Showing posts with label Yoshie - Maint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoshie - Maint. Show all posts

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Service Note: Chain adjustment

This being a web log after all, this post is just to record a 3/4 turn chain tightening adjustment on the Krause 530 Chain on Yoshie.  This is the third adjustment I've done in over 6200 miles, so not bad.  Hopefully, this is it in terms of the stretch all motorcycle chains apparently go through before "settling in" for the duration.

Note: Last adjustment done after getting stuck in snow and thinking I'd "stressed" the chain a bit getting the rig unstuck.

Mileage on Yoshie, 35,735.  Chain initially installed at 29,486 miles.

The chain has lasted longer than the stock chain on Vikki did, so things are looking hopeful.

Any experienced chain-driven motorcycle riders out there looking at the video below, your feedback would be appreciated as to how the chain looks while in motion.

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Snow Tire for Yoshie

My last couple of postings have dealt with my attempts to gain traction on the M/S rated pusher tire I'd recently mounted as the pusher tire on my V-Strom sidecar rig: Yoshie.

Traction had been achieved but mounting options and results of test rides had been mixed at first with a possible solution close at hand by the end of riding yesterday.  Still, it involved rope and chains and straps, which if you're into that sort of thing, would have been fine.  : )

I had an overnight maintenance change at the data center, and rode Yoshie in at 11PM last night.  The night was crisply cold at 9°F but no issues were encountered by me on the way to and from work.  The M/S tire did fine as the streets were pretty much clear, just wet-looking and probably icy in spots.

Yoshie at the Data Center 

I got home by 4:35 AM and promptly fell asleep.  I woke less than three hours later as I had an appointment with fellow Uralista Craig Heitman.  He once again was generously letting me borrow his tire changer equipment so that I could swap out the pusher tire with a dedicated snow tire.  Both tires are made by General Tires, a German company.  The snow tire has a slightly shorter profile than the M/S tire but the loss of .4" clearance would prove worth it.

I arrived at Craig's house before 9:00AM and by 10:30 we'd done the swap, done test riding around his neighborhood's snow choked roads and let me tell you, the difference was night and day!

Where my M/S tire had slipped and slid its way up a small inclined street near Craig's house, the snow tire just took it on and allowed me to steadily ride up the street as if the pusher tire had chains on it!  I then proceeded to plow into any area where snow had not been plowed, such as alongside sidewalks and Yoshie cruised through the loose tire with ease.  Truly amazing the difference I was experiencing with the snow tire!

After thanks Craig, I took my leave and went to the parking garage near work where I'd taken Yoshie before and failed to negotiate the inclined corridors leading up to the top level of the parking garage.  The top level is open to the sky you see and snow collects there nicely.

Yoshie just motored onto the 4-5 inches of snow on top of the parking garage, again like she was wearing chains on the pusher!  It was glorious.  I did manage to get her into some deeper snow and briefly stuck.  The pusher dug its way down to a layer of thick ice and from there I had no traction.  I pushed her off the ice patch and motored her into position for this picture:

A view of the Front Range Mountains

It was still early so I decided to get on the C-470 slab to see how the new tire felt.  I am happy to report it felt rock solid even at 80mph, at this is before I add the dynabeads for balance!  I made my way to the town of Morrison and the Red Rocks Park for pictures.

 Creation Valley

 The Red Rocks Amphitheater

 Creation Rock, you'll note the deep snow on the side of the road.
Almost got stuck, but placing my feet on the passenger pegs 
applied enough weight to the pusher to motor its way out!

 The tunnel through Lizard Head Rock

 Creation Rock Parking Lot

 Ship Rock, it forms the southern half of the amphitheater

 I believe these are Sinking Titanic and Sphinx Rocks

A view of the lightly snow-covered valley to the south
of Red Rocks Park.

Throughout my riding in Red Rocks Park, I didn't have any significant traction issues.  The loose snow in the gravel parking lots was child's play, and the patches of ice on the roadways were inconsequential for the most part.  I am loving the traction that the new snow tire is providing me.  Now I just have to figure out a way to get the front tire to "bite" more so I can do donuts in the snow.  : )

I made it home safely by 1:00PM, tired from little sleep but happy with the new tire.  The Elephant Ride in February of next year is now looking doable for Yoshie, I had been thinking she'd have to sit it out.

My thanks again to Craig for his help and use of tools and tire changer!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Back to the Dark Side and modifying the centerstand

Today, I rode Yoshie, my V-Strom Sidecar Rig over to fellow Uralista Craig H.'s home to borrow the use of his Harbor Freight tire changer.

