Hacking through our kid's inheritance

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Strong Bad, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Please note that when ADV changed to the new forum there was a lot of text I had written in MS Word got scrambled and lost. But anyway we hope you enjoy our trips!

    It’s been a long time coming but we are finally there. Therese retired several months ago and I’ve got one week left in my career as a Professional Geologist. Several years ago we got to talking and dreaming about what we would do when we retired and somehow traveling by sidecar came up and it sounded pretty damn fun. I had never driven a sidecar (aka: sidehack, or commonly: hack) before but I pretty much knew what I would want in a hack. The problem is a beast like that has to be custom built and it ain’t cheap to do. Not wanting to jump in with all of that money and no experience I decided that just to see if indeed life with a hack is what we wanted, I bought a nice used 2007 Ural Tourist with tons of farkles. Of course I then had to add upgrades up the wazoo to make it into something that could be somewhat reliably used. Bottom line was that SWMBO and I were a good fit for traveling with a sidecar. The bad news was that traveling via Ural is simply too much of an adventure, too slow and well just too much of a Ural. [​IMG]So it was finally decided that once the Ural was sold, I would call Jay up at Dauntless in Enumclaw Washington and have a sidecar built to attach to a BMW R1200GSA. The Ural was sold faster than expected and the order was placed with DMC, now all I needed to do was find an affordable GSA. Well, that took a bit longer than expected but a nice low mileage 2007 GSA was found within the same county at a reasonable price.
    [​IMG]
    Dauntless finished building the sidecar in February 2012. The plan was that I would ride the bike up to Washington & Jay & the guys would install the sidecar. Holy crap! It gets frigg’n cold in Northern California/Southern Oregon in the winter!! I had hoped to get as far as Weed, CA for the night but with the wet roads, amount of snow on the shoulder of the road, and my bike telling me it was 28 degrees, I stopped in Dunsmuir fearing black ice. So I get a cheap motel for the night and hope that the sun hits the road early so I can head north. The rest of the way up was uneventful except for icing conditions outside of Grants Pass. A heavy fog was freezing to my windshield!
    [​IMG]I finally got to Jay’s shop and dropped the scooter off after getting the grand tour. The following day the installation is complete and I’m off to pick up Therese at the airport so we can begin the adventure! But first a couple of pics with Jay & the gang! Thanks guys you are awesome!!!!
    #1
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  2. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    SWMBO arrives on time, dons her riding gear and off we go to find HWY 1 and head for home! Nice and uneventful trip down the coast, thank God for grip heaters and having the forethought to buy a 12 volt electric blanket to keep SWMBO toasty.[​IMG] Northern Hwy 1

    No big trips with the hack for a while but lots of day trips up to Santa Barbara wine country and a trip up to Big Sur for my 60th Birthday. [​IMG]We decided that the first big trip would be to do the Continental Divide Ride (CDR) from New Mexico to Banff, Canada. So all of the ride reports here on ADVRider that had anything to do with the CDR (sometimes called Continental Divide Trail,CDT) were studied closely. Seeing that the ride appears to be fairly easy for the most part doing it with a hack shouldn’t be that much of a challenge. There are some that report sections are indeed difficult and should be avoided, a couple of questions to the good folks in the ADVRider Rocky Mountain regional section set my mind at ease. As a Geologist out of Idaho State University, I have years of experience with Forest Service Roads. Additionally, I’ve been riding and racing off road and in Baja since the late 60’s so I hope that I can figure out when I’m getting in over my head. My best guess is that weather will be the biggest factor as muddy roads can put a hoped for route out of play.

    So, how to prep? Well we’ve been camping but for the last 20 years it’s been out of the back of a pickup or from our 28’ toy hauler. All of the nice compact/lightweight backpacking gear Therese and I had in our younger days is long gone or ridiculously out of date. So we bought new tent, tarp, stove (dual fuel), cooking gear, chairs, sleeping pads. & dry bags to store stuff in. Our rig uses car tires, so new snow tires are the best choice for a trip like this. General tool kit spares (Alt belt, spark plug, tire patch kit, air compressor, misc. nuts & bolts, etc.) Oh yeah need a small scissor jack for the hack. And SWMBO decided that a small winch prolly wouldn’t be a bad thing to have out in the middle of nowhere, so I suppose you should have a small shovel so you can dig a deadman……Holy crap! Just how much stuff do we really need? Well I did have to get a GPS so we could follow Cannonshot’s tracks of the CDR. So I needed to buy the fancy smancy Touratech mount that locks and powers the GPS unit from the bike. So as long as you are running power from the bike to the hack for the GPS you might as well supply additional outlets to charge all of the other electronic gizzmoes being brought along like laptops (to update this ride report) cell phones and the little Antigravity Lithium battery that can be used to jump start the rig (as well as charge stuff). Hmmm…how old is that battery in the bike??? Alright, alright, so a new battery came in the mail today.

    So once we got 90% of the gear we decided that we should start doing what I call “Functions Tests”. Basically do practice runs with the hack fully loaded and go camping to see what needs to be adjusted. The first trip was a simple overnighter up into the local hills about 60 miles from home and about 20 miles of “twisties” to see how she’ll handle. Easy money. No major discoveries, very minor adjustments. Prolly the biggest surprise came with cooking the freeze dried backpacking meals. Sure boil water add it to the pouch mush it up a bit and wait a couple of minuets. Hopefully by the time its ready you are so Frigg’n hungry you’ll eat anything. But wait… Hey!! This stuff ain’t half bad….And hey, you know what? I could eat this at home!!! Hahahaha!

