Saturday, February 2, 2013

Studs

I finished up the enough of the wiring to connect the existing lights on the Cozy sidecar. There is an amber running light on top of the fender and a brake light on the rear fender. I installed a 5-pole flat trailer connector to make it easy to disconnect the sidecar wiring from the bike. If the sidecar is not attached, I can just tuck the connector next to the battery. This is the top-rear mount on the bike as I just tapped into the wiring to the rear lights. I re-torqued all of the bolts, changed the engine oil to 5w30 from the normal 20w50 in anticipation of cold weather starts as suggested by ChrisL from Everydayriding.org. I rechecked the alignment and pushed the rig out of the garage. The first start since the carburator rebuild went just fine. I didn't need to adjust the idle but I will need to balance the carbs sometime soon. But, I still couldn't get out of the driveway.
After mulling this over for a bit, I called around looking for screw in studs. There are some very well made ones on Aerostitch but I didn't want to wait for shipping them up plus they are pretty expensive. A shop in town had boxes of a 1000 of a different variety that is more suitable for off road riding but I thought that I would give them a try. They look like sheet metal screws but are supposed to be much harder and they have sharp edges. These are the 7/16" long version and I screwed in 58 into the rear tire and 50 into the front using my 1/4" impact driver. There is just barely enough rubber in the Heidenau K60 on the front as they have over 8000 miles on them. This evening, after installing the studs, I took off up the driveway and without a running start or any tire spinning, I easily made it up the driveway. I rode only about 10 miles as it was dark and a bit cold (0°F) as I still haven't looked into why the heated grips stopped working. I was getting some odd looks from passing cars and got up to about 45 mph without any handling issues at all. With the studs, braking is almost as good as on dry roads with no evidence of sliding. The shop recommended tightening them up periodically and to remove them before the heads wear completely down.

12 comments:

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

Once legal in MN, studs no longer are here due to road damage. Friends that do ice racing on the lakes use some that are more "serious". They look like the clear ticket for your rig though and will make winter riding lots of fun.

Be careful though Richard...now when you get stuck, you'll REALLY be stuck. One of those winches may be your next project :)

redlegsrides said...

Alaskan snow must be more icy than the stuff here, or was that portion of your driveway iced over? Great that the studs you found worked for you, I'll be more interested in their wear. As to the strange looks, it's amusing isn't it? Stand by for some SDF, sidecar delay factor.

Erik R said...

If I had knobbies on my Wr250... hummm the possibilities! A thrird wheel would make it easier though.

RichardM said...

Studded tires are legal here from about mid-September to mid-April and for many vehicles, it's about the only way they can stay on the road. The ice racing studs look pretty aggresive and there wouldn't be any traction if there wasn't ice.

If there is that much snow, I'll probably pass and just start walking again.

RichardM said...

A couple of weeks ago, it warmed up to above freezing for a day and it rained on top of the very cold pavement. Then the temperature dropped to below zero again so now there is a thick layer of ice on many of the roads. Many have packed snow on top of that.

We have a steep driveway which just makes things worse. Stange looks abounded today while riding around.

RichardM said...

Studded tires are used by a handful of riders but they opt for the normal, automotive carbide studs installed with a pneumatic tool.

After one day of wandering around, these are working out. I haven't lost one yet.

VStar Lady said...

Richard, you gotta do what you gotta do ... but I will never say the words studded and tires in the same sentence when I'm talking about the VStar (I won't even say snow and tire in the same sentence!)

RichardM said...

With the studded tires, handling on packed snow and ice is just about as good as paved roads. I just need to keep practicing riding on back roads for now as the handling is so different than as a bike. No more diving into corners anymore...

Unknown said...

Richard:

we used to buy studded tires but that was in the prior days of rear wheel drive and less traffic. We don't need them in the City anymore.

Looks like everything is working out. You're going to be happy with your extended riding season. Just have to figure out your heated grips.

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

This 1WD rig definitely needs the studded tires to get around. Especially with the thick layer of ice we've had for the last two winters. The Ural owners in the area don't bother with studs as with 2WD, they can get around just fine.

When I picked up the box of screw in studs, I also picked up some handlebar muffs similar to Hippo Hands. They are stiff enough to for the openings to stay open but are labeled as an Arctic Cat accessory. The openings for your hands are larger but I think that they'll work just fine.

Conchscooter said...

Nice one! Now you're the weirdo on your street. Next time you choose to act normal in zero degrees why not ramp it up and go for a ride in a gorilla suit? Then your neighbors will think you are keeping a Yeti in the garage, not just a hack.

RichardM said...

Hmmm, I probably don't need any help to be identified as the weirdo on our street. And if I wear my Carhartt insulated coveralls, I just as well may be wearing a gorilla suit due to its bulk. But we don't have any yeti's handy, I think they hide in the jungles of KW.