You see, the Metzeler Tourance pusher tire that had come with the V-Strom when I bought it had worn down quite a bit as expected and had performed very poorly in snow during the recent snow storm.  Not a big surprise of course but still, a bit disappointing nonetheless.

I had ordered a General Exclaim 205/55R17 M/S rated car tire shortly after I'd purchased Yoshie and today was the day to swap tires on the rear wheel before the next snow fall.

No pictures of the tire changing procedure itself, those are available to you from the posting I wrote when I first had the use of Craig's tire changer:  LINK 

The removal of the old tire and installation of the new one went without a problem.  It's quite easy actually with two people and the tire changer itself of course.  We did however, discover a fitment issue when I went to install the rear wheel/tire back onto the tug.

Turns out, the right leg of the center stand contacted/dug into the right sidewall of the tire!  This had not been an issue when I had Vikki since I'd removed the centerstand from here on the advice of Dauntless Motors, the makers of the sidecar.  (Turns out, you don't have to uninstall the center stand).

Craig suggested cutting off a little bit of the right leg, to gain clearance.  I agreed, as removing the center stand would be a huge PITA and I didn't have the time or inclination.

Craig broke out his grinder, and in a few minutes had the flat portion of the right center stand leg off:

Once the leg was cut, we then tried putting back into place.  It still touched the side of the tire!

We then decided to quit kidding around, and we decided to cut the portion of the leg down from the center brace.  This time, Craig broke out his Dewalt Saws All tool, that thing cut through the tough steel of the center stand leg like it was butter!  I've really got to get myself one of them saws alls!

Now, there was plenty of clearance for the new tire.  My only concern now is if there's enough clearance between the drive chain and the tire wall once I install the snow chains I ordered last week.  They're supposed to be here in the next day or two so I guess I'll find out then huh?

Got everything put back together, had some nice conversations with Craig about this and that and then I departed for home.

Here's the new tire, I hope it does well on mud and snow.
Note the small shiny donut, that the cutoff end of the right
center stand leg.  A little paint on the exposed metal is now in order.

So, the whole thing took a couple of hours, but we weren't moving fast and there were lots of chat breaks....pretty good way to change a tire eh?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Aligning a Sidecar

I've done my share of research on the proper way to mate and then align a sidecar onto one's tug.  Today though I found a video link on produced by adventuresidecar.  They're a training outfit in Oregon who provide training and tours for sidecar riders.

I'd recently replaced my sidecar tire with a slightly thinner Kinsho 705 110/80R19 tire.  The OEM one has been a Shinko Tourmaster 110/90R19.

After viewing the video this evening, I re-measured my sidecar's lean-out and toe-in again and found that my lean-in was fine but my toe-in was too much!  Figure some error on my part last time I did things and a thinner tire and I was at 1.5" toe-in.  Too much, the guideline is 1/2 to 5/8 inch toe-in.

12 turns out later on the front lower A-arm support and I got it down to 5/8" toe-in as recommended.  A short test drive later, she felt great in terms of handling and I think there was less effort in terms of keeping her going straight when at speeds above 60 mph.  Before, I would have to push slightly to compensate for what I thought was wind drag on the sidecar, now am pretty sure the toe-in was "off".

We'll see, need to give it some time to ride some more, get some extended time at the controls, and check the wear pattern on the tires.  I recently also had to "adjust" the new chain by turning the tensioner screws out by 1/2 turn as the chain has loosened a "tad".  Hopefully, that's the last adjustment for a long while.  I am thinking this is the "initial stretch" new chains go through when first installed.

Anyways, here's the video from adventure sidecar that I found so helpful, it sure explains how to do the alignment in an easy manner.

I hope fellow sidecarists find the above video as helpful as I did.  Check your alignment!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maintenance Notes

This "blog" or weblog having started life partly as a record for logging maintenance, repairs and services on my motorcycle; here's a posting with such information.

Today I received the Shinko 705 Dualsport 110/80R19 tire from the local Suzuki dealer who'd offered the best price (savings on shipping basically, $75 out the door).  Got it home and in about an hour got the old Shinko Tour Master 110/90R19 tire off and the new one on with 30,600 miles on the tug's odometer.  How many miles did I get from the Tour Master?  I am unsure as I neglected to get the final mileage on Vikki when last I saw her at the salvage yard, I am estimating less than 7000 miles.

The Shinko tires side by side
As you can see, not much left on the old one.

The tug has Metzeler Tourances and there's plenty of "meat" left in the threads so no plans on changing them out any time soon.  I do have a new General Exclaim 205/55 R17 read to take the place of the pusher tire already, it's the same one that was on the previous tug, Vikki.

