Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cold Ride

The forecast all week was for warmer temperatures within a couple of days but it still hasn't happened. In fact, this morning, the weather guesser types were saying that it should be up into the negative teens by noon. We'll see how it is on Sunday when one of the local BMW riders invited a bunch to his shop for the afternoon. Something about a football game...

On Thursday, I did get the Beemer out on the road just to say that I've ridden at -40°. When I cruised by the university time/temp sign it claimed that it was -48°F. I glanced over at the GoPro and it had already shut down. It seems to have a really short battery life in the cold. But once I bring it inside to charge up the battery, it's fully charged within 15 minutes. Oh well, first world problem...

I was thinking that I had found the lower limit of all of the heated gear as I was feeling kind of cold when pulling back into the garage. Then I looked down and sometime near the end of the ride, the cord from the Gerbing controller had gotten disconnected from the bike. Probably when I stopped to chip the ice from the helmet vents. It is starting to warm up a bit  outside so probably no -50°F video this year...

A Ural update. Ural will be sending a lifter and a push rod sometime, hopefully soon. Mickey said that he has the parts on hand and had just been waiting to get verbal approval from Jason at the mother ship in Redmond. Anxious to get it back on the road.

Here is the next PBC video.

Saturday evening - It really warmed up overnight. It was -14°F this afternoon and it felt downright balmy. Plus it was bright and sunny. I was pretty busy all day but managed to sneak a ride in around the middle of the day. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer, possibly even above 0°F. Pretty quick change.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"I'm Officially Bored" Challenge

Here is my only entry to the "I am officially bored" challenge. And it is only part of a plane. This picture was taken last September as part of the 2014 Ural National Rally Day. This is a candy store at one of the local tourist hotels. The only tie in with an airplane is that the hotel is right across the street from the airport.

No covered bridges, no barns...

As you can see, lots of disassembly on the Ural. I opted to pull the rest of the lifters and see if any display the same kind of wear as the left exhaust. Instead of removing the sidecar completely, I tried Dom's suggestion of lifting up the body of the sidecar to get to the right side of the engine. The sidecar frame still got in the way of removing the head so I ended up loosening up all of the sidecar mounts to move the frame down.

Here is most of the parts that have been removed from the engine. All are labeled so that they can go back into the same location. The left exhaust is the only lifter that shows excessive wear. There is also some unusual wear on one of the push rods but not enough to compromise it's function.

There is yet another PBC video. Here is the latest -36°F ride that was posted. Tomorrow's post is a much colder day. A not very interesting video as it is just an early morning ride from a couple of days ago.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hey, I'm famous...

Winter is still here with beautiful, clear skies which generally bring cooler temperatures. I had decided to not try and commute with the BMW until the temperatures warm up a bit. It was hard to start and there were some flaky electrical issues yesterday while riding around at -38°F. I figured that since today was colder, I wouldn't tempt fate. The electrical problems were things like a blown tail light fuse but couldn't identify why, the headlight not turning on when I headed home yesterday, and it would take numerous attempts to get the bike to turn on with the key. I'll chalk all that up to the cold and a 33 year old bike.

At least in this little world called Fairbanks, I made the front page (below the fold). On Monday afternoon while test riding the BMW/Cozy sidecar rig, a local newpaper photographer caught up with me while I was hauling trash. He asked me a few questions and took a photo after I had emptied the trash barrel. He had a hard time believing that I was out riding just to haul trash.

Here is the link to the pdf of the front page of that issue of the local paper. I'm not sure how long they keep these online.

