Monday, December 1, 2014

Back to Normal

With the truck out of the garage things now seem back to "normal". After sitting in the garage for a couple of days, the fuel is back to it's un-gelled state and it started and ran like it has for the last nine years. Completely reliable. I took the opportunity to remove bug screen over the radiator and put on the winter front. This is a snap on fabric cover with a zipper in the center that completely covers the front of the radiator/intercooler to help retain engine heat during really cold weather operation. The zipper in the center allows you to allows some airflow through the radiator in warmer temperatures.

The additional 4" of snow last night meant that 2WD was needed on the Ural just to get out of our driveway this morning as well as returning up the hill in our subdivision. Being able to just shift into 2WD and not having to battle my way through the snow is wonderful and it is why the BMW has not been ridden since August. Even with the fresh snow, we are far from the normal two feet of snow that we usually have by this time of year.

The only minor Ural mod I've done over the weekend is slipping a small 25W silicone pad in under the battery. I didn't even bother removing the battery but did have to remove the seat and the seat plate to get to the battery clamp bolt. A quick test of the heater at 0°F had the battery a little above ambient temperature so I'm not too concerned about "cooking" the battery.

This evening, I replaced 27 of the carbide studs in the pusher because they were worn out after only 1000 miles! It's kind of hard to see in the photo but the one on the right was installed back in the beginning of October and the center and left one were installed today. I've noticed that traction on ice was getting a bit worse so I assumed that the studs were wearing out. Not very good life. I thought that they would last at least as long as the tire. The front and sidecar studs are still in good shape. In addition to the 27 replaced studs, I added 27 more for a total of 81 in the pusher. Almost 50% more than originally installed. Now that we have more snow, maybe these will last a bit longer. 

10 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Good to hear the 2WD along with studs are dealing with the hill and driveway slopes just fine. Are you using Heidenau K37s or Duro 307s?

Martha said...

Is your weather starting up to be like last year? I try not to remember winter stats. If you go snow-lite, we will probably be snow-heavy.

RichardM said...

I'm using the Heidenau K37s. 2WD is wonderful in the fresh snow. Rarely needed for most of my riding but sure nice to have when needed.

RichardM said...

Hopefully, it'll be better than last year and not have any rain in the middle of winter. We are supposed to be getting a foot of snow tonight or tomorrow. That'll be just what we need.

Trobairitz said...

It sounds as though you had a productive weekend. Truck all set, studs replaced, battery warmer in....

RichardM said...

I don't know if I would call it productive. More like "dinking" around. I hear that freezing rain is forecast for your area.

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

Richard, postpone the burn-outs until summer! I can appreciate the difference between fresh studs and those October versions. MN studs came up here a week ago in our discussion so we dug into the years they were legal here and when it no longer was. A gigantic research study comparing road wear stats is online.....somewhere.

Conchscooter said...

I wondered about you and your battery heater as I went for a Vespa ride in shirt sleeves today. On the subject of shifting there is a U Tube video but it's actually quite simple with two cables on a tube inside the left handlebar grip. The clutch works in the ordinary way and you just twist the grip to go through the gears 1-N-2-3-4. In fourth gear the clutch lever points almost straight down. In first it points up slightly and looks "normal" in neutral. Mine needs a little adjustment so I am getting a little classically greasy already. Sigh.

RichardM said...

I don't know if it's possible to do a burn-out with a Ural with 39 hp. But I do hear the rear wheel spinning occasionally on the really icy sections. Around here it isn't even a question on whether to allow studded tires or not. Winter tires such as Blizzaks work really well in the right conditions but studded tires seem more universally useful.

RichardM said...

Thank you, I was really wondering how you shifted the Vespa. I saw the foot pedal but thought that it looked more like a brake pedal than a clutch or shifter.

As far as a heated battery, the magneto on the Vespa gets rid of that problem right off the bat. I bet it would do well in the snow. 2-stroke engines are much easier to start in cold weather...