RubiKon Adventures

Tales and travels of "GrizzLee", "Looksha Lori" & "Yukon Johann"

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our Life Behind Bars – Father & Son Doing Time in the Northern Frontier (Epilog)

This story was incomplete without knowing the final fate of the Johann's Dakar. It took a couple of months and such to get the bike to Seattle. It has a very happy ending believe it or not.

Let me start off by saying....
If you ever need to ship your ride home from the North, it can be a pretty complex problem.

Here is how I manage to get our bike home.
The good folks at Northern Mechanical in Dawson City (NAPA Auto Parts Store) recovered the bike out of the bush and stored it in Dawson until I returned home. I called around to see if I could get a direct shipment to Seattle from there. Unfortunately, I could not. Furthermore, I could not get my insurance to pay for the recovery and shipping within the Yukon.

In my research for shipping options I found that I could get the bike shipped to Seattle via Alaska Marine Freight out of Skagway. The costs would be just over a couple of hundred dollars. The biggest hurdle was getting the bike shipped from Whitehorse to Skagway. It would cross int’l borders and an export license would be needed by whoever delivered the bike, unless it was me as I could show proof of ownership. My plan was to fly up there on a looong weekend, rent a pickup (or borrow one from a local friend in Whitehorse) and deliver the bike to Skagway myself. Skagway is only a 2.5 hour drive from Whitehorse.  After much deliberation about the costs, I got a timely email from my buddy Shawn, who lives in Whitehorse, he put me in touch with a local Canadian buddy who does deliveries between Skagway and WH. Unfortunately, it turns out he didn’t have an export license. However, the good news was, he had an American friend, Luke, who ran a tour business in Skagway.  So I contacted Luke. Let me just say that Luke is awesome!! He was super friendly and very understanding of my dilemma. He mentioned that he had to go to WH to get building supplies and would pick up the bike for me if I could get it to WH from Dawson. All he asked for in return, was that I pay for his gas. DEAL!!! When I asked about the import license, he said no problem, ‘cuase he was friends with the border guards. So it was all set. Only, Luke didn’t go to WH for a few weeks.

Eventually, I had the  folks at Northern Mechanical ship the Dakar via Kluane Shipping to Whitehorse.  Having sympathy, they waved all storage fees. From there I was able to arrange transportation with Luke where Luke got it on the boat to Seattle. All total it cost me ~$1400 to get the bike back to Seattle. Not bad at all. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the hospitality and friendship of the people in the north. They are all fantastic.

Alex Guth (AlyxMoto)
If you need your beemer serviced in the Seattle area.
Alex is your man. Great service with a smile,
very reasonable prices and a love for the bikes.
Once the bike arrived in Seattle, I had my mechanic, Alex pick it up and get me an estimate to repair it. Now Alex runs his own motorcycle repair shop, (AlyxMoto,  ). He loves BMW motorcycles and is a damn fine mechanic. He told me informed me that it was going to be close to being a total. Especially if I wanted the bike returned back to it’s “factory Showroom condition”. Alex knows me all too well. Of course, I would want the bike restored to pristine condition. I also scheduled to have the insurance come take a look at it.

This pannier probably saved Johann
from getting severely injured or worse
The bottom line was, that the insurance totaled the bike. They reimbursed me more than $600 of my shipping charges in addition they offered me nearly what I paid for the Dakar a year ago. I have had nothing but good experience over the years with GIECO.  Additionally, my insurance stated that I could buy the bike back for $1000. This worked out great for many reasons.

GIECO insurance adjuster giving the Dakar the "once over"
As it turned out that Lisa and Simon from “2Ride the World”  ( ) were in Seattle. Both Lisa and Thomas have been on the road for over 10 years riding BMW motorcycles around the world. Lisa, in particular rides an F650 GS.  They were giving presentations at Touratech USA here in Seattle and at the local BMW dealers (South Sound BMW and Ride West).  They are sponsored by TouraTech and the Alex (AlyxMoto) is their “go to” guy for mechanical issues. The bottom line is that Lisa’s bike had something like 200,000 miles on the engine. It was time to get another. So they bought  the engine from our Dakar. Additionally, they needed a couple of other parts, most notably, the lower swing arm. So the next time you see and/or read about Lisa and Simon on their worldy travels,  know that a good part of Johann’s Dakar lives on and its journey didn’t end in the Bush outside of Dawson. In fact, it’s journey is probably just beginning.

Lisa and Simon - 2 Ride The World. Follow them on their adventures

Since the bike wasn't washed for a couple of months,
the salt compound in the Calcium Chloride started corroding the parts.
Nasty Stuff.

It was hard to hear the adjuster tell us that Dak" couldn't be saved.
Alex Guth - Owner of AlyxMoto in Puget Sound, Wa
Until next time...

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