And here is the PBC video that I had taken during the same ride. Of course, the camera battery had long since died as well as the remote by the time I got to the photographer. Something else that wasn't designed for our climate. I'm not sure how they can market it as an adventure camera. Maybe it needs to be behind a windshield. The GoPro is mounted to the sidecar windshield frame (no windshield) and you can tell that the sidecar bounces a lot compared to the Ural. This video has a lot of snow and frost covered trees and snowy roads ala Doctor Zhivago. I should have looked for some royalty free Rachmaninoff...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Digging Into the Ural

This evening, after talking to Mickey, the Anchorage Ural dealer, I started in on the Ural. I removed the exhaust headers, crash bar, valve cover, left carb, rocker arms, push rods and the head. After tapping on the cylinder with a rubber mallet, the base of the cylinder broke free from its gasket and I was able to slowly pull the cylinder from the engine. The piston is at TDC (Top Dead Center) to maximize how far I could pull out the cylinder without exposing the piston rings.

This is what things looked like at that point. The lifters can be seen in the center of the picture with the exhaust lifter the one on the left. The push rod tubes with their rubber seals are in the bottom of the frame. If you look carefully, the flat headed screws that hold the lifters in place can be seen. To remove these flat headed screws, I used a hand impact driver to loosen the screws without damage. Then pulled the lifter and follower from the block.

The damaged follower can be readily seen in this picture. I believe that the follower is hardened steel and this one (or batch) was insufficiently hardened. I thought about removing the intake lifter and follower just for comparison but thought that I should wait until I hear back from Mickey.

This photo is the best my son could do at trying to get a picture of the cam surface. Just wondering if the cam was damaged by the follower. If it was worn much more then it would be more likely. This morning, I got approval to pull the rest of the lifters.

The following PBC video is the debut of the BMW. I didn't ride into work this morning due to the temperature but by the afternoon it had warmed up to -28°F. As it was last year, the BMW is a pain to get up the driveway. But after that, no problems at all. The BMW is much harder to steer but is much less "tippy" than the Ural. And I really have to watch my right hand as I frequently found myself going much faster than at the same engine rpm and gear on the Ural.

Monday, January 26, 2015

You Ever Have One of Those Days (Weeks?)

No, I did not ride to work today. That would be silly, crazy. Though I still may take the rig out later today for a test ride just not shutting it off or venturing too far from home.

Worked on the Beemer a bit more today. This the the crankcase vent fitting and normally the two small hoses are connected into the "Tee" feeding the moist crankcase air into the two air horns. I just disconnected the two small hoses so any water will just go into the air box and not directly into the carbs. 5w30 oil is now in the engine and I had to fix the wiring for the heated gear. It was sharing the ground connection with the GPS wiring that I moved to the Ural.

I had thought that I was done with the screws in addition to the studs. The BMW just doesn't have as good of traction with just the pusher as the Ural and with our snowy conditions, the screws are needed in addition to the carbide GripStuds.

And the most important thing, I have the GoPro mount on the sidecar windshield support so the camera is about at "eye level" if you were sitting in the sidecar.

Something that I didn't expect to happen was being left stranded by the truck. I guess there is still some remnant of the gelled fuel left in the fuel system as it died as soon as I got to town this afternoon. It would restart but as soon as you try and go beyond an idle, it would shut down. We have real winter weather now with still air temperatures in the -24°F range. I had it towed to the Diesel Doctor, a reputable non-dealer.

The first video is very short PBC ride. Just the regular commute home along the shortest path. This was when there was a loose valve noise so I just headed straight home. I believe it was 7km.

The second PBC video is the test ride on Saturday morning after adjusting the valves. After only ten short miles, the same exhaust valve was rattling again.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Bad Sign

The BMW is next to the garage door, battery is being charged, studded tires are being installed, winter oil is going in and the crankcase vent tube is being removed from the air horns within the air cleaner housing. What can this mean...

I think the Ural is having an engine problem. As part of the 22,500 km service, I had adjusted the valves. On the way home from the university on Friday, I noticed that there was valve noise from the left head. On Friday night, I readjusted the exhaust valve as it was really loose. On Saturday morning it started up easily and it ran great. I rode about 10 miles and the exhaust valve was loose again. Plus one of the cylinders was popping like it was running lean.

George Rahn suggested that I check the compression since it may be a result of a stuck valve. Compression was 135 psi on both cylinders. Which is good. When I restarted the engine, I could hear a random "clanking" sound coming from the engine when the rpm is raised a little past idle. Not good.

