Yukon 2017, Motorcyc'less' plans are laid!

Yes, we are officially in the north, nestled in our cave with the wood stove crackling away, and listening to my wife tapping on her computer in the back ground. She works remote some of the year and boy, that is a blessing. I just have to keep my exuberence and swearing down so as to not make the CEO, or other staff she works with, wonder what in the hell is happening in the back ground. Truth be told, loading the wood stove can be noisy, and if my pc gets ornery so do I, or if I see a good video or post something myself, I may swear excitedly in excitement. As you probably know, there are many ways to say shit, and implication of tone, will tell all. One can say shit, when they bounce their knuckle off the bike frame, leaving skin, or one can say shit, when first viewing the mighty black on black, 2017 BMW GSA 1200. Alrighty then. Shhhh....it!


It's the first time in many years that we have experienced a good old Canadian winter. The wet coast, where we resided for the last 16 years, is pretty much as far south as one can get in Canada, and winter there is more like fall, running right into spring. Not so, up here. We've seen -37 on two occasions, and a month apart. Too cool. Really. Start of February now, and we've seen some melting, albeit not enough for my liking. Obviously, no riding, so I am currently planning ahead, when the grass is not only greener, but you can see it.

The Yukon has a plethora of riding. We lived here 30 years ago and me and my YZ's and RM's rode pretty much around town, near town, and almost through town. Apparently, things have changed, as now riding on the more local trails can cost you a $1000 fine. Hiking has always been popular here, as people enjoy the pristine north, but now the mountain bikeys are thick like black flies. I am one of them at times, and we are easy enough to get along with. Some of the 4x4 and ATV people have really ripped things up, and not in a good way. The pack horse people that ferry hunters and tourists into the remotes, say the bush trails are a mess from a few bad apples. I know it's only a few that are so inclined to be assholes, but they have gotten the attention of Johnny bylaw, who now keeps an eye on everyone! Riding close to town, just off the highway, or on many trails, will be limited.

Having said that, this is the Yukon. Google earth it and you'll see, there is lots of room to groove, for all. I'm personally looking to ride and explore old mining roads and pioneer routes, so snapping branches and mud bogging down is not on my agenda. For me, this place is literally, a gold mine.

That's right, this area was home to one of the biggest gold rushes in history, back in the late 1800's. Ride just a few kms from town and voila; black bears, grizzly bears, black berries, black flies, streams, 20 hours of daylight (4 hours of dusk), abandoned mines, cabins, unfriendly paranoid miners (steer clear respectfully, I suggest), fishing holes, massive rivers, glaciers and roads that you'll have to move trees to continue on. There are many places to visit that may look lonely but are certainly not, like Mayo, Carmacks, Pelly, Dawson City, Johnsons' Crossing, Otter Falls, Haines Junction and the worlds smallest desert. All have their own history, tales and trails to explore, and as long as I can muster up the energy, there'll be some rides and tales to share.


As we mull over our riding options, I may bike up the Alaska Highway this spring, and again mid summer, going up Stewart Cassiar Hwy. Yes, I've traversed these roads on quite a few occasions over the years, yet I'm always excited and priviliged to have that opportunity to do so again. And again. Repeat if necessary.

I will be on my 2011 DL650 again this year, Mr. B, year 2 for us as a team. My wife will be on her 2014 DL650 also. Hers goes in for a Stator recall, this spring. I did the Stator and Rectifier on mine last summer, at 45,000 kms. The recall was only for 2012 - 2016, but obviously, this is a weak point for the DL's. And surprisingly so, as the DL650 has proven itself to be a formidable all rounder, and very dependable. And she'll need some Heidenau tires or a reasonable facsimile before we tackle the Dempster for 2017. I love those words. Say them with me. Dempster Highway. Nice. There is also the Telus Prostrate for Dad Whitehorse ride, or something like that, and the Dust to Dawson excuse for a beer run, that we hope to attend. That's June 15 & 16. Bring your long johns as June in the north, is well, like March in the south. What the hell, it's our back yard. What are you gonna do?


As usual, I have been eyeing up other bikes. Always. I like that Africa Twin, albeit the fuel tank is a tad small. The new Ducati 1200 Enduro is beauty and the beast, although a tad big for moi. Love the big GSA's, but the price and that buzzy engine are gates. The KLR 650 is a most exceptional machine, but after living on Vstroms for 5 years, I don't think it has enough mustard to keep me happy. We can cruise the slab all day at 130 KMPH on these DL's and get 60+ mpg, and then turn onto the gravel, and give any motorcycle that calls itself an all rounder, competition. At this moment, I can not think of a 650cc bike that gets 60+ mpg and does all that. Any bike. Really. I am very happy with this machine and so glad I moved off the DL1000. I must add that I like the DR650 & 400, and the WR250, as either are fine choices, although both need serious modding to really shine. No changes planned as I believe the DL650 is going to feel right at home here.


As spring approaches, I look forward with much anticipation to the big thaw. Coal Haul Road, Otter Falls, and Million Dollar Falls, are grabbing my attention, as good, safe, welcome to the #realnorth first runs. I just purchased a SPOT GPS locator so if I go down, I can be picked up. I may upgrade to a Delorme Inreach in time, but the Spot is a proven, economical tool, and I am happy it will be strapped to my jacket, or handlebars. Tits up, as the saying goes.


So come one, come all, and let's see where this summer of 2017 takes us. We all only have so many summers in us, so each one is very special. If you are riding north, do touch base, as we certainly have some experience with riding the north, and we know where to get tires, tools, parts, beverages, and of course, can point to a fine diner or dive, where you can buy me lunch! Har Har! That never gets old...at least not for me. Let me say it one more time, come north my friends, come north.