Sunday, November 22, 2015

Chaining Up

This morning, I put the chains on the pusher before heading out partly to see how well they worked in the fresh snow. It took only a couple of minutes to install four sets on the pusher with my nylons strap mod. No effort to space them out evenly around the rim. Great traction, as expected, and a little bumpy once I got onto the main road. And at that point, I just drove with the pusher on the snow piled up in the middle of the road. After getting back home, I checked for evidence of anything hitting the driveshaft and found none. The Velcro held the chains on just fine. I think that they may be a good option to the leather straps.

Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon, there was an Airhead tech day to dig into a bike. Before I left, the transmission was out, front fork sliders and rear suspension was out. I'm not sure how far that bike was going to be torn down but I left before dark. The compression was only 80 psi on one cylinder and 110 psi on the other and it burned quite a bit of oil so some engine work is needed. When I left, there was about 6" of fresh snow on the subdivision road off of Chena Hot Springs Rd. I pulled off into a driveway to let a truck go by and got a little stuck. 2WD didn't help much as the rig was floating on top of the snow on the mufflers. But I was able to back up out of the driveway and continue up to the main road. I think that I may need to actually replace the pusher as there isn't a lot of tread depth compared to a new tire. And there isn't enough tread left to install studs down the middle. I still haven't installed any studs in the sidecar tire and I think that it may be time.

No, the original Ural battery didn't fail but I have noticed that the voltage has been reading lower the last couple of months. Last year, there was at least one orange LED showing on the voltmeter right after turning the key on before starting. Lately no more orange just the two red LEDs. JedR, the owner of the new EFI rig here in Fairbanks gave me the original battery from his 2015 rig as he is running an automotive battery. The original was basically used as a terminal post to splice the wires from the new battery to the wiring on the bike. So I installed the newer battery yesterday evening. And I now have two orange LEDs! The old battery was pretty filthy so I took the opportunity to clean up the area including the rear fender. The crimped on main ground terminal fell off. It must've been a marginal connection.

12 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Nice of that EFI rig owner to let you have his new battery.

Good to hear the velcro straps are a good option. I've had the rig "float" on its mufflers before....it helps to have fellow uralisti around for such times, but I also now try to remember to bring my self-recovery gear.

RichardM said...

Very generous indeed. At the time I didn't think that my battery was worn out but once it started to get cold, the 3+ year old battery was starting to show it's age.

I like the 2 into 1 exhaust with the muffler mounted high on the right but don't like the price tag. I had the chains with me but didn't put them on.

Unknown said...

Leather straps do seem a bit primitive, especially if the leather will be exposed to harsh conditions.

Have you ever gotten seriously stuck in the snow in your rig?

RichardM said...

I think the leather straps are supposed to be like "original". The chains came from a place called Old Timers Garage in Poland.

No, I have not gotten seriously stuck but since I'm usually on my own, I tend to avoid those situations.

Ken said...

Ughhhh...snow!
If I remember right there is a hill leading to your house? If I'm correct I hope it is plowed often..
I like the velcro option, seems much more reliable than cracking leather.

RichardM said...

I take it you don't have any yet. There is a hill to our house and it isn't plowed often. The Ural has had no problem going up and down the hill though 2WD has been needed more often this year than last. The tire has a lot less tread now compared to last year when they were still new.

Erik R said...

Chains, studs, new battery.... All you need now is a way to hook up a plow... Cut a few feet off the one on your truck... Should work great

Steve Williams said...

Sitting in a cozy chair in a warm house I have to say the discussion of snow and chains and studs isn't striking up any desire to go for a ride. No snow here yet but certainly cold enough.

Do you keep an Anti-Gravity battery with you should your main battery fail to start the rig?

RichardM said...

All it takes for me is to see the brilliant sunshine on the bright white snow. I just fitted the GoPro back up to see if it still works since snow is forecast for the next couple of days. It should be nice riding...

Yes, I have an Antigravity XP-3 battery with me but so far, I've only needed to use it on other vehicles and to charge the iPad. Plus there's always the kick starter which I use about once a week.

RichardM said...

First gear isn't anywhere near low enough. Plus the rig barely has enough power to get itself up a hill. The truck works much better as a plow vehicle.

VStar Lady said...

Richard, chains? ... I'll wait for the video now that you've got the GoPro mounted. It's just wild in this area, and it isn't about snow. Bikes are still on the road and nobody is shaking their head. Double digit temps most days up until yesterday and promised again for later in the week.

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

All of these anti-cold and anti-snow comments aren't enough to deter me from being excited about some coolish weather riding. I'm not very excited about your below 0 trips but then until I really have 3 wheels and can experience those rides for myself I better just keep my enthusiasm and confidence in check.