Arto Saari’s Alaska Road Trip

Hell For Leather, HFL -


Arto Saari

This summer, we dispatched pro-skater/photographer Arto Saari on a 8,000 mile road trip from Los Angeles to Dead Horse, on Alaska’s northern coast. The bike? A 2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400. These are the photos he shot along the way. — Ed.

Photos: Arto Saari and Kynan Tait

Arto Saari
I don’t know why i’m already looking so rough. This was only 8 hours into the journey from LA in day one. Pinnacle sunset, pinnacle bike and a haggard man. Plenty more pinnacle vibrations ahead.
Selfie and the horse I rode in on.

Arto Saari
These are the road warriors. Patrick O’Dell on the left, Harvey Foster and “Beans” holding hands in the spirit of Canadian chopper brotherhood, and Kynan Tait in the lead, swatting flies for the bros behind.

Arto Saari
The Guzzi — pictured here still fairly clean — has many miles of rough road ahead of it.

Arto Saari
Chopper rules dictate the elimination of all frivolous pieces and apparently, that means fenders are verboten. This is Harvey’s front fender rig up before riding into rain. Respect!

Arto Saari
Mine was the only bike on the trip with a windscreen. One look at the carnage onboard and you start to get an idea what the other guys faces were absorbing.

Arto Saari
Feeling the vibrations of the open road on a Guzzi California 1400.

Arto Saari
Andrew Kynan Tait, certified Canadian badass/nomad/all-round creator of apex vibrations. in his leathers, somewhere on the Alcan highway. He was the quiet voice of reason on the trip. Cool as a cucumber at all times, regardless of the situation.

Arto Saari
Just south of Burns Lake, BC was our first encounter with rain and, by some miracle, it only lasted for about an hour. The roads get gradually worse the further north you go with pot holes, unmarked gravel and random wildlife that can run on to the road at any given moment. Your best bet is to slow down and take it all in even, though you might be completely soaked. This is the moment of relief when the clouds open up, you can see the road again and you know the rain will finally let up.

Arto Saari
Log pile selfie in Whistler, BC. These Alpinestars pants and riding boots made daily life a lot more bearable. Three weeks on the road and I was never wet once. No one else on the trip had anything close to resembling appropriate riding gear and, when the weather turned bad, they were completely miserable. I was riding in absolute comfort. Shortly after this was taken, I lost my balance and stepped in the water. I was still dry.

Arto Saari
Harvey Foster on a hardtail chopper that he built himself from scratch with a bored-out Harley motor. He looks fairly relaxed in this photo but often, when you’d pass him, you could see him screaming to the highway gods cursing his rigid machine. Certified Canadian, wildly born badass.

Arto Saari
Going on long distance trips, you want to eliminate all possible variables. Fiskars for security and Kriega tank bag for all important personal belongings.

More Photos on Page 2 >>

  • Jesse

    Props on your for making the trip. Harvey is clearly a younger man than I, for the thought of nine days on a hardtail brings a sympathy tear to my eye.

  • Isambard

    Great stuff. More of this sort of thing, please!

    Arto fans who haven’t seen it should watch the Epicly Later’d documentary on his skate career:

  • Pablo Perez

    A hardtail with an aftermarket springer front-end? Ouch.

  • TP

    Awesome. Reminds me of the Labrador trip. Long live HFL

  • Kevin

    Suffering on a motorcycle is one thing: unnecessary. Get the right gear, no suffering.

    • Piglet2010

      If I ever ride to Deadhorse, it will be in my Roadcrafter. And on a bike with at least 4 inches of suspension travel at each end.

  • Matt Meyerson

    thanks for the great piece on Arto. He is a true renaissance man!

  • Mr.Paynter

    I’d LOVE to see more of these.

    Great travels, awesome photography.

    A definite breath of fresh air in my office!

  • Sentinel

    Awesome! And those guys with you are about as hard core as it gets! :o

  • Fred

    aw man… Arto skating fan here too.

    Love the axe. Here in Brazil, cops would take him away =/