Monday, October 13, 2014

Improving Ergos on Scarlett

I have a 32 inch inseam, perhaps 33 with boots on.  This has led in the years since I've started riding URAL sidecar rigs to some knee pain during long rides.

You see, there's not much room for one's right foot in your standard URAL. The standard seating height puts my right leg at an angle where the armor in my riding pants binds up on my right knee, eventually causing soreness and pain.

In the past, I would raise my right heel a bit and it helped, but I couldn't hold that for long periods of time.  I could deploy the pillion's ride peg and move my right foot back, resting it on said peg but again, it's not something I could hold for long.

The other day, it occurred to me that if I could raise the bench seat on Scarlett, it would allow a better angle for my right leg, obviating the need to ride with the heel higher than the toe as it were.

Some testing, some thinking, some observations later, I tried raising the seat using stacks of washers....this worked to raise it about 1/4 inch but then the mounting screws involved were not long enough.

This morning, I rode Brigitta over to the hardware store to get longer M8x1.25 nuts and bolts.  Brigitta ran well, and the headlight stayed on, so that was a good test ride after Saturday's work involving the headlight bucket.

Returning home, I set about installing the new bolts, using nuts to adjust the height of the bolts.  The bolts replace the OEM ones that held the mounting plate over the battery compartment in place.  The bench seat has a primary mounting bold that secures to the mounting plate, with two other bolts at the rear of the bench seat holding things down on that end of things.

Closeup view of the bolts which now hold the bench seat
about one inch higher than stock.  Usually, the mounting plate
sits flush on top of the tug's frame.
Note how the middle rubber bumpers now hang in the air.

Unless you really know to look, there's no real change to 
Scarlett's appearance.  Especially if I am sitting on her.

source: URAL
example rig with the seat flush mounted to the mounting plate

Getting geared up, I took Scarlett for about 30 minutes or so of riding.  My right foot fits much better now on the right peg, and it feels comfortable to hold my foot parallel to the ground.  I think this little mod will help during the long rides, but we'll see.

Scarlett at the power plant by Smith Road, north of the I-70 highway
and near Powhaton Road.

As you can see, storm clouds, which caused me to ride back homeward in a pretty steady rain.  No big deal but it was close to lunch so I just rode on home, getting wet since I didn't bother to don rain gear.

There is no such thing as warm summer rain in Colorado.

A bit chilled, I got home just fine.  Took a look at the relays which are mounted on the bottom of the mounting plate that the seat is anchored on; a few small drops of water hat collected on them.  I took some leftover rubber trim used for garage doors, black in color, place it under the seat and secured the ends to the pillion's grab bars.  That should keep water and snow from collecting on the relays, the proof will be the first ride in snow; which should be within the next two to three weeks if I'm lucky.


Richard M said...

What did you do to raise the rear mounting? Did you fabricate a new bracket to raise the mounting plate?

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, nope...just used nuts as standoffs, the metal plate that the seat bolts on is now elevated 1 inch or so. The rear mounting points, I used longer bolts....tightened them down. There's perhaps a quarter inch gap perhaps. I didn't raise the rear mounting.

Trobairitz said...

A pretty crafty fix to the seat issue. Hope that feels better on the knee. Time will tell.

Charlie6 said...

So far so good Trobairitz, no day long rides yet.

Dave Morrell said...

Footboards and a heel / toe shifter

Charlie6 said...

Dave M, the URAL already has heel/toe shifter....footboards are available from third party.