Monday, January 05, 2015

Lunch Ride

I forgot to put the SD card back into the Sony A5000 camera before I headed out today during the lunch hour, so I had to resort to the camera in my iPhone 4S.

I rode east on Quincy Road, past the junction with Watkins Road to the turnoff that leads to Post 19 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.  The plains were covered with a bit of snow but you could still see the taller vegetation sticking up through the snow.

The new tires helped gain and maintain traction, especially on 
this trail which had loose gravel underneath.

That's Quincy Road, looking east.

Not much else to report, currently enjoying a relative "heat wave" with temperatures in the high 40s to low 50s farenheit and no snow in the immediate forecast.  I think the cold and snow we just experienced is headed east.

Previously: Snowy Test Ride

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Snowy Test Ride

I didn't get a chance to take Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig out for a test ride until a bit after lunch today.

First I rode to the hardware store to get a beefier nut and longer M10x1.25 bolt to secure the forward mount on the sidecar brake caliper.  I even found helicoils and a tool to install them, now I just lack the right drill bit to resize the mounting hole for the helicoil.  No rush, the WWID solution I implemented yesterday was and is working fine. (WWID: What Would Ivan Do).

Rode out to the ranch neighborhood SE of my home neighborhood as usual and already the snow is melting away!

I hope you like the pictures.

Mount Evans appears closer than it really is....playing with 
the long depth of field of the zoom lens.

Previously: Tire Change Day

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Tire Change Day

Given my existing Duro HF308's worn conditions and their somewhat dismal performance in the snow-packed neighborhood roads yesterday, it was time to put on new tires.

I spent the day working on replacing all three tires (the spare tire remains a Duro HF308).  I used my full range of tire changing gear and had no major issues.  I did however, manage to bend the metal rod that comes with the Harbor Freight Tire Changing Tool.  Dang cheap chinese steel!  :)

Oh, I did manage to rip one inner tube on the first tire change though, but since I had spares, no big deal.

I must say, I really love the mojo lever (which I slightly bent the tip on as well) to remove the old tires.  I remain ecstatic about the No-Pinch tire tool to put the new tire on the wheel!  Awesome tools to use in conjunction with a tire changing tool/station.

 Disappointingly, I found the final drive splines and pusher wheel splines dry as a bone with
a light coating of rust!  It appears I need to check for the existence of grease more 
often than every 5000 kilometers!   For the record, it had been 4500 km since I had to swap
my pusher wheel for the spare because of a flat during the Ural National Rally Day ride.

The sidecar wheel hub splines and drive splines had grease, I put more on.  

 A blurry (sorry) view of the dry hub splines on the pusher wheel.
Note how the splines are now field-replaceable without having to replace
the entire hub as on the older models with the drum brakes.

One unpleasant surprise, since I was removing the final drive to check the grease on the main driveshaft (it was good to go, but I re-coated it anyways), I found the grease zerk on the u-joint missing!  

I knew it was a 6mm Grease Fitting (zerk) from previous experience so
a quick dash (by car, oh the shame, but it was snowing) and I got a pack of
replacement zerks.  I used blue loctite to make sure it stays in place.

So, all u-joint zerks re-greased, splines checked on both the main and sidecar drive shafts.  The splines showed evidence of grease, but now they've been re-coated.

In the process of put everything back together I found while remounting the sidecar brake caliper that one of the two mounting holes on the mounting plate which holds the caliper had stripped threads!  Dammit.

So, two options at this point, disable the use of the sidecar brake until I could get a helicoil kit to fix the stripped threads on the mounting plate......or

Find a thin nut and use it to secure the bolt in the stripped mounting hole for now until I find a helicoil kit.  

I opted for the second option as you might surmise since I hate not having a fully functional rig, especially with all the beautiful snow that fell all day as I worked.  Tomorrow will be a snow-riding Sunday for sure!

The brass colored nut now holds the M10x1.25 bolt securely.
It's not quite the right thread pitch, so I will get a similar sized nut
with the 1.25 thread pitch.

Yep, took all day but I tend to be very slow and methodical when wrenching to avoid buggering things up through rushing things.  Kind of bugs me the threads on the brake caliper mounting plate were stripped, I try to be very careful about putting bolts/screws back in place.  Oh well.  Now I get to learn how to use a helicoil repair kit I suppose.

Scarlett now has new shoes, three Heidenau K37 tires, she's ready for more snow and the upcoming Elephant Ride in February.  Not only that, but the spline lubing is done before the upcoming 15000 Kilometer Service Interval.  Note: Current mileage on Scarlett: 14,479 Km.

Previously: First Riding of 2015

Thursday, January 01, 2015

First Riding of 2015

Happy New Year!

Woke early and rode Scarlett, my 2014 URAL Patrol Sidecar Rig to the area near the Aurora Reservoir.

Got to the spot somewhere in between the civil and nautical twilights, temperatures were a bit brisk at around 9°F(-12.7°C).  I think the battery in my onboard thermometer was being affected by the cold (must be getting weak, usually it has no issues with cold) as it sometimes flickered down to around 0°F(-17.7°C)!

I made too much of a good time, and found myself trying to keep my hands and feet warm.  I even kept Scarlett's engine running so I could warm my gloved hands on the muffler and left jug.

2015's first dawn was rather mellow as you can see below:

Taken during the Civil Twilight

As I waited for the actual Sunrise, I motored about a mile or two east and got this picture of excess natural gases being burned off at a newly constructed natural gas well:

All I could think of at this point was how much warmer
it had to be right at the base of those two large flames!

The sun started peeking out over the horizon as I rushed back to the original spot on the road to the Aurora reservoir.

Sunrise, 2015

There's more riding to be done today of course, there's a RTE (Ride To Eat) in the town of Morrison, CO.  It's a planned gathering by the Colorado Chapter of the Airheads MC of which I am a member.  Photos will be added later to this posting.

Update: 4:00 PM.

Rode to the RTE gathering (Ride to Eat) and met up with Dick Paschen and a small group of riders at the Red Rock Grill in Morrison.  I was the only one to show up on a motorcycle (big surprise) since three wheels allow one to escape snow/icebound neighborhoods that trap two-wheeled motorcycles.  Near the end of the lunch though, one hardy fellow showed up on a R100GS, kudos!

The two motorcycles that showed up.

After I said goodbye to the group, I rode Scarlett over to nearby Red Rocks Park to play briefly in the snow and to take pictures.  Today was the first time this winter that I've had to engage 2WD to make progress on snow.  It's time to put on new tires I think.

 Ship Rock

 North End Parking Lot

 Creation Rock (I think)

Exiting the park, I headed west on Bear Creek Canyon Road through Idledale, and upon reach Kittredge I turned south towards Indian Hills and Parmalee.  The roads were quite treacherous in spots though so no really safe spots to park and take pictures.  Not that there was a lot of scenic views to start with, I guess there's a reason I don't ride this road that much.

Along Bear Creek Canyon Road

Once I got to the junction with US285, I slabbed it all the way back to the Metro Denver area.  It started snow on me as I approached the I-25/I-225 interchange and it would snow pretty heavily all the rest of the way home.  It made for interesting visibility and traction conditions at times so I was glad to get home with no issues.

I'd say that's a good start to the new year in terms of riding, eh?

Previously: Happy New Year and 2014 Year in Pics