In the previous post, I talked about getting my gear ready. The main task now is getting the Ural ready for the snow, salt, and cold.
This is my Ural in summer form. I like the naked look of it, but it doesn’t do much like this to help with the cold wind.
One of the most important things to staying warm on a motorcycle in winter is to stay out of the wind. The lower leg fairings and large windshield do a great job of bending the wind around me. When installed, they leave a nice pocket of clean air. No buffeting, roaring, or negative pressure. It’s nice just listening to the sound of the engine.
Before I mounted the main windshield, I needed to fix it. Earlier this year, St. Croix HD cracked it when they put it back on after “cleaning” the bike. They tightened the bolts too much and broke the plastic. The hairline crack has been growing and is now almost three inches long.
I took the smallest drill bit I could find and put a tiny hole at the end of it to stop it from getting any longer. then I filled in the crack and hole with superglue on both sides. It isn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but it will be strong again.
The lower leg fairings installed:
and the main fairing:
One thing I learned the hard way this year: make sure the windshield is installed squarely and evenly. If not, since it is attached to the handlebars, the wind will cause a pulling sensation on the bars. Not fun!
I decided not to install the the sidecar windshield this year for two reasons. The first is it’s extra drag/wind resistance and I get better mpg without it. The second, and more important reason, is the sidecar windshield pushes air at the side of the motorcycle and me. Without it, I am riding in a calm pocket of air, but with it, I get a continuous cold blast from the right. Not fun. When I have a passenger in the winter, I’ll put it on. Otherwise it’s better without it.
The last step is to coat the bike in anti-corrosion spray. Last year, I used Boeshield T9. It worked pretty well, but formed into a waxy surface that wasn’t very nice to look at or remove. I wanted ACF-50, but couldn’t find it. I found some for this year. ACF-50 is what they use on seaplanes to keep them from rusting. Like the T9 it is safe for electrical connections and comes in an easy to use spray can. It isn’t cheap at $1 an oz either.
I covered the bike with it. It sure looks shiny! It also doesn’t really dry, so it will collect dust and gunk. It removes easily with warm soap and water, so that is a plus. It smells a lot like WD-40 and I wonder if they aren’t chemically related.
In my next Winter Riding post I’ll talk about my trip to Scrambler Cycle last week.