Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another Ergo Mod and Protecting Scarlett's Belly

This week, I've added a couple of hardware mods to Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig to both improve the ergonomics for yours truly and protect the rig's belly pan or bottom of the engine.

First the ergo mod.

I found what I call barbacks, but the manufacturer calls Handlebar Risers.  Regardless, the purpose is to move the handle bar back about 1.25 inches and up about 1 inch.

This way, I don't find myself leaning slightly forward to get a comfy grip on my bar and I can ride with a straighter back, leading to more long range comfort.  That's the plan anyways, I'll see how I feel after the next day-long ride.


 The handlebar in the stock position, with the top portion of the risers removed.

The handlebar now 1 higher and 1.25 inch closer to me.

All my control cabling/wiring proved long enough for the move without having to adjust the were they were secured.  That was a good deal.  Took Scarlett out for a short ride and no control issues and I could feel the difference in reach.  I'd done such mods on Maria, my 2004 R1150RT BMW  and it made a difference then.

I did have to re-adjust the windshield mounts to account for the new handlebar position but this also was not a big deal.

Now for the protection mod:

A fellow Uralista, known as Mr. COB (Cranky Old Bastard) within the community, is a welder among his many talents.  Once in a while, when there's enough interest and he's got the time, he makes protection skid plates for our URAL rigs.

The mission of this skid plate, is to protect the belly area of the rig, specifically the oil pan which is underneath the tug's engine and exposed to rocks on the "gnarlier" trails one can find himself on at times of poor judgement and adventure.

I'd lucked out so far in such rough trails but do remember getting stuck one time on Natasha, my '96 Ural Sportsman rig, on a rock....high-centering the rig briefly.  I was lucky then, no permanent damage!

The plate and brackets are not cheap but definitely will be cheaper than a damaged engine if/when the belly pan is ripped away or holed, causing oil loss and engine seizure!

I followed the instructions on Mr Cob's smugmug picture sharing website to install the skid plate and encountered only one minor issue.  Also, the instructions deal with pre-2014 rigs and have you move an exhaust hanger strap that doesn't apply to 2014 rigs.  No big deal.

 I'd painted the skid plate and brackets a few days ago, they come to you in bare steel.
Lining up the right bracket to the right position re the skid plate took me the longest bu
the written instructions provided by Mr COB did the trick, once I understood what he meant by
spot welds and lining them up.

A closeup of one of the brackets and a spot weld both on it and
the skid plate.  You match these up and you end up with correct 
bracket on correct location, oriented correctly!  Easy Peasy.

 Carefully following the instructions mentioned before, I first installed all
four brackets and left them loosely mounted to the frame.

 The skid plate is heavy steel, so the first bolt was a bit tricky to screw in,
but once in, the rest were no problem once I moved the crossover exhaust pipe
clamp out of the way.
 You can see above how well the skid plate protects the engine's belly pan.
Here's a look at the front of the skid plate, you can see I had to 
rotate the crossover pipe clamp's tightener screw to allow the
skid plate to mate up cleanly with the brackets.

So, now the belly pan is protected.  On to the next protection item, the left muffler which keeps getting knocked off by rocks when the rig is tilted in just the right angle to the left while on rocky trails.  But that's another posting.


RichardM said...

I was wondering what COB referred to...

Nice looking skid plate but now do you need to add the oil cooler to compensate? And I'll wait to see how the bar backs work. Does it make it more comfortable to stand on the pegs?

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, now you know....

An oil cooler does nothing on a oil pressure to speak of really, it's gravity flow. Its one of those threads that never dies, whether to add an oil cooler or not....

I didn't try standing on the pegs during the test ride.

RichardM said...

The oil cooler comment was meant as a joke but I forgot the ;-)

I was surprised to read that the stock oil pump is only 1 litre/min.

Gary France said...

Nice work Dom. I never fail to marvel at your ingenuity.

Anonymous said...

Bar risers...yes! I have been wanting to put a pair of these on for awhile. What part number or brand did you get? The Cob plate is awesome!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Gary but hardly ingenuity.....standard items. :)

redlegsrides said...


Click on the word manufacturer....thanks for the comments

Anonymous said...

The 'manufacturer' link for the bar risers has 640 items on it today. Not very useful as a link to the item itself :-).

redlegsrides said...

Hey Anonymous, try the link now.....

Unknown said...

nice blog