Saturday, February 9, 2013

Running Errands With the Sidecar

Last night and this morning, I finished working on the lighting for the sidecar. And what do you do after any work on a vehicle, you take if for a "test drive". I had been siphoning gas out of the motorcycle this winter to run the snowblower so I figured I needed to refill the tank rather than have it run out when I least suspected it. After a fair amount of snow the last couple of days, it was nice to have a little sunshine today. This was taken at a turnout with a view of the Alaska Range (too cloudy to see much), and after a lot of running around on back roads, I headed back home. This was on a major road for the area and I was able to easily maintain the speed limit of 50mph. The standard RT gearing is too high and I suspect that fifth will never get used.
I had mentioned in a previous post that I had ordered some LED turn signals and received white instead of amber. Rather than returning them, I just used them on the front of the sidecar. I replaced the windshield mounting bolts with the mounting bolt for the lights. The lights have are on low whenever the bike is running and the light on the right also functions as a right turn signal. I think these lights may help my visibility to other drivers, maybe.
This is my solution for the rear of the sidecar. The amber one near the top is mounted to the sidecar fender and is a marker/running light. The light on the lower right is the stock tail light and continues as such. The large light is mounted to the side car body with the wiring in the trunk and is a tail light, brake light, and right turn signal. I think I still want to add an amber turn signal since I think that the amber ones are a lot more visible. At least at this time of year, I must be more visible due to all the waves, smiles and thumbs up from drivers and pedestrians.
I had many options to keep my hands warm today, the handlebar muffs do a good job keeping the wind off your hands and you may have noticed the elastic band around the grip. This is attached to the muff and keeps it from touching the levers. The openings are large and it's easy to get your hand in and out, something I had to do often as my visor would fog up anytime that I stopped. The heated grips worked too well and I had to turn them off since they were too hot. Maybe I should look for the resister for the "low" setting. Since it was a moderately warm day at 10°F, the gear didn't get a very thorough test.
Only about 30 miles of running around today and the studded tires worked great especially on the snow covered roads. Braking was decent and I still haven't felt any of the low speed wobbling that I've been warned about. Maybe the slick roads mask any instability. Even after only 30 miles, I can still feel that I got some upper body exercise. This may be just what I need to go with all my walking. It is incredibly handy to simply throw stuff into the sidecar. You may notice in the first picture that I have my top box installed. It mounted simply to the Reynolds rear rack like it was made for it. No clamps just bolts into the existing holes with some fender washers.

14 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Great to see you riding about on your rig Richard! The only time I've gotten the low speed wobble was when I was putting to much air into the front tire....I keep mind under 30 on both my rigs.

PS, more pics of the rig from all angles please.

dom

SonjaM said...

+1 what Dom said. More pics please.

RichardM said...

That sounds promising as far as the low speed wobble. I had the impression that it was almost a certainty since I didn't do anything to reduce the trail.

I will take more pictures tomorrow. I was having too much fun running around.

RichardM said...

Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and sunny so I'll try and take more photos. Two of my sons were following me for a while and they said that just about every vehicle that went by in the other direction did a double take after passing me. Sidecars aren't a common site around here.

VStar Lady said...

Just a question Richard, are motorcycles without sidecars more commonly seen in the winter around there? I'm thinking they were doing a double take on both accounts. I'm very interested in your muffs. Even October gets to be too cold for my hands here. Can't wait to see more.

Trobairitz said...

Looking good Richard.

So utilitarian, you won't want to take anything else out now.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

Exciting times!

What kind of mitts are those?
~Keith

Unknown said...

Richard:

it must feel really nice when things work as they are supposed to, and more so when you have done them yourself.

You deserve to get looks for riding around. It looks like your limited riding season has expanded to "all year".

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Motorcyclea with or without sidecars are a rare site up here in the winter. I think that the Hippo Hands would hold the heat in better as the hand openings are smaller. These are pretty effective at blocking the wind.

RichardM said...

i still need the truck to haul trash once a week or so but for anything else, I think this will fit the bill.

RichardM said...

The handlebar muffs are branded as Arctic Cat for use on snow machines and ATVs.

RichardM said...

Or at least more of the year. I think that I will leave the really cold days for the hardcore riders like ChrisL. I'm satisfied that I've added a few months on each side of the normal riding season.

I'm too stuborn to let someone else work on the rig. The goal for me is to be more self sufficient and this bike fits the bill just fine.

Roger said...

Loving the header pic mate...

RichardM said...

Thanks! Shows one of the benefits of s sidecar rig, harder to fall over on snowy surfaces...