So the Ural is parked until I can get it to the dealer in Anchorage. What I need to find out is if he needs the whole bike or just the engine. I suspect the whole bike...

Putting on the Heidenau K60 tires in a warm shop is hard enough. When things are near freezing, I'm just glad that my son was here to help. It took most of the evening to just change the tires. BTW, the oil mess on the floor in the picture is from the Ural weeping oil out of just about every engine gasket when the temperature is around or below 0°F.

I still have three more PBC videos in the queue. Here is #28 that I just uploaded today.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Winter is Threatening

A couple of days ago, the fire alarm went off in the building and the building that we get to move to is the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Not a bad place to get stuck. This bear is at the entrance to the exhibits and has been there for as long as I've been at the university. I didn't take advantage of the emergency "free admission" (the crowd entered the museum through a normally locked door) and wander around much but I think the gift shop sold a whole lot more coffee than usual.

It looks like winter is finally arriving here over the weekend with low temps ranging from -35°F to -55°F depending on what weather app/site you choose to believe. I don't really intend on riding much at those temperatures but it'll be a good opportunity for a picture. Plus a way to really blow the PBC stats. If it were -55°F, I would be getting 8.7 points per mile so a short 10 mile ride to the temperature sign and back would be equivalent to an 87 mile ride at freezing.

Below, I have two more PBC videos. The first is a not very interesting commute though not on the most direct route. Taking 51 km to travel 8 km is not very fuel efficient. The second video is a "short" ride to College Coffeehouse. Since I saw the crossing lights start up on University Ave, I headed out to the railroad crossing on Sheep Creek Road Extension and caught the train on the video. This was also not the most direct route as 1 mile turned into 34 km.

At College Coffeehouse, I met with a local airhead who has put a deposit down on one of the 2015 Urals. He was concerned about the lack of a local dealer. I mentioned that if was planning on getting a Ural, he also better plan on learning to work on it himself. Kind of like a BMW airhead. Apparently the dealer in New England has two sales pending in Fairbanks as they are looking into possibly shipping two fully assembled rigs to Fairbanks. I mentioned that I would be happy to help with the maintenance as it isn't much different than with the old BMWs.

BruceW, the Ural rider from southeast AK, and I are still having issues with the breather freezing up. He sent this picture of the breather after only a half hour ride at -3°F. I have added some closed cell foam between the engine and the leg guards against the fitting and the hose to block airflow to the fitting. The jury is still out on whether it has helped any. BruceW and Simon, his British monkey, are riding back to Fairbanks today so Simon can catch his flight out tomorrow.

You may have noticed that my speedometer is broken due to the cold temperatures. A call to Mickey in Anchorage and a replacement unit is on it's way up from Ural. Just as Charlie6 has said, a great warranty. Unfortunately, I only have about 7 months left.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rerouted the Crankcase Vent

Kind of a boring picture but it shows the crankcase vent hose (the larger one with the hose clamps). After returning from the Chena Hot Springs trip, the engine block was covered with oil. The engine oil level was about ½ a quart low. This evening, I just ran a hose from the vent to below the engine. No catch can to freeze. RickS, the person I had bought the Ural from, has done this with his Ural during the winter and has not had any problems. Very little concern about dirt or dust being sucked into the crankcase during the winter. Now just ride and see if this fixes the issue. Maybe it's time to see if there is a good way to clean off the engine in the winter.

Two PBC videos in this post. The first is the other half of the ride on Monday afternoon and the second was recorded on Tuesday afternoon. The sun was brilliant on the Tuesday video.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Another Blue and White Ural

Probably the only two blue and white Urals in Alaska. The one on the left is owned by BruceW from southeast Alaska and the one on the right is mine (or is it Bridget's?). He has the sidecar windshield installed since Simon, the international monkey, needed it to stay unfrozen. Simon said that it felt like you had your legs sitting in a freezer on the ride up and despite chemical heat packs, his feet were still freezing.

