Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Heated Gear Kind of Day

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This morning was my first ride of the fall requiring heated gear. It was just over 40F when I left the house this morning. I rode the SV650 which has no windshield, so the wind blast went straight into me. I was happy to have the warm heat of my Gerbing heated coat.

I just received the temp controller back from a warranty replacement. The main cord has failed. It was replaced under the warranty without much hassle. I’m looking forward to it keeping me warm as the temperature drops. It’s very convenient to dial up some more heat with just the turn of a finger.

The ride was beautiful this morning. The sky was clear and blue while I was cozy in my heated coat. It was hard to stop riding once I reached the parking lot at work. The ride home was even better with the temps around 70F.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sidecar + Trailer = Mulch Hauler

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Thanks to my friend Joe, I finally got the trailer wiring sorted on my Ural and on my DIY trailer. I wrote about the hitch I installed several years ago here: Ural Trailer Hitch. I’d been using the hitch to haul my bicycle, but always wanted to get a trailer going. Why not make a slow vehicle slower right??

I spent a few hours on the wiring and didn’t get anywhere; conversely, Joe figured it out in less than an hour. The Ural comes with a six post connector under the seat. We used a six to five converter and then a five to four converter. It works great! The wiring and hitch can also easily be removed to avoid the winter grime.

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My mulch hauling friend posing for a picture. All the mulch is wrapped up in the blue tarp. The trailer is much more efficient than the tubs I used to use. I can get about four times as much per trip too. It’s also much easier to use the mulch from the trailer versus moving a wheelbarrow around. The Ural really is my Russian Lawn Tractor now!

 

PS: To those with a Ural warranty: towing could affect your warranty, so double check beforehand.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fun Times With Flat Tires

I have been lucky enough experience two flat tires this year. One on my SV650 and one on the Ural.

The flat on my SV happened on the way home from teaching a BRC less than an hour before I was to leave MN for my trip to India.

At first, I wasn't sure what it was. The rear started to wobble slightly like my luggage rack had broken again. A few miles down the road it was clear what was happening as the wobble became more pronounced. The rear tire was going flat. Arg!

I was only three miles from home and without my tire repair kit. I was also being picked up by a friend soon to leave the country. Not a great time for a flat. I decided, perhapaps unsafely, to continue riding slowly to see if I could make it.

The rear continued to get worse until about a mile from home where it leveled off just above absolutely unrideable. Riding on a flat rear felt a lot like riding on ice and snow, so it was weirdly comfortable. Yay winter riding!

I made it to my house and up the hill into the garage. I left the bike in disgust and left for India. When I got back, I put a new tire on and admired the large nail still in the tire. The bike suffered no other damage.

My second flat of the year was with the Ural during the sidecar ride for kids. After the first few hours of rides, the sidecar started to feel squishy. I stopped to take a look at it, and it was nearly flat.

I tried to put more air in with tire pump hoping denial would fix my problem. It didn't.



The Ural has a spare, so I set about swapping the tire. I had a small audience of kids asking questions about it. They were eager to get back riding!



The spare went on without trouble. There was a small nail in one of the knobs. Darn.



After the second ride, I decided to stop. The spare was grinding excessively. The bearing sounded like it was shot.

Fortunately, I have new tires, tubes, and bearings ready to go on. A fun weekend project to get the bike ready for winter.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sidecar Rides For Kids



I like riding, and I like sharing that joy with others. For the last couple years, I have been fortunate to do both at a local, annual block party giving sidecar rides to kids.




You can see Rick's FJ sidecar above with my super shiny Ural in the back. There were dozens of kids lined up for their turn to "ride on a motorcycle."

It was a fun event. With most of the kids laughing and having a good time. I especially appreciated the parents who took the time to say thank you.


Sidecar Rides for Kids 2013

Monday, August 18, 2014

Detailed Ural

I have never seen my Ural as shiny as it is now since the day it was delivered from the dealer.
A few weeks ago at the ridercoach night, I saw Greg's handiwork on a bike he had detailed. I have been wanting to get the Ural detailed since last year, but di.dn't know a good place to go.
We agreed on a price, and I dropped it off. It took him almost two weeks to get it clean, so I paid some extra. He said it was the biggest detailing challenge he had so far. Specifically, the Boeshield T9 I use for anticorrosion in winter was very difficult to get off.
I am really impressed at how great the bike looks now. It is tempting to sell it and get something else before winter.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Motorcycle First Thursday - August 2014



After missing the July first thursday because I was in India, I was excited to see all the bikes and my friends.



It was a good turnout, but not as many bikes or people as I had hoped given the very nice weather.



This Morgan was cool to see. I was hoping James May would appear and start talking about it, but that didn't happen.



The obligatory photo of the new crossbow from polaris. At the risk of alienating myself, the expression on the kid's face sums up my feelings about it.



This Bajaj scooter and sidecar covered in led lights was more interesting to look at.





A couple rat bikes to enjoy. I love the vacuum canister gas tank on the one and the beer can shock covers on the other.



This bike was also fun. Clearly lots of custom work and it was very clean. The wood luggage platform was a nice juxtaposition.



I was sad to see my friend is selling his FJ1200 sidecar. It is a fun rig. If I had the cash, I might buy it just for riping around in summer. I don't think it would be a good winter replacement for the Ural. It is low and setup for sport riding.
It was a good time as usual seeing motorcycles and catching up with friends.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Indianapolis MotoGP: Day 2


Sunday was race day in Indianapolis. I was looking forward to watching the races! I regularly follow MotoGP and Moto2 on motogp.com, but don't always get to see moto3, so it was a treat to see all three in action.


I picked up a 2014 Yamaha Racing visor from the Yamaha tent. The line was long, but it will look nice next to the one I got in 2013.



In the morning, I watched the warm up from the grassy hill on the outside of turn 10 at the end of the back straight. It is quite a long walk, so I never made it on my previous visits to IMS. It was a nice place to relax and watch for a time.



I was happy to be able to meet up with my friend Rania aka @madsocial and her boyfriend. We watched most of the moto3 race together near turn 9. It was nice to catch up and share some racing with them as it was their first time to a MotoGP event.



I watched Moto2 and MotoGP from the amazing seats @todkapuz has overlooking turns 1-5. I have been grateful to sit in his extra seat for the last few years. Thank you again!

The Moto2 race had to be restarted because of a serious crash near turn 10. When it restarted, there was a crash with several riders near turn2. I captured part of it in the photo above. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt.



The MotoGP race was entertaining for the few laps while Rossi was leading. Then Marquez took over as usual and ran away with it. Marquez has won every race this year which makes it a little less fun to watch. There was some nice action again around turn 2 which was nice to see in person. The weather cooperated nicely and it didn't rain during the race even though the dark clouds were threatening.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to watch the races from such great seats. Thanks again @todkapuz.


On Saturday, I met up with my friend Ray from MN. He hauled his Ducati in the back of his truck. He offered me a space on the way back which I took. The 670 mile on the freeway solo isn't that much fun, so I eagerly jumped at the chance to have some company for the journey home.

I bought some extra straps from one of the vendors, and we loaded my SV650 into his truck. The cases easily fit inside. It was a comfy and dry ride home inside with some great conversation. Thanks Ray!

It was a great motorcycle-filled weekend.