Anyone interested in a James Bay Road trip? | GTAMotorcycle.com

Anyone interested in a James Bay Road trip?

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter


I'd been going back and forth between doing the Tail of the Dragon, the Moonshiner, and Back of the Dragon loop or the James Bay road this summer. Had some plans for the Tail combo but unfortunately it fell apart when the friend who wanted to come discovered his time off evaporated.

And going south and spending money in the USA is leaving a worse and worse taste in my mouth. Just got back from a week in the Adirondacks (Went to Americade) and although I loved it, I'm struggling personally with going south again and spending more money in Trumplandia right now.

So, I'm looking back towards James Bay again. But my usual circle of riding buddies are showing little to no interest in this ride...mainly because of the following:

- It's a decent number of miles (~3300KM)

- I like to ride long days, so 800-1100KM days are preferred, at least when getting between A and B - I do want to spend a day at the end visiting the dam as well as the town of Chisasibi however.

- It's desolate - it's about the goal and adventure, not the scenery.

- No premium fuel available. Of the friends who ARE interested several require premium in their bikes, and it's not available everywhere.

- I'd prefer to camp when riding long trips. I enjoy it and it's cheaper than hotels/motels. Not everyone is into camping.

Looking at 4 days at some point during the second and third weeks of July when I'm on vacation. Schedule is flexible.

Nothing personal sportbike/young guys, but would prefer to stick with the cruiser/touring/adventure bike segment, and preferably the >40YO crowd. This is a trip for which personalities need to mesh. ;)
 

jc100

Well-known member
I've been wanting to do this for a while. I need to look at the fuel situation, the KTM needs premium but there’s a bad fuel dongle available if necessary.
 

slowbird

Well-known member
James Bay has been on my radar for a long time...though the desolation and the owning of an 18 year old bike has me hesitant...even if it is a reliable bike. :happy4: I have heard a mechanical issue up and around there can be a huge issue.

Also I hear the flies up there in July will be rough.

However, I have a Sportier bike, I'm under 40 and have never been camping before :razz:

Either way keep us posted, I'm excited to hear about the trip.

I hear the road itself is pretty rough.
 
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PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
I've been wanting to do this for a while. I need to look at the fuel situation, the KTM needs premium but there’s a bad fuel dongle available if necessary.
Premium is available in Chisasibi last I looked. Possibly Radisson as well.

The midpoint fuel station on the JB road, possibly, but I have my doubts.

Many other stations on the route to/from are going to be hit and miss.

In short, I wouldn't expect it to be available anywhere during the trip, but it's possible.

Also need to carry a not insignificant amount of fuel with each bike as it's close to 400KM to the first fuel stop at the midpoint. My bike for example typically runs out (and I switch to reserve) around 250-260KM, and at around 5.5L/100KM I will need another 16-18L jerry can to safely make the trip.

James Bay has been on my radar for a long time...though the desolation and the owning of an 18 year old bike has me hesitant...even if it is a reliable bike. :happy4:

Also I hear the flies up there in July will be rough.

However, I have a Sportier bike, I'm under 40 and have never been camping before :razz:

Either way keep us posted, I'm excited to hear about the trip.

I hear the road itself is pretty rough.
My bike is 15 years old as well but I've put ~20,000KM a year on it for the last 2.5 years I've owned it and it's never caused me an ounce of grief. I will need a new rear tire before the trip, that's on my radar, but otherwise...no concerns.

Yes, bugs will be bad. One word: Deet. :)

Road conditions are not perfect, but it's asphalt...can't complain for a road that leads to the shores of Nunavut.

And yes, some camping experience would be beneficial. I don't plan on cooking (I want to carry minimal survival food only so it's easy to keep bear-safe, but I also carry bear spray) so the trip will be planned carefully around food options.
 

FLSTC

Well-known member
Take your shorty shotgun along with you. For the mosquitos and black flies, LoL.
 

MacDoc

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Many other stations on the route to/from are going to be hit and miss.
what other stations??

there is a 380 km gap and there are no stations.

The road can be travelled at speed but the frost heaves are brutal teeth rattling.

Be careful of leaving the bike unattended in Chisasibi ... the kids are a bit ummmm risky ...the constable advises locking the bike in the school gym if you stay overnight ....not something I'd advise. You can travel the Chisasibi to Radisson at speed ....much fun.

It's 904 km between Radisson and Rouyn Noranda - you should be able to do that in a day. - Stay in Radisson for your tour and return.
There are some camping spots along the road tho
http://jamesbayroad.com/jbr/jbrguide.html

We did 4 days Mississauga loop...buddy was a bit whipped on the last run home 975 km but daylight is long.
https://goo.gl/maps/3J5Yedq9KFs

When you hit North Bay swing over to 63 and then 101. Very nice......good pavement and should be even more complete than when we went.

The bugs are epic


you can get your wheel in Nunavit....:rolleyes:



they want you to check in on the way up and back

 
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jeff96

Well-known member
I'm planning on going July 20th by way of Chibougamau, the North Road and Nemiscau

Sent from my MIX Lite using Tapatalk
 

jc100

Well-known member
I’m 450kms or so between fill ups. Last time I looked fuel was not going to be an issue but it may have changed. I was planning to do this in August though as I have more time and I thought the flies weren’t as bad then. I have a few thermacell devices and they seem to work pretty well at repelling the flies. I’m also considering a tip to Gaspe and a little explore around there too.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
what other stations??
I was speaking about the trip as a whole (I’m well aware of the James Bay section), and further to that, specific to premium fuel availability.

As for getting wheels wet to technically have rode to Nunavut, it’s a goal...but not at the expense of needing a wrecker to get my tank out of the mud. If that’s the case I’ll sprinkle some water on the bike and call it good on a technicality.
 