He had ridden to College Coffeehouse to meet with whomever opted to show up and had a long talk with George Rahn. I Believe that BobC, the Alaska Airheads rep, was also planning to stop by but when I left, he hadn't arrived. BruceW was more than happy to watch the Seahawks game at the coffeehouse.

It was hard not to compare and see what was different. He had the slick foot rests replacing the pegs with expanded metal bridging the gap between the sidecar frame and the bike. The one on the left was modified to allow full travel for the kick starter. He had the same engine vapor canister except his was blue to match the bike. Dual driving lights on the bike and an off-road light on the sidecar were added. One of the more unusual mods were the Mikuni carbs or at least that's what I think that's what they were. He had purchased the rig from the former owner of Raceway, the Ural dealer in Salem, OR, after a buyer was forced to sell before picking up the rig. So practically every option offered by Raceway is installed on this rig.

It was great to finally meet BruceW, whojigger on SovietSteeds. Tomorrow, he and Simon are heading down the Parks Hwy to a small town south of Nenana to spend time with family. Simon will be flying out of Fairbanks later this month.

Below is the return trip from Chena Hot Springs. It has 3 minutes of normal video followed by 30+ miles of time lapse. Then the GoPro battery died. 

Update - The battery didn't die. The 32 Gig SD card filled up. I guess all of those pictures (6569 12 megapixel images) for the time lapse take up a lot of space.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Chena Hot Springs Ride

Yesterday afternoon, after arriving back in Fairbanks from Barrow, I got a call from the Bruce W, the Ural & Airhead owner from Ketchikan. He and his British monkey had taken the ferry from Ketchikan and ridden through Canada into Fairbanks arriving Thursday evening. One of the place they wanted to visit was Chena Hot Springs. This natural thermal feature was developed into a resort and is quite a nice place to visit. It is about 60 some miles from Fairbanks and I had not ridden the Ural out there before.

It was +6°F in town when I left and cooled off to -2°F by the time I pulled into the parking lot. I took a time lapse video on the way out (and on the way back) but not for the entire trip. I wanted to save some battery power for the return trip.

I had lunch with Bruce W and his passenger who both drove out in a borrowed truck as they were both feeling pretty chilled from their trip to Fairbanks. Neither felt like taking the Ural. He didn't have a single problem with the Ural on the trip. I still have oil leaking out of the valve covers when the temperature is around 0°F or lower and my boots were pretty oily upon return home. The engine is now about ½ a quart low but not all from this one trip. I got my best gas mileage of the winter, 27 mpg, on this round trip and didn't need reserve until almost 200km. For this rig, that's good.

As far as the trip goes, there was quite a bit of black ice around 40 mile CHSR and the rear end tended to break loose when you added throttle. Easily controlled but still a good reminder to slow down. Also, with wind chill around -35°F at the speeds I was traveling, a large bowl of vegetable soup was just what I needed when arriving at the resort.

Here is the time lapse PBC video for the trip out.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nice Sunset

Or is it not a "sunset" when the sun doesn't actually venture above the horizon. That won't be for another eight days. This picture is from Wednesday afternoon from the landing outside the main entrance to the BARC. The Weather Channel claims that right now it "Feels Like -37°F" but it really doesn't feel that cold. This photo was taken with the Android phone since the it's telco provider has much better service in rural Alaska than AT&T or Verizon. In fact, my Verizon iPad has no service and the AT&T iPhone has only intermittent Edge service. The "E" shows up until you try and use it then it disappears.

According to the Internet, the first sunrise in Barrow will be on January 23rd and it will be above the horizon for over an hour. By the end of the month, the sun will be above the horizon for almost four hours. The days change pretty quickly.

BTW, in the Barrow tour, I stated that BARC was an acronym for Barrow Arctic Science Center when it should be BarrowArctic Research Center. There was some sensitivity to the acronym that "Science" would've created. More sensitive than calling it a "Facility" instead of a "Center".

