Friday, September 19, 2014

New Winter Tires

Okay, I had mentioned that I was going to install the Heidanau K37 tires on Saturday but Thursday is close enough to Saturday, right? Anyway, the old spare and the old sidecar tire are being discarded as they are really worn out. The pusher is now the spare and, BTW, very little perceptible wear after 2500 km. The Heidenau K37 tires are a square profile, dual sport tire designed for "classic military bikes and Urals". Both of the new tires only required about 1 oz to balance which is significantly less than the old tires. I greased the drive splines with a mixture of axle grease and Honda Moly 60.

I am still amazed at how easy it is to change the tires on the Ural compared to the Beemer. The Baja No-Pinch tool made short work of mounting the new tires with the hardest part of the whole job was getting the old tube back into the new tires. I need to find a valve stem tool that threads to the inside of the stem.

On the ride in this morning, absolutely no more vibration. It was from the sidecar tire being so far out of round. This was probably caused by the alignment being so far off. This evening, I'll change out the front tire.

The trees around our house still have some of their leaves so it isn't all drab. This is the view from our rear deck looking towards the southeast. The forecast for tonight and tomorrow is rain. Combined with the near freezing temperatures, it could be fun riding tomorrow.

This evening I put on the third K37 onto the front wheel. Since I didn't take any photos of the process yesterday here are a few. Here is the new tire on the rim before the first bead is installed. After the first bead is on, the tube is partially inflated and put into the tire and the valve stem fished through the hole in the rim strip and the rim.

The second bead is started and while holding it in place on one side, the Baja No-Pinch tool (shown here) is used to slowly push the bead over the edge of the rim. This is a shot right before the last little bit of the bead is pushed on. Very simple and very quick. Tire changes are getting faster and faster. I then balanced the tire and it took 1 oz. I am still using stick on steel weights though I should pick up some spoke weights. Less mess.

Front wheel is back on. These tires look pretty aggressive compared to the Heidenau K60 tires I used on the Beemer. It looks like there is plenty of material for the GripStuds. These tires look like they will be noisy but based on having them on the pusher and sidecar, minimal noise.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Few Holdouts

There are still a few leaves refusing to let go of their branches. This is one of my least favorite times of the year, the brown and grey before after all of the leaves fall. While walking between meetings on campus, I noticed that a lot of trees have already lost most of their leaves and initially, I thought that it was bit early for all of the leaves to have dropped until I realized that over ½ of the month has already passed. The equinox is rapidly approaching. This morning was approaching heated gear weather at 32°F but the heated grips were tested. Much nicer than the ones on the Beemer which are installed inside of the bars. A lot more mass that needs to be heated.

I'm getting ready to head out of town again this weekend. I have a couple of days of meetings in Minneapolis next week then stopping off in Oregon on the way back. I suspect that we may have snow while I'm gone so this Saturday I am going to switch out all three of the Ural tires with the new Heidenau K37 tires that I picked up from Adventure Cycleworks. It'll be interesting to see if the vibration I've been seeing at above 50 mph goes away with the new tires. No reason to install the GripStuds yet but maybe by the time I get back to town. Mickey suggested I try it without them first.

I think that I should've taken a picture but with the Prius in the shop today, Bridget rode in the sidecar last night and today. She likes her Gerbing jacket but mentioned that a lot of cold air comes in through the sidecar door opening.

Lately, I've been feeling like one of the holdouts. Even more so after the shock of hearing about Bobskoot. More thoughts in a later post.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Bye Bobskoot

The moto-blogger family just found out that one of our virtual family members has passed away. And it was a big blow to me as it was completely unexpected. Bob was still near the beginning of his grand adventure travelling the country in is red Corvette when he passed away in his sleep in Nashville, TN.

I only had the pleasure of meeting Bob in person two times, the first at the first was a short IMBC blogger meetup in Bend, OR, in 2010 and the second at IMBC 2012 in Baker City, OR. We had communicated frequently about some of his passions such as cameras and photography, and some of his frustrations such as Microsoft Windows, Google and other Internet services. Occasionally, motorcycles made their way into the conversation. Up until the end of August, he was sending about a photo a day from his phone during their trip whenever there was wireless Internet available. I think this was his way of letting folks know that everything was fine.

Bob's hard past is part of what made him the outgoing, sociable person that we had gotten to know and love. I wish I had gotten to know him better and to meet his family. Bridget mentioned that he was one of those that she was really looking forward to meeting as he was planning a motorcycle trip to Alaska after retirement.

Bob, you are going to be really missed. Bridget and I both offer our sincere condolences to Yvonne and his family.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Sunday Afternoon Ride

An Indian summer is a heat wave that occurs in the autumn. It refers to a period of above-normal temperatures, accompanied by dry and hazy conditions, usually after there has been a killing frost. It occurs in the Northern Hemisphere between late September and mid November.

From Wikipedia

Okay, for some it's still summer but here in Fairbanks, the "killing frost" has already occured so it sounds like Indian summer. This definition is from the fount of all knowledge known as Wikipedia.

After the weekly grocery shopping was done, it was too nice of a day to not go for a little ride. I headed out on the Old Nenana Highway to Henderson Road. Followed that to St. Patricks Road. Somewhere along the way, we lost pavement. I then headed up to the top of Ester Dome where the next two photos were taken.

This is the view looking towards Murphy Dome to the northwest. One of these days I'll make it up there. There were quite a few people enjoying the view from the top of Ester Dome. Some were on foot maybe trying to get in some last minute training for the Equinox Marathon next Saturday. But more on bicycles enjoying a downhill run after getting a ride to the top.

This is the view looking towards Fairbanks to the southeast. I was looking for views with lots of leaf color but it still looked kind of drab to me even with the blue skies and bright sunshine. I then headed through Goldstream Valley towards Fox and headed towards home on Skyridge Drive. The loop through the Goldstream Valley and Skyridge used to be one of my favorite rides when I had first started riding. But this summer, the entire route was messed up by road construction. It's looking pretty good now.

One last photo on Skyridge Drive as you can never have enough pictures of the fall colors. Maybe it's my imagination but the rig really did seem to run better after modifying the exhaust system last night. Less intake noise as you don't seem to need as much throttle. Time will tell.