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Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Box'a'bits, Aug 29, 2015.
mushrooms get a lot of underserved bad press.....they're actually fung-gi's when ya get to know them
Ocean Beach 1st May ‘16
Friday Andy Mac sent me a text to find out if I would be interested in riding during the weekend. Given I had just done the Waiohine Gorge ride the day before, I wondered how well this would go down with Mrs Box’a’bits. But replied yes, of course.
Saturday was supposed to be used getting Gus ready for the ride, but life got in the way, so Sunday it was the sidecar I was preparing. Andy suggested we ride Ocean Beach. I wasn’t sure how the chair would go in the sandy portions, but given I’m currently testing to find the limits of the rig, thought it’d be good to try that. I figured I’d whack on the spare rim & Mitas C02 Stone King rear tyre - if that couldn’t get it thru there, nothing could.
While a quick visual inspection had shown it could just fit, I could hear it rubbing when I went to ride it. So back to the garage to quickly change back to the Heidenau K60. This made me a little late, so no packed lunch & thermos. I'll attack the Stone King with a knobby knife sometime soonish.
Had a quick few spots of rain near Upper Hutt, & the sidecar was feeling a few wind gusts. It was looking dark on the hills. I hadn’t checked the weather forecast since Friday, but knew that Sunday might have a chance of rain. I wondered what I’d let myself in for.
Met Andy (KTM 625) & Ash (R1200GS) at Rimutex.
Ash appeared a little apprehensive about the Ocean Beach destination. He was clearly concerned that Andy had talked him into some sort of trail ride. He hadn’t ridden Ocean Beach before, & was dubious about grip (he was running a worn TKC70 front & new rear) & the weight of the bike. Maybe the sidecar showing up was a good thing. But I knew he’d has done a lot of dirt riding on smaller bikes, & had 33,000 kms on this one, so was confident he’d get through. I made sure he was aware he could stop or turn around at any point, & gave him a quick run down on what to expect.
Andy had briefed Ash on riding behind me, to enjoy the show going through the Rimutakas. The sidecar flies itself out of left handers...honest, officer. In my mirror Ash’s bike looked like a low flying UFO. Highly visible, but not really immediately identifiable as a bike because of the triangle of led lights (spots & headlight).
We really started getting hit by wind gusts after Featherston. Although the sidecar is more stable than solo bikes, it still gets pushed around. But other than a few sprinkles, no rain.
At the first stop at Ocean Beach, I got the guys to go ahead of me. The chair tends to kick up more dust than solos, especially if I’m using rear wheel steering.
There was a little traffic on the road, including a car that at Camp Corner had decided discretion might be the better part of valour. He'd found the track becoming too rough for his vehicle, and was looking to reverse & turn around. On our return trip, we later passed the occupants walking the track, & then met them again after lunch at the Lake Ferry Pub.
Lots of potholes at the start of the track, but not quite as many large puddles this time round. On Gus I can ride around the sides of the bigger holes. There is less options with the chair, so I just trundled through some, others I put the chair wheel through. All with a good firm base, so no issues.
No issues on the climbs. But I did note that the track runs along the right side of the hills, & the camber wouldn’t be as cooperative on the way back.
The wind was pretty strong by Windy point, even though we were being sheltered from the worst of it by the hills. Out to sea, the wind was tearing up the water, making white caps, rainbows, & small waterspouts.
You can see the track going along the top of that bluff, & the 1st gate in the distance on the 2nd point
The slip was okay going through, but clearly there had been recent activity, & I was very concerned at how I would get back. The angle was more than the chair would allow without tipping, & I figured I’d need assistance on that.
The sandy stretch to the gate was okay as long as I powered on. But Ash struggled with it.
The slip, & before the gate
After the Gate
Round to the stream crossing. Not a lot of water, but confined into a couple of smaller channels with steeper approaches. The chair didn’t nose in, & we didn’t belly on any larger rocks, so I was pretty happy with how that went. The rubber footpeg did twist upside down though, using water as a lubricant.
Where possible, I rode the grass by the track on the open meadow portion. The start of the official track was a little rough, and it was easier to ride beside it. And it rougher as we got to the scrubby twists.
Just after the stream crossing
The old 4WD hole is pretty dried up / drained now. EddieB wanted me to put Gus thru there a few years ago, for the video entertainment of the masses. Way too deep to ride through at that stage. But the logical track choice today. And when the track turned to sand again, I rode some of the stoney sections to get better grip.
At the final stream, we went upstream to the higher crossing point, & then across & up the hill. We walked to the bush that marks the end of the track, rather than risk the looser downhill. Andy had a play on one of the steeper tracks, & found his less aggressive tyres didn’t really accomodate that.
The return journey was a little more fraught. I got stuck on the sandy section just after the final stream – the camber of the track pushed me down into the softer stuff that’d caught Ash. And then again into the twisty scrubby section. I’d followed Ash too closely, & lost momentum. Good to have pushers on hand.
