Showing posts with label Valencia Farkles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Valencia Farkles. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Farkles for Scarlett

Just a posting to describe some of the recent farkling I've been doing to Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig, to personalize her for me.

Oxford Heated grips, previously used on my Valencia, my 2011 URAL Patrol, transferred from her to Scarlett when I traded in Valencia.  Randy, the dealer, wanted to make Valencia as stock as possible for her eventual sale.

A Bell 300 Cyclometer, to tell me how fast I am actually going when the speedo needle on Scarlett starts doing the usual windshield wiper dance at speeds above an indicated 50MPH.  It's also got a built-in thermometer.  I had been using it on Brigitta, my '87 R80 when her original speedometer failed, but now that it's been replaced by one from a different airhead, I can re-purpose it.

As on my previous rigs, and also retrieved from Valencia, a cheapo ATV tachometer to help me somewhat know what RPMs the engine is running at.  Not exactly accurate but it works for me.


I replaced the stock sealed beam headlight that Scarlett came with with this one I bought on amazon for $39 including shipping.  It's got what I believe is a better reflector design inside the headlight and allows me to use replaceable H4 bulbs readily available from any auto parts store.


Now that Winter is near, I've put on the National Cycle Plexistar Windshield to keep the cold air off me and my hands while riding.  I had bought it used for Valencia, after the Alaska trip, and through much experimentation and later actually reading the manual for it, got it mounted right.    I had, because the previous owner had, the support mounts reversed!  Oh well, live and learn.

I am expecting, a delivery in a couple of days of new ATV grip covers from Kolpin.  They will replace my aging and rather ratty looking Quadboss Grip covers that I originally bought for Maria, my 2004 BMW R1150RT and which I've used on all my motorcycles when the weather is cold enough and heated grips and heavy gloves alone don't cut it.

Finally, the cordura saddlebags I bought from a local purveyor of Horse Tack and Gear, is mounted fulltime on Scarlett.  I use it to carry rain pants and FroggTogg jacket on the left side bag and a camp chair and small covers on the right.  I had always resisted this before as they're not lockable but my Alaska trip and just experience has taught me that most folks don't mess with your stuff when you leave the rig parked.  Will I leave valuable stuff locked up in the trunk still?  You bet.

The saddlebags as they were mounted on Valencia

Finally, I have Heidenau K37 Tires inbound.  I will probably mount them by the end of the year as there's still "meat" on the Duro HF 308 tires that are stock from URAL.  I am estimating maybe 2000 Km more remain on the pusher tire so must get some more riding in before then!

Bring it on Winter....bring it on!

20NOV14: Update: The Bell Cyclometer sending unit's battery couldn't take the cold temperatures sadly, a brand new battery drained down in less than three days.  Have reverted to older Vetta cyclometer with wired sensor.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Aussie Saddlebags for my Russian Steed

Today is Ride to Work Day!  Did you ride?

I rode, even though I am unemployed at present.  I rode to Down Under Saddle Supply to remedy a lack that I'd experienced during my recent ride to Alaska and back.

You see, I used a tailbag, to store and have ready access to gloves, maps, straps and such while riding.  The one I used worked OK but I wanted something better.

A bit of online research and I found these saddlebags in nearby Aurora, CO:

 I originally had picked out the brown colored version but the sales guy talked
me out of it as most of Valencia's trim is black.

 Left bag: gloves, spares, straps
Right bag: rain coat and pants
Top Bag: Jacket liners.
(and yes, the Kolpin gas can still fits when mounted
to left side of sidecar's left quarter)

Handy access to water bottles, which came with the saddlebag

Two forward straps allowed me to secure the bag to the frame of the tug.  No straps are left hanging loose, to be caught by the spokes of the rear wheel.  The straps have quick release buckles so I can release the saddlebags at night and take them into the hotel or tent as applicable.

The straps on top can be used to strap down other items, a waterproof bag perhaps.

The 2013 CZAR (Colorado Zidecar Adventure Rider) Rally is this coming weekend, in the Gunnison area.  It'll be a good test of the new saddlebags.  I might look into suitably sized plastic storage containers to make the bags retain their form when empty, but that's later on.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Uraling to Alaska - Day 5: Repairs and Upgrades for Valencia

Today I rode over to Salem, Oregon, to have the guys at the URAL dealer there check out my clutch and out in a few minutes I thought.  Not quite.

I was warmly greeted by Cal and Robert who work there.  Then I was taken inside to meet the owner, Jim Petitti, who while quite a bit older than I, is still running the business and does work that he loves.  During the day, I'd learn many things from him about the care and feeding of URALs and also stories of his youth when he raced cars and also established records "on the salt" alongside the likes of Burt Munro!

