Saturday, May 05, 2012

So much for having a spare sidecar rig!

As I rode Valencia, my 2011 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig home with an ailing clutch on Thursday of this week, I was thinking to myself: "Good timing on the part of the Suzuki dealer, having Yoshie, my 2006 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 Sidecar Rig ready for pickup".  Yoshie would function as my spare sidecar rig while Valencia awaited parts and the repairs scheduled for the 20th of the month.

Sigh, alas it was not to be.

The dealer elected to deliver the rig back to me stating that I should verify the sidecar's alignment myself before taking it out on public roads.  OK I said, that's reasonable as they don't do sidecars every day.

Yoshie was dropped off this morning and I geared up for a short ride around the neighborhood to see how she felt before I got down to the business of checking the sidecar's alignment and such.

She felt a bit weird in the rear but I shrugged that off as having been away from here over two months and having been on my Ural most of that time.  At a stop light, a Harley Davidson rider pulls up to me and yells: "Dude your rear wheel is moving back and forth!".   As you can imagine, a disconcerting remark to say the least!

We both pulled off into a shopping center's parking lot and he pushed Yoshie a short distance while I watched from the rear and damn if the tire wasn't wobbling back and forth!  Dammit.

I thanked the HD rider, and rode slowly back home.  I dismounted the tire, thinking perhaps it was a damaged tire that was causing the wobbles.  I had no luck getting the tire off.

Breaking the bead on the cut tire

I ended up cutting the perfectly good snow tire off using a sawzall.  Once I got the tire remnants off, I put the rear wheel on the ground and found it to be warped!

Yep, in spite of me telling them from the onset that I thought the wheel was bent....the dealer's tech declared the rear wheel as fine.  He told that to the insurance adjustor who believed him and so it was not part of the cost of repairs!  I figure it'll be close to $300 to replace the warped wheel with a new one, associated bearings, new axle and mounting a car tire onto it.  How much would you like to bet this amount might have pushed the cost of repairs over whatever magical mark the insurance guys follow in order to "total a bike"?

Now here Yoshie sits in my garage, sans her rear wheel/tire.  The replacement tire won't get in till the 9th so that's the earliest I can expect to be able to pick it up with a tire mounted on it.

Yoshie awaits her new wheel

Then, you have to wonder what other damages lay hidden awaiting me in the future.  I will surely write a letter to the General Manager at the Suzuki Dealer, his diagnosing tech sucks!

So, now I have two "down" sidecar rigs awaiting parts.  Luckily, there's Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Airhead Beemer, ready to take me to my first day of work on Monday.  

See, plenty of room for two rigs in my garage....


Unknown said...


I wouldn't have believed it, imagine returning your bike with a bent wheel. You've got lots of garage space but where is the Beemer SUV ? I guess it gets the outside spot.

Lucky thing you have 2 spare bikes, plus a scooter with 2 bicycles for further backup.

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

redlegsrides said...

Hi really think Martha would let me put her Bimmer SUV outside? It's a three car garage. Thanks for the visit.

RichardM said...

Wow! That wheel is really bent. It's hard to believe that the mechanic (and I use that word loosely) even looked at it. It's a good thing you have the backup bike.

Good luck with the new company... I'm curious what the issue was with the last one.

Low Buck Rider said...

And all this time you thought Murphy wasn't waiting around the conner. At least you were fresh and relaxed from your little putt so it all roller off you like water off a ducks back. I have a great mental image of you on Martha's pretty blue scooter. Riding the way a real man is meant to.
Mike D.

Low Buck Rider said...

Well, I hope your first day at the new job goes better. At least Brigitta won't feel so unloved.
Mike D.

Chris said...

Yikes! more bad news.

About your bead breaking technique... use the long red bar the changer came with. It slots into the opening on the end, and gives a LOT more leverage than what looks like a screwdriver you're using.

Soapy water or tire lube are your friends. seriously. I didn't believe it until I used some.

BeemerGirl said...

Dom, please don't just pay that! Make the dealership pay for it. They are the ones that declared it safe and true. But I'm very sorry you have to continue on with the saga.

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, next time we meet, I'll tell you over a beer or three.

redlegsrides said...

Low Buck Rider, Mike: oh yes, the picture of me in full riding gear riding the little scooter, is quite amusing I am told.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Chris, am aware of the extension but the bead was breaking just fine that way so I kept at it. What is more troubling is I managed to break my mojo lever...oh well, replacement tip is coming.

redlegsrides said...

BeemerGirl, oh I am not paying for the new way no how.

SnickShift said...

I'd be thinking law suit. This kind of behavior is criminally dangerous. Either the insurance company or the mechanic were making money at the risk or your life. Scary.

redlegsrides said...

Snick shift....not sure we need to go that route, we'll see how things go when I talk to the insurance rep tomorrow. Thanks for commenting.

redlegsrides said...

Amazingly, the wheel cost $1023 to replace (wheel itself was $739!). Not only is the price outrageous in my opinion, but the fact that had the "tech" spotted it in the first place and added it to the estimate for repair originally, it still would not have totaled the rig.

In the insurance company's eye's my rig is worth just over $11K. Oh well.