Beached. Notice the sidecar wheel is off the ground. There was a rock stuck under the sidecar frame
For the slip section I got Andy to balance off the outside of the chair. And walked it when the camber got too much. There is video of that to come.
Just to give perspective to this picture, go back to the 3rd photo. That shows the drop off if you get the slip portion wrong
Andy Mac made it look easy on his KTM
Crashed just before Camp Corner. I think I must have throttled off cresting a rise, the sidecar kept momentum, & we speared off into the shrubbery. I needed help to pull the chair out of that. Reverse would be nice.
After a discussion with the boys, we headed for Lake Ferry, & I had a very welcome pint to rehydrate (thanks Ash). And a very nice pulled pork burger & flies for lunch.
It looks like the exit to Lake Onoke is blocked – the sand bar has shifted. I wonder if that clears itself, or if a digger will be needed.
A more sedate ride home over the Rimutakas, given the heavier 'end of school holidays' traffic, & the fact we got caught in a line.
Home sometime after 4.00.
Hmm I think you need a job, something that stops you spending all that spare time on the trails....
Looks like the Hack was hiding its head in the bushes in shame... Haha. Hope there aren't too may repairs to be done?
Low speed. And I didn't hit anything. There wasn't any visible damage. The chair frame dug in to the berm a bit, so stopped it going further. So it was effectively bellied there. There was just enough weight & resistance that I couldn't get it out myself. Otherwise I would have backed it out - no one the wiser
You aren't the only one that's commented I need a job to keep me off the trails...
Get a haircut and get a real job...
Think of this as my final grasp at freedom before succumbing to the routine of 8.30 to 5 office life...
I'm starting my 1st job in over 2yrs tomorrow, I'm only allowed to do a few hrs a week at this point but its a start. Needless to say I don't recommend knocking yourself out with a road to get out of working.
Following on from the heavy April ride schedule, there were a few areas of damage / concern highlighted from the various rides I’d done, or at post ride cleaning.
I’ve been unsuccessful at removing the intermitant rattle from the left head. Annoying, but probably not life ending. Likely reflected off the sidecar & back at me:
- I’ll pull the head & barrels off, to ensure that it’s not surplus silicon blocking oilways, given the findings on the right side.
- This is also a good opportunity to check the health of the bore & valves;
- I’ll shim the end float out of the rockers & see if that improves things;
- I’ll also pull the timing chest off, & look at replacing the cam chain & associated mechanism.
- That’ll also give me the opportunity to paint the outside of the timing chest, which is looking manky.
To do these bits of work I need to remove the chair. I need a dolly to make doing this (& then reattaching it) less of a drama;
I’ve managed to put a small dent in the left header just by the crossover, likely at Takapari Rd. Given I’ll have to replace this at some stage, & it probably doesn't affect performance significantly, I’m not too worried about that now.
The left header is also leaking somewhat from the patch I did pre the wedding. I need to seal that;
The gear change oil seal is seeping;
The seat back of the chair needs some remedial stitching;
The chair needs a realignment. 2 issues here – the bottom rear sidecar clamp needs to be welded in place. And the bottom rear subframe clamp needs to be tighter, or to be welded in place to stop it moving;
I’d purchased a cheap furniture dolly from Mitre 10. I still needed to chock the sidecar up with wood offcuts, & this tended to move / slip at inconvenient times. Given I‘m fencing at the moment I had some 100x50 offcuts from the rails. I’ve made a cradle, which is screwed & glued onto the furniture dolly. The indents positively locks the sidecar frame in place. And this now means I can move the sidecar around the garage independent of the tug.
Gear change oil seal:
This has been seeping. Leaned the bike over onto the right side (so the gearbox oil didn't dribble out). Unbolted the left foot peg, & then withdrew the allen headed bolt that holds the gear change mechanism into the gearbox internals. Removed the change mechanism & footage as a complete assembly. Levered out the oil seal with a screw driver (being careful not to mark the case) & then pushed in a new seal. 2 minute job.
Head & Barrel:
When I went to remove the bash plate (need the exhaust off to allow the head & barrel to be removed), I noted the left rear bolt head was deformed, & the bolt itself had assumed an ‘S’ shape. Good job the bash plate was there. I’ve replaced all of the bolt with a cap headed allen bolts.
The barrels may have been rehoned at some stage. No wear lines like on Gus. The ridges visible in the photos cannot be felt. There are some odd marks which I assume occurred when the barrels were honed. I didn't check ring end gap. But the compression pre pull down has been healthy.
The pushrod rubber seals were degrading & breaking up. I'm pleased to have replaced these now. I don't believe these were stock BMW parts. Unfortunately I suspect one of the replacement seals is the same aftermarket part as these. I'll have to watch this.
There was far less silicon present than on the RHS barrels. But more round the stud o-rings.
The cam followers look good (inlet, then exhaust).
When I pulled the RHS down, I was worried that there was some pitting on the cam. I have now had a better look, in better light, & believe that it was dirt (carbon) in the oil film that I was looking at. Looks fine now.