I also took receipt of the wiring harness to hook up the Oxford Heated grips.  The harness is from Eastern Beaver, purveyor of fine wiring adapters and such items that make the electrical farkling of one's motorcycle that much easier.  This adapter, along with the headlight cutout switch for the low beam lamp, will probably be installed tomorrow night.  The adapter hooks up to the stock coupler for Suzuki heated grips but allows easy connection to non-OEM grips like the Oxfords I like.

Oxford Heated Grip Controller, the 40% setting was plenty this past winter on Natasha

Heated Grip Adapter from

The headlight cutout?  To allow me to shut off one of the two headlights that are always on with the tug, to save on current draw if adding more electrical farkles causes too much drain.  Not sure I'll need it but if I do, I'll need it badly.

Headlight cutout adapter from

The front brake pads were replaced 1200 miles ago at 29400 miles, the rear brake pads will be changed out by next month as they've still some wear left on them.

Last note is the oil and filter on the tug having been changed out at 30,125 miles.  She'll be "due" again at 34000 miles.

Update: 22SEP11: Installed the Oxford Heated Grips, see picture below as to mounting location for the heat controller.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Yoshie is on the road again.......

The stronger type 530 (16,000 lbs Tensile Strength) chain from Sidewindersprockets arrived (finally!) yesterday.

I set about installing it as soon as I got home and got a verbal run-through the procedure from my Rounder friend in Texas, Ken Phenix.  I would be calling him several times during the process to "make sure" I wasn't about to bugger up this expensive new chain, his patience and sage advice are most appreciated.  Thanks Ken!

The first step was to remove the old stock chain (with a mere 8800 lbs tensile strength).  I used my brand new angle grinder (how did I get along without this tool, I don't know).  Below you can see the first rivet ground almost flush.  I picked a random link to break the chain at:

Below is the result of less than 1 minute of grinding, did I mention I love this angle grinder? 

Next, I broke out the chain breaker tool I got from HarborFreight, I had also bought a combo 
chain breaker/chain riveter from elsewhere but figured for the price, have a dedicated tool

 I positioned the tool's working end on the now rivet and just simply turned the 
hex shaped cap with a 17mm wrench, presto, the chain was apart.  

 With both chains cut, I laid them next to each other to measure chain stretch
on the stock chain (lower one in the picture above).  As you can see, it had stretched by one
link length apparently.  Each rivet is a link.  The new chain was 120 links from the supplier.
Note how much "beefier" the new chain is compared to the 525 chain.

 Next, I threaded the new chain above and below the swing arm and loosely around
the front sprocket.

 Chain threaded, it was time to remount the rear wheel with its new
sprocket (purty ain't it?), above you can see the start of the 
axle insertion.

 With the axle fully forward (I had previously retracted fully the chain tension
adjustment screws), I took the ends of the new chain and hung them on the
rear sprocket to check link counts.
I would end up cutting off the excess at link 8 from the end of the chain.

 To hold things in place while I used my spiffy grinder again, 
I used a simple zip tie as you can see above.  
I also used a sharpie pen to outline the rivet
to cut off .

Again, using the harborfreight chain breaker above, it was simple
to "cut" the new chain's excess links off.  It was a lot harder to take
the rivet off the new chain, much tougher construction I guess.

 Above you can see the chain ready to receive the master link
I made sure at this point the chain was as tight as I could get it by hand.
I also made sure it was routed onto the front sprocket!

 You have to grease the masterlink's rivets for proper lubrication
Also make sure you've the included o-rings in place before riveting!

 Took me a few minutes to line up the outside plate.  Had to use vise
grips to get the rivets to "hold" enough to allow me to position the 
chain riveting tool without the outside plate falling off the rivet ends.
As you can see above, a few turns and the chain was "whole" once again.

 The chain riveting tool has the above component to ensure when you
apply pressure you spread the top end of the rivet by "dimpling" it

Here's the masterlink, I made sure the plates were lined up
and that things still moved freely.

As the chain was complete again, I used it along with the big screwdriver blocking the rear wheel spokes, to secure the front sprocket mounting nut with a little bit of blue Loctite and a big wrench.  Torqued it down to specs and proceeded to the rest of the components.

I started re-assembling the front sprocket cover and the slave clutch cylinder back onto their locations on the tug.  Things went in too easy.  You see, I forgot to release the clutch lever which I'd bound (per the service manual) in the "engaged" position prior to initially removing the clutch slave cylinder.  This is done to prevent pressure from pushing out the clutch cylinder's piston over time.

Turns out, you don't have to bind the clutch lever, you use zip ties or a small c-clamp to keep the piston from coming out.  I know now, dammit.