MacDoc

Well-known member
Site Supporter
If you look closely on a map there is boat pull out part way to Chisasibi on the north side that you can get your wheels wet without
a) too much nasty gravel ( I mean nasty ....loose rocks the size of your fist )
b) getting bogged.

I did not know about it
https://goo.gl/maps/NNXyRCGKsEQ2

The road past Chis was the big rocks but might be better now as it was fresh,

I assume you know you have to book the tour....kicking myself I did not do it. :(
 

moarmoto

Well-known member
I thought about doing this last year, though in a car, just to set a foot in Nunavut (I think you an walk up to the boarder at the end on rocks).

Decided against it because it would've been quite boring to do it in a car solo.

See if you can find someone like that and have him carry fuel. That'd be perfect lol
 

J_F

gringo diablo
Site Supporter
slight hijack
is your bike carbed PP?
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
If you look closely on a map there is boat pull out part way to Chisasibi on the north side that you can get your wheels wet without

..

I assume you know you have to book the tour....kicking myself I did not do it. :(
Fairly sure that the inlet isn't actually Nunavut however - the technical border is at the James Bay tide line.

And yes, I had read that one needs to book the tour. Odds of this trip even happening at this point are still 50/50 at best (the trip to the Tail was the original plan but unfortunately as mentioned that isn't happening now) so it's reasonably last minute planning at this point...so I don't want to book anything yet.

See if you can find someone like that and have him carry fuel. That'd be perfect lol
I have a good strong cargo rack behind my sissy bar and I have a 20L jerry can I've carried on it before for some other rides in semi-remote territory. No worries there.

slight hijack
is your bike carbed PP?
Yep, why?
 

J_F

gringo diablo
Site Supporter
Yep, why?
about the premium fuel
I'm riding a carbed bike for the first time in > 20 yrs
back in the day there was no ethanol in the fuel
been reading that ethanol is bad for older bikes
and that the only way to avoid ethanol is with certain brands of high test

probably some threads here on this
but was wondering how you deal with it?
 

jeff96

Well-known member
The logistics of joining midway through the trip might be a pain, but I plan on returning south on the James Bay highway. I really want to do the gravel North Road though

Sent from my MIX Lite using Tapatalk
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
about the premium fuel
I'm riding a carbed bike for the first time in > 20 yrs
back in the day there was no ethanol in the fuel
been reading that ethanol is bad for older bikes
and that the only way to avoid ethanol is with certain brands of high test

probably some threads here on this
but was wondering how you deal with it?
Most vehicles built after the late 90's or early 2000's do not inherently have an issue with alcohol/ethanol - they were built with seals and such that can tolerate it.

The bigger underlying issue with ethanol is phase separation. It's a long story, but Google will yield all sorts of info.

Phase separation is only an issue if the fuel is left standing for long periods unused. It can be made worse by damp (think: marine) or high temperature swing (IE, a garage that gets a lot of sun and heats up) environments, the latter again only being an issue if the fuel sits for long periods.

Phase separation does become a bigger issue when the fuel is left to sit, as mentioned - this is why things like lawnmowers, gas weed eaters, chainsaws etc (that sit all winter) have an issue with it, and vice versa - snowblowers that sit all summer, etc.

That all having been said, for an avid motorcycle rider that rides regularly and burns a tank of gas at least every few weeks, it's not an issue. At the END of the season however, it is - you don't want a tank full of ethanol fuel sitting in your bike all winter as phase separation can certainly occur - the resulting water will cause far more issues than the alcohol itself natively.

In short, I run ethanol fuel in my bike just fine. It rarely sits more than 24/48 hours without me riding it, and a tank of gas lasts as little as a few hours at best, to a week at worst.

FWIW it does NOT like premium fuel - fuel economy goes in the toilet (I lose over 50KM of range) and there's no measurable benefits whatsoever (to the contrary the poorer mileage) so aside from the last tank of the season I use regular.

Lastly, not all premium fuel is ethanol free anymore. Most has it, actually. Canadian Tire and a few other retailers are the only remaining sources for ethanol free premium.

The logistics of joining midway through the trip might be a pain, but I plan on returning south on the James Bay highway. I really want to do the gravel North Road though

Sent from my MIX Lite using Tapatalk
 

J_F

gringo diablo
Site Supporter
you see
this why I hijacked the thread :)

you know, I've been running premium since I read about the ethanol thing
bike has been backfiring on decel bad enough that the AF housing jumps out into my leg
will switch back to reg up until the last couple of tanks for the year

looks like a great trip, enjoy!
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
you see
this why I hijacked the thread :)

you know, I've been running premium since I read about the ethanol thing
bike has been backfiring on decel bad enough that the AF housing jumps out into my leg
will switch back to reg up until the last couple of tanks for the year

looks like a great trip, enjoy!
It often backfires out the intake? I would try and track down what's causing that. Just in case you ever get a decent intake fire, you need to open the throttle a lot to suck the fire into the engine and it goes out. It's counter-intuitive but easy.
 

J_F

gringo diablo
Site Supporter
It often backfires out the intake? I would try and track down what's causing that. Just in case you ever get a decent intake fire, you need to open the throttle a lot to suck the fire into the engine and it goes out. It's counter-intuitive but easy.
I just assumed being carbed it doesn't shut off the fuel like FI does on decel
problem only started when I switched to high octane
I get the open throttle to gobble an intake fire
but I think we're a ways from that really being likely

I'm talking about hard engine braking, downhill
only time it does it, and maybe the problem is that I shouldn't be doing that
but being always a sport or ST rider, it'll take some getting used to a V twin
have checked the AF and there's no carbon or anything exhausty looking
figured it was just an engine fart
 

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