But, onto the main reason for being there.  It was pointed out to me that it looked like the rear main seal between the engine and the transmission had failed and caused oil contamination of the clutch.  They convinced me to take the clutch apart for further examination.

Now, here's the best part, once I gave the go ahead....three guys, Cal and Robert who would do the more complicated stuff and Tony who did more of the general tasks jumped on Valencia and started tearing her down for repair!  It was like the entire shop was dedicated to my rig, and I'd just shown up, no real appointment or anything!  You read stories about shops going out of their way to help a rider on a trip, well these guys set the bar for such service!  Valencia became "their mission" so I could complete my trip to Alaska!

So, to give you context, here's the major tasks that were done:

1.  Replace the pusher tire, it was shot.  "I swear it had some thread on it last night!".  It would also have the upgraded bearing kit installed.

2.  Check the clutch and repair as necessary.  It would end up being covered under warranty, with several seals being replaced and of course, the clutch plates themselves.  (Warranty)

3.  Align my sidecar rig, it was set too far in it's toe-in and causing accelerated wear on my tires, especially the pusher tire.

4.  The rear upper support strut's mount was found to be loose, along with the clapper bolts both front and rear.  These are the bolts that hold the subframe to the tug.  All were tightened up per spec after the rig was aligned and leaned out correctly.  Not only was my toe-in too much, but my lean out was not enough.  FYI: They use 3/8" Toe-in as good starting point and a leanout that leaves the tug with a leanout between .7 and .9 degrees.

5.  As the clutch and seals were warrantied, I elected to have them install an upgraded ignition system called Powerarc, this will replace the stock Ducati System.

6.  Got carburetor intake "perch" rings to provide a more secure mount point for the airbox tubes.  Check and synch the carburetors after engine was re-installed.

7.  Re-route engine crankcase tube from going to airbox to venting onto a small filter.  I'll be replacing same with a catch bottle soonest.

8.  Replace bearings on the pusher wheel with upgraded bearing kit and hardware, another Raceway
Services offering.

9.  Add in-line fuel filters, upgrade fuel "T" fitting to a metal one.

10. Replace exhaust pipe gaskets with upgraded versions.

11. Cable lube kit which I'll use to lube all the control cables.  This extends their life significantly.

12.  Quick disconnect fitting for the gas tank's crossover tube.  No more spilling of fuel now when removing the tank!

13.  Replace cam shaft seal at front of engine, not warrantied item.

 Valencia's Pusher tire, as it showed up at the shop.
It was installed at 16,841 miles, and it made it to 25,000.  Not bad, it 
was a Heidenau K37, but the excessive toe-in I had contributed to the excessive wear
I was told, I should hopefully get as long or better wear from the new tire.

 Above is the engine, out of the frame and ready to be worked on.
You're looking at the rear of the transmission.  Both the clutch actuator seal and the 
seal for the transmission output yoke were leaking, causing the mess you see.

 Above is a special tool, manufactured by Raceways, to help adjust toe-in.

 Transmission is off, you can see the clutch cover plate before it
was taken apart.

 Clear evidence of oil contamination!  Enough oil had leaked into the
clutch housing to cause clutch dust to clump together as you can see above.

 Above, another special tool manufactured by Raceway Services to 
extract the flywheel.  No way in hell I could have removed said flywheel while
on the side of the road!  The flywheel has to come off to access the rear main seal.

 Here's the rear of the engine, failed seal removed and the area cleaned up.
Cal also put Loctite 515 on the screws above and re-torqued them as he
found several were loose.

 One of the old damaged clutch plates, note the cracks in the 
clutch material!

 More evidence of oil contamination, note the spalling marks left
behind as radiated lines on the above clutch plate.

 Special tool used to compress the clutch plates for assembly

 The aftermarket ignition system I bought, pricey but the performance increase!

 Above, the new sensor used by Power Arc
Below is the old Hall Effect Sensor used by the stock Ducati Ignition

 The toggle switch now controls whether the Power Arc Ignition System
is running in Advanced Mode (on) or Retarded Ignition Mode (off)
Since the rig is loaded up, I am to run in the off mode.  Once she runs unloaded, then 
I can turn the control on.  Cal said to try both modes and see how I think it performs.
The Retarded Ignition mode will work best on big hills with a full load he told me.

 The carburetor adapters/perches sold by Raceway Services.  
They provide an extended lip for the air tube to "mate onto" as
now there's a tendency for the air tube to come loose.

 Here's the crew who helped me get back on the road with a road-worthy rig!
Left to Right:  Robert, Cal, Jim and Kurt.

