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Discussion in 'Hacks' started by PhoenixGirl63, Jun 13, 2019.
I retook the STEP class over the weekend. I alternated between the school's Rebel 250/Velorex and my K1200LT/Hannigan LT. The differences between the 2 rigs was obvious. I tested on my own rig and aced it. Hopefully the refresher will help keep me out of ditches. :) I feel like retaking the class was well worth it.
They offer S/TEP in your neck of the woods? How far is that from Southern Illinois if, say, there was guy there who wanted to take the class?
As an update of the problem @PhoenixGirl63 is having with her 2019 Ural rig pulling to the right, here is what I found out today:
She bought the rig from Randy's Cycle....as a DEMO rig. I highly suspect that a previous customer that had little or no sidecar driving experience may have turned the rig into a curb, hitting the sidecar wheel, and either bending the wheel, or bending the spindle that the sidecar wheel is bolted to.
I called Randy, the owner of Randy;s Cycle, this morning, and had a very polite conversation with him, expressing "our" concerns for our friend sidecar driver, and that her new rig that she bought from him has this problem. He "appeared" to be more than willing to work on it a 2nd time. He did admit that they were relatively new to sidecars, and I asked the direct question, in a very polite manner, if their mechanic was skilled in how to properly adjust and set-up a sidecar rig.
I also told him that I had received an e-mail back from Jonathon Heindl, at Heindl Engineering, wherein he stated that their shop has to readjust, and properly set-up a LOT of Ural sidecar rigs that are sold by other dealers. He said that they would be very happy to go over her rig, and make sure things are adjusted correctly.
Randy, at Randy's Cycle did call @PhoenixGirl63 today, after my call to him, and they are working on a time frame to get her rig back into their shop, for ONE last attempt to get it right.
Oh, she lives in Illinois? I was thinking of somebody else altogether -- from Southern Illinois.
And I was ribbing him. Get it? Ribbing him?
I've been riding sidecars for 10 years now. Never took any class or read the Yellow book. Never had any issues from my first ride. I did have a lot of experience riding quads which I think helped.
Heck, I could be doing everything wrong but I can whip my Harley rig around the twisties and keep up with my two wheeler friends with no problems. Sure doesn't make me any kind of expert though.
I wonder about the instructors of these classes and what kind of qualifications are required? Does anyone know? I think WA is the only state that requires a 3 wheel endorsement. What does the test consist of? Riding around a bunch of cones in a parking lot? Do the instructors just teach to pass the test?
The instructors go through a 10 day training class and not only need to pass the rest with higher grades, but must do so while making it look easy. Very few are doing it for the money, most are dedicated 3 wheel riders. Of course the instruction is in a parking lot with cones. Where would you hold it? The technical are the same at 15mph or 50mph. The technics are what is stressed and enforced.
Virginia has required a 3 wheel endorsement for new licensees for 6 years now.
Florida requires all new riders take a class to get a MC license. My 2 wheel endorsement was valid for 3 wheels, hack or trike. Non-endorsed trike owners are required to take the S/TEP class, and are not endorsed for 2 wheels.
Well like I said, I'm no expert but even though the technical skills are the same at 15 as they are at 50 I would think that after teaching and mastering the basic skills in a parking lot that they might want to venture out on real roads with real obstacles and situations. Either that or at a road course where they can drive at speed. Learning what to do and doing it at speed are two different things.
Making me laugh is killing me.
Don't let DRONE give ya to much of a hard time Bud. He drove his rig off the road a few years back. He said it was a broken rig that caused the wreak, but we all know it was not broke till after he wreaked it.
The road is certainly different then a closed parking lot. Keep in mind that this is a beginner's course and not intended to be the ultimate riders course. It teaches the basic control on the 1st day and refines those basic skills on the 2nd day. These are just the basics and it is pointed out to the students that they are not proficient and need lots of practice to become so. There is only so much that can be taught with just 2 days on the rigs.
Took the WA state course, considered it good value, even though I failed.
I just couldn't get my head around a simulated emergency stop when passing a cone. Maybe if the instructors blew a whistle, or dropped a flag, just something to react to, I could have. I had no legal requirement to take the class.
Two days later, on the road, I didn't have a simulation, and passed the reality test with flying colours! :)
when they first added the 3 wheeled endorsement years ago here in WA the licensing folks would add it for 'free' without any sort of requirement when you were renewing your license-mc endorsement.
Just what we need , more of big brother looking out for us . Washington got that stupid law because the 3 wheeler folks whined because a portion the money from the mc endorsement goes toward training and other mc stuff and not 3 wheeler . Thanks Washington for another revenue source. . The best way to learn is go out and do it . Its not rocket science folks . It does take a bit more upper body strength as you have to muscle the thing around corners instead of leaning . Rode a softail with a liberty hack from 05 till 19 ( needed a place to carry my crutches after a head on in 05 ) . Get out and do it , just remember that trying to lean does not help in corners except to keep the hack down on hard right corners . Flying the hack is fun and looks really cool until the wife jabs you in the ribs real hard ! It can be kinda tricky dealing with the learning curve but take your time ,find a not too busy road and experiment . The book is ok but nothing beats getting out and doing it . Take your time and go on the slow side until you get comfortable with your machine. Nothing beats experience. No more laws , just use your head it makes life easier . It's a blast and it always gets lots of looks and comments. Also you can carry a shit load of stuff that you never knew you needed . Thanks and enjoy.
That makes sense. I was thinking more along the lines of a performance auto driving school.
Ok. I need to find an experienced Ural pilot who has an appropriately set up rig to ride my bike, and tell me if my expectations are reasonable or not. Those Wilkinson Brothers have a video on YouTube (I'm sure you guys have seen it) where they ride hands-free using a throttle lock and the rig rides straight. That's what I'm expecting: a Ural that tracks straight without the effort I'm still having to use to keep it in line. I'm still having to actively push left to keep the bike straight. It's not as bad on as it was, but at this point, I don't know what I don't know because I have zero context to tell me what's correct or not. Other than the info from you guys that I shouldn't have to force the bike to go straight and my own gut feeling that it's taking too much effort to keep the rig in a straight line.
The dealer said it "feels right" to them now, but they said that after the first time they adjusted the bike and they're admittedly not experts. The owner told me today "Remember, we're still fairly new at this."
Are you up for measuring and adjusting it your self?
Sometimes its the only way to get it right.
2 pieces of very straight say square Aluminium tube. (light and straight.)
Though I have used brickies string line between brick stacks that worked fine.
A level smooth surface.
4 blocks or stacks of bricks to bring the straight edges up close to axle height.
The possibly tricky thing is getting the front wheel at dead straight.
And a spirit level to check lean out.
load the bike with ballast to normal ride weight. ( you can closely guard that secret).
You have the manual with starting measurements?
Measure and adjust, ride and repeat.
You can set it up to pull either way or straight ahead.
Its a time consuming process and it seems only part science and part guess work.
If nothing else you will gain valuable insight into your ride.
I need to go fix mine now. (not Ural)