Rigid Industries

Alaska – The Motorcycle

Ok, I’m riding my motorcycle to Alaska…I need to show it off a bit before I go! My previous bike was a Kawasaki KLR 650. It was a fine bike that would take me anywhere, but it was a bit lacking when riding on the highway. This trip is going to be a ton of highway miles, so I used it as an excuse to upgrade.

I was about to go down and write a check to buy a new BMW F800 GS Adventure, but just to be thorough, I went for a test ride on a KTM 1190 Adventure. As soon as I was done, I left a deposit for the “R” version. (this was in November). 2014 is the first year that these bikes are being imported to the US, so supply was (and still is) low, and demand was high. When the first round of bikes came through, I didn’t make the cut. However, one of my buddies found a new KTM dealer that had a bike that hadn’t been claimed! After a quick phone call, it was mine.

One thing about the “R” – it is tall. In fact, I am barely tall enough to ride it, and I’ve already dropped it a couple of times due to it’s “tallness”. I contemplated having custom springs put in which would lower the bike by 1 1/4” (and cost ~$1k). As I’ve ridden the bike more, I’ve become used to the height, so I’m going to Alaska with the stock springs.


This is how the bike will look while I’m on the trip…Almost (there will be two small gas cans mounted on the top case). Some of the farkles:

  • Touratech Zega Pro top box
  • Touratech Zega Pro 2 side panniers – these just arrived last week, almost didn’t make it for the trip!
  • Touratech Skid Plate.
  • Touratech Upper Crashbar.
  • Ortlieb Dry Bag


From the front:

  • Puig Touring Screen
  • Touratech Light Guard
  • Rigid Dually Driving Light.
  • VIRB Elite mounted to the upper crash bar (right side of the bike, left side of the picture)




  • KTM Tank bag
  • Delorme InReach SE
  • Garmin Montana GPS
  • Touratech GPS mount


For water, I’ve got two 2 liter MSR bladders strapped to the top of the side panniers.

Not really pictured anywhere:

  • Radguard Radiator Guard
  • Heated Gear Harness
  • PDM60 for power management
  • KTM Orange bar end caps
  • KTM Orange brake reservoir cap
  • KTM Orange valve stem caps

For tires, I went with the Hidenau K60s. The tend to get mixed reviews, but I don’t want to deal with having to swap out tires in Alaska – the rear tire is a funky size. So, I went for I tire that should last the whole trip (I guess I’ll find out).

I’m sure there are some other small things I forgot, but this is the bulk of them!