Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Natasha has gone to the "Great Lakes State"

Michael A, of Traverse City, Michigan is the soon to be new owner of my Ural Sidecar Rig, Natasha.

He used a shipping outfit called Haulbikes.com, which I'd heard of via the Internet and now I've seen them in action.

It was Monday, 16 May, 2011 when the driver had arranged to be at my home around 10:15 AM so I worked from home during the morning.

I had Natasha all prepped and packed, ready to go before the driver arrived and so was able to take pictures of the entire process.

 Here's Natasha, ready for the truck....I had to remove the clear portion of
the windshield due to height limitations, it could not be over 58 inches.  I packed
the windshield in cardboard and secured it in the hack.

 One of the larger semi-trailer trucks I've seen, 
it took up most of the length of the culdesac!

 Mike, the driver/operator was very professional and friendly,
here he is lowering the rear ramp

 As big as the cargo area was, it was packed with motorcycles!

 The two closest motorcycles would end up being moved to make room for Natasha

 The ramp system allows the operator to move bikes to the upper level with relative ease
though I imagine there's not much headroom in the upper story.

 Mike then just pushed Natasha onto the ramp, and then lifted her to the main storage level

Here Mike works to secure Natasha to the multiple anchor points, 
a relatively easy operation to my untrained eye.

I left Mike at this point as I had to get into work.  I'll miss Natasha I think, especially every time when having reverse gear would be a good thing, or when I'm fighting inertia due to the sidecar wheel not being driven.

I am sure that Michael A., who used to own an Indian made Royal Enfield will get the final drive fixed soon enough and have her running the wooded roads and trails of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.  Turns out, he knows a guy with a '97 version of the same model, so he's got a local reference for comparison and advice.

Oh, so you don't think this was all a tearful goodbye session, as a goodbye gesture from Natasha, her front brake cable broke at the brake handle as the truck operator was moving her to the truck!  Luckily, I believe there's a spare cable in the trunk.  


Unknown said...


It's like saying goodbye to a good friend, though retaining the fond memories of the past. Now you have room in your garage for another . . .

With all the sweat and energy you have invested in that machine, it is like a part of you is leaving too

Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Hearing that the brake cable snapped while being loaded on the truck just struck me as funny. After all of the other problems, what's one more thing...

Now you have more room in the garage for something else...

Unknown said...

It's finally out of your life forever. I think you're in the clear now with your V-strom. At least the motor shouldn't break free of the frame while you're riding...

Maybe you should get German built machine next time. I think you scared me off of the Ural with your problems.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

redlegsrides said...

Bobskoot, Martha's limit is three motorcycles at anyone time, so yes, there's room for one more now. Lots of sweat, blood, tears, and angst...don't forget angst....and yet lots of joyful moments as well.

RichardM, it was Natasha's final gesture of defiance I think.

Brady, just one correction point, the motor mount issue was experienced by Chris Luhman of everydayriding.org. I can only lay claim to the following: alternator mating adapter shearing off and destroying main timing gear in the process, ignition issues due to heat and exposure to water, two pusher wheels destroyed due to worn driven gear hub spline, sheared apart propshaft leading to sidecar wheel, failed valve guide on right jug, several oil leaks here and there, self-destructing bearing in pusher wheel. Hmmm, when you list it all out like that, its definitely been a "character building" experience, still as I mentioned before, there were some happy times as well. Very much a love/hate relationship.

SonjaM said...

Boys don't cry, eh? The break cable was Natasha's goodbye to you.
Now, that you have space for one more two-wheeler in the garage, will you get Martha a scooter? Then she can start her own motorbike collections, and the rule of three wouldn't apply anymore.

mash said...

Wow that's a big truck.
Hope they deliver it in something smaller.
I'll start a blog of my own and keep everyone up to date
On Natashas progress.
Of course the first few posts will be more repairs than riding. Why break a trend :)

Learning to Golf said...

Seems to me that the broken brake cable was Natasha giving you the finger for selling her.

Just my opinion.

RichardM said...

@Mash/Michael: Looking forward to the new blog!

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, you must be prescient...I finally got Martha to agree to take the BRC this coming month, on a scooter. We'll see how that goes before actually buying her one.

Michael, looking forward to seeing how Natasha fares in the U.P.!

AZ Harley Dude, no doubt about it.

Unknown said...

Michael via: Charlie6:

welcome to the blogging community. We will await your upcoming adventures with Natasha

Riding the Wet Coast

Allen Madding said...

Wonder why I wasn't suprised the brake cable snapped. Much like Richard, I found it funny and appropriate even.

I had a friend in college that drove an MG midget. We told him the car would make him a mechanic and it did. I guess the Ural has the same role in life. It increases the owners mechanical abilities one chapter at a time.

Glad you can ride off on a journey without needing to make sure the cell battery is fully charged so you can call Martha when the bike strands you somewhere.

At the same time, I am looking forward to Michael's new blog detailing all of his upcoming adventures with the Russian stowaway.

Maybe someone will get the bug and start manufacturing replacement parts of higher quality so folks can rebuild them better than they came from the factory.

Here's to happier riding experiences.


Chris said...

interesting truck and process for loading.

I was gonna say something about Ural drama, but it won't be anything I haven't already said on my own blog.

bye natasha!

GF said...

I have heard of them and it was all good, I'm considering shipping my bike to the west coast when I go to Alaska, it will cut lots of riding time and save on tires. I laughed at the cable breaking, it's possessed, it doesn't want to go away, ha ha. I am happy to hear Michael will be continuing the story of Natasha