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

HooToo Router and Barrow Tour

A new gadget that I picked up is this tiny (2.8 oz) Wi-Fi router/AP. Like most routers, it'll take a wired Internet connection and share it out via Wi-Fi. This one will also take a Wi-Fi connection and share it out via Wi-Fi on another SSID. If you plug in a USB drive, it'll also share that out as well to it's wireless clients. Power is via micro USB. In the second photo I'm using the little phone charger that I got from Alaska Airlines during my San Francisco trip. It's only 2200mAh but I'm curious how long it'll last.

The first thing you may ask is "Why would anyone need such a device?". One example would be if you have a wireless network in your business and you would also like to offer wireless access to your customers. Using a device like this you could offer the service without having customers and business devices on the same network segment. Another example is that if you are in a hotel that offers Wi-Fi and you want to plug in an Chromecast, Roku, Raspberry Pi or AppleTV into the television, you don't have to reconfigure anything if you have all of your stuff connect to the tiny HooToo access point and have it connect to the hotel Wi-Fi or wired connection. Also, many corporate and hotel Wi-Fi access points suppress the IP multicast that some discovery protocols such as Bonjour need to function.

In addition to it's small size it was only $19 on Amazon. Pretty amazing device for that price.

I brought up the suction cup mount to record some video while driving around Barrow. Since so few get the opportunity to visit, I thought I'll post a tour. Please excuse the audio. I did it as a voice over since there was so much noise in the truck from the defroster fan and jarring road noise. It was -18°F when the video was made so the suspension was pretty stiff. Kinda long and not very exciting. No background music...

And here is the third of three videos that I recorded on Sunday. Starting from the turnout at the back entrance to the university x-country ski trails and ending at REI at the other end of town via a non-shortest-path route.

Monday, January 12, 2015


This is shortly after sunrise (10:31am) at the Fairbanks airport. I am heading north again on a trip I had delayed due to the quick trip to southern CA. I was originally scheduled to leave on this trip last Thursday and return in the middle of this week.

Just for comparison, this is the view from the waiting room at the Prudhoe Bay airport. Alaska Airlines has re-vamped their schedule so now a whole day is consumed traveling to Barrow instead of just a morning. The first sunset of the year is still about a week away but it's pretty well lit up.

The next PBC video was recorded yesterday afternoon and is only a 23 km leg of a longer trip. It ended at a turnout near the back entrance to the university ski trails. I probably could've included it on the next video but didn't. I didn't have the handy GoPro remote charged up so I just ran it as one long video.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I arrived home on Saturday evening from southern California and fly north tomorrow. So I had one day to get in a couple of videos and some miles. Lots of little loops added to all of my errands for the day even though the temperature was a very mild 21°F. Chalk another fine week to climate change. All of the cold weather headed to the midwest and east coast. It definitely isn't around here anymore.

The rules only allow one video per day for scoring on the PBC site so I'll work on the other videos while I'm in Barrow. Uploading them will be a hassle due to the limited bandwidth and high latency of the satellite connection.

I ended up making three videos. Here is the first one.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ramen, Beaches and PBC

After the burial service today, a group of us went out to a noodle shop called Ebisu Restaurant in Fountain Valley for lunch. This is the lunch special with miso ramen. It also came with curry rice, pot stickers and a drink for $9. Way too much food. And thank you to my cousin for the wonderful, tasty lunch.

After lunch, my brother in-law took us to visit with his brother and sister and we stopped at the northern end of Newport Beach along the way. This is an iPhone photo using the Pro HDR X app. The beach was pretty deserted. That is my niece and brother in-law walking near the water.

It was a very short visit to the ocean as we then were on the road again to meet with my brother in-laws relatives at his brother's home to the south. I just took a picture of this interesting flower at the path leading to the beach. Not sure what it was but looked kind of cool.

Tomorrow, I head back to Fairbanks. Here is the last PBC video that I have stored up. It was taken on my commute home last Tuesday. Hopefully, I can get a few recorded on Sunday before I head up to Barrow on Monday.

