Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 Airhead Tech Day

I rode Scarlett to where Dick Paschen once again hosted a great tech day get together at his home in Centennial, CO today. There was quite the turnout of airhead motorcycles, from models from the 60's to mid-90s. Most folks came to socialize but all who came with mechanical issues got helped and most would ride home with better running motorcycles.

Airheads is the nickname given to the motorcycles which have air-cooled Boxer engines.  These engines are the common element shared by Airheads along with the simplicity of their design and the always willing helpfulness of their owners to help out fellow riders.

It was good to see younger riders show up on their vintage motorcycles, learning from the older riders, the tips and tricks to keeping these wonderfully simple yet soul-satisfying machines running.

Matt Parkhouse, former Colorado Air Marshall for the Airheads Motorcycle Club showed up on his trusty R75/5 and proceeded to dive in where needed with his expertise and advise. There were other gurus in the mix, to include our host. There were drinks to keeps us hydrated and good chili to keep hunger away as wrenches and tools were used to tweak/repair and otherwise maintain the airheads which needed it.

My thanks to Dick Paschen for hosting this event again, he runs a good tech day, providing a welcoming atmosphere and never strangers for long during events such as these. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

 Rider Chris of Redstone, CO. Brought his new to him '94 R100 GSPD

 Sporting motorcycle plate #7 from Wyoming, this gentleman successfully changed out his front fork oils.

 Dick Paschen, our great host and airhead guru

 If we'd had a prize for most unusual airhead, Pokey would have won it with his sidecar rig. 
The engine is from a '67 R60 Airhead but most everything else he fabricated! 
The tub started as a fuel drop tan and then a carnival ride before he made it his rig's tub.

 A side view of Pokey's hand made motorcycle sidecar rig, he must be quite the machinist.
He made the motorcycle's frame, headlight, fuel tank....salvaged parts from Beemers, Indian and 
who knows what other marques to create the above unique ride.

 Fellow rider Eron T's '67 R50 /2. Quite the restoration he's got going on it, and its ready for a sidecar someday as well. Very nice.

 One of the airhead gurus, helps out a new rider with his Airhead's electrical issues. 

 A very nice looking R90S with the distinctive paint job and fairing 
which made such models an instant hit in the 70's.

 Some of the many models of BMW Airheads which showed up for the tech day.

 This airhead's fairing caught my eye, she's for sale folks and is quite clean.

 Quite the turnout this year, Dick's driveway was full at times and the streets near his home were lined with BMW motorcycles of yesteryear....along with one URAL Sidecar rig and Dick's Vintage Fiat 500. 

Cool little car eh?

Matt Parkhouse works with the airhead's owner to diagnose a faulty charging circuit on the motorcycle.

 Matt Parkhouse demonstrates the shorting plug method of synchronizing the carburetors 
on Chris' GS PD Airhead. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Uraling with RichardM to Skyline Drive and the Royal Gorge Bridge

Beautiful day today in the great pot-smoking state of Colorado, sunny skies, mild winds and warm temperatures in the forecast had RichardM, myself and Scarlett heading south on  CO83 towards Cañon City's Skyline Drive.

We left Casa Chang, where RichardM is my guest this weekend, at 8:05 AM and were at the entrance to Skyline Drive by 10:30 AM, not bad for moving at URAL speed!   RichardM was riding monkey today and he'll I am sure be posting some of the pics he shot while we rode south towards Colorado Springs.

We were the only motorized vehicle on Skyline Drive this morning, which was great for picture taking.  The day had gotten so warm by then that we both shed all our warming layers.  High seventies today, expected snow tomorrow, gotta love living in Colorado!

After one run through Skyline Drive, RichardM asked if we could ride over to the Royal Gorge.  I told him it had suffered a lot of burn damage last year in one of the larger fires in recent Colorado history but we could see.

Turns out, they've been working hard to re-open the site, with an expected full opening by August of this year.  In the meantime, they're running bus tours for $10 a head, which gets you access to both sides of the bridge along with a slow and bumpy ride across the bridge itself.

Of the 52 buildings previously existing at the Royal Gorge Bridge, 48 of them were burned to the ground.  Not much in terms of trees remains, lots of bare ground and rocks.  The bridge structure itself wasn't damaged enough to require rebuilding it fortunately.  Some of the wood planks got singed but they were certified as good by state inspectors apparently.

The tour guide/bus driver pointed out where buildings had been, remarked that while it had only taken seven months and I think $350,000 back in 1929 to build the bridge; it was estimated it would take (due to progress ) more than seven months to get building permits and over $20 million to create the bridge today.

 A view of the bridge and the gorge created by the Arkansas River
from the south side of the gorge.

 This train survived the fires apparently, it used to be located by the main 
parking lot of the bridge complex.

We left the Royal Gorge area and motored into Cañon City for a late lunch at Ed's Diner which RichardM picked out as we rolled along on US50.  Nice lunch and conversation, by 2:00 PM we were done and we geared up to head back home.

