Monday, January 28, 2013

Ready for the 2013 Elephant Ride

I spent a few hours today, making sure Valencia, my 2011 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig is ready for this year's Elephant Ride.

What's the Elephant Ride you ask?  Longtime readers will know its a yearly event, held on the Guanella Pass Road starting from the small settlement of Grant, Colorado.  This year, the even is on February 10.

The objective is to see how far one can take one's motorcycle/sidecar rig up Guanella Pass Road, which is not maintained by snow plows in the Winter.  I've been attending this event since 2010 when four Ural rigs including my first Ural, Natasha, a '96 Ural Sportsman model:  LINK-2010 Elephant Ride.

It's a whole bunch of fun, even when one is stuck as everyone nearby pitches in to help you get moving once again.  Last year, we made it to with rock throwing distance of the gate the National Forest Rangers put up to block the way for vehicles to reach the summit of the pass.

February 2011, Spat's Rig with Cookie in it.
You can see the gate in the background.

So, today I put new Heidenau K37 Tires on both the pusher and front wheels on Valencia.  The slightly worn Heidenau K37 that had been the pusher for the last 1700 KM got swapped to the sidecar wheel, so now I have Heidenaus all around.  The spare is what used to be the sidecar tire, a somewhat worn Duro 307.  I must say, the Duro 307s were not very long lasting.  The front Duro lasted 5732 km, though I think I could have gotten 6000km on it.  It was too worn though for the expected miles and miles of snow covered road at the Elephant Ride next month.

Two sets of eight snow chains are ready to be fitted onto the tires for extra traction if needed, though they're really for icy conditions.  I'm expecting a layer of ice under the snow, especially after the top layer is churned up by the dirt bikes and dual sport motorcycles that usually go ahead of our rigs.

All fluids were changed a bit over 1000 KM ago, air filter cleaned at that time.  She ran beautifully yesterday so I believe she's ready.  Got my cold weather gear all sorted out so I'm ready. We have tow straps and even practiced manual winching techniques.  Bring on the snow, Motorcycling Gods, bring on the snow!

Elephant Ride 2010, 2011, 2012

Frazier's account of the Birth of the Elephant Ride: LINK

Previous post: Getting Unstuck

6 comments:

Dave Morrell said...

3500 miles tire life?? wow. that makes a ducati rear look durable!!!!

Dave Morrell said...

3500 miles tire life. makes a Gixxer look like a Harley!

RichardM said...

At least you were able to change them without all of the issues that I seemed to have. I think it'll go a lot smoother next time....

Looking forward to the RR. Is the Elephant Ride this coming weekend?

Charlie6 said...

Dave M, the pusher tire doesn't last as long as the other two, but damn, 3500 is not a lot.

RichardM, it's 10FEB.

Jon Risor said...

Good luck!! I always look forward to your Elephant post...

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Jon