Me and a buddy of mine had good intentions of making this journey on our Vstroms a few years back but it always ended up "maybe next year". Don't have the V-strom anymore,, might have to get another one. Maybe next year!
In July of 2011 I was sitting in a bar with Mike Dapper after the Polaris Dealer Meeting in Nashville and he asked me if I had anymore long rides planned.
I hadn't planned anything at the time but I told him that I wanted to go back to Alaska someday and that if I did I would like to try the IBA Ultimate Coast to Coast ride. Key West, FL to Deadhorse, AK. When I got home I sent him the IBA ride info and some details of the Dalton Highway conditions.
By the end of August I decided I would try the ride and starting doing research and made a list of what bike modifications and gear would be needed.
I would need a lower belt guard, lightweight storage, spare gasoline, engine skid plate, oil filter protection, heated gear, headlight guard, new rain gear, tire repair equipment and what tires would I use?
As I made the changes to the bike over the winter I sent the info and pictures to Mike and he created a 3 part series on preparing for the ride and posted it on the Victory website. No turning back now.
In January I was sitting on the floor with the saddlebag liners, seat bag and the new top storage box, I was practicing packing to see if everything I needed would fit. Wife says "what are you doing?" Me "packing". She asks "when are you leaving? Me "June", she just shakes her head.
A month before the ride I replaced the tires and started packing the bike. I was checking and rechecking everything.
And after all of the planning and preparing on June 6th 2012 I left SE Wisconsin hoping to be the first to complete the IBA UCC on a Victory.
The conversation with Mike Dapper is what led to the decision to try this ride, would I have tried it someday had I not talked to him?
I will never know, I never seem to know what's next.