March 26 05
changing tires in Dawson City...
Yesterday was a peaceful ride down to
the beginning of the Dempster Higway in Dawson City. the temperature is in the
30's and the snow and ice is melting everywhere....
It was good friday and I manage to get back my street tires that i left at the local Napa... but nobody to change them, so as in the good all time!
first i had a little dinner, and then i took care of removing the studded tires in my bedroom and put back the street tires... it took me 3 hours but it went fine.
I learned how to do it in 1971 when we went around the Red Sea with my brother william and we had numerous flats!!!!
it still works the same way... but need a little elbow grease.
Dawson is at miles 0 of the Dempster Highway and goes to Alaska on one way but the road is closed in winter and to whithorse on the other side... so there i go today
have a happy easter everybody
i did missplaced the valve but finally found it
1971 with William - an other flat in the Saoudi Arabia desert.
Click the picture to see more Sand
March 28 05
100 miles AFTER the Dempster Highway...
...on my way to Whitehorse,
a bad grounding sound blow in my ears!!! it stay a few second only, but i knew
that if it stopped, it could not disappear either.... i manage to drive to Stewart
Crossing... but now way i could have drive 220 more miles to reach Whitehorse.
I can shift all gears and think after talking with Steve from Argyl Motorcycle
the BMW dealer in Edmonton that some gearbox bearing are the trouble.
That was Saturday, George towed me to Whitehorse and this morning, the Honda dealer is dismounting and opening the gearbox to assess the damage. Steve will help us to get the parts (overnight???).
The major difference, is that it happens AFTER. So it becomes a simple as expected mechanical problem that you have to deal with while traveling on a long range.
If it had happens before i went to Tuktoyaktuk, i would have reacted totally differently. The God of mechanic was with me on that one.
I am in a very nice Hostel in my own cabin..;. with electricity, Wi-Fi and all the comfort in the main house for $16 (US) per day!!! can somebody beat it?
I will let you know the progress here and i am going to catch-up on answering all my emails
Hubert (the lucky guy!)
the gearbox is on the table
...they are missing an extractor
tool to open the gearbox, we may have to go to a machine shop and make some
screw fine thread and long enough to adapt his extractor.
these big parts of metal broken a weird. This is a part that receive the rubber from drive shaft... i'm not sure yet of what's happening.
On top of that, there is small metal grounded in the oil... so we have to open and see.
will see tomorrow, and like you i am very concern about the bill at the end!
have a great evening
this is the end of the gearbox where it connect with the drive shaft
these parts of metal were in the drive shaft and appear to be complete.
Thank You Thank
You Thank You
Thank You Thank
You Thank You
i am in Whitehorse Yukon Canada
the back cover of my gearbox need to be replaced but is not in stock in canada or USA at BMW.
if any of you have access to that part, that would be just great for me...
they are opening the gearbox today but we already know the this part will be needed
let me know... you can send me an email or call me at
867 456 7776
thanks for all your support
...thank you to all of you... I HAVE IT!!!
March 31 05
Why would you go to the Arctic circle on your motorcycle in winter?
This is the question people ask me the most
and this is how it happens.
3 years ago, i was reading a newspaper format motorcycle magazine. The article was about 2 guys from the West Coast who, that summer, wanted to drink a beer as North of the continent as they could and it was Inuvik. They describe their trip through the Dempster highway and makes sure that they went to the bar located North of the city of Inuvik when they get there to drink their beer.
That was all, i was interested like always when i see an off-road, it can only lead to somewhere special and the Dempster Highway is 500 miles long... so i pick-up a map of the area and was surprised to see that from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk there was a "seasonal road" and from my New York City home, i could not figure out what means "seasonal road". it took me a couple of weeks to find a new map which indicates me that the "seasonal" stand for "winter" and that was it!!!
My decision was made at that precise second.
The 120 miles road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk is only open during the winter because you drive on the frozen Mackenzie River and on the frozen Beaufort Sea!
For me, it was just basic common sense, when i am riding in a country i don't know, i first buy a local map and search for the dotted lines on it. This is usually out of the tourist area and this is where you meet the true local people.
And this is how i find my destiny!
What really surprises me is that so far, we found only Phil Funnell (March.1979), the ex-Vancouver, BC BMW dealer, to have been the only motorcyclist (on a solo bike) to do the ice road up to Tuktoyaktuk in the past. This is weird to me, and I would encourage anybody thinking about it, to do it.... in this timeless land, I felt smaller and smaller and this is a majestic experience!
APRIL 01 05
i have 2 "mickey mouse" cameras with me!
The camera is important but not as important
as the way you look at things...
For me the difficulty was on 2 levels. First I have no choice but to freeze my finger and it hurt and takes a lot of time to comes back. i can take a shot with my gloves, but i cannot set it up with my gloves... there are too many small button. My major challenge is that in this extreme cold, i am driving the window open (of my helmet) and without glasses (it resolve my visibility problem with fog and freezing ice on your lenses). So i am virtually blind as for the LCD display with all information of the set up... I learned by heart the steps... how to set up my white balance, compensate the exposure ect... (and it changes very fast with the snow, sun and clouds). it did works not too bad... i did missed a few shot by my mistakes but i had most of them.
...i have 2 mickey mouse cameras with me.
the Canon SD300 is my favorite because small size and
i always have it at my belt...
but it gives up on the Alaska Highway behind a truck, it pick up too much dust...and the lens does open and close
The second is quite interesting for it's long zoom range,
it is the Panasonic FZ3 with an excellent lens from Leica equivalent of a 35mm
to 420mm opening at 2.8 all along.
Physically, it's a half size of it's competitor.... they just announce a new FZ4 and FZ5 but it just bring more pixels that we don't use and makes it slower... so i would still buy the FZ3 today.
both retails at about $350
what i am missing the most is a wide angle like 24mm, that would be great.
i have been thinking of the Olympus E1 because it is weather
protected. all opening are rubberized... and fit well my lifestyle.
but it is a full size camera...and on the market since almost 2 years.
My global thought is to buy the new generation of the
Olympus E1 when it comes out with a zoom lens equivalent of 22mm/44mm
have the small canon SD300 at my belt at all time and the Panasonic FZ3 for long range.