Showing posts with label Vikki - repairs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vikki - repairs. Show all posts

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Goodbye Vikki, Hello ???

This past Friday, I took time from work and headed down to the salvage yard where Vikki, my 2004 Suzuki V-Strom, ended up after being evaluated a "total loss" by the insurance company.

A bit sad that she was not worth repairing but it was good to get the decision from them which allowed me to move on.

Anyways, I went to the salvage yard to recover some items that didn't come with the motorcycle. Got there, got the insurance rep to clear me in with the salvage yard security folks and with tools that I brought with me I reclaimed:

The Dauntless Sub-Frame Mount hardware, the Datel Voltmeter, the mounting adapter plate for the Bestem Top Case and the custom seat, which I will replace with a stock seat.

Here's how Vikki looked, leaning on wooden blocks and looking quite forlorn. I felt quite guilty but then moved briskly to get things done so I could get back to work.

 Picture of Vikki taken Thursday afternoon when I got there without the right tools, 
I am so stupid sometimes.

 Vikki, without her subframe mounting hardware so her sidestand was usable
and with her seat removed.


She looks almost rideable, doesn't she?

 A view of the motorcycle portion of the salvage yard, it was quite the 
large operation, lots of wrecked cars and such

 Lots of wrecked bikes of all makes, a very sad scene to me

Vikki's tenure with me was unfortunately short-lived but they were great times for the most part.  She didn't deserve the fate she got but in the end, it was the decision that was made for me.

Now, as to the title of this posting.  I saw on craigslist a dealer ad for a 2006 V-Strom DL1000 with 29K miles on it being sold in Loveland, CO.  Tricity Cycles is the name of the place and all they do is resell pre-owned motorcycles and some provide repair and accessory services to the local area.

Some text messages exchanged with Stu, the salesman, and we drove up before lunch to Loveland.  It took us an hour and while Martha and the boys wandered about the store, I had my first look at this V-Strom and she looked pretty good!

Took her out for a 15 minute test ride and she ran fine and felt a bit more "planted" than Vikki had been.  Apparently one of the things Suzuki's worked on since they made the 2004 model was a stronger suspension system.

We then left the dealership, telling Stu we needed to feed the kids (which we did) but really to discuss things over some food.  We went to a local BBQ joint called Norbys and had some pretty good food.  Sorry, too wrapped up discussing the motorcycle to take food porn shots.

Martha and I concluded it was a good deal and returned me to the dealership to complete the deal.  Not much haggling involved, basically got them to throw in a year's warranty under an outside company called Edge Service Company.  It wasn't a no-cost upgrade by using the insurance money but I figured the out-of -pocket expense would have been comparable to getting Vikki repaired; had the engine casing not been compromised of course.

Rode it home in stifling humid heat (it had briefly showered rain while I completed the paperwork and called the insurance company to put the new to me V-Strom under coverage) and got her home safe and sound.

 "She who must be named" sitting on her new home driveway


So, gentle readers, what shall I name her?  She's a darker silver color than Vikki was, kind of reminds me of the color of storm clounds.  Stormy or Stromy is out, and so is Velma.  Perhaps something Japanese?  I am open to suggestions.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Vikki is toast

I got a call from the insurance rep this afternoon.  They've declared Vikki, my 2004 V-Strom a total loss and I am to meet with them tomorrow to give them her title in exchange for the value of the motorcycle.

I've decided to see about buying one of two used V-Strom DL1000s that are within reasonable distance of me.

Why continue with a V-Strom sidecar rig?

1.  Not giving up on being a sidecarist.  I like it too much and when the snow returns to Colorado.....

2.  Economics: Getting another V-Strom tug is the only option not involving more money out of pocket.  I don't want to incur more debt than what I have now.  A new Ural, with what I expect I'd get from the sale of the Dauntless sidecar rig and subframe to another V-Strom rider, would require an estimated $6000 additional out of pocket.  No used Urals that are year model 2008 or later anywhere near me right now or within foreseeable budget.

The lower-priced one of the two looks like this and is located in Pueblo, CO:

Image source: Craiglist ad
more details on above V-Strom here: LINK

The second V-Strom is located in Longmont, CO which is north of Denver.

Image source: Craiglist ad
more details on above V-Strom here: LINK

The first V-Strom has less miles on her than the one in Longmont, but has not been ridden at all this year.  The second V-Strom has double the miles that Vikki had but comes with more "stuff".

I go tomorrow afternoon, hopefully, to recover the sub-frame mount hardware from Vikki.  I'll try and remember to take a last picture of her.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

So, Vikki is probably history.....

Bobskoot had emailed me a link to a posting which turned out very apropos as to why I've been so quiet lately in the blogosphere.

BLUF: (Bottom Line Up Front)

Vikki, my 2004 Suzuki V-Strom tug is more than likely, toast.

The V-Strom's drive chain coming off the rear sprocket two weekends ago at the end of my trip to Montana had apparently flailed about while wrapping itself around the front sprocket.  The end result was not only a busted clutch actuator rod, damaged drive chain,  but small holes carved into the left side engine casing and some other associated damage.

The dealer where I took her for repairs said it would take around $3700 in parts (apparently the engine casing's replacement involves also all sort of bearings and other internal parts which are a mandatory and or best practice replacement).  Tack on another estimated $1500 in labor (the engine has to be removed to remove and replace the casing) and you can do the math.

I am waiting for the insurance company's own evaluation as to the motorcycle's repairability before they decide what to do with her.  Vikki was picked up from the dealer this past Thursday afternoon I found so they'll hopefully evaluate her tomorrow, Monday.

