Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Natasha, with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel

Cecilia, one of the great songs from Simon and Garfunkel and on my list of favorite tunes, kept running through my mind this past weekend as I worked on Natasha; my 1996 Ural Sportsman Sidecar Motorcycle.

Prefaced by my profound apologies to this great work by Simon and Garfunkel, I give you my version of this song, with a Russian Ural twist:

Tasha, you're falling apart
You're shaking my confidence daily
Oh, Natasha, I'm down on my knees
Working on faults that I find

Fixing stuff in the afternoon on Natasha
down in my garage
I got up to wash my hands
When I come back
something else is wrong on her

Tasha, you're faults are less now
I'm growing my confidence daily
Oh, Natasha, I'm down on my knees
finding out how to fix you some more

Jubilation, she runs fine again,
I fall on the floor and I'm laughing,
Jubilation, she runs fine again,
I get on the rig and I'm riding.

Today was a WWID day for me and Natasha. The supports/rack that held up the ammo box onto which the previous owner had mounted had issues while on a ride to the hardware store. One post's welds broke from the horizontal support, the other broke in two! Sigh.

I think it was the vibration back and forth that the rack permitted, coupled with the weight of the battery and ammo box. So really, can't blame it on the RPOC factor. No problem though, a bit of thinking and trying things out resulted in this:

I bent a flat piece of iron I had laying around, anchored the top end on frame support bolt on the motorcycle's frame and the lower end to the ammo box containing the battery.

The support post on the left, with the black tape is the one that broke in two, I placed the broken ends withing a pipe to prevent it from moving apart. It'll do until I find a way to weld it together again. The post on the right broke free of its welds from the frame supporting the sidecar. I used a exhaust pipe clamp to keep it firmly in contact with the support frame for now.

After all this, that battery box does not move at all! Heck, part of the process even involved a BFH, an apparently mandatory addition to any Ural owner's toolkit. (Big F*ing Hammer)

Got in a couple of rides in spite of the repairs needed, Natasha is running nicely still, we'll see tomorrow when I hope to get in a long ride with my #2 son.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

Your blogs are starting to sound like a diary from an explorer who is stuck somelace, and whose survival depends on getting his sidecar rig running.

"Sept. 29 -- Made up silly song to hold onto my sanity. Got bike running with slight vibration, which caused key components to snap off and fall on floor."

"Sept. 28 -- Heated piece of metal I found out back and hammered it into the shape of a star. This then fit perfectly into the tansducer slot, which enables the bike to idle without forcing me to pump the fuel by hand."

"Sept. 27 -- Got bike to hit 45 mph, but only in reverse. Discovered gearbox parts are actually little nesting babushkas. Does anyone know how hard it is to call bike parts places to see if they have any babushkas?"

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Mike Simmons said...

Your posts also show a good attitude about the challenges you're facing. The learning curve is definitely steep! Keep up the good work and updates.


1weekender said...

Very nice repair, you are definitly a worthy Russian Ural bike mechanic.


cpa3485 said...

I do not think that Simon and Garfunkel has anything to worry about as far as a copyright infringement, but that was certainly fun to read (and sing along). Amazing how songs can stick in your head.
And you certainly seem to work very hard on that new machine. You'll get to where you want to be with it I am sure.

bobskoot said...


I'm getting quite the Russian education. You are such a good mentor explaining such complex technical terms such as: RPOC, WWID, BFH & babushkas. So many changes in your life too. (I've been spying over at the ChangGang).
Nice to hear you secured employment with DiSH, takes the stress off things
The ride to work this morning is definitely cooler, low 40's and I turned my heated grips on to test them out, but not cold enough for my heated vest.
You mentioned Simon & Garfunkel but to me it invokes memories of "Mrs Robinson", and thanks to you I have been humming it since yesterday and also fond memories of my 1963 Alfa Romeo Guilia Syder which I once owned over 30 years ago

bobskoot: wet coast scootin