Sunday, August 19, 2018

World Travelers

After getting back to Fairbanks, I checked the DeLorme page for CCJon and saw that he was in the Walmart parking lot. We had been texting back and forth since he had some sidecar and tug issues while on the road. I went to the parking lot and he and Nestor, his nephew, were easy to spot even among all of the RVs that fill the lot during the summer. Here, they are spraying chain lube on Nestor's chain after he arrived back from Deadhorse. Coldfoot to Deadhorse and back to Fairbanks in one day. Amazing. He has now completed the entire Pan American Highway.

I led them back to our house through all of the road construction that seems to be plaguing Fairbanks these days. He let me drive his extremely wide sidecar rig. The plastic marker is nice to have as it is easily a foot wider than the Ural and you can't see the fender while riding. Even with the weight and size of the sidecar, the rig is very easy to drive. At least for the short distance of the test drive. Tons of power even at low rpm and lower gearing. The bike is what felt huge to me.

After dinner, CCJon decided to set up and stay in the tent trailer since all of his gear is packed inside anyway. I had been really interested in his rig ever since I saw what he was putting together. It was built by Claude Stanley at Freedom Sidecars in Middleburg, PA. The tug is a 1000cc V-Strom with only slightly lower gearing than stock, leading link front suspension, and car tires. The support leg of the tent trailer platform doubles as the rack. The tent supports are then raised and his moto-RV is ready for occupancy.

Anyone who has tent camped while on motorcycle trips will really appreciate the attraction of this rig. Lots of dry storage and not sleeping on the ground. During the setup, I noticed that the anti-sway bar arm was touching the sidecar frame. And the suspension piece that determined the ride height of the sidecar frame was set to its lower limit. I.e. there was no upward suspension travel at all on the sidecar. We made a small adjustment the next morning and he will see if it upsets the handling. I expect that the pull to the right will be reduced and the sidecar to tug attachment will need to be raised as well. That would eliminate the slight lean in i.e. the bike looked like it was leaning towards the tent trailer. But, then again, I have no experience with rigs running car tires.

This is Nestor's V-Strom that made the Pan-American Highway trip. Still really clean and from what I heard, it has been a very reliable bike. Some of the gear was removed when this picture was taken. It was not seriously overloaded like many of the riders that I see passing through Fairbanks. The only preparation needed for getting on the road again was adding air to the tires after the trip on the Dalton Highway.

Here they are both packed up and getting ready to head south again without much of a break. CCJon's rig had developed a crack on one of the sidecar cross members which he had welded and reinforced. The welding shop recommended by DavidR did a great job. It looks stronger than it did originally. CCJon also plans to rebuild the clutch slave cylinder. It sounds like there may be some seepage in the slave cylinder when the lever is held in as he needs to regularly add hydraulic fluid. From here, they are headed to Haines to catch the Alaska State Ferry to Washington before heading back to Texas. The ferry trip should be a good time to relax as I think it's a five-day trip.

It was great to see CCJon again. I missed him the last time he passed through Fairbanks but caught up with him a few weeks later at the BMWMOA rally in Salem, OR. He mentioned that the next Sidecarist rally is in Couer d'Alene, Idaho, next July. I may have to add that to the calendar. CCJon is involved in the organization of the next rally and plans to check out the venue on the way.

Saturday - I just received a text from CCJon. They are in the very crowded town of Haines. Hopefully, they both get onto the ferry on Monday.


VStar Lady said...

Richard, you are becoming a very popular B&B spot in Alaska!

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

Really enjoyed this Richard; I'm sharing it with friends, especially hack friends.

redlegsrides said...

Good to see mission accomplished by both CCjon and Nestor! Congrats to Nestor for riding the whole PanAmerican Highway! Now I know how the tent looks like when set I think I'll stick with the URRV for now though. ;)

RichardM said...

This has been an unusual summer. We rarely have visitors so this has been a real treat!

RichardM said...

CCJon has had some wonderful travel experiences and stories. I'm looking forward to hearing about the upcoming ones in his blog.

RichardM said...

CCJon did opt to turn around in Coldfoot but he's ridden up to Deadhorse several times already. The last time on a Ural.