New sidecar rider stranded in PA - can anyone help?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by elizilla, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. elizilla

    elizilla Not Quitting

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    SE Michigan, USA
    Hello,

    This weekend I sold one of my sidecar outfits to my friend George. This morning he left my house in Michigan on the BMW K75 sidecar outfit, to ride it home to NYC.

    He is now stranded on I-80 near Loganton PA. He thinks maybe the battery didn't like to support his electric heated gear. Or something. It's stone dead and he's had to call for road service. I feel kinda bad that I sent him out on this trip and now he's having trouble.

    He still needs to get back to NYC in time for work on Monday morning. And it's not like motorcycle batteries, or BMW mechanics, are easily found in rural Pennsylvania, especially on a Sunday. George is pretty resourceful and can work on his own bikes, but he only has what he was able to carry on the plane when he flew to Michigan on Friday. He could use some local help, if anyone is within range to go. If you can help, please drop me a PM and I will put you in touch with him.

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. GHO100

    GHO100 Crazy George

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,108
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    New hack Pilot is me!

    I did truly have a dead battery. I was cruising well on the interstate, but I had my heated gear on, gloves and jacket, as well as the factory aux lights, and I'm fairly certain it all overwhelmed the 33 amp alternator on the bike.

    Some good info out there suggested to upgrade to the 50 amp alternator available on some later K-bikes.

    I got a jump, after figuring out how get to the battery without removing the ignition module (though of course I first took about half the bike apart under the seat), and made sure to kill all the lights and heated gear before pulling over for more gas.

    I made it home to Brooklyn about 5:30 am.

    Thanks for throwing up the thread! Now, lots to figure out about how to fix that seat....it looks like my GF is the perfect size to drive it though!
    #2
  3. cleatusj

    cleatusj Dirt floor engineer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,258
    Location:
    Granbury, TX
    Glad you was able to ride it on in. All that gear is a good reason to add a full size battery in the car, it takes a lot longer to run down. You could also add a relay to shut down a separate fuse block, at a certain voltage, that the gear and auxiliary lights are hooked to.
    #3
  4. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,059
    Location:
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    Glad all worked out. If I would have seen your post in time we could have come out there. You were only about 30 miles or so from us.
    #4
  5. elizilla

    elizilla Not Quitting

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    SE Michigan, USA
    George, glad to hear you made it OK.

    I am told that those factory driving lights are desirable unobtanium for that bike. But they're also old technology halogens. I bet some of your LEDs would eat less power, and then just sell the factory driving lights to someone who cares more about authenticity than functionality.

    Also, the heated grips with the two settings probably just have that basic resistor wiring. When I have wired my own from scratch, I throw away the resistor junk and wire them to use a proper 'troller. Why waste your scarce wattage, heating a resistor?
    #5
  6. MILLENNIUM FALCON

    MILLENNIUM FALCON Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    256
    Location:
    Central Pa
    I wish I had seen this when it happened I'm only about 5 minutes from there. Glad it worked out.


    #6
  7. alskee750

    alskee750 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    518
    Location:
    NYC
    Sorry no help, but I'll keep my eye out for a hack in NYC. good luck on your ride..
    #7
  8. mac85

    mac85 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    FWIW, I have a K75 with the 32A alternator, and I've yet to have issues running heated jacket and gloves (though generally not at full power), plus Rigid Dually LED aux lights and rear running lights. Thought I might have issues, but so far so good.

    Might be worth considering selling the factory aux lights to someone who's dying to have them and replacing with some nice bright LEDs. Enjoy the K!
    #8