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Quite a change from the normal fare on this blog in the middle of January. Took a walk this morning to look for an optometrist office as my glasses seem to have gotten bent out of shape. Maybe too much pressure on them when pulling the helmet on and off. The Bombardier winter helmet is tighter than the Nolan.

This bird of paradise (I think) was part of the greenery in front of the hotel as I always liked the way they looked. This area really looks and feels like the neighborhood I grew up in. Lots of ethnic businesses. I think that it is nicer to walk around here than San Francisco. Not as crowded or hectic.

And since I had it available, here is the next PBC video. I had to run into town on Tuesday and I filmed this specifically to submit while I was out of town. Unfortunately, I only have one more ready to go for tomorrow. I should've planned better. Oh well, it's a challenge not a competition. (I think I am the points leader now but that won't last very long).

I heard from Whojigger, the Ural rider from Ketchikan who is getting ready to ride up to Fairbanks and beyond in a couple of days. He and his international monkey (England I think) are expecting to arrive in Fairbanks by the 16th. Unfortunately, I'll be in Barrow that week. He's the one who should be submitting PBC videos.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Out of Town

I find myself in Garden Grove, CA, after flying in on the red-eye. Boy, I'm really getting tired of these late night flights in and out of Alaska. We flew into John Wayne airport somewhere in Orange County and it took me a while to get my bearings. But eventually found my way to the hotel. There seem to be a lot more freeways than I remember from 32+ years ago. One thing I have to say is there is a lot of food variety here. This is a Vietnamese noodle dish with a ton of nicely prepared vegetables. And this is really close to the hotel.

Since I knew I was coming down, I "banked" a couple of videos to submit to YouTube and the PBC website while I'm gone. Fortunately, the hotel has pretty decent Wi-Fi. Not as good as it was in my office where the 300 MB video uploaded to YouTube in under a minute but good enough.

Here is the return trip from ride #14. The temperature at the start is -30°F. Just a little bit colder than it is in town.  Since the camera moved on it's mount during the ride, I added some info on what I'm using for cold weather riding gear. Just for convenience, I'll list it here as well.

  • Gerbing heated jacket liner
  • Lightweight fleece over the liner
  • Flannel lined jeans
  • Wool socks
  • Leather boots or "bunny boots"
  • Gerbing G3 heated gloves
  • Roadcrafter Light
  • Bombardier Modular 1 helmet
Nothing unusual and warm enough.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Low Temperature Riding

The bottom has dropped on our temperature and I took the opportunity to make even more videos and just have them "banked" for posting in the future for when I'm out of town. The video below was made on Monday mid-morning and is just a loop with the start and end points only about a mile apart. The skies have been clear which generally means cooler temperatures.

On Monday evening, I headed out for the monthly get together at the Silver Gulch microbrewery in Fox, a small community north of Fairbanks. There were about 20 participants and when I was heading out, the whole group came out to the parking lot. I accused them of just wanting to see if the Ural would start at -30°F. A few agreed but the real reason was to take a photo for an article in the monthly Airhead magazine. Even though this is a BMW group, they figured that the Ural was close enough. It took a couple of attempts at starting after sitting outside for about 2½ hours without being plugged in. But once it started they took a couple of pictures of the group around the rig including a couple of shots of the thermometer on the rear rack and the OAT (Outside Air Temperature) gauge both of which showed -30°F. So here is the video of the trip out to the Silver Gulch. (nothing really to see)

I still have three more video (one more from yesterday and two from today) to upload but am only allowed one per day according to the PBC rules. Tonight, I head to southern California for a memorial service. So I'll upload one each day assuming the hotel has descent wi-fi.

