Winter in Alaska 2012-2013

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Alaskahack, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    Happy New Year Everyone
    I had my first chance to do a snow ride a couple days after Christmas, then it took me a couple of days to figure out how to embed a video. The video is a little boring but it gets eciting when a grader goes by me


    [​IMG]






    The Video

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]


    For Some Reason this doesn't work on a I-Pad
    #1
  2. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    When you decide to make up a set of studded tires let me know- I've done a few sets for my hack over the years and I have the correct tools at my disposal....
    #2
  3. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    Tim
    Thanks for the offer, I took the oufit out a couple days in a row last week the first day solo and just cruising around the neighberhood, up and down Lucille a couple of times. I'm not sure if you had the patience to watch the clip, but I kept starting and stoping to see how much control I had on hard packed ice and snow. And it actuall worked better then I thought it would.. The next day I took it out with a 200 lb. passanger but it was a little warmer, Schrock, Fishhook, Parks were all good,dropped my passanger off and came back home. But I had a hard time moving up a small incline had to get off and push.
    I'm thinking about going with chains, I will let you know how that goes


    Bob
    #3
  4. richardak

    richardak Been here awhile

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    I have my rig almost done! It is a Cozy sidecar attached to my '83 R100RT. The subframe and all mounting hardware either made by or modified by DMC, thanks to Jay! and his crew. I just got it together last Saturday and wanted to try it out but with just a street tire on the rear, I couldn't make it out of the driveway due to the slick conditions. I'm now shopping for a new rear tire that I would be able to stud but hampered by the limited tire selection for these older bikes. I used to have a Heidenau K60 on the rear but wore it out and couldn't find a replacement in OR last summer in the appropriate size.

    I still need to wire things up, install some turn signals and check the alignment. Then learn how to ride it.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. WU7X

    WU7X The Old Fart

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    Hey RichardAK, that looks like a fine job you've done. Drive safe and have fun!
    #5
  6. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    richardak

    Have you checked with Jay about getting a automotive modification for a rear wheel

    Make sure you get the toe-in correct. LOL long story, but make sure you get it right

    Just a thought :evil
    #6
  7. richardak

    richardak Been here awhile

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    I haven't given much thought to the rear wheel besides looking for a more aggressive tread and now looking at studding options. The older airheads use a double sided swing arm so there isn't much room fo a wider tire. As it is, there is less than 1/8" between the sidewall and the driveshaft.

    I spent quite a bit of time on the toe-in since my bike, as do many others your GS included, has a larger section width tire on the rear so I couldn't simply put a straight edge against the motocycle tires. Maybe with a spacer it'll work. I ended up with a line on the garage floor and moving the rig so the center of the motorcycle tires were on the line. Repeated the whole process several times to ensure that the bike was on the line. But thank you for the reminder...
    #7
  8. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    I have been using old block style trials universals as a basis for my "snow" tires. They are cheap, available in a multitude of sizes, and easy to stud. I suspect there are better options out there, traction wise- they do work, but they certainly aren't fantastic. A car tire conversion for the RT would be hard because of the swingarm design- if a GS style single sided arm could be retrofitted your options would open up considerably.

    I have toyed with toe and lean a bit with my rig over the years and have found that bike lean has a greater effect on trim than toe- I have had the toe on mine vary by a few degrees and it's pretty hard to tell the difference. Lean seems to establish the "trim speed" at which the rig will run true without any steering inputs. I have mine set to "Trim" at about 50mph, so when running at highway speeds it'll take a bit of left rudder to keep it going straight, but it's really pleasant at 40-60 which is ideal for tooling about in the valley.

    I suspect that toe-in will be more important with car tires- but lean should still establish the speed at which the outfit operates easily.
    #8
  9. richardak

    richardak Been here awhile

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    The folks at DMC suggested I look for a trials tire but I wasn't sure whether they could be studded. I just got the rig together last Monday so I've just started looking for suitable tires. Apparently I don't multitask very well. Fortunately, lean is pretty easy to adjust and I was kind of thinking the same thing. 40-60 sounds like a good target around AK, especially in the Interior.