Anyways.  I forgot to release the clutch lever before re-installing the slave clutch cylinder, so when I tightened things down, it caused the actuator rod to move and mis-align the clutch plates!  Aaaarrrrgggghhhh.

I didn't know what I'd done at this point of course, just that the transmission was stuck in neutral.  Bled the clutch circuit thinking perhaps air had gotten into the system, no joy.  I went online to the stromtrooper's forum and after some searching found that this was a pretty common occurrence for wrenchers who a. forget to free the clutch lever or b. insert the actuator rod at an angle.  

Fortunately, there was a posting with instructions on how to realign things.  You access the clutch plate through the oil fill hole on the right side engine cover.  Carefully, you insert a large flat screwdriver between the outer clutch basket wall and the clutch plate, engage the clutch lever which allows the screwdriver to go down a bit further, repeat until you see the clutch basket wall and clutch plate "engage".  Work the screwdriver blade free and this will allow the "self-adjusting" clutch to mate up once more.  Victory!

I took Yoshie, now with engageable gears, out for a quick test ride around the block.  Gears worked fine all the way to third gear (couldn't go faster in the neighborhood), no klunking

It was quite late 10:30 PM or so by now, so I just left things as they were in the garage and went in to get some late dinner and rest a bit before hitting the rack.

This morning, I checked and secured all related bolts and nuts.  Put away my tools and after a quick crossing of the fingers, headed out for a longer test ride.  I had her up to 85 mph for a few miles on the expressway and she did great!  

What a learning experience, I really hope this chain and sprockets hold up to the strains of sidecaring.  If not, Yoshie will continue under my care as a two-wheeled steed.

Today's Sunset, a reward for my efforts from the Motorcycling gods

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Changing the drive sprockets on Yoshie

Though I am still waiting on the Type 530 Chain with the 16,000 lb tensile strength from sidewinder sprockets.  The stock chain that came with Yoshie, is an EK525 SRX chain with a tensile strength of 8800 lbs and it had already started exhibiting signs of "stretching" under sidecar loads.

The "performance" replacement sprockets from Supersprox had arrived earlier this week and I decided to install them while waiting for the chain to arrive, probably early this coming week.  I hope.

I'd done my research online, asked question of fellow V-Strom riders on advrider, stromtroopers and vrsi discussion forums and had a fellow named Chris aka Bluebye on advrider who lives in Castle Rock just a phone call away.  Thanks Chris!

Took me a few hours, as I was documenting with pictures as I went, being very methodical and cleaning things as they became available to me.  I also ran into a stuck mounting nut on the rear sprocket that caused me to invoke the Oscar factor, more on that later.

First thing you have to do is remove the Slave Clutch Cylinder that is held on 
by two 6mm Allen Head Screw

 The clutch cylinder screws are not the same length, the one to the left goes in the 
upper mounting hole and goes inside a metal tube insert

 Above is the inside portion of the clutch cylinder, I would of course be cleaning it 
up before re-installing it

 Above you can see the circular cavity where the clutch cylinder was mounted.
That's the clutch actuator rod in the middle, note the donut shape tube end at 11 O'clock

 Here's the clutch cylinder moved out of the way of things,
I would end up zip tying it into this position

 Above I am removing the tube insert for the upper mounting screw 
for the clutch cylinder

 Removing the clutch actuator rod, it was quite longer than what
I remembered from when the same type rod broke on Vikki

 Above, the sprocket cover housing is removed and zip tied out of the way
revealing the front sprocket and chain

 It was a bit "gunky" above, with accumulations of flung off chain lube and dirt

 Here's the area again, after some initial cleanup work

 Now, for a 6mm Allen Head wrench to remove the speed sensor 
mounting screw.

 Before you can remove the speed sensor mounting screw, you have to have the transmission
in Neutral.  You then block forward movement by the rear wheel by either using a 2x4 block of wood
or what I found easier, I used a really long flat tip screwdriver resting on
top of the swing arms.

 With the rear wheel blocked, the chain then held the front sprocket in position and
I was able to apply the loosening torque against the sensor mounting screw and remove it.

 Here's the speed sensor plate coming off, revealing the 32mm nut which
secures the front sprocket to the transmission spline hub.

 The nut above comes from the factory with red Loctite.  I worried that it would be a bugger 
to remove but apparently the previous owner had changed sprockets at least once 
before, and I didn't have to struggle much with the cheater bar I used.

 Front sprocket nut removed, the front sprocket can now be removed
from the transmission splines but first I must remove tension on the chain.

 Here's the right side swing arm tension adjuster screw before I loosened them up.