Image from the web
At -30°F, the heated liner and heated gloves are turned up all the way, the heated grips are on setting 2 out of 5 and my leather work boots are switched out for a pair of bunny boots. These are rubber inside and out with an insulated layer. One of the benefits is that they are nominally waterproof and pretty warm. Plus you are a couple of inches taller due to all of the insulation in the soles.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Another Record Low

This morning, I was passing by the time/temp sign at the entrance to the university. A short hop down the path and I was in a good position for a picture. A couple of hours later in the day the temperature had dropped to -28°F so I started a new PBC video with that temperature. I think the speedometer in the Ural failed due to the temperature. In the past, it would just read high whenever it was cold but at -28°F, groaning sounds came from the speedometer and not the needle is now stuck at 90mph. This is probably the only way to hit 90 on a stock Ural. I guess I'll check with Mickey in Anchorage and see if it is covered under the warranty.

The valves were a lot quieter today though Charlie6 said that I should have torqued the head bolts before adjusting the valves. Fortunately, adjusting the valves on a Ural is incredibly simple. Having the kick starter to rotate the engine makes it really easy to find TDC. Maybe next weekend between CA and Barrow.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bright, Clear and Sunny

Today was one of those wonderful bright, clear, sunny days when it was great to be in Fairbanks. As you may guess, I made another PBC video (#11) and since it was below 0°F, I rode a bit extra (more points). I also stopped at the Large Animal Research Station and since the musk ox were near the fence, I took a little GoPro video of them. They don't move much. This photo was taken at the Creamers Field visitor center. Creamers Field is a wildlife sanctuary located in the middle of town. I liked the frosty tree.

This evening, I replaced some of the studs in the pusher. The stud in the lower left was one of the ones that were replaced. I think roughly ⅓ of the studs were really worn down. At $1 per GripStud from Aerostitch, I think I see a pneumatic stud tool in my future as the automotive studs are a fraction of the cost. This is the second time that I had replaced ⅓ of the studs. By the end of the winter, I suspect that all of the pusher studs will have been replaced at least once. I'm seeing a lot more wear than the Beemer since I'm putting more miles on the Ural.

I also adjusted the valves. The valves on the left cylinder were maybe 0.002" loose but those on the right side were closer to 0.004" loose. I'm hoping that I just didn't do a good job the last time and not some problem. There seemed to be plenty of clean oil in the valve cover but there was some end play on both rocker arms. Enough to make valve adjustment a challenge.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Low Temp Record

A slightly different view. This is from the University looking northeast. Those hills are kind of where we live and I am parked at the top of a "snow dump". At the top of a hill where they push snow off of the hill. Today, after stopping for a quick cup of coffee, I met Bridget at a lighting store to look for a dining room fixture. While I was getting ready to leave, I noticed that it was -20°F on the rear rack mounted thermometer. A perfect opportunity to do another PBC video.

Instead of simply heading home, I headed for Fox on the Steese Expressway. Then headed west on Goldstream Road to the University. I stopped along the way to check the thermometer as I had noticed that the OAT gauge (Outside Air Temperature) was indicating below -20°F. The thermometer on the rear rack indicated that it was -25°F. This would be a new low temperature for me. The only part that could feel the cold were my feet and face. I checked the temperature again near the university farm and it was still -20°F. When I took the picture up on campus, it was +18°F. A really strong inversion. Not that much of an elevation difference.

After getting home, I noticed that the left cylinder valve cover was dripping oil on my boot. One sure sign that it's below 0°F.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

First Ride of 2015

Like some others, I went out before sunrise to get a pre-sunrise photo. The good part is I was able to sleep much longer as sunrise today was at 10:55am. This photo was taken at the same location as my new header photo and it is one of my favorite locations around town. I used to walk on this road often and love the view.

I did make another PBC video (can anyone say obsessed) but only went about 42km at +19°F. In the PBC video, Bridget rode in the sidecar for about 30 minutes at +16°F. She said that it wasn't too cold but I was a lot colder as the sidecar windshield almost negates the bike windshield. Our warm spell is ending as the temperature has been dropping all day long and will probably be near 0°F sometime tonight.

I finally turned the air intake around on the Ural air cleaner housing. Hopefully, this may eliminate snow clogging the air cleaner. I was prompted to remove the air cleaner housing as I was hearing a loud intake noise on the right side of the bike when accelerating. It turns out that the right intake air hose had come partially loose from the carburetor.