it at all, but the bike is not meant for long trips in rural areas like that. The small fuel tank on the Harley Davidson Sportster can be used to travel Cross-Country in the lower 48 but up in Alaska on the Alcan Highway the fuel stops can be pretty remote. In order to successfully travel long distances to Alaska and then up the Alcan you will need a goof motorcycle that has a much larger fuel tank. Even if you have a Sportster large capacity fuel tank for your bike you will still find that the Harley Davidson Sportster is not up to the job. It is just too small of a bike for the riding that will need to be done.

There are a lot of great motorcycles you can use for the trip. My personal Preference would be a BMW 1200 GS Adventure. This would be a great motorcycle to have for the trip. Most of us, including myself, would not be riding a 2013 BMW 1200 GS Adventure on out Alaska road trip. Most bike manufacturers make bikes that would work great. You can even do the trip on an Old Honda Goldwing from the 70’s as long as the bike is reliable and a strong runner.

The one big you do not want to ride to Alaska on is a “show bike”. If you got a fancy bike with a lot of Chrome and you want to go riding up the ALCAN then your chrome will get scratched and the dust and dirt will heavily damage your engine. Take a bike for functionality and not worry about looks.


You need to ensure that you take plenty of money with you on the trip. If you estimate that the trip will run you a certain amount of money then double that amount of money. Ni matter how much research you do the trip will always tend to cost more than you think it will. It is also handy to have extra money so you do not get stranded if your bike breaks down and needs an expensive repair.

Maintenance and Tools

Yes there are motorcycle mechanics in Alaska but they are nowhere near where your motorcycle will break down at. One of the most vital things to remember when you are riding to Alaska and then going up the Alcan Highway is to take some basic tools and to also understand and have the know-how to perform basic mechanical repairs.

Bug Spray and Bug Netting

Take plenty of bug spray and bug netting to cover your face. The bugs and insects in Alaska are truly awful and very think. The thickness of the bugs will truly astound you if you have never been there before. The loud buzzing of a million insects bussing around your head can be very loud and it will sound like a helicopter. The insects can also seemingly life up your motorcycle and fly off with it because there are so many dang bugs up there in Alaska. When you stop your motorcycle to take a break or to camp out you will know what I am talking about. Take plenty of bug spray.

Full Face Shield

You definitely want the head protection of a helmet on your motorcycle journeys but when you go to Alaska I highly recommend that you get a full-face shield so that you can protect your face, chin, and neck from flying gravel. Parts of the Alcan, depending on how far up you go, are not in the bet of shape because of the hard winters so it is common for pebbles to come flying out and it can truly hurt.

Take Your Time

When you are riding on the ALCAN it is vital that you take your time. Most accidents occur because people are riding too fast down the ALCAN. It Alaska on this highway you can run into everything from Moose, Black Bears, and numerous other things that can send you ricocheting off of your bike and to a sudden and painful death. Take your damned time when riding the ALCAN. Why would you want to rush the journey anyways because when you take your time on the trip you get to savor and enjoy all the beauty that Alaska has to offer?

No Passengers


You may always ride with your wife or girlfriend in the back of your bike but you definitely do not want to do that when you are riding on the Alcan Highway. The ALCAN is fraught with terrible hazards and is hard enough to safely maneuver alone much less with a passenger aboard.

Winging It Again!!: Florida to Alaska and Back
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Adventurous Motorcyclist's Guide to Alaska
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(price as of May 11, 2015)


Feb 1, 2013 7:21am
Great (and funny) article! Thumbs up!
I just wonder: Is the guy with all the parcels delivering to the 'Girl Cops on Bike'?
Feb 1, 2013 4:53pm
And of course, if you are riding up the Alaska Highway, you can always stop into my place for lunch.
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