    This is all new to me so I really appreciate the feedback.
    #9
  10. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    The reason I mention toe- in so much is because I had a lot of tire wear on the inside of my new sidecar tire.

    I heard so much about drawing the lines on the floor and every thing I tried,I couldn't really get it right by myself. I finally figured out in order to have the straight lines I needed something long enough and straight. I ended up getting 8' metal studs and I then took all of my measure from the rear of the bike when your talking fractions of a inch, I really needed two people to finallize my measurements.

    Tim I agree with you on the lean out, my car has has ECC (electric camber control) and I'm able to adjust my lean on the fly
    #10
  11. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    I'd stick with a DOT approved trials tire and not use one of the competition units, as those are super soft (not to mention expensive) and have really pliable sidewalls- great for trials riding on a 140 pound machine but probably not suitable for a 700 pound outfit that'll do 70mph.

    The IRC tr1 is cheap and I've had decent luck with it, or the Shinko Sr241. A little more upscale might be the Pirelli MT43, but it is bordering on a competition design, although it's still DOT approved.
    #11
  12. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

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    It is possible to put an automotive rear wheel and tire on the RT however it takes a custom wheel and the tire is a hard to come by size 125 15, Not really worth all the effort on this bike.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    www.dmcsidecars.com
    866-638-1793
    #12
  13. richardak

    richardak Been here awhile

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    I just ordered the IRC TR-1 rear tire from a local shop. They had never heard the term "trials tire" and just had me look through their catalog to find something. Thank you for the confirmation that I didn't make a stupid choice. For now, I'll just keep the Heidenau K60 on the front as it already has over 8k on it and is still has lots of rubber on it.
    #13
  14. cleatusj

    cleatusj Dirt floor engineer

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    I would think that a Shinko 700 would stud well.
    #14
  15. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    I try not to let it get me down. Last summer I called the Yamaha dealer trying to find the correct timing spec for my 1975 DT175. When I asked how many mm BTDC the points were supposed to open (non advanced) I might as well have said "Blgraf fenharf gugen fard beedlebugges".
    #15
  16. KHJPHOTO

    KHJPHOTO Old Man and the Road

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    Here for now; but leaving soon
    Alaska and a Heck - Live doesn't get much better!

    Lived in Anchorage, producer/diredtor for KIMO waaaaaay back when. Sure do miss AK! Maybe THIS year I will make the trip up....maybe....hope...well we'll see.

