Friday, September 10, 2010

Wheels, Tires, and Birds

On the way to work yesterday I was very happy to be wearing all of my gear. I was especially grateful for my full face helmet! A bird and I crossed paths and this photo is the result:

Damn birds... 

I didn’t realize what it was at first, and thought it was just a giant bug. I raised my hand to wipe it away and then saw the white drip and realized what had happened. EWWW!! Damn birds! I closed my mouth vent, but it was too late. It dripped into that too. YUCK! I got to work and immediately started cleaning. I took the visor off and used a lot of soap. Very nasty. It cleaned off easily as it was still wet and drippy. I shudder to think of this experience without the visor. Although quite rare for a moving motorcycle to be hit by a moving bird’s crap, this should be high on the list of reasons for a full face helmet (besides the whole crashing thing).

My poor Ural is trapped at St. Croix Ural 56 miles away. I brought it in last week to get the wheels repaired since the spokes have been having so many problems. They tried to fight me and did not want to fix them under the warranty. After I wasted two days arguing with St. Croix, IMZ Ural approved the replacement under warranty as I knew they would. The dealer has no idea why it keeps happening, and continues to try to extort money out of me. This will be my last interaction with them, as I am working to build a new relationship with a Ural service center 94 miles away. He had a couple ideas on the cause of the problem. When I suggested that to St. Croix, they said they’d charge me $80 to test. As politely as possible, I told them where to go with that idea. New wheels for the Ural are on order. They are expected to arrive in one to two weeks. Grr.

This weekend, I will be attending the 7th Annual East Central Iowa Sidecar rally in Anamosa, IA hosted by the National Motorcycle Museum. I’m hoping it will be fun. Looking at previous years photos, there should be a few dozen sidecars. I am really bummed I can’t take my Ural, but I am looking forward to all the sidecars outside and the bikes in the museum.

Thanks to a good deal from Lloyd, I picked up another set of Dunlop Q2 tires for the SV. Since I don’t have the Ural back, I was forced to get them with the SV650. The rack made it really easy to carry the tires home securely.

New tires for the sv650. Dunlop q2s.

The last set went over 5,500 miles, and most of those miles were two up with full luggage. Considering that, I think they did quite well. Mine are VERY worn.

Old on the left and new on the right. Click on the photo to enlarge. I tried to line up the tread pattern to make comparison easier.

Dunlop Q2 rear tire after 5500 miles compared to new

Before I got rid of my old rear tire, I had some fun with it first. :) More on that later.

Drywall Screw in Dunlop Q2 rear tire


  1. Bummer on not having the Ural for the trip to Iowa.

    And, even a bigger bummer over the dealer issue. I hope it works out with the new service provider. I'm amazed at how many dealers shoot themselves in the foot taking the short view and ignoring the bigger picture. Oh well, everything is the economy's fault right now, so maybe that is what they are suffering from.

    Wow, you left me biting my nails over what the next post might be about.


  2. It feels great to have new tires...not great to have bird crap in your face! Keep us posted on the Ural.

  3. Keith: Yea, I was bummed about not having the Ural today, but I still got to have a lot of fun. In a way, it's kind of a blessing in disguise since I think I found a much better guy to work with.

    Well... the next post will be about my sidecar rally today... after that we'll get back to the screw in the tire ;)

    Eve: Yes, I love new tires! I buy them so often it saves a ton to do it myself. I'm on my forth set this year between my bikes :) I will most definitely report on the Ural/New Richmond saga as it develops.

  4. Dear Chris:

    Some BMW riders (none I know) have reputations for being real douchers. "Harold" was one of that group. He wore BVMW leathers, over a BMW shirt, and BMW jockstrap. He seldom had a kind word for anyone.

    One day, he pulled over by the side of the road, somewhat apart from a small group, and a wedge of geese came off a lake at low altitude. It was like he was a subject for avian carpet bombing. Semi-liquified goose excrement from a single bird can rival that from a Labrador retreiver (in volume). Now imagine ten times that. Harold, his leathers, and his bike was covered with this stuff.

    And one guy handed him a little handkerchief. It was hysterical.

    Why do you think the Ural keeps busting spokes?

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  5. Jack:
    I've met a couple BMW riders like you mentioned. It makes me think of this video I think you'll enjoy: It was made buy a local guy. The Harold splattering sounds hilarious. I think I would have dropped my bike laughing.

    The Ural? I don't know. The dealer doesn't know. I'm going to see a new service guy once I get it back. He seems competent and has some ideas. I'm still waiting on hubs... been three weeks now. Ural had the parts in stock, but didn't ship them for two weeks?! Maybe this coming week I'll get it back... I wish they had mag wheels available.