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My options, as I see them, are as follows and will be driven by whatever amount the insurance company deems Vikki is worth.

Option 1:
Replace the tug (that's Vikki in sidecarist lingo) with another used V-Strom, put the sidecar back on and carry on riding.  This is the least cost option as I have all the mounting hardware.

Option 2:
Find a new tug, a used BMW Oilhead GS perhaps and use that as a tug.  This option will cost me an additional $1500 or more due to having to purchase a GS-specific sub-frame mount to use to attach it to the sidecar; not to mention also, the cost of a good used GS is higher than a good used V-Strom!  An older airhead tug, is not an option with the Dauntless sidecar I have according the the manufacturer as my sidecar is a "high end" dualsport sidecar, the A-arms on the sidecar would have to be "custom made" with the tug at ther facility, more money.

Option 3:
Take the insurance money and put in bank.  Then sell the Dauntless sidecar and put proceeds in bank.  Cut my losses and ride Brigitta, my dependable R80 Airhead Beemer while we see what the future brings.  Perhaps a 2007 or newer Ural sidecar rig which are more mechanically dependable, or perhaps a R90/6 with sidecar.  Both of these would cost more money than the proceeds above would generate I fear.

More to follow.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No sidestand? No Problem!

When I dropped Vikki off at the Suzuki dealer to get her fixed up, she had still been separated from the sidecar and hence, unable to hold herself up without assistance.

The sidestand that is built onto her is blocked by the Dauntless subframe mount and unable to be deployed.  The lack of a sidestand had not been an issue before as she'd been attached to the sidecar.

I'd brought a stack of small wooden blocks I'd cut from a 2x4 piece of lumber but they failed miserably at holding her steady; we ended up leaning her against the side of the building, her right side mirror bearing all the weight!

Today, while surfing the usual motorcycle-content sites, I came across this picture:


I'm thinking this will be "just the thing" to help prop Vikki up once I go to get her back from the dealer once she's repaired.

No word yet from the dealer on the damages and costs to fix her up.


Monday, July 18, 2011

The Montana Trip - Last Day

I had a bit over 500 miles to do today to get from Sandy, UT to Centennial, CO with a stop in Edwards, CO for lunch with a fellow Uralista.  So I left before dawn at 05:00AM, rode and froze through the mountain pass that is US6 from Provo, UT to it's junction with I-70.

I was glad when the sun finally came out and I was out of the shadows of the canyon walls that border both sides of US6, makes for some nice sweeping curves with some twists and turns thrown in for good measure but I was just feeling the chill.

As I got into the flatter portion of US6, I tanked up at the Green River exit on I-70 and posed Vikki against this large rock formation nearby:

Near the Green River exit, off of I-70 in Utah.

I met with Dana, a fellow Uralista, in Edwards, CO at around 12:30PM and we had a nice lunch.  He lent me a chain breaker tool so that I would be able to swap out the chain for the new one I'd bought in Boise, ID.  

Heading home after lunch, I ran into atypical stop/go traffic eastbound as folks were coming down off the mountains into the Denver Metro area.  It was heavier than usual, with the backups going all the way past Bakerville!

I started working my way down using frontage roads but these were full of traffic as well, resulting in a lot of stop and go traffic.  Then, it started to rain to top it all off.  

As I went past the town of Downieville, and turned onto the overpass over I-70 (Stanley Rd).  I had myself a near-miss with a SUV who'd started crossing over the middle of the road, while swerving hard right to avoid, I heard a big metallic bang and lost all power on the motorcycle, and the ignition cut out.  I coasted to a stop past the overpass and onto the side of the road.

The damn chain had come off the rear sprocket and jammed itself up in the front sprocket area!  Dammit!  Still, I thought I could self recover if I could free up the damaged old chain and put on the new chain.

Initially, it looked repairable....

As I removed the front sprocket cover to try and unjam the old chain, I found more damage caused by the flailing chain.  It had broken off at the mounting holes where the engine side cover mates to the engine.  I also found a sheared metal tube which acts as the clutch actuator so there went my plans to self-recover.  

The ignition had cut out because the flailing chain had cut the wires leading to the sidestand switch which checks to see if its up or down before allowing a rider to turn on the engine.

The wires are for the sidestand safety switch, I had thought I could "link them" together
to regain ignition, that was before I found the busted clutch actuator rod and knew
I could not repair with what I had with me.

The hole above is where the rod that acts as clutch actuator goes into the transmission case
You can see where the side cover has broken away from the lower mounting holes
I am really hoping there was no internal damage to the transmission, just to the actuator bolt.

I called my insurance company and due to the weather and accidents closer to Denver, was told an ETA of 3-4 hours before a tow truck could come get me!  So I called my friend Oscar, who true to form, dropped everything, got his trailer hooked up and was standing by me around 6:15PM or so.

His trailer was too narrow though to take on the sidecar rig so we had to separate the sidecar from the tug, which while not complicated, took some additional time.  We then muscled Vikki onto the trailer, and then put the sidecar on backwards and Oscar tied everything down tightly.

A long ride into the evening, traffic was still crap, we finally made it to his home at around 9:15 PM.  He generously loaned me his truck with trailer still attached so I could take it home and await the dealership's opening on Tuesday this week.

Dammit, an over 3000 mile trip and I almost made it home without major issues!  Still, I guess I should be thankful the accident happened close to home and ready help and that I was going slow at the time the chain came loose!