    Have a great New Year!
    #16
  17. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    In reading this thread I thougt maybe some of the stuff below may help a little. There are some exceptions to what I am going to write here but for all practicaal purposes and in most cases this may prevent much of the 'chasing your tail' delimas that can confront those setting up theur own sidecar when just getting into this ciscus. Food fore thought anyhow :-)
    First off lets define lean out. Lean out is how far the bike leans away from the sidecar. Lean the bike left (away from bike) to go left and right to go right. So if it pulls to the right lean th ebike left or more out. Simple? Yeah sorta....but make sure that you know if your toe in is affected when you adjust your lean out.
    For those who have some sort of manual or electric control to jack up or let down the sidecar suspension you are not actually changing the true lean out (static adjustment) you are TILTING the outfit left or right. This is not abad thing and it can be a great thing in many cases.
    HOWEVER.....If you find that you are running with the adjustment up all the time .... then....it is probably best to adjust the static (true) lean out. The electric control should be thought of as a fine tuning device and not THE main source of acheiving a good tracking sidecar outfit.
    If we could see and define that ther eis a differentce between lean out and what many of us call tilt it would probably make things a lot more clear to many.
    Think of this.....when we lean a bike out we may keep the sidecar wheel vertical. When we tilt the whole outfit we are leaning the top of the sidecar wheel in some. This can cause unwanted tire wear on the sidecar tire. Usually not a life or death concern but it is there. There are other reasons for sidecar tire wear but we won't go into that now as it is usualy not a big concern.
    Another item that should be taken into account regarding lean out OR tilt relates directly to the given outfit we are dealing with. We see things posted that say the sidecar should weigh around 1/3 of what the bike weighs. Not really bad advice at all but this is not cast in stone by any means. A heavier sidecar will be more stable in turns toward the sidecar but a lighter sidecar with a wider track width can still become quite stable. One concern with a light sidecar is that a lighter sidecar may have too soft of a suspension to handle all the weight transfer in left turns (turns away from sidecar). Mounts, spindle size etc can also be a concern with some smaller sidecars.
    Toe in? Toe in for most outfits should nto be thought of as a means to get good tracking. Usually if toe in is between say 1/2 and 3/4" you will have a good starting point. Less toe in means less tire wear, usually on the rear of the bike. If on ehas a car tire on the rear of the bike and a small narrow sidecar tire the resulting tire wear due to excessive toe in can show up on the sidecar tire as it is 'overpowered' by the large rubber on the bike.
    You can ride a rig with excessive toe in and it can handle and track like a dream. You may nbever notice anything bad until the cords start to show....not a good thing. Again.... it is important to know with any givcen outfit what changing the lean out does to toe in. This is all related to the lower mount placements and can vary from outfit to outfit.
    Sidecar mounts need to make th esidecar and the bike into one rigid unit. Flex or movemtn when underway will blow the best setup right out the door.
    Oh, note that Toe out will typically create a pull toward the sidecar and grind tires away quickly. Not a good thing at all.
    Well hope this helps a little. trial and error is always a part to some degree in acheiving th ebest setup for any given outfit and operator. What is good or feels good to one may not to another. The basics presentled above are to hopefully get someoen to a good base point and from there they may be able to make things better and better. One change at as time is nopt a bad policy. Neither is recording what you did so you can get back to square one if needed.
    #17
  18. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    Claude
    I really appreciate your imput. My problem was when I first received my sidecar I messed around with the ECC and never returned it to the static position. I then connected the sidecar when I came back from my 3,000 mi. trip I noticed the scrubbing on the inside of my new sidecar tire, the bike tire looked great.

    I then went back and readjusted everything and have the ECC in the static position most of the time now
    #18
  19. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    You can set the ECC in what i suppose you mean by static position where ever you feel it will be the most usefull for what your situtaion may be prior to actually setting up the sidecar. In other words ... If you set the ECC so the sidecar suspension is close to being as low as it will go you have a lot of lee way to allow for heavy loads in the sidecar or high road crowns by jacking it up with the switch and so on. You would be able to add 'tilt' to the rig this way.Keep in mind that a softly sprung sidecar will sag when weight is added. This adds tilt away fromt he bike. When you jack it back up with the ECC you are simply getting it back to the happy point. If you set the ECC too high statically probably won't have enough adjustment left to go up.
    We usualy set the ECC low and then setup the outfit's lean out as if it had no ECC. There are exceptions to this but they are not the norm so to speak.
    A light sidecar with a soft suspension on a heavy bike is by far one of the harder combinations to find th ebest compromise on.
    If you are new to sidecar operation is is important to practice withe the ECC in different positions with the wisecar loaded and unloaded. If you raise the sidecar to allow for the passsenger weight and then the passenger gets out you will find that right handers willbe a little more spooky due to the tilt added. Practice is very important here. Have fun but be safe. As seat time is added the outfit will talk to you and tell you what it wants.... :wink:
    #19
  20. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    Claude
    What I considered the " static" position was all the way down at its lowest point. The motor will move the car up about 8"
    I adjusted the shock up to the stiffest position because I at first thought that the amount of weight ( camping gear, passenger) was causing the tire wear. Even though pictures taken during the trip didn't show any sag between car and bike

    But boy it sure is a learning process the rig is set up now, so that approx 220 pounds can be put into it without having to mess with the ECC that much. I found that out the other day taking a friend of mine for a ride, I had to lift the car up a little

    But that is all it is just seat time and practice

    Thanks again

    Bob
    #20