For better or for worse, your motorcycle is part of your life and you couldn’t imagine going on long or short-term adventures on four wheels any more. You have already visited most of mainland US and Europe is out of the question for now, so where should you head next?
A trip to Alaska is definitely something you should put on your bucket list because the state is filled with gorgeous landscapes and welcoming people. However, planning a motorcycle trip here isn’t as easy as riding your bike on the roads of sunny Cali or Florida.
Keep in mind that the weather isn’t always friendly, so you need to pack accordingly. However, if you decide to check one more milestone from your adventure book, here is what you should know.
Consider the route
Alaska is one of the largest states in the United States so you need to think of the most suitable route for you. Depending on how much time you have to spare, the places you want to see, and the weather, consider that a round trip here would take at least a few thousand miles.
We suggest purchasing a copy of The Milepost, “the bible of North Country travel”, according to bike enthusiast Larry King. It contains everything you need to plan your trip ahead, including all the routes to this part of the country, mile by mile. You can also contact local tourism agencies for more information.
If you don’t plan on taking the boat from mainland US to Alaska, you may also want to check with the local Canadian tourism offices for the best and fastest routes. In this case, make sure to have all your bike’s documents in order.
Consider the weather and the time of the year
Alaska is a big region with various types of climate, temperatures, and daylight hours. On average, Alaska gets about 19 more minutes of daylight per year as other regions throughout the country, with a reasonable summer season that lasts from June to August.
Depending on the region you’re planning to visit, you should consider your motorcycle trip from mid-May to early-September, mid-September at the very most. June 21 is the longest day of the year, meaning you’ll get no less than 19 hours of sunlight in some parts. From early May to the end of September, the days are considerably longer, meaning it’s not unusual to head out in the light even at midnight.
Temperatures also vary but, generally speaking, you’ll get plenty of heat in the summertime. According to various online sources, the best time for your motorcycle trip through Alaska is from mid-June to mid-July, where there are fewer chances of rain, and the temperatures range from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in most regions.
And, if you’re truly lucky, you’ll also get to experience the beautiful Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis phenomenon, which is more common during the colder months of the year, when the sky is darker. However, if you want to increase your chances of catching this unique phenomenon, it would be best to book your trip to Alaska at least in September.
Get the right gear
Although the summer season comes with pleasant temperatures, you still need to be prepared for this trip with proper gear and clothes. We suggest looking for the lightest full face helmet that will keep your head protected, as well as some high-quality leather, waterproof gloves and jacket. Don’t forget your boots and plenty of light sweaters or hoodies as it may get chilly at night.
You should also consider investing in a quality GPS unit to keep you on track and calculate the fastest routes for your bike. At the end of the day, just make sure to enjoy the landscapes as much as possible and take lots of pictures.