But not before a short stop at the small town of Penrose, near the junction of US50 and CO115.  I wanted RichardM to see what is claimed to be the world's largest rocking chair.

The ride home was under darkening overcast skies as the expected winter storm nears.  I guess lunch had a soporific effect on RichardM as I noted him taking short naps in the sidecar as we motored northwards.

Home by 4:35 PM, again not bad by URAL speed.  Scarlett did great today, even going past 60 MPH on the way home as we had the wind at our backs.  Her engine continues to slowly develop more power as the miles accrue, though I am wondering how long it'll take before I can get her to the stated max speed of 70 MPH.

70 MPH you say, that's not so fast.....before you scoff, try that speed on a sidecar rig.  Besides, its not about the speed, it's about not letting rain/mud/snow/deep gravel/ice stop you from riding, isn't it?  :)

A good day of riding with RichardM, I hope he enjoyed being the monkey.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

A Visitor from Alaska

RichardM, the stalwart sub-freezing rider of Alaska's Fairbanks region and moto-blogger, is in Denver for a work conference in the downtown area.

I met up with RichardM at Denver International Airport, I drove Scarlett of course as Richard had told me he travels pretty light and I'd mounted my spare cargo rack on to of the spare wheel yesterday in preparation.

The ride from the airport went without issues, though we kept a close eye on the incoming weather front that was rapidly rolling in from the west.  We managed to avoid all but a few drops of rain and arrived at my house with no issues.

Richard and Scarlett

We spent the afternoon hanging out at the house, Martha came home soon after we did and we all chatted for a bit before an early dinner.  Martha made her signature beef stir fry with Bak Choi, yummy as always.  After some putzing in the garage afterwards, I took Richard to his hotel in downtown Denver.  We took, Milli, the PT Cruiser as the skies threatened rain though it only sprinkled lightly.

Richard will be attending conferences all week, though we may have lunch on Wednesday as the conference is only one block from where I work.  Friday afternoon, I'll bundle Richard back onto Scarlett and he'll be spending the weekend at Casa Chang.  He's expressed interest in riding Skyline Drive down in Cañon City, about 90 minutes away by motorcycle, to the SW of Colorado Springs.

It was great to hang out with Richard for a few hours today, looking forward to doing some riding with him this coming weekend.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Scarlett's 1000 Kilometer Service

Started this morning checking the valve clearances on Scarlett, the intake valve clearances were spot on, the exhaust ones were a tad loose so I tightened both sides up, no issues.

Then I spent the rest of the morning hunting down the "Generic" motorcycle oil filter that is now used by 2014 Ural Sidecar Rigs.  By "Generic" I had assumed, and read online, to mean readily available.  Not quite.  Tried two different auto parts places, called a Yamaha dealer, and finally a guy at a NAPA store said one of their branches had one.

The model is a WIX 57207 or Mann W75/3.  The one I found locally cost me $23 and since today was oil change day, I paid the price.  The Mann filters are available online from Amazon for a bit over $9 each, guess I'll be stocking up on those soon; to be used on future oil changes.

Fun Trivia fact, the guys at NAPA looked up what car would actually use the WIX 57207 and their database only reported one  The 2006-07 Nissan Micra.  Micra? Yeah, never heard of it either.

This supply issue aside, changing the oil filter proved to be oh so less messy that the old Russian Oil filter setup on the pre-2014 rigs!  No oil drips from the filter or it's mounting point whatsoever.  I changed out the engine/transmission and final drive oils as usual, no issues but there was the expected "swarf".

 Above is the engine oil drain plug, looks gnarly but it was all
soft swarf except for one thin filament.  I fully expect much
less swarf at the next oil change.

 This is the fill plug for the transmission, the drain plug didn't have much
swarf on it, again, it was all soft stuff.  Not totally unexpected as 
the engine was being broken in.

Still sporting a coating of Final Drive gear oil, this is the drain plug
for the final drive, again, all soft swarf, no large or hard bits.

Took Scarlett out for a short ride, no leaks, and she ran just fine.  I topped off the engine and FD oil when I got home.

I am happy to report no metallic shavings/flakes/dust particles on the inside of either valve cover or the rockers/rods and upper surfaces of the jugs.

Rest of the services are inspection only, air filter, spoke tightness, etc.  I'll finish those off today and tomorrow.

Further research revealed a list of compatible oil filters compiled fy fellow Uralista: Darrell S.:

Oil Filters

Mann W 75/3
Napa Gold 7207
Fram PH10959
Fleetguard HF7615
Baldwin B307
Carquest 84207
Wix 57207
Bosch 3300
Napa Gold 1365
Mobil1 M1-108

Air filters:

K&N 33-2022
AC Delco A974C
Buick 25095333
Fram CA3916
Motorcraft FA1085
Napa 6139
Purolator A33590
Spectre HPR3916
Ural 104015075
WIX 46139


Front Caliper - SB8125..........M8 x 1.25mm x 27.99mm long
Rear Caliper - SB8125...........M8 x 1.25mm x 27.99mm long
Sidecar Caliper - SB1010S......M10 x 1.0mm x 31.35mm long