Showing posts with label Scarlett Farkle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scarlett Farkle. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

New Steering Damper for Scarlett

All the trail riding riding in the Moab, UT area last week and before highlighted the fact that Scarlett's third stock steering damper had bit the dust.

I'd been feeling a bit of a head shake from her front wheel sporadically but maybe because it was so sporadic, maybe because it happened over a long enough period that I adapted to it or maybe because I'm just cheap....I'd delayed replacing it.

I wrote third, yep, the original and one more had been replaced (under warranty) by Ural.  Now that Scarlett's out of warranty coverage, options open up.

At Moab, I tried fellow Uralista Russ' rig which was equipped with "Sean's R3W" Steering Damper.  It turned and rode very nice I must say.  He rode Scarlett and was quite disturbed by the effect of the failed steering damper on her steering.

I got back from Moab and ordered the kit from Sean0262 (on sovietsteeds) and it arrived today.  Very nice communication (email), very fast delivery and great instructions.  Worth every penny of the $150 that this kit costs.  The replacement steering damper is north of $100+ I think so it's not much more.

The bonus is that the damper itself is a readily available Gabriel Steering Damper, not expensive at all ( less than $30 on amazon link below), if or when it should fail.

The kit though, with its brackets and hardware, are what make the kit a good buy...strong components, well made and designed, make the installation a true bolt-on job.

The kit fits the older Ural rigs along with the newer ones starting with 2014.  If you are having issues with the stock steering damper, consider this alternative!  Tell Sean I sent you!  :)

I went for a ride with the new steering damper, and could not induce headshake no matter what pothole or edge trap I hit.  No headshake when coming off the raised edge of the driveway either!  Yep, the expected initial resistance when going from a standing stop or real slow.  I'll have to find me some rough dirt trails to ride her on but I am confident Sean's R3W Steering Damper will do fine; after all, it's Moab-tested and proven!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

New spotlight for Scarlett

While in Arizona, I foolishly caused damage to the small spotlight I used on the right side of the sidecar; to draw attention to that side of the rig while moving.

I broke the spotlight that used an H3 Bulb and I recently replaced it with an 18 watt LED spotlight from Amazon.

The cost was under $20 so very low risk proposition and the light fit just right where the other spotlight had been mounted before.

The spotlight's construction is an all metal housing and some very bright LED bulbs.  So far I like it a lot, but it does cause some issues with photographs when the angle is just right; it can be quite blinding.

It's got a blueish/greenish tint, the light, but so far so good.

Neither one of the two lights lasted more than a few months....

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Scarlett gets the Raceway Services Two-into-One headers installed.

Back in early December of last year, I'd bought Raceway URAL's (formerly Raceway Services) kit to convert my 2014 URAL Patrol from having two mufflers, to just using one, the starboard one.

You see, the stock mufflers on the sidecar rigs made by URAL have what I've come to think of as a design defect.  Nothing safety related of course, it's just that when one's rig is on a rough/rocky trail and is tilted towards the left or port, the muffler sometimes contacts a protruding rock.

Said contact, given enough speed/force, tends to knock one's muffler loose from its connection to the catalyst pipe or even the header pipe.  Quite a PITA to put back in place while on the trail, let me tell you!  I'd taken to carrying a heat-proof glove and a big hammer for just such occasions.

As it is, even when the muffler doesn't get knocked off, it acquires some rather sad looking "dents" and scratches from rock impacts.

Reference pic, the red arrow shows where rocks usually
impact the muffler when rig is tilted to the left because
of rough terrain conditions.

The Two-into-One Header pipes from Raceway URAL allow you to eliminate using the port-side or left muffler and catalyst converter pipe, that links it to the left side header pipe, which goes into the left cylinder head.

The stock header pipes.  The holes you see near
the junction of the header pipes to the cross-pipe are
the oxygen sensor "bung" holes.

The hardest part of the whole install?  Removing the oxygen sensors that were rusted on solid into their mounting holes in the stock header pipes above.  I eventually succeeded in removing them but basically ruined the edges of the 14mm nuts securing them into the header pipes above.  Dammit.

Tried three different 14mm open end wrenches, all were just slightly loose!  Ended up using vise grips and brute force after trying both solvent oil and applying heat as well.  Sigh.

Once past that particular obstacle, all else went pretty much OK.  I had previously purchased a "reducer" to allow for the mating of the new header pipe and the stock muffler which I elected to leave on the right side of the tug.  Darrell S., a fellow Uralista, had previously done this install and had elected to use a HD Sportster muffler for his rig.

I have not, ever, had a rock impact the right side muffler in the almost six years or more that I've been driving URAL sidecar rigs, so I figure it to be a good risk.

I had to cut the right side header pipe from Raceway Ural in order to fit with existing hardware. Raceway Ural ships it to you long, so you make final adjustments as you do the install.

In the picture above, you can see the pipe onto which the left side header pipe connects.

