Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Frosty Ride

Last night was the monthly Airhead get together at the local microbrewery. We had a large turnout of about 15 including a couple of new guys. One of the new guys, Gene, is someone i had worked with quite a bit back in the 90s so it was good to see him again. He had recently picked up a 1980 R65 and had used it to travel around the state.

I tried riding without studs installed in the tires in yesterdays fresh snow as suggested by Mickey, the Anchorage Ural dealer. Somewhere between 3" and 8" on the road and I now know for certain that the 2WD works on the Ural. It was needed several times on the commute. After getting home from work, I installed the studs into the tires. It took 52 in each of the front and rear tires but didn't have enough to to all of the sidecar tire so I just ran a row down the center slightly staggered from side to side. I guess I'll order more before rotating the tires. With the studs installed, the ride to the microbrewery felt secure and and the rig planted to the road.

We are beginning to get winter temperatures this morning. Kind of annoying that the connector for one of the heated gloves within the jacket was broken. Of the four connectors on the Gerbing jacket, this is the third one that needs replacing. Fortunately, Gerbing provides additional wiring with the gloves for use with other jackets so I just ran that through the Roadcrafter sleeves. These temperatures also brought the winter helmet out of storage. The face mask is uncomfortable but the tradeoff is no ice on the visor. A fair trade. On the ride home last night I needed to pull over and clear the ice off the inside of the visor. At these temperatures, the Pinlock insert alone isn't sufficient. The first picture is the windscreen after arriving home last night. Kinda frosty.

14 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Interesting that you had to engage 2WD on snow-covered paved roads.....my exposure to Alaska snow was brief but I don't recall ever having to engage the 2WD....was there ice under the snow? As to your facemask, is it something similar to the cold avenger face mask I reviewed before or a mask that came with your cold weather helmet?

RichardM said...

This is the time of year for really sloppy conditions. In this case, ice under fresh snow polished nicely by cars with spinning summer tires. Without the studded tires or 2WD, I had lots of wheel spin going up hills and fishtailing on the downhill sections with engine braking. Better with 2WD. With the studs installed, 1WD works just fine except on our driveway or icy hills. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily it goes in and out of 2WD. Low speed, clutch disengaged, going straight easy in or out.

I think I have the same winter helmet as you except an older model. The rubber mask covers your nose and mouth and vents out the side of the modular helmet. I believe it's made by Ski-Doo.

SonjaM said...

Oh my, that are some temps already, and here I was complaining that the company's heating system didn't work (we had 16C in the office...)

Trobairitz said...

12˚, brrrr.

I don't know a single person who has ever had Gerbing gear that hasn't had a problem with either wiring or the controllers.

RichardM said...

I think I'd complain about 16°C inside the office as well. Winter has arrived up here so we may as well get used to it. The first snow is always somewhat entertaining as we watch new arrivals cope with snow. They discover why fat, sporty tires aren't a good idea.

Yesterday morning, a 4WD fire department pickup whose driver never learned about 4WD, had traffic backed up about ¼ mile as it slid down the hill in front of our building. Traffic was backed up all the way through a traffic circle.

redlegsrides said...

You can engage 2WD at higher speeds as well, I've done it while moving at 30 mph. If you try to engage/disengage while stopped, and it gives you grief, try wiggling the front tire with the handle bars...or rocking things a bit with the clutch.....I love 2WD on loose sand, makes the whoop-de-doos that much more fun.

RichardM said...

Quite a change from OR last week. So far, my only problems have been with the wiring, more specifically, the connectors.

RichardM said...

Disengaging seems to be more problematic when stopped so I started to just disengage while rolling to a stop with the clutch pulled in. I think the lever by the tank really simplifies things, at least for me.

No more sand for a while...

Martha said...

Since my extreme weather experiences last year I have become more familiar with what's out there for protecting your face. There is so much really good stuff now for surviving cold weather activities.

Nice frosty photo.

RichardM said...

I'm looking forward to more than just surviving cold weather activities. I've really gotten to look forward to winter riding. It has become a highlight of my day. Maybe only because it's not common around here.

Learning to Golf said...

Man, and I was throwing on a heavy sweatshirt because it is was in the high 60s the other morning. I guess cold is relative to what a person is used to, but your cold sounds like frigid to me.

RichardM said...

You're right in that it sort of depends what you're used to. The windshield and leg shields keep most of the wind off of you but nowhere near as good a job as the RT fairing. It definitely feels colder on the Ural than the BMW. But then you just turn up the Gerbings liner and gloves. Today, at 18°F all I used were the heated grips on low.

VStar Lady said...

So glad you are willing to be the 'extreme' tester for the cold weather gear so that all of us tender foots can benefit.

RichardM said...

Tough job but someones gotta do it...

Some suggest that I'm not in the "normal" category.