Friday, January 30, 2015

Sonja's "I am officially bored" challenge.

Sonja, a moto-blogger friend in Germany who used to live in the Vancouver area of Canada....issued a blogging challenge.  More info here: LINK

Here's my entries:

... show me your barn porn (picture needs to have a bike in it).

... show me your covered bridge porn (ditto, needs to include a bike).

Ron and Kari (Bluekat)

... show me a bike and airplane themed snapshot.

Challenge met! 
Ich traf die Herausforderung!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Warm Winter Day Sunset

Temperatures have hit highs in the 60s the last couple of days and today was quite nice as well, clear skies and warm temperatures as the northeast portion of the country goes through snow storms.

Again it was Scarlett that I rode out to the nearest usual spot for sunset pictures.  It's a parking lot of a church which has somewhat unobstructed views of the mountains to the west and southwest.

 Shot while the sun was still above the distant mountain peaks, 
above shot in Auto mode, below in Sunset Scene mode.

 Backlit HDR mode cut in on the above shot once the sun
was behind the mountain peaks.

ISO-200, backlit HDR mode

The colors turned their reddest just before the light faded away, leaving only a vaguely yellow glow in the sky as I rode home in the gathering darkness.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weird Tacos and Horsetooth Reservoir

Yesterday, Sunday, I rode up to the town of Fort Collins....home of UniquAfe Rides, the dealer I work with for all things relating to my URAL sidecar rig.

Being Sunday however, the dealership was closed.  The intent instead was to visit with a co-worker at the location of the Snowbank Brewery near the intersection of CO14 and Lemay Avenue.  Today was the "debut" day for her husband's food truck business.

Angela D, is one of the 25 employees in the company I am part of:  Her husband, John, has opened his own business in the form of an independent food truck specializing in tacos.  I had John's "Classic" breakfast taco and it was delicious!

John and Angela's Food Truck
That's Angela by the door.

After eating and chatting, I left them to their customers and headed off towards Horsetooth Reservoir as it has been quite some time since I've ridden it's steep waterside roadways.

The sun was out, the day would warm into the low 60s so folks were out enjoying the great weather.

 To the right is one of the two big dam roadways one can ride on top
of while enjoying the scenic views provided by the reservoir.

You can see in the distance, at lower elevation, part of the
town of Fort Collins.  I get the feeling if the dams that created 
this reservoir ever fail, there's going to be one flooded town below!

I used the I-25 super slab to both get to and return from Fort Collins, about two hours of steady riding at Ural speed.

It was good to visit, if only briefly, with one of my's employees all work 100% from home so its not like we all see each other during the work week!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Adding Vacuum Ports to the EFI Throttle Bodies

Since it appears that URAL will not be selling the current software/cable used by dealers to synch the EFI models, it was time to do a modification to allow one to synchronize the throttle bodies.

There's been, by the way, no official announcement either way re a bare bones version of the dealer tool which allows dealers to upload EFI maps, synchronize the throttle bodies and see engine details rendered by the ECUs.

So, like a carbureted motorcycle, the idea is to measure the amount of vacuum being "pulled" by each throttle body and ensure it's even both at idle and at around 1800-2000 RPM.  Unbalanced carburetors or throttle bodies tend to run rough and/or poorly so this is an important thing.

Marc L., a fellow Uralista with a Battleship Blue 2014 Gear-UP hosted both Darrell S. and myself at his home in Westminster since he had a drill press.

We all were ready to go by 10AM this morning and soon we had the throttle bodies off both Marc's and my rig.  I watched Marc drill the mounting hole for his throttle bodies and I then mimic'ed him in drilling my own throttle bodies.  Close supervision was supplied by Darrell to ensure I didn't bugger up the job since this was the first time I'd ever used a drill press.

Holes done, it was time to run a tap through them to introduce 5/32" threading into the hole for the vacuum ports we'd bought previously to screw into.

Note:  The throttle bodies are made of a very soft aluminum so a very light touch on the drill press was called for and slow/smooth but very effortless threading of the tapping tool.

Marc demo's the use of the tapping tool, trickiest part was at the
beginning since you have to ensure you're straight up/down and sideways.

The vacuum ports were threaded in with a very small dab of blue Loctite material to ensure they stay in place in the throttle bodies.

Freshly mounted vacuum port, this is the left side throttle body

Re-assembly was basically a reversal of the steps taken to unmount the throttle bodies.  The process highlighted the need for a 2.5mm Torx wrench (these are the stock screws) used to secure the fuel injection module and the bracket holding the throttle cable.

We elected to replace the Torx screws with allen headed screws by the way, and Darrell was kind enough to make a hardware store run to obtain them for us as we did the drilling and tapping.

So now, I need to buy an extra long 2.5mm allen wrench with a T-handle, it makes the removal of these two screws much easier!

Once we got the rigs re-assembled, we set off together, Marc and I, to warm up the rigs by doing about seven miles of riding.  

We returned to Marc's house and put the Harmonizer tool on Marc's rig.  No adjustments required!  Lucky dog.

My rig was next and Scarlett proved quite stubborn in terms of getting her idle where we wanted it and still balanced!  Finally, after much travail, we got it to balance but with the tach on the Harmonizer reading 1200 rpm, a bit high.

I had the left side idle screw completely off the stop and still we couldn't adjust the idle any lower.  Both Darrell and Marc remarked that before we made changes, the rpm had been reported at 1200 by the Harmonizer.  We are suspecting perhaps a small leak on the left side throttle body butterfly valve.  I may have been, all this time, running with idle a bit high?

There's been reports, you see, of some 2014 rigs needing updated butterfly plates as the ones they had are "sticking".  Mine weren't sticking when I examined them but something to keep in mind, the fact that some of the early 2014 rigs needed replacements of these disks.

We said our goodbyes to Marc around 2:30PM and I was home after boring slab riding by 3:30PM in medium traffic conditions.  An overcast day with temperatures in the low 50s for a high though it was cooling down as I neared home.

Note: Scarlett's idle RPM was being displayed as 960 rpm at idle by my cheapo tachometer I got from ebay which I'd determined in the past to read 100 rpm low.  Sure enough, I got home, put the Harmonizer on Scarlett and her idle was around 1060 rpm after an hour of highway riding.  So the idle is fine for now, she sounds good, and pulls strong through all the gears.

I'll monitor things some more I think before I start the process of replacing the butterfly valves on the throttle bodies, under warranty of course.  

Previously, Yet Another Colorado Sunset