Cob and the "Predator" attemp climbing Green Mountain..........

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Mr. Cob, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy All,

    Yesterday I had posted up on ADV that I was planing on riding up Green Mountain, and gave an invitation to anyone who may want to go along for the trip, I didn't get any takers so I set off to see how far up the mountain I could make it. I left from the Chevron Gas Station in Granite Falls, at 10:35AM. The elevation at the Chevron is around 390 feet.
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    I rode east on the Mountain Loop Hwy, then turned off onto Forest Service Road #41 and headed UP Green Mountain. This next series of photos was taken at around 1,400 feet at this point I am still in one wheel drive as the snow between the truck tracks isn't to deep.
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    At the 1,700 foot level the snow between the truck tracks was getting deep enough to start to float the sidecar in a few places but the bigger problem was ice in the bottom of the ruts left by the trucks. So I installed five of the ten chains that were on the spare tire onto the pusher tire of the rig, this allowed me to continue on up the mountain.
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    Here the grade wasn't as steep and the hump between the tracks wasn't floating the sidecar, I shifted back into one wheel drive, with the chained up pusher I had plenty of traction.
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    I made it around the next switch-back and the grade steepened, at this point around 2,200 feet I had to install the remaining five chains onto the sidecar wheel, now back in two wheel drive I continued the climb.
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    I know in the photo it doesn't look steep but it is. This where I chained up the sidecar wheel.
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    Looking back where I had come from before chaining up the sidecar wheel.
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    At 2,600 feet the hump between the truck tracks was getting higher and harder, off to the left of the road the cliff drops darn near straight off for about a 1,000 feet. You can't really see the edge because of the snow thats on top of the brush that grows along side of the road. :eek1
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    This was as far as I could go, the hump between the truck tracks was so high and hard that it floated the sidecar, even in two wheel drive and chained up I couldn't get traction as the sidecar tire just dug a trench into the hump and the pusher dug down in the truck track to the point it lost traction as the sidecar was holding the rig up on top of the snow.
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    2,938 feet was as far as I could go, the top of the ridge is a little over 3,800 feet.
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    In my honest opinion, having a REVERSE gear on a sidecar rig is more important and useful then having two wheel drive. Where I got stuck and couldn't go any further being able to use reverse to turn around in the width of the logging road made a ride like this possible. Not having reverse there is no way that one person alone could have ever got the rig turned around, there is a very DEEP ditch about a foot in front of the front wheel, and a steep slope to the rear of the rig just beyond the edge of the logging road. About 12-15 feet behind the rig is the edge of the cliff, the edge road itself is only about 5 feet behind the rear wheel in this photo. At this point I am about half way turned around. You really DON'T want to slide off the edge of the road or your going over the cliff. :cry
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    OK, all turned around and headed back down the mountain.
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    It was a bright sunny day here in the Nor-Wet, unusual for this time of year, I would have liked to share this day and ride with others but still I had a good time. Having two wheel drive, good tires, chains and reverse allows a person to do this type of thing safely even if they are by themselves.:evil
    #1
  2. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    wow.....
    those pictures
    what an adventure
    now THAT'S surely a place MY rig could not have gone
    wish it could, however
    and... i'm sure i would have (stupidly) tried

    well done
    appreciate you sharing this with us
    #2
  3. firebrick

    firebrick Been here awhile

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    Sweet, just like Iowa, ok maybe not.
    #3
  4. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Greg,

    I would NEVER attempt this sort of ride with my GS-Hack, NEVER. This is the kind of thing the Ural excels at, it may not be fast or pretty but it goes places others can only dream about. YES, I know some hi-tech German two wheel drive rig that costs five plus times what the Ural costs could probably do, I know I would like to be there when it tried. :D
    #4
  5. CBRider

    CBRider Adventurer

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    Fabulous photos, Mr. Cob. Thanks for posting them. You say that your rig isn't fast or pretty, but I think functional is the best kind of pretty there is...

    CBRider
    #5
  6. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy CBRider,

    I totally agree with FUNCTION before form when it comes to this type of riding. That is why I built the Predator, it sole function is to survive the beating it gets every time its taken out of the garage. I had my GS hacked to be used as a fast, comfortable, long distance, good or foul weather rig, NOT ever to be used in the environment the Ural thrives in. I firmly believe in having the right tool for the job, the same thing applies to bikes or rigs.
    #6
  7. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Hey Dave,

    Wish I had seen your post, I would have gone with you. :cry

    I wasted the day shopping for different corrosion inhibitors to use on my rig to protect it from deicer. Looks like the leather straps held up. :thumb

    If it stays cold, the snowmobile trails at Snoqualmie should be prime for riding in a week or 2.
    Just saying. :evil
    #7
  8. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Barry,

