Sunday, May 29, 2016

On the Way Home

On Sunday morning, we headed back to Fairbanks from Talkeetna. This was a rest stop roughly an hour north of Talkeetna Junction. The mountain in the background is Denali. Below is a digital zoom taken from the same location. There were a lot of bikes on the road heading to the Alaska Veterans Memorial. Most of them were riding up from Anchorage so once we passed the turnoff, the number of bikes dropped significantly.

We did pass the aftermath of a motorcycle accident. I won't speculate on what happened but it looked pretty bad. The ambient temperature was around 70°F for most of the day. No liner needed! By the time we arrived in Fairbanks, it had cooled down to the mid-60s. We had a nice  a tailwind on the ride south but that turned into a headwind for the return trip. This is reflected in my gas mileage with an all time high of 36 mpg on the leg from Cantwell to Talkeetna Junction. On the trip back, my mileage dropped by about 4 mpg.

This picture was taken from the Parks Highway Monument just outside of Fairbanks. I wanted to check the head temperature at the top of a long uphill grade using my IR thermometer and compare it with the CHT. The temperature compensated temperature was about 425°F on the CHT and the IR thermometer indicated ~365°F. This matches my previous checks where I noted that the CHT is about 60°F high.

The owners manual states that the normal operating range of the engine is between 356°F and 428°F. The highest CHT temperature I've seen since the engine rebuild has been 475°F which would be about 415°F. The day before the engine failed, the CHT had risen to over 525°F on a long grade. And that's with an air temperature well below 0°F... 

8 comments:

Trobairitz said...

Beautiful pictures. You can see so far on the clear sunny days.

Bummer about the accident, but unfortunately it seems to be that time of year. We've been reading about them here too.

SonjaM said...

The pics are so crisp and clear, you'll never get to such an air quality anywhere else, Richard. Continued safe journey.

RichardM said...

Kind of ironic that North Pole was declared by the EPA as having the worst air quality in the country. The problem with taking a reading on one day of the year (temperature inversion) and extrapolating it to the whole year.

RichardM said...

Lots of bike accidents at this time of year. For many people, this is their first time out since last year.

redlegsrides said...

Good pics RichardM, always sobering to come across the scene of a motorcycle accident, makes you wonder.

David Masse said...

That shot of Denali is just priceless.

RichardM said...

Yes, it makes me wonder. But not necessarily about not riding.

RichardM said...

I don't know about "priceless" but I like it when it's not draped in clouds.