The Dempster Highway is 450 miles of unpaved road that starts from the Klondike Highway east of Dawson City, and travels through the mountains north and east into the Arctic Circle, then into Canada’s Northwest Territories, and ends (for now) at the town of Inuvik. Inuvik, pronounced i-NOO-vik, is a town of about 3500 or so people, and was our destination after two days of riding up the Dempster.
7/14/2014 – 313 miles, Whitehorse, YK to start of Dempster
After having tires changed at Yukon Honda in the morning, we left our comfortable guest accommodations in Whitehorse and headed north on the Klondike highway towards the turn off to Inuvik. Our research said that there isn’t always fuel at the start of the Dempster, and that we would probably have to go into Dawson. When we arrived, there was an unmanned pump that had a small portable building made from quarter of a container that you entered to pay, take the safety training, and start the pump. We filled both bikes and the extra 3 gallon rotopax on the back of my bike. It would be 230 miles from the start of the Dempster to the first available fuel in Eagle Plains, a distance that is at the very limit of fuel range for our bikes. That night we camped for free behind the gas station right at the start of the Dempster, in what used to be an active campground.
The street tires that got us here would not do for the Dempster, so on went some Continental TKC80s. The bikes look completely bad-ass now, but naturally, compared to the street tires, they handle like complete crap on the road. Better than actual knobbies, but geez, they kinda suck the fun out of road riding. It’s worth it, however, for the long stretches off pavement.