Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Maintenance: Scarlett's 50k Km Service Interval

Since the original purpose of blogging was to record maintenance work on my motorcycle (only one back then); figured this post was fitting.

Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig, has reached the 50,000 kilometer mark and so it was time to do the 10K service as listed in her owner's manual.  The 10K service is the most complete one so I use that checklist.

Scarlett's reaching 50K km is a milestone for me, as I've not gotten above 40k km on any of my other rigs before they were either sold or traded in.

Of course, her engine's crankshaft was replaced at 41.7K km, and the gearbox was rebuilt by Sergey at IMWA before that so it's not like she made it to 50K km in one piece!

Still, the engine (which was also rebuilt by Sergey under warranty) remains working with no leaks or seepage, the gearbox continues working smoothly so I shouldn't complain.

All oils were swapped, air filter replaced, oil filter replaced, spark plugs replaced though they were working fine.  One of the two compliance fittings, the round black object shown below, was starting to show cracks on the inside.  The checklist says to replace both at 10k km intervals and so they were.


  Note the nice caramel color on the ceramic tip just
under the electrode, it's what you want to see

Hopefully you can see the ragged crack evident
on the inside wall of the port side compliance fitting.
At $30 each from the dealer, I wish they'd last longer
but what are you going to do right?

Nothing major was found, and I also greased all three u-joints on Scarlett, checked the tightness of the spokes on all the wheels and tightened where needed.

Coincidentally, it was also time to replace the gearbox oil on Fiona, my '99 Bural since it had a new input shaft.  The oil came out dirty, after only 200 km since the installation, as expected, and with shiny particles floating in the oil.



The shiny particles are just the "final machining" done by the owner of the gears.  You swap the oil way more often than once the gearbox is broken in, to avoid the accumulation of this swarf in the gearbox bearings and such.  I'll do another oil swap of the gearbox in another 200km.

Both rigs are road-ready.  Stay tuned for more travels.  Though Fiona will be quite limited for a bit as I need to "break in" the new input shaft and so cannot exceed 45 mph until she goes past 1500 km (give or take) from 4257 km mark on the odometer.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Uraling to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Decided to boondock an additional day at the Turtle Rock Campground near Buena Vista, CO.

This allowed me, today, to ride down towards Poncha Pass, located just south of Poncha Springs, CO.  It's a very scenic pass as it gives the rider the first awesome view of the majestic Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) mountain range.

 The requisite pass summit sign

 One's initial glimpse of the Sangre de Cristo Range



I meandered about the above area for a bit, doing a bit of reconnaissance for possible future BLM camping sites.  Turns out there's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land on both sides of US285 through to the town of Saguache.

The cellular data signal for Verizon, my provider, was four bars or better and it was very fast!  I see a stay on some BLM land near Poncha Springs in my future!

Scarlett and I then rode towards the distant mountain peaks show in the above pics, and ended up in the small village of Villa Grove where I found a nice spot to capture the mountains again:

 Cottonwood and Electric Peaks

Pano of the peaks of theSangre de Cristo Range
as seen from the small town of Villa Grove
(big file)

Pictures done, I rode back north towards Buena Vista, the weather remained sunny but it was definitely getting cooler.  I got back to the campsite with no issues, put Scarlett on the trailer and secured her for tomorrow's drive back home.

There wasn't much of a sunset tonight, still it was a great afternoon of riding under sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to high 50s!  Scarlett did great and surprisingly, her MPG results are in the low 40s!  

Friday, November 10, 2017

RV Trip: Hartsel Valley, Buena Vista and Independence Pass

This was an RV trip to test out cold weather mitigation techniques in terms of being able to use the fresh water tank.  Last trip out to Buena Vista, I thought I'd run out of water, turned out the tubes feeding the water pump had frozen (and maybe the pump as well).

This time, I used my old Honda EU1000i generator to provide power through most of the night so that I could turn on the heat pads that are attached to all three tanks: fresh, gray and black water.  Each pad uses 9 Amps of electricity when on so my battery couldn't handle it alone.

