Thursday, December 01, 2011

Snow Day Riding

We woke, here in the Denver Metro Area, to about two inches of slushy snow.  I had been up since 4AM due to a work crisis call so was in no shape to commute into work at the regular time.

By lunch however, the work crisis resolved and mostly behind me, I decided to take Yoshie, my V-Strom Sidecar Rig out for a ride in the snow.

For starters, I mounted six of the chain links I'd cut from an old tire chain, bound by straps and buckles, in a somewhat even order on the rear "pusher" tire of the tug.  I'm still working out the kinks on this system and was using rope to act as a tensioning device.  This didn't work so well but well enough for a short while.

I meandered about the neighborhood, delighting in the traction provided by the chain links on the rear tire.  I was able to go up small inclined portions of streets with no fishtailing or slipping.  Too soon though, I had to stop at a local park and "adjust" the chains as some part of them was striking some part of the motorcycle.  Not good.

Here's Yoshie at the first "adjustment" stop at the local park.

 The pictures above and below should give you an idea of 
how I fastened six link chains to the tire with straps.

The rope you see was supposed to provide tension against 
the nylon straps, it did this OK but not great and the 
straps kept moving about.

Two more adjustment stops later, it was plain that they were not secure enough to prevent their movement.  I didn't want to risk damaging the drive chain or the swingarm so off came the chain links and straps.

The rest of the riding, during the 1.5 hours that I rode about, was with just the M/S rated rear pusher tire providing most of the traction.  This tire did just fine on level roads, some minor slippage on any sort of inclined streets but not too bad so long as I maintained decent momentum.

 The furthest point of my ride was the nearby Plains Conservation Center
I like to pose my motorcycles here, with the plains in the background

The rest of the riding was up and down neighborhood streets that remained mostly covered in snow and ice.
I am pleased to report Yoshie did well under that type of snow condition.

I really am looking forward to the arrival of my snow tire, to be installed Sunday.

Here's a youtube video of portions of the riding I did today around the neighborhood.  I couldn't range far and wide as I still had some work to do once I returned.

2DEC11 Update:

Found where the metallic noise was coming from, the center portion of  the thicker chain links were striking the center crossbar of the centerstand!  I just have to lower it a tiny bit and no more clearance issues visible.  Now for some more snow so I can put the chains back on for more testing!  Going to try different type of rope for tensioning next time!


SonjaM said...

Dom exclaiming: Oh, look, snow. I need to go out for a ride!

You are one crazy son of a gun.

Brady Steffl said...


When you pulled into the parking lot, I thought for sure you would say, "No clearance issues, so I spun donuts until I had to go home." You have much greater self-control than I do, sir. I commend you.

I'm also glad you made it back into the garage, I'd be looking forward to the new tire, as well.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

Charlie6 said...

SonjaM, thanks, it's a sickness but its all in good fun. : )

Brady...I tried donuts last time, no joy....was having trouble breaking grip at times and sometime the front tire didn't bite enough to pivot on.....but there will be future attempts. Oh, and figured out the metal noise issue, it was the chain links hitting a portion of the centerstand!

Brady Steffl said...

Well then, You seriously need to get that figured out, half the fun of snow is donuts - this clip made me think of my '79 Grand Prix, actually, and the way I used to go around corners after a good snowfall. Of course, I used to to get stuck all the time, too.

And better the center stand than anything else. That's just a big piece of steel.

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

George Ferreira said...

Your persistence is commendable but at some point I would just give up and get a Jeep :-)