Thursday, December 27, 2012

Morning Clouds and a New Crossmember

We've began the slow procession towards summer now gaining approximately two minutes more daylight per day. Sunrise today was at 10:58am and was accompanied by some nice colors. This is the same Alaska Range view to the south that I've taken many times before taken just a few minutes before sunrise.

This one was a few minutes after sunrise with the sun behind Mt. Hayes (4,216m) casting a distinct shadow on the bottom of
the clouds. I really couldn't decide which of these I like better.

Fairbanks is enjoying a respite from the "bitterly cold" temperatures since Christmas Day when the temperature ventured above 0°F.

This afternoon, Scott had some time and was willing to weld the crossmember into the sidecar frame. Scott is a Gold Wing rider who has gone on several of the summer rides with the church group and has ridden to MN several times over the years. He is interested in the sidecar installation and generously volunteered to weld in the new crossmember. Here the frame is supported by stands in his shop while we tried to determine the best location for the crossmember. The sidecar frame is inverted at a convenient working height.

Since the crossmember is being welded in, there was one chance to get it right. Fortunately, Scott is very meticulous and everything was measured several times. DMC had included several steel support pieces machined to fit against the round tube to provide additional support. I believe that the crossmember on the motorcycle side sees more stress and needs additional support. Scott modified these pieces to fit, ground off the paint where the welds were going to go and used his heli-arc welder to tack everything in place. Once everything was measured again, he finished the welds.

After cleaning up the welds, everything was sprayed with primer and gloss black paint. This is the new rear crossmember on the motorcycle side showing the additional support pieces. He is a real pro at this and the welds look fabulous with good penetration. We test fitted the DMC 70° mount to make sure the welds didn't distort the metal too much and everything fit together really well. The square tube to the left of the new crossmember in this photo, supports the sidecar suspension. The new crossmember is attached to the square tube as well as the frame rails.

This is the opposite side of the new rear crossmember and it is welded to the existing frame rail support holding the lower sidecar suspension mount. It will take about a day for the paint to dry completely. Tomorrow evening, I'll start the reassembly of the sidecar and attach it to the motorcycle mounts.

Thank you Scott for sharing your excellent welding skills.


Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Looks good Richard, you'll be ready for Hacking when the days get long. Hopefully I'll find one of my own someday.

redlegsrides said...

I liked the first sunrise pic best Richard, your sidecar rig would have looked good in silhouette .... Soon enough.

Your friend's welding skills are quite evident!


Martha said...

I like the 10:58 sunrise. I like the clear light feeling of it. I'm not a sunset person, and the second one is more like a sunset. Both very beautiful tho.

RichardM said...

I had been thinking of getting a sidecar for quite a while and was surprised when I found one in town.

RichardM said...

He is an excellent welder and was pleasantly surprised when he offered to install the crossmember. He said it may be the only sidecar he will have a chance to work on since there just aren't that many around.

RichardM said...

I like just about any picture when the sun is shining on the bottom of the clouds. The sun in the second photo is just peeking from around the mountain so the overall image is much darker. Plus I shot it at EV -0,33 where the first one was EV +1.0. Just playing around...

Unknown said...


slightly darker is more dramatic, but it does resemble a sunset.

You are lucky to have such a capable friend who is welding like it was his own, and taking so much care to do it right.

you are also getting more artistic with your borders

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

Sometimes there isn't much difference between a sunrise and a sunset. At this time of the year the sun just sort of skims above the horizon not more than a couple of degrees up.

Yes, very fortunate that Scott was willing to help me with this project and that he didn't rush to get it out the door. He wanted to do it right.

The "artistic boders" were part of an iPad program I was playing with and it masked off some of the stuff around the shop. I was originally looking for an effect that blurred the edges.

Conchscooter said...

I wish you well with third wheel heaven. You ride in a world so alien to me I have difficulty imagining riding solo in such a world as seen on ADVrider. I viiew hacks as being similar to convertibles: when you have them you have to use them. With three wheels you will become unstoppable in rain mud sleet and snow. Like the postal service. Take the truck? Nah, now I've got the hack. Forty below? Piece of piss.... Brrr.

VStar Lady said...

Richard - your sunrises always amaze me. Happy New Year - and aren't you lucky to have a friend with a talent to share ... looks like the side car is becoming a reality.

RichardM said...

I like your comparison to a convertible and that if you have a hack you just have to use it. I'll think I'll pass on the forty below!

RichardM said...

At this time of the year, the sunrises are easy to catch. As long as you are up and about before lunch you're in good shape.

Yes very fortunate that Scott was willing to do the welding. Couldn't ask for anyone more competent.

BeemerGirl said...

Both sunrise photos are wonderful. Love the color in the clouds on the first. And the shadow and colors of the second. So I'm not help there. :)

Great luck in finding a friend with great welding skills. I'm glad he was around to help.

RichardM said...

I had known Scott for a while and ran into him at the airport on the way to Barrow. After hearing of the sidecar project, he volunteered immediately.