Above pic shows the right side header pipe mounted to
right side cylinder.  Again, you can see the pipe where
the left side header pipe will connect.

Now you can see the left side header pipe connected and
secured onto the right-side header pipe.

Though it was a damn close fit on both ends, I still ended up with an exhaust leak on the trailing edge of the reducer!  Darrell advised using some heat resistant sealant from the local auto parts store and so it was applied.  

I removed the port side muffler and mounting bracket, tightened everything down on the new assembly, took it out for a test ride and everything seems to be good to go!

Here's some pics of the final assembly:

The right side header pipe, linked now to the stock right side muffler
You can also see the Mr COB belly pan which protects
the oil pan.

The left side header pipe, mated to the right side header pipe.
You see see the right-side oxygen sensor's cable near the right-side
header pipe.

Sorry the rig looks so dirty, it gets that way when you go riding in the snow.  What you're seeing is dirt-encrusted accumulations of magnesium chloride on the radiator fins of the cylinder heads.

I am quite happy with this farkle for Scarlett, she's gained about four inches of ground clearance on the left/port side of the tug.  Scarlett is ready for this Spring's Moab gathering, and she won't be leaving her left side muffler on the ground this time!

just look at that new ground clearance!


Did not use the new header gaskets provided by Raceway, re-used existing ones.  Wanted to avoid removing the stock header studs after all the "fun" I had with the oxygen sensor mounting nuts.  Using the Raceway gaskets, which are thicker, would have possibly required the longer studs they provide.

Update: 24JAN16.  Replaced the reducer with the one pictured below that I got from O'Reilly's Auto Parts. It's always best to ensure that the flow end goes into the next section, shall we say.  Previous reducer forced the flow out at the join point, no amount of sealant would do the trick.

Update: 28JAN16.  Found the source of the exhaust leak:

 left side cylinder head, this is the stock gasket that
came with the rig.
The defunct gasket, came apart as I removed it from
left side cylinder head, no wonder I was getting an
exhaust leak.

The right side cylinder head gasket seemed "ok" but of course was replaced with the slightly thicker gaskets that came with the new pipes from Raceway URAL.  They'd also included longer head studs but the existing ones were long enough for the stock crowned nuts to grip and be tightened down.

A test ride revealed all the annoying popping and backfiring was gone!  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Measuring the temperature on Scarlett's heads.

Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar, has what is commonly referred to as a Boxer engine.  The formal description is "Horizontally Opposed Pistons Engine" I believe.

These pistons, function inside what is known as the cylinder heads, or "heads" for short.

During the last long set of riding days down in southwest Colorado for the Fall Colors, there had been a time or two where I'd smelled the distinctive smell of burnt engine oil.  Usually that's either a sign of leaking oil falling on some hot surface or an engine that's running hot.

I recalled seeing a set of engine heat sensor gauges on a fellow Uralista's rig during the last group ride.  Tim L. had installed digital sensors from TTO which used as a sensing device a brass ring which is mounted under the spark plug used in each engine cylinder head.

The price was right, less than $40 each and I got two of them yesterday from Amazon.  Installation was easy and the only real complaint so far is the length of the wiring is a bit short, forcing one to use the leg shields as a mounting point, and not the handlebar.

 Left cylinder's sensor, mounted near top edge of leg guard
LINK to product on Amazon

 My view of the sensors while riding.

 views of the sensor cable at each spark plug

As I had already suspected from comparison to other thermometer readings I'd seen while riding, the aquarium thermometer I use to measure ambient temperature on my handlebar reads two degrees warmer than actual air temperature:

Tim L. reports his cylinder heads run in the 300s Farenheit when riding, I'll be tracking my own to see how hot the heads on an EFI rig run.

Once I have a baseline, I'll be in a better position to judge whether the engine might be overheating on the hotter days of riding.

First ride with sensors: Ambient temp 54F, heads ran in the 330s Farenheit.  High was 369F on left head and 368F on right head.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Storage Farkle for Scarlett

So I was wandering about the local Home Depot and stumbled upon this little storage gem.

Image Source: Home Depot

It was the right dimensions: 22" x 13" x 6.5" (55.8mm x 33mm x 16.5mm) to fit nicely on top of the cargo rag that is mounted on top of the spare tire on Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig.  It is, in fact, slightly larger than the recycled ammunition can that I had hard mounted onto the bottom of the sidecar's trunk area.  LINK

It's got a dust/water seal so should do a better job than the ammo can did in keeping things dry inside.

For the price ($29), you really get a nice bit of storage space, that when mounted, is lockable yet easily accessible and in my case can hold everything I had stashed in the ammo can under the sidecar's trunk!

Here's initial views of the storage box, just lying on top of the cargo rack over the spare tire:

 The object in the bag?  Tripod.


Next, I removed the inside organizers and plastic dividers:

 The orange plastic bins just lift out, as do the plastic dividers
holding the orange bins in place laterally.

 Now, no bins, just the plastic dividers, which came out.

