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Fending off cabin fever on Kodiak!

So last fall my wife and I decided we needed to paint our new sidecar and the bike.  We couldn't afford the cost of painting the car to match the bike on top of the cost of the car. The bike is a 2014 Triumph Explorer with DMC Expedition car. We frequently let our bike 'live' with friends on the mainland of Alaska for the winters as we have little room at our home on Kodiak Island. Winters are long and often dreary here and cabin fever frequently sets in shortly after Christmas.  This year we put the rig on the ferry and brought it home so we could paint it throughout the winter. We opted for Olive Drab and some nice WWII era stars and bumper numbers.  We chose something called DuraDrab as I have used other coatings made by them and found them to be very tough. It's a two part coating with a fairly short pot life but still gives plenty of time for someone who doesn't do vehicle painting every day. It's also pretty forgiving to spray - won't run or sag if you are even just a little bit careful.     Anyway we got the bike all back together the other day and took it out for some photos which I am attaching here. We also upgraded the fork springs, rear shock, and car shock from Klaus at EPM. This was needed as the stock suspension simply was not up to the weight of the loaded car and the ground clearance was way too low for dirt roads. The ground clearance problem also required some playing with the car frame struts. We now have plenty of clearance and load capacity without too harsh a ride.  I fabricated a mount for a 3.5 gallon Fuel pack between the car and bike. I also fabricated a small fuel pump that we can transfer fuel from the FuelPack to the tank without having to remove it. Can also fill it in place.

Now we hope to get to put some miles on it throughout the road system in Alaska -

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Ron, very nice looking rig, very nice!



Good job. That is a nice looking rig. Looks like a good rig for exploring AK.


Nice!  Good way to spend a long winter.

Lee Summer Grove, LA R1100GS/CSM Sidecar, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L

Your rig looks darn good Ron. Cool that you live on Kodiak Island. I was there on the Coast Guard air station in '66 and '67. I loved Kodiak and swore I was going to come back when I got out. Never made it. Life is what happens while you're making other plans I've heard. It's been good to me, just not in Kodiak... lol...

Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom

Looking good Ron.  Many happy miles.


ps I made it to Tuk by the way.  It was wonderful visiting with you in Stewart last summer.

We took our sidecar rig from the USCA National Rally in Hotchkiss, CO to AK in 2016.  I want to go back again to see more of AK.  Maybe take the cruise ship with the rig in the hold.  After visiting Denali NP my wife suggested we take the "shortcut" on Highway 8 (aka Denali Highway) from Cantwell to Paxson.  The first few miles were very good, but by the time we had gone nearly 15 miles the rocks and potholes had us going so slowly that it would have taken all day to travel that road if we didn't break anything.  When we turned around to return to Cantwell we had the best view of Denali we'd had anywhere.

Last year I rode my R100GS to Tuktoyaktuk, 6th motorcyclist to make it to Tuk ( ) and was headed to Proudhoe until the weatherman dropped 8” of snow on the Brooks Range  and points south.  The Denali Highway from Cantrell to Paxson was by far the roughest stretch stretch of road I encountered, much worse than the Dempster or the road to Tuk.  There was a couple that had pulled a fifth-wheel camper across that road and shook the cabinets off the walls!

This summer Cathy and I will be putting our K-bike sidecar rig on the ferry to Juneau, then to Whittier to visit our daughter in Anchorage.  From there we’ll be riding home via Valdez, Dawson City, Hyder AK, and Nakusp/Kaslo.  Hopefully we will be between the end of snowfall and the beginning of bug season.  Hope springs eternal...