Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Signs of Spring?

Wimped out again this morning. I saw the -18°F on my iPhone and decided to carpool with my wife. I'm sure that others such as ChrisL and Charlie6 would have seen this as a normal commute, geared up and took off. There are suggestions of Spring such as seeing dirt on south facing road cuts or the brilliant sunny days that are typical of March in Interior Alaska. The arrival of DST was a real pain as it once again made it dark in the morning. Sunrise is once again before 8am so I had wanted to start commuting on a regular basis. (Sign the petition to eliminate DST)

Snow Pile from the clearing the
parking lots
On Monday, I did manage to ride in after my early morning dental appointment but decided to head home mid-afternoon since it wasn't warming up much. The weather forecast claimed a high in the mid teens but it wasn't happening. I figured that if there was going to be any problem with the bike, I preferred to avoid "rush hour" traffic. The bike started up fine even though it had been sitting out in pretty cold temperatures (-16°F when I arrived and -7°F at 3:00pm). I still had not installed the silicone pads to keep the crankcase and battery warm. After reaching the main road leaving the university, the rough running started again. Cruised on home in third gear at 50mph but there was insufficient torque to pull fourth gear (3K rpm). It felt as if the engine was running way too rich though the enrichener was shut off. BMW uses an enrichener instead of a choke for cold weather starting. Once I arrived home, the roughness went away as quickly as it came and it idled just fine as I pulled into the garage. The bike must not care for the cold.

Over the weekend, I had gone on several rides but they alway started from (and ended at) the relatively warm garage. The rough running seems to be a problem only if the bike is left out to "cold soak".

14 comments:

Dar said...

Richard when do you actually have snow off the ground on average and get warmer weather? You definitely are a braver soul than I riding in the cold & snow. *bows down* in admiration.

RichardM said...

Usually not until mid-May or thereabouts. By the end of April, most of the streets are rideable but there is still quite a bit of snow hanging around.

With the sidecar and studded tires, it isn't that difficult riding around. Now, there are those who ride on two wheels with studded tires, they are the crazy ones...

BeemerGirl said...

Woohoo! Grass at the end of the long night! I couldn't agree more...get rid of DST.

Sorry that the bike is running so rough. I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

Everyone was complaining because the first day of Spring saw temperatures here in the 30'sF. I think of you and am grateful it is so warm.

RichardM said...

I haven't had time for even basic troubleshooting and the carbs aren't balanced since the overhaul. Lots of possibilities. I'm sure I'll figure it out and it is something that has been intermittent since I got the bike. I'm thinking coils or maybe the electronic ignition (both common problems with expensive solutions). It hasn't been a recurrent problem before as in maybe 10 miles of last years 7K miles.

RichardM said...

Oh! Today was the first day of Spring. That didn't even occur to me. For us, a better date is May 1st.

Conchscooter said...

And you are surprised your machine doesnt work perfectly in minus eighteen (plus wind chill)? My Bonneville baulks at anything less than fifty.
The First Day of Spring was lovely in Key West with blue skies & sunshine, 80 degrees, no humidity and light south west breezes. It was perfect.

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

Our first day of Spring was the coldest it had been in 50 years. Last year it was near or at a warm record; averages are made that way.

Fifty is my fun threshold. Colder can be done though warmer is where I like it.

Trobairitz said...

You may be getting brilliant sunshine, but darn those are cold temperatures. Not as bad as they were for you in the dead of winter, but brrrr.

DST is a pain. Sure it is nice to have it light out later, but I hate it when it is so dark in the mornings.

RichardM said...

Yes, I am surprised that it doesn't run well at -18F. Granted, 4-cycle may be a little harder to start but once up and running, there isn't any reason why it shouldn't run smoothly.

Today, the 2nd day of Spring brought more "Spring-like" temperatures. 0°F and light snow.

RichardM said...

Today was a pretty nice ride in to work. Some light snow and much warmer temperatures and they are forecasting highs in the 20's.

RichardM said...

March is one of the nicest months around here. Lots of sunshine, the snow has everyones junque covered up, and usually very clear with 200+ miles of visibility.

This is the only time of the year when DST is a pain. in a couple of weeks it won't matter anymore...

Black Inazuma said...

Too cold for me. Snow forecast tomorrow here in Hampshire, UK. I'll wait!

RichardM said...

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. The sidecar really makes riding at these temperatures possible and with the full fairing, it's still enjoyable.