Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First snow for the season, still no Natasha....but I did ride.

Yesterday's rain/snow mix resulted in about an inch of snow accumulation on the grassy areas of the neighborhood and not much of anything that I could see from my garage door.  That is, a nice icy cover of frozen snow on my driveway.

Normally, I would have laughed it off and fired up Natasha, my Ural Sidecar rig and ridden off to work at the normal time.

Sadly, she's still in the shop, waiting for some part.  I am told it's inbound (again) and maybe they'll even send the right part.  I am not so confident anymore and refuse to have my hopes dashed once again.

So, I decided to work from home, doing a bit of telecommuting.  But before the day started for me, a little bit of shovel work, along with a special tool for chipping away at ice and finally a bit of snow melt salt, and I had me a path out to the dry cul-de-sac:

As expected, the roads in the neighborhood and the main roads were dry though there was the occassional wet looking spot in the shade that made one wonder.  These I managed to avoid, for the most part, or made sure to just cross while making no turning maneuvers.  It was a short ride as the sun had barely been up an hour and had not done its magic.

As I worked the rest of the morning, dutifully I might add, I could hear the snow melting off the roof and making noises as it fell off the roof edges.

Lunch time came about and I headed out once more to truly dry roads and bright sunshine.  It was a balmy 29°F as I rode to the Beemer dealer to have my battery checked out.  You see, as I went to start the R80 Beemer I call Brigitta yesterday afternoon, she balked.  Mind you, it was hailing lightly and the clouds were fearsomely dark and the wind was waiting to snatch me up into the sky.  No pressure.

Oscar, my co-worker friend came to the rescue with jumper cables, I got Brigitta going and got home only mildly wet and slight chilled.  I thought my battery was just too old.

So there I am at the dealer and they graciously broke out the tester and hooked it up to Brigitta, the battery was pronouced "good".   Hmmmm.  They did suggest that I change out the oil as I was still running the 20W50 oil for the summer.  I had been planning to do this in about 1000 miles but elected to do it this afternoon.

It's good that I did!  I found the rubber donut seal had been slightly damaged by the metal o-ring type disk and hence the slight oil leakage I'd been trying to figure out lately.

The oil has now been changed, the battery is all charged up.  So of course we're expected to wake up to 1-2 inches of snow tomorrow, Thursday, Veteran's Day.  Sigh, I really miss Natasha.


SonjaM said...

Dom, I hear you. But hey, at least you have Brigitta to keep you company. I want a spare bike so badly... alas no space in the parkade. And while my two-wheeler is still at the shop I hop from blog to blog to read about other people's rides. That's how I survived last winter in Alberta, I can do that again ;-)

Gary France said...

I love the curved path you cleared to get Brigitta out of your garage. It really is about time Natasha came home from her time at the Betty Ford Center. Oops, sorry, I mean workshop. I am sure she will have recovered soon.

Ken said...

Hey, you and me, brother. My Honda CB750 Custom is in the shop, "waiting for some part," and has been since early October. That happens with old bikes. Or exotic imports.

Chris Luhman said...

LOL at the Ural as an exotic import.

Which oil did you switch to? I'm still running 20w50 in my BMW and Ural.

I didn't have any trouble with 20w50 in the Ural last winter. Is the BMW that picky?

Charlie6 said...

Sonja: yes, Brigitta has been a steadfast saviour and companion in this time of need. Thanks for continuing to read this stuff, hopefully you find a scooter soon to help you wait out the parts issues re the dealer.

Gary-just goes to show, there's very little I won't do to get a ride in...

Ken, exotic and Chris mentions, not quite what comes to mind. : )

Chris....I switched to 10w40 on the Beemer and it helped a lot. Then again, she's almost 24 years old so the starter is probably dragging a bit as well. 20W50 on the Ural should be fine year round. But if you start having "issues" starting, and the battery proves good.....

As to the BMW being "that picky", you should know as a fellow Ural riders, that Germans and Russians have apparently quite different understandings of what "close tolerances" mean......

Chris Luhman said...

The russians and everyone have a different idea of "close tolerances" The Ural is a far cry from the other asian bikes in the garage. However, the R1150GS and the Patrol feel very similar to me.

It would be quite awesome if the BMW's engine/transmission was in the Ural though.

Never had trouble starting the Ural even at -11F. Just a couple kicks of the starter to move things around and then wham it starts right up.