Jim Petitti

Even with the cost of labor and parts for the stuff under warranty, there was significant costs borne by me out of pocket for the upgrades and the fixes such as the alignment of the rig.  Still, the work had to be done, and the upgrades I truly believe will go to ensure a successful and enjoyable ride to Alaska and back.

Both Cal and Robert, while steadily working, also answered all of my questions.  I learned quite a lot from them, much to think about, a lot to rethink in terms of servicing and maintenance concepts I thought I had a handle on, and just tips and info on being a URAL owner.

My thanks to the crew at Raceway Services!  Cal and Robert were the main mechanics doing the work and they were pretty amazing to watch and they not only worked methodically and carefully but swiftly!  Every move was sure and confident and they explained what they were doing to me as they worked.  Thanks Gents!

As to that aftermarket ignition system.  I'd read about it before but had been skeptical, not to mention its pricey cost.  It's early of course, but in the run from Salem to Portland after I left Raceway Services, Valencia ran like a scalded cat!  I was not only able to catch trucks and cars on the slow lane but do it while climbing slight hills and grades!  No longer (more riding will prove this I am sure) am I the slowest vehicle on the highway!  Now, where those Prius' and gigantic RVs that passed me before?!

I didn't have to shift down to third gear any time I got to a hill on Interstate 5 and there was even some throttle left as I drove along at an indicated 60-70 mph.  Now, let me clarify, the speedometer needle (which is apparently not used to spending time above 65) is swinging a bit wildly, kind of like a windshield wiper, when above 60 MPH.  

I am going to have to get Lock-Ease, to lube up the speedometer cable to get it to steady.  I hope that works, it didn't on my previous URAL whose speedometer looked like a windshield wiper in cold weather but it wasn't really cold here today.  I am going to try and measure my speed with my phone's GPS tomorrow if I can find a stretch of road that allows this testing safely.

I don't have to roll on as much throttle anymore when coming off a standing start and while I am still getting used to the new clutch AND the new throttle performance, the power delivery is quite immediate and smooth now.

More info here on some of the upgrades I bought and Raceway Services personnel installed: (Note, all these items can be installed by rig owners, I just paid to have Raceway do it)

Power Arc Ignition Systemn : IMPORTANT NOTE: Check with your URAL dealer re warranty impact from installation of this device!

Truly a great dealer, providing great customer/rider support!  If you're in the Salem, Oregon area, stop by and check them out!  You won't regret it, your wallet might take a hit, but I think you'll be pleased.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Carrying Spare Fuel on Valencia

Running out of fuel when you're in the middle of some mountain trail, trees all around, and pretty much miles and miles from any kind of help, much less a fuel station, is not a good feeling.

For the longest time, I'd carried my 1.5 gallons of extra fuel in my Kolpin gas can, mounted on a bracket carrier bolted to the metal plate one steps on when getting in and out of the sidecar.  This worked for many months but in the end, all the bouncing of the rig on rough terrain led the bracket and can to oscillate and eventually break two of the three mounting tabs for the metal plate!

I'm going to have the plate re-welded into place by my friend Oscar this weekend, but the step plate will not be used again for the Kolpin mounting bracket.

Instead, after debating for some time, and almost buying the spare gas can/bracket from the Ural dealer, I decided to mount the existing Kolpin can using the panel mount it comes with, in the same spot as my fellow Uralistas had mounted their Ural-supplied gas cans.

I marked the holes once I picked the spot for the mounting plate.  Using a level, I oriented it so that the bottom end of the support arm is slightly more forward than the top end, causing the can to rest its weight to the rear.  Four holes later ( I did cringe a bit on the first one), some nuts/bolts/washers, and voila:

 I've learned through experience, that this can will leak if I ride with the spout on the inside,
so I mount it on the outside, in case you were wondering why.l

 You slide the gas can over the support arm and securing handle,
turn clockwise till nice and tight, there's two dimples on the can which inhibit
movement by the securing handle, once tight.

The inside of the trunk, used large washers to help
distribute the weight of the gas can. (About ten pounds)

The carrying capacity is 1.5 gallons but in reality its a bit less to avoid spillage on hot days.  The URAL gas can is 10 Liters or about 2.5 gallons.  All things working right, I should be able to get 40-45 miles range on this spare gas can's contents.

If this arrangement works out in the long run, I might get a second Kolpin can for the right side of the trunk, to balance things out a bit eh?

My thanks to fellow Uralista Darrell for helping me get over punching holes in my sidecar.  I'm kidding you Darrell!  :)

Ready for the 2013 Elephant Ride