 The tension adjuster screws fully retracted, did the same on both sides.
At this point, with the axle nut loosened beforehand, I was able to push the rear 
tire forward, releasing tension on the old drive chain.

 As you can see below, I took the chain off the rear sprocket, which allowed me
to take the chain off the teeth on the front sprocket above.

 The old front sprocket came off easy enough at this point
you can see the washer below which makes contact with both the sprocket
and the sprocket nut.

 Above is a shot of the transmission input spline hub on which the sprocket rides.

 Above is a comparison shot of the old front sprocket (left) and the new
front sprocket from Supersprox.  Note, the new one is a type
530 sprocket.

 I placed the two sprockets together, note how the teeth on the old
sprocket were starting to "hook" due to chain wear.

 A top down view of the sprockets, note how much bigger the new sprocket teeth
are and how thicker the sprocket itself is.  Note, the old front sprocket comes from
Suzuki with a rubber "damper" to lessen noise.  It's not necessary for the new sprocket.

 Here I am starting on the 14mm mounting nuts (five of them) that hold the rear sprocket 
onto the rear carrier assembly of the rear wheel.  I used the cheater bar again and thought I had
easily loosened all five screws.  Turns out, I missed one.

 At this point it was time to remove the rear wheel to get at the rear sprocket.  
Above is a view of the mounting hardware for the axle on the right side swing arm.

 I gently tapped the axle out towards the left side swing arm, above you can
see it start to come out, displaying the tension adjuster metal block.

 Above is the wheel spacer that goes between the left side swing arm and the wheel.
Below is a view of the spacer between the right side of the wheel and the 
right swing arm.

 Above is a view of the wheel, free of the tug, sitting on top of the new car tire
that I will be mounting later on this summer.  This way, the brake disk on the underside is
protected from contact with the floor.  It was at this point that I realized one of the five 
mounting nuts was "stuck" and the edges starting to "wear".

Before I caused more damage, I took a break from removing the old rear sprocket from the carrier and instead lifted the sprocket and the carrier off of the wheel to reveal the cush drive.

 Above is a view of the spacer which sits under the rear sprocket carrier assembly
which at this point has been pulled off the cush drive rubber pieces which "hold" 
the carrier in place.  The fact that the carrier assembly came off easy told me the old cush drive
pieces were worn and needed replacing.

 Above is a view of the old cush drive rubber pieces, note the worn spots
on top of each.  The underside of the sprocket carrier assembly also showed 
spots where the rubber had rubbed off onto the carrier assembly.

 Here's the cush drive housing, after it was cleaned up.

I now returned to the stuck mounting nut on the rear sprocket carrier.   I tried for quite some time to free it, using lubricating oil, wrenches, sockets and even a propane torch.  All I succeeded in doing was stripping the edges of the nut even further.  Dammit.

I now invoked the Oscar factor.  He was out with his family but we arranged for me to go to his place later where he'd take a crack at things.  In the meantime, I went and secured some nylon self locking nuts  (M10 x 1.25) which would have to do until the replacement mounting nuts with metal self locking tabs I ordered through the dealer arrived sometime this coming week.

I got to Oscar's place and he tried something called a Gator Socket and some specialized sockets designed for stripped nuts.  No luck.  We just succeeded in rounding things off even further!  At this point, Oscar broke out his die grinder and introduced me to the grinding wonders of this tool.  He made it look easy though a bit dangerous as he ground two flat edges back onto the sides of the stuck nut.

 A midway shot of the grinding down of the stuck mounting nut.
Oscar kept saying "Dude, I've never seen 
anything like this before".  I always bring Oscar "interesting" problems.

So, once he got the two flat sides ground into place, he got this big pipe wrench and while I held the sprocket carrier in place with a different socket wrench, he applied his considerable strength at the stuck nut.  
Pretty soon we heard a "crack" and the stupid stuck nut finally came off!  See below.

 Above is a closeup view of the destroyed mounting nut, we suspect the previous owner or whomever
did the last sprocket replacement used red loctite on the damn thing
causing us to go through the struggle we did.

 Here's the sprocket carrier, free of the old sprocket, yay!

 Above is the cleaned up sprocket carrier, mounted onto the newly installed cush
drive rubber pieces.  Below is the new rear sprocket ( 43 Tooth Type 530)
mounted onto the carrier assembly.

So, some more cleanup work here and there, now I get to wait for the new chain's arrival.  This posting is both a record for me as to how things came apart so I can put them back together.  Hope it helps someone else take on what was really a pretty simple task, the replacement of the drive sprockets.  I hope swapping out the chain is as easy.