I'm please to report nothing froze overnight on Thursday, as I boondocked at a friend of a neighborhood friend's place near Hartel, Colorado.  I also woke to a beautiful sunrise:





After breakfast, I broke camp and headed a short distance away, about 30 miles to the boondocking spot near Buena Vista, CO.  I like this spot since it's never full and as I'm typing this, there's perhaps three other campers total in the site tonight.

After work on Friday, Scarlett and I rode up US24 North out of Buena Vista and were soon going up CO Hwy 82, aka Independence Pass Road which I was surprised to find was still open for traffic.

 I like this set to tunnels near the campground, they're
called the Midlands Tunnels

It took very little time to get to the summit of Independence Pass as traffic was very light for a Friday afternoon.  I spent a little time on top taking the following pictures:


 Looking towards Aspen, I didn't go there today.

 The requisite picture of one's ride at the Pass Sign

 The view of neighboring peaks as one descends back
down towards the town of Twin Lakes




I scouted some campgrounds near Twin Lakes, CO, making note of their cellular data signal for future use.  Of the three campgrounds I visited, the two National Forest campgrounds were closed for the season.

Scarlett and I hurried back towards Buena Vista but got to our preferred sunset picturing spot with plenty of time.

 Along County Road 361 just north of Buena Vista
The clouds showed much promise but by the time the sun
went down, there wasn't much left.





A fairly mild sunset with rosy pink pastel highlights for the most part.  Scarlett and I rode back to the campground in the gathering darkness with no issues.  We go home tomorrow I think, unless I make a stop at the Dexter Point Campground near Twin Lakes.  We shall see.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

RV Trip: Loveland, CO - Uraling to Carter Lake/Pinewood Reservoir

My loving wife Martha had a nurse conference to attend this weekend in Loveland, CO.  So we decided to mix work with a little glamping.  I got to the Boyd Lake State Park on Thursday afternoon and set up camp; with Martha joining me Friday evening after work.

A nice park, Boyd Lake, there were plenty of sites open, all with power but no other hookups.  Still, got a lakeside spot and no issues getting the water tank filled up for use while glamping.

I did a little bit of riding on Friday, ending up riding along the eastern edge of Carter lake about an hour before sunset.

Carter Lake

I saw and rode over three dams which form the lake apparently, pretty nice spot for boating I assume and picnics.

Sunset was pretty good Thursday night:




Today, Saturday, while Martha was at the conference getting her educational credits for certification, I rode.

Fiona, my '99 Bural Patrol Sidecar Rig and I rode on US34 west towards Carter Lake again but this time we went past its exit and kept heading up Flat Iron Mountain road towards the Pinewood Reservoir.

Randy, the premier URAL dealer in Colorado, had recommended I check out the road going up to Pinewood Reservoir and he was quite correct in that it's a great riding road.

The Pinewood reservoir itself, the brief moments I stayed there, was not very impressive, it is the road and its views of Flat Iron Reservoir that make it an enjoyable ride.

 Nice view of Flat Iron Reservoir eh?



Once off of Flat Iron Mountain Road, it was a quick turn into Carter Lake to get a picture of the same spot, but this time showing the incoming weather clouds.

 Carter Lake

I took County Road 8E out of the southern portion of the Carter Lake park and wound my way past many ranching home communities till I was back on US34.

 View from bridge on US34, overlooking the Big Thompson River

The last stop was at the Devil's Backbone trail head to get a shot of the back bone, it was OK I suppose.

Devil's Backbone

I stopped by Randy's shop: Unique Rides and got some parts for the next 10K Km service interval for Scarlett, my 2014 Patrol; she's actually approaching the 50K Km mark (though her engine was rebuilt by Sergey of Ural at 41.7K Km).

Nice easy day of riding, a bit windy at times but pretty nice.  Sunset was a wash as the incoming weather basically blanketed the views to the west of Loveland.  

Martha and I are homeward bound tomorrow.  A nice little glamping interlude.