    First Functions Test "Loaded for Bear"The next Functions Test was a nice long trip out to the Carrizo Plain twice the twisties and about 20 miles of dirt road. The rig handles like a dream in the tight stuff and is well behaved on the dirt roads.
    [​IMG][​IMG]The contents of "The Kitchen Box"[/FONT]
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    So much for the background of our trip I wanted to get this started so when we leave next week I will be in place and ready to add onto as we go.

    Once we get going I'll have my spot tracker turned on and you should be able to follow us/see where we are by going here:

    xxxxxxxxx

    So for the next week things will be fairly quiet until we hit the road. Thanks for following along I hope you enjoy!

    Sorry about the crappy font, I was getting multiple errors when cutting & pasting from a word doc.
    #3
  4. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    Have fun, :thumb
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  5. highplains drifter

    highplains drifter Adventurer

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    Nice to here all your preparations are going well. You will have a great time doing the CDR route with your custom rig. When in the Kremmling co. area that offer for a cold beer still stands. Look forward to hearing about your travels.
    #5
  6. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    :thumb Thanks!! If timing allows I would love to take you up on that beer!!
    #6
  7. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Yup, I'm a girl.

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    Hey Strongbad, where did you get that front wheel? It looks like a different rim with another car tire, although that last pic in the first post looks like you'd left the original. How do you like it more than the original spoked rim? :thumb
    #7
  8. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Hahaha! Good eye GypsyWriter!!! As you may be finding out owning a hack is kind of an ongoing process. Indeed I started with a completely stock front end on our rig. After coming down Hwy 1 on our first trip I felt that the steering was much firmer than I would like so I had DMC send me a "trail reducing" lower triple clamp. Wow! What a great significant difference it made. However, after rapidly wearing through several motorcycle front tires (at great cost). I decided to go with a car wheel & tire conversion made by "Stoker". I started a thread in the "Hacks" section which talks about the conversion. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=950872 Of note is that when I put the Stoker wheel on, it reduced the trail of the front end even more, making the rig steer way too "twitchy" so I had to take the DMC trail reduce off and put the stock lower triple clamp back on. She handles like a dream now and I get MUCH better tire wear at a much reduced cost.
    #8
  9. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    One of the things I found with the functions testing was that the left pannier was getting really hot from the exhaust . I bought the extensions which dumps the hot gas out beyond the pannier and also put a wrap around the exhaust and reflective tape on the pannier itself. BINGO! Much reduced temps!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    #9
  10. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

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    Enjoy your travels and post plenty of pics. SWMBO. I'm pleased you have you priorities sorted. Are you a Rumpole Of The Bailey fan too.
    Cheers,
    Mark
    #10
  11. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Yup, I'm a girl.

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    Thanks for the link!!! I've been thinking about a front car tire, but thought the only way was with a LL front end! :D Guess I should do more research on the subject. :clap

    LMAO!!!! :lol3 :lol3 It looks like you've got a double-barreled shotgun coming out of that back pipe! LOVE IT!!!!! :raabia
    #11
  12. Pantah

    Pantah Jiggy Dog Fan Supporter

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    Hey Strong Bad,

    I'm up for this RR. You are pretty handy around those hacks. Amazing you picked it up so quickly. Congrats on your retirement. I've been thinking about it, but not sure what I would do with myself. I've done the CDR already. :D
    #12
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  13. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Stoker does a really nice job, however he does it more or less as a hobby as he has a "day job". You can start with the Stoker wheel conversion and then add the Leading Link forks once your wallet recovers. At least that what I plan to do. That and add a anti-sway bar. But like I said, these things seem to be on going projects that I doubt will ever get "finished".
    #13
  14. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Thanks Pantah! I don't know that I picked it up that quickly. Living here in Southern California I can take the rig out just about any time I want. When I first got the Ural, I used it for all of my around town driving and left the 3/4 ton Duramax diesel pickup parked.

    CD is the first on the list, we plan to do a trip to Alaska, and then follow in the tracks of Matt & Kristen of "Bugs on My Face" fame shipping our rig to South America.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739872

    R-dubb has a Pacific Crest Trail route which could also be a good one. Jerry Counts (Countdown) has also been working on a PCT route.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111885

    I had to retire, Therese & I have places to go and things to see!!
    #14
  15. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Hi Strong Bad... first congrats on your retirement :clap. You seem to do all the right things in getting your beautiful rig ready for great Adventures.

    Reminds me of the days Sharon and I did the same thing...

    [​IMG]

    Do the CD for us !!, we missed it and use Cannonshot's tracks....let me suggest that you get a Garmin Montana GPS which has a great fitting for the BMW and the Montana is a power of a wonderful GPS where one can use "tracks" that you designed as well ease of uploading Cannonshots or equivalent CD tracks/routes. Most GPS'es can not accept "tracks" from Mapsource(discontinued) or BaseCamp.

    You'll be doing AK, Yukon, NWT..oh, man you'll love it then the South American trip to Tierra del Fuego... I am jealous.

    We're doing Inuvik, NWT(Dempster Highway) this summer which we missed the last time BUT unfortunately in a:

    [​IMG]

    GodSpeed... Strong Bad, go..Strong Bad and team go..go..go
    #15
  16. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    Here's to great times on your new ride. :freaky
    Subscribed. :thumb
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  17. bpeterson

    bpeterson no other way to say it

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    subscribed! great report so far, I love seeing the hacks.
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  18. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Thank you sir! Your rig was an inspiration for our build.

    I don't have a pic handy, but I did get the Garmin Montana. I put a "grab bar" at the base of the hack's wind screen and mounted the GPS there so SWMBO can act as navigator as we go along.
    #18
  19. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Ok, swmbo ?
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  20. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

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    She Who Must Be Obeyed. :D
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