Monday, December 05, 2011

A Snow Tire for Yoshie

My last couple of postings have dealt with my attempts to gain traction on the M/S rated pusher tire I'd recently mounted as the pusher tire on my V-Strom sidecar rig: Yoshie.

Traction had been achieved but mounting options and results of test rides had been mixed at first with a possible solution close at hand by the end of riding yesterday.  Still, it involved rope and chains and straps, which if you're into that sort of thing, would have been fine.  : )

I had an overnight maintenance change at the data center, and rode Yoshie in at 11PM last night.  The night was crisply cold at 9°F but no issues were encountered by me on the way to and from work.  The M/S tire did fine as the streets were pretty much clear, just wet-looking and probably icy in spots.

Yoshie at the Data Center 

I got home by 4:35 AM and promptly fell asleep.  I woke less than three hours later as I had an appointment with fellow Uralista Craig Heitman.  He once again was generously letting me borrow his tire changer equipment so that I could swap out the pusher tire with a dedicated snow tire.  Both tires are made by General Tires, a German company.  The snow tire has a slightly shorter profile than the M/S tire but the loss of .4" clearance would prove worth it.

I arrived at Craig's house before 9:00AM and by 10:30 we'd done the swap, done test riding around his neighborhood's snow choked roads and let me tell you, the difference was night and day!

Where my M/S tire had slipped and slid its way up a small inclined street near Craig's house, the snow tire just took it on and allowed me to steadily ride up the street as if the pusher tire had chains on it!  I then proceeded to plow into any area where snow had not been plowed, such as alongside sidewalks and Yoshie cruised through the loose tire with ease.  Truly amazing the difference I was experiencing with the snow tire!

After thanks Craig, I took my leave and went to the parking garage near work where I'd taken Yoshie before and failed to negotiate the inclined corridors leading up to the top level of the parking garage.  The top level is open to the sky you see and snow collects there nicely.

Yoshie just motored onto the 4-5 inches of snow on top of the parking garage, again like she was wearing chains on the pusher!  It was glorious.  I did manage to get her into some deeper snow and briefly stuck.  The pusher dug its way down to a layer of thick ice and from there I had no traction.  I pushed her off the ice patch and motored her into position for this picture:

A view of the Front Range Mountains

It was still early so I decided to get on the C-470 slab to see how the new tire felt.  I am happy to report it felt rock solid even at 80mph, at this is before I add the dynabeads for balance!  I made my way to the town of Morrison and the Red Rocks Park for pictures.

 Creation Valley

 The Red Rocks Amphitheater

 Creation Rock, you'll note the deep snow on the side of the road.
Almost got stuck, but placing my feet on the passenger pegs 
applied enough weight to the pusher to motor its way out!

 The tunnel through Lizard Head Rock

 Creation Rock Parking Lot

 Ship Rock, it forms the southern half of the amphitheater

 I believe these are Sinking Titanic and Sphinx Rocks

A view of the lightly snow-covered valley to the south
of Red Rocks Park.

Throughout my riding in Red Rocks Park, I didn't have any significant traction issues.  The loose snow in the gravel parking lots was child's play, and the patches of ice on the roadways were inconsequential for the most part.  I am loving the traction that the new snow tire is providing me.  Now I just have to figure out a way to get the front tire to "bite" more so I can do donuts in the snow.  : )

I made it home safely by 1:00PM, tired from little sleep but happy with the new tire.  The Elephant Ride in February of next year is now looking doable for Yoshie, I had been thinking she'd have to sit it out.

My thanks again to Craig for his help and use of tools and tire changer!


Chris said...

congrats on finding a snow tire that fits! the right tires really make a difference. my wife is having the same experience as you as she finally gave in to my suggestion to get proper snow tires on her car.

I'm going to suffer a few more days with the duros before I put the snow tex on the ural. maybe you can get one of those to fit yoshie or convert to leading link and put another car tire up front.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Chris, I'll see if they make a snowtex tire for the front.

RichardM said...

Work all night then go work on the bike and go for a ride after just a short nap. There's a word for that but it's not coming to me...

Is the new tire already siped in addition to having a more open tread? That would help on the ice by increasing the number of edges. Congratulations on finding something that works well.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

There is nothing like a happy ending to a story. Does the slightly different diameter of the tire (.4) add to pull on one side?

I am hoping that the usually milder winter weather on the New Jersey shore will save me from having to get snow tires for the truck.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

redlegsrides said...

Chris...I searched long and hard, then turns out the riddle had been solved before on the stromtrooper forum! I just didn't think to search there...figured my insanity was mine along, but it isn't. : )

RichardM, the word you are seeking is "dedication". : ) Or obsession...either works. The new tire is indeed heavily siped and has built-in mounting holes for studs but doubt I'll ever do that.

Jack, damn good question but I've not noted any additional pull to the right, the rig tracks true.

Thanks all for visiting and commenting.