    My decision to do this ride was kind of a spur of the moment thing, I posted it late last night giving folks very little warning. One thing I did learn, having only five chains on each wheel is NOT the best, it leaves to big of a gap between the chains and this induces wheel hop from loss of traction as the tire spins before the next chain makes contact. I have enough chains to install ten on each wheel but I didn't carry any with me other then the ten that were on the spare tire. From now on when I chain up I'll be using ten chains per tire it will be much easier on the rig and on the chains. :D

    You just might talk me into taking on the snowmobile trails, its just so darn many hwy miles to cover from my place to get there, ride all day and then get back home again at night. Now if I could bum a sofa or throw a sleeping bag on the floor the night before the ride and the evening after the ride I'd be much more inclined to accompany you on this excursion. :wink:
    #8
  9. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    Looks like you had a really good time in the snow.
    Great pics too.
    How long did it take you to get turned back around and headed down the slope?
    Any problems with sliding/skidding on the ice you mentioned?
    #9
  10. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy BeeMaa,

    It only took a couple of minutes to get turned around, I had to go forward a couple of feet while turning, then back up, then forward again until I got turned around, EASY to do IF you have reverse. The chains provided all the traction I needed until the deep snow hump in the middle of the road floated the sidecar preventing the tires from digging down to get a bite. Heres a photo taken last year that shows how if I am breaking my own trail and not trying to strattle a hard hump I can push a lot of snow with the sidecar before finally getting stuck, when this photo was taken, last year, I didn't have chains, if I had had chains I could have kept going.
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    This shows how without the darn hump in the way I can dig down to get traction but with out the chains I couldn't get a grip on the loose snow and gravel base.
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    #10
  11. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Hey Dave.

    I remember that ride, that was a good day. Now that I have a high exhaust I can do my share of trail breaking also.

    I'll start scouting the trails, when they are ready I will let you know, and of course there is always a couch available for you. :beer

    Heres an action shot of you getting stuck. :evil

    Attached Files:

    #11
  12. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    So with chains...stuck 50 ft further down the road.
    Without chains, well...you already know that story.

    Just busting your chops a bit.
    Looks like you have a lot of fun in the snow, with your 2WD and REVERSE! :D
    Like you said, the right tool for the right job.
    Enjoy.
    #12
  13. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy BeeMaa,

    There is always a limit to what can be done, the point is finding the limit. Many times whilst in my Jeeping days and now with the Ural being able to make it five inches let alone fifty feet further then the other guy is the name of the game. Is there any practical reason for doing this sort of thing, NO, still I guess its kinda like asking the guy who climbs mountains, "why do you do it" the usual answer is something like this, "because its there, or I want to do it". If I were a reasonable person, I would live an awful BORING life, as it is its usually far from boring. :wink: :evil :1drink
    #13
  14. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Barry,

    YES, we had a really good time that day, heres where you had the common sense to stop whilst I kept going.............
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    #14
  15. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    Your posts are convincing me to wait until I find a 2wd for my next Ural. My area looks like your pictures for about 5 months of the year. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
    Tom
    #15
  16. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    My theory is that 2wd, studs, and chains are to make difficult conditions that are within a Urals capabilities easy and enjoyable. Yup, that's my Theory.

    Then I go riding with Dave, and end up digging, winching and wrestling the rig. As a matter of fact, the first time I went snow riding with him, we winched the rigs across avalanche debris covering a trail.

    I'm a slow learner, and he is a bad influence. :wink:

    Attached Files:

    #16
  17. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Tom,

    Seriously, if the Ural didn't have two wheel drive and reverse, I wouldn't have bought one. There are other bikes out there with more power, better design, better quality but there are NONE that come out of the box built to do the crazy stuff that I enjoy like the Ural does. Its really just that simple. :deal
    #17
  18. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    I bought a beautiful olive 97 1wd this spring when I saw it on CL too cheap. I've had dozens of bikes, but never a hack before. I was happily surprised when my wife of 25 years liked it, but I felt it just wasn't riding. (My regular bike is an FJR). After reading too many horror stories about older Urals I sold it at a nice profit and bought a GL1800. Dumb move. My wife has difficulty climbing on and her favorite riding is seasonal roads. In spite of a custom seat and peg lowering brackets, she is very uncomfortable on the FJR so she only rides on the Wing. We've surprised more than a few dualsporters as we ride on rocky dirt roads on the 1800. Next spring the GL goes and I hope to find a 2003+ 2wd Ural by then. We will both be happier and I will blame you.
    #18
  19. smelick

    smelick Once you hack...

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    Maybe a Ural plow is in order! Do you think having ballast in the sidecar would help or only hinder the floating in the deep snow?

    -Scott
    #19
  20. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Tom,

    Just my opinion, worth what you paid for it. :deal

    I would advise NOT buying a Ural older then 2005, if you can afford it 2007, MAJOR changes were made in 2008. Buy as NEW a Ural as you can afford, the up grades are worth the money and its way cheaper to buy a newer Ural then it is to up grade an older one. :D
    #20