I also popped out the plastic insert on the top lid to
gain about another inch or so of storage vertically.

There's four anchor points, two on each side of the case, 
which are used to clamp these cases to other cases made by 
Ridgid as a set.  I used them to anchor the case to the 
storage rack.

 The entire contents of the ammo can fit comfortably
within the confines of the tool case, with a little room to spare!

I used one of the four anchor points as a way
to mount a lock to keep honest people honest.

The whole process took less than 30 minutes, including the securing of the box to the rack using metal wire ties, with velcro straps as secondary tie-downs.  The velcro straps are removable, the metal wire ties are insurance, and yes, the forward two straps will have to be removed in order to access the spare tire.

I believe I'll end up painting the orange square with the Ridgid logo in black soon.  

Now, what to carry in the ammo can?  So many storage options now on my sidecar rig!

Update:  I applied some black retro-reflective tape to cover the Ridgid logo on top of the case.  Also, using velcro as primary tie-down mechanism since I can tension it, and using small snaplinks as "just in case" anchors.  Going to use the old ammo box under the sidecar for carrying consumables such as oils.

Friday, August 14, 2015

New Hella Headlamp and a Sunset

Today, the Hella Headlamp I ordered from Amazon a few days ago arrived.  It had shown impressive lighting abilities on RichardM's Ural Rig whilst he blew away all records for last winter's Polar Bear Challenge.  Of course, the fact, he was riding on snow, and everything around him was covered in snow probably helped reflect light but still, it had to be better than the headlamp I'd been using.

Image src:

The install was pretty straightforward but I elected to use an upgrade version of the H4 bulb that came with the Hella headlamp.

Then it was time to wait for dark to see how the new headlight performed.  I will say this, while shooting the below pictures, I couldn't use the hi-beam setting as it was flaring out the camera sensor.  (This, is a good thing in my mind).  In fact, with low-beam engaged, there was still some flaring issues, so the new headlamp is definitely brighter.

Clouds blocked the setting sun pretty effectively, I had to adjust the rig's position to take advantage of reflected sunlight on clouds to the south west of me.

Mount Evans

 Sunset Mode

All three shots below were with the headlamp in the low-beam position.

 underexposed by one full stop

 Sunset Mode

-0.3 step underexposure

There was still some light in the sky as I rode home so it wasn't fully dark but I could see my path lit by the low-beam headlight just fine.  The high-beam option lit up distant signs well once I was in the darker neighborhood streets away from the sparse street lights.

More testing to be done of course, but this Hella Headlamp appears promising!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trying a Tankbag on Scarlett

As most motorcycle riders have done, I've tried various options on various motorcycles, to carry more gear securely or perhaps carry gear more conveniently.  In my case, it's been the ability to easily access my camera, yet carry it securely and safely.

Today, I took a tank bag that had sat on the shelf in the garage for a couple of years or more.  It had started with me as a tank bag for Brigitta, my '87 R80 Airhead Beemer but the risk of dust getting under the tank bag and eventually scratching the paint on the fuel tank kept me from using it for long.

So, after staring at things for a bit, I noted that on Scarlett's fuel tank, the angles were slightly different than on the fuel tank for Brigitta.  The tank bag, while resting atop the fuel cap (which sticks up higher than the Beemer's fuel cap), only touched the fuel tank on Scarlett at three points; basically where the mounting straps are used and perhaps an inch or so of surrounding tank bag material.

Some more thinking, I next used a leftover piece of plexiglas and cut a suitable hole in it so that it could be used as a support and in conjunction with the gas cap on Scarlett.

Here's the results:

It's a loose fit, to make sure it doesn't interfere with the 
rubber ring seal of the gas cap.

The gas cap secures the plexiglas support shelf 

A bit hard to see, but now the only contact points are 
the mounting points for the bag itself.

To fill up, I just unclip the left forward tank bag buckle, slid the tank bag to the right and fill up.

Now to do some riding with the bag in place, see how it works while moving; how it works as a ready access point for my camera gear; and perhaps even a place to put my iPhone when using it as a GPS.  (Yes, I know the things overheat easy under the sun).

Update: September 6, 2015

So, less than a month of usage and the plexiglass sheet proved a bit unsupportive near where it was located aft of the gas tank's fill hole.  It caused some scratches/wear on the paint.

So, yesterday I used some touch-up paint and thought about how to gain a bit more standoff distance.

I was going to go to the hardware store and get something similar to this:

The idea was to put two together, opossite each other, to gain some standoff distance between the bracket and the fuel tank.

Prior to going to the hardware store though, I rummaged my box of old parts/hardware (I tend to not throw away used items) and found me these two items:

rubber collar and oil seal case, I think leftover
from when I replaced seals on the final drive rebuild
for Natasha, my '96 URAL

 a look at the two items put together

 plexiglass support panel in place

 Plexiglass support panel now has zero contact
with the fuel tank!

Let's see how this works out now.....