There was some carbonised residue on underside of the top inlet stud, which may have partially blocked this. I’ve scraped this off. No idea what this might have been.
The piston wrist pin hole shows some wear, but consistent with mileage. No slop.
The valve seats look fine (inlet, exhaust).
There was movement if the valve stems & guides were assembled dry, but no movement if there was an oil film. Happy with that.
The rocker end float needed to be reshimmed.
LHS Inlet shim was 0.60mm, incr to 0.75mm
LHS Exh shim was 0.60mm, incr to 0.75mm
RHS Inlet shim was 0.65mm, incr to 0.70mm
RHS Exh shim was 0.65mm, incr to 0.75mm
Obviously the bow wave for North Range Rd was higher than I thought, because the starter void has had a good wash with mud...and then the tideline settled 1/2 way up the bean can.
The two bolts at the top of the timing chest have been an absolute arse to remove. Finally got one, but the other I had to drill the head off. I assume that the head had corroded onto the case, because the stub was finger tight.
I've repainted the thing chest - that was getting pretty manky...
Pretty pleased I did the cam chain, because the crank sprocket is missing a tooth, & there is quite a bit of wear on the back side of the sprocket. The tensioners are also starting to break up. Looks like one tensioner was installed 'cocked' because of a forgotten washer. Maybe just the chain was replaced last time?
Comparing old & new
I got the cam chain replacement kits from Motobins. This included seals (including bean can o ring) & gaskets (main timing chest gasket & the 2 smaller gaskets for the top of the timing chest), cam chain, sprocket, crank nose bearing, & tensioners (including a new spring & circlip for the tensioner).
The crank sprocket wasn't going on easily. I heated it is a can of oil, & used 'freeze spray' refrigerant (from Jaycar) on the crank nose, but could only get the sprocket on 3/4 of the way. Eventually resorted to drifting it on using an off cut from part of Mandy's old scooter frame (which was the appropriate ID for this).
I tied the tensioner (with new spring) with a cable tie, to give me some slack in the chain.
I used the old cam chain joining link, threading this from the front of the chain, in order to join the chain. Then rolled the engine round until I could pushed the new one in from the back. Unfortunately when I rechecked the cam & crank sprocket alignment, I was one tooth out, so had to do it again.
Notice the paper towel pushed into the back cavity, to stop the joining link or spring clip flicking into the sump...
The crank nose bearing was heated in oil, & slipped nicely into place in front of the crank sprocket with no issues.
I put a light smear of locktite 518 on both sides of the timing chest cover. Possibly didn't need it, but I hate it when the paper gasket seeps. I heated the timing cover in the oven at 100*C, which had the side benefit of curing the new paint. That slipped over the nice bearing nicely, with only a few light taps to seat it. I've robbed 2 bolts from the R80 motor to replace the 2 that were difficult to remove. I've greased the top 2 bolts in an attempt to avoid the corrosion the last 2 suffered.
Reassembled the bean can, alternator, & diode board onto the timing cover, then fired the bike up to check everything worked as expected.
Oil & Filter Change:
After I took the bike for a 20 km run to check everything was working as it should, & to bring the bike up to operating temperature, I changed the engine oil & filter.
Unfortunately the filter shim cocked as I reassembled things, & got caught between the lip on the exterior of the block, & filter cover. So on start up there was a massive oil leak. A relatively quick job suddenly turned into a 3 hr marathon. I took the sidecar off, so that I could lie the tug on the left side. This allowed me to remedy the filter housing leak without needing to drop the oil. Arse. No damage though.
Mitas C02 Knobby:
I was going to use this for the Ocean Beach ride, but unfortunately discovered that it rubbed on the swing arm. I'd put it on the spare rim, & fitted it up to the bike. It appeared fine, but then when I went to ride it, heard the rubbing, so close but no cigar.
Last weekend I borrowed Andy's Tread Doctor knobby knife, & have shaved a little off the right side. It clears fine now. I have to say that tool is a useful bit of kit. I'll have to get one some time. It'd be nice to have sharp knobs on some of the rides we do.
Ahh, there's always something to do on an Airhead....
Two days is all it takes to turn a chair hater into a chair lover
So have we got you 1/2 convinced (or at least convinced enough to give it a go) yet?
A trip IN the chair should un-convince......
Yeah, nah. No one I've managed to convince into the chair has later declared that it was a bad idea....
you're not going fast enough
I'll go along with that, seems a bit scary climbing into that thing but it doesn't take long to get a big smile on your dial!
Getting ready for winter riding. Fitted hand guards (so the warmth from the heated grips isn't robbed by the airstream), & an led position light for the sidecar.
I might need to swap that front Kenda 244 for the Mitas H06. Grip is a bit lacking in the wet.
Should have just mounted a second headlight on the chair, then there'd be no missing you by car drivers...
I intend to, but will be commuting on the sidecar starting tomorrow, so need the extra visibility. The light I have in mind wouldn't have had time to arrive. The position light was a cheap short term option.
Commuting? U have a job?