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Old 06-29-2010, 01:50 AM   #1
Tarka OP
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Hobgoblin Sidecar Rally 2010 (But not all quite as planned...)

Firstly...for the benefit of foreign readers and any UK teetotallers... the name of this rally is borrowed from a rather fine UK brewed 'real ale' by Wychwood Breweries.
Wychwood brew several splendid ales and ciders,all with rather intriguing names and fanciful artwork...they even have some branded clothing adorned with this artwork,available in exchange for so many bottle tops and a small payment.

A recent sidecar and rally club has formed under the name of The Hobgoblin Sidecar Club.
They asked Wychwood if they would sponsor them,but apparently they declined but permitted use of the logo.
Can`t beat a bit of free advertising,huh ?

I got word of the new club via a couple of friends in the Wirral Branch of the Triumph Owners Club...and also heard about their impending first rally via some of my 'Dark Side' contacts in the sidecar fraternity.

Anyway....June 25th - 27th 2010 saw the inaugural Hobgoblin Sidecar Club 'Engine and Pushchair Rally'.



Most of the Hobgoblin Club are sidecar enthusiasts who take their family with them to rallies and weekends away,so this was to be a social and family orientated event ... and child friendly too.
The Club had certainly done a lot of planning and preparation for this event as seen on the rest of the Rally 'flyer' sheet.



My initial plan was to go to this event with Glambabe and her daughter Megan on my 'posh' 750 Ural 'Dee' which I`d recently done my 'Wrong Way Round' Euro trip on.
Glambabe had been very busy in work lately,and I`ve been hectic trying to empty my garage and rehouse all my bikes and spares prior to demolishing the old garage and getting a new one built....so this weekend looked like being a nice escape from the world for a few days.
And being a child friendly event,there should be enough to keep Meg happy too.

Plans being plans,Meg had a 'double date' in that a long awaited sleepover at a friend`s house was on the same weekend...and she really didn`t want to miss it.

So then there were two....no problem,Glambabe and I could look forward to some time away together with no immediate distractions.

Again,plans being plans meant that 'Dee' had been temporarily rehoused in a kindly neighbour`s house .... so we would now be going on my beloved and trusy 'Skaya' 650 which I was keeping at mine throughout the demolition work.
Thankfully that wasn`t a problem with just the pair of us going to the rally,but with three people and associated gear it`s just that bit easier on the 750.
Also...I was now free of any bad weather and ensuing dirty bike syndrome.
Although we were having Saharan like temperatures and bad weather seemed unlikely,it still saved me from fretting about Dee`s condition.
(I`m like that...as most of you know).
Glambabe was working until 4pm whereas I was off roster,so after checking Skaya over...all oils,tyre pressures,security of fasteners,etc,I loaded her up in readiness.



Going away camping with a sidecar passenger is not quite the simple 'chuck it all in the sidecar' simplicity of when I`m alone on a combo (as in 'The Wrong Way Round' photos),but the massive Ural sidecar rear rack and my home made sidecar nose rack still makes for an easy job compared to a solo bike.

The rear rack took the big mega dome tent we like to use...two bedroom sections and a central area big and tall enough to stand up in to dress and move about easily,plus a nice area to sit in.
Also two folding chairs with armrests and two folding canvas tables.
On top of that was a camo bag with Glamababe`s personal kit.

The sidecar boot held toolkit and spares,four 2 litre bottles of water,sleeping bags,groundmats and a few other bits and bobs.

The throwover panniers held all the cooking equipment...plates,cutlery,gas bottles,pans,etc etc.
I used to take these in the boot,but the throwovers detach seperately and mean I can have a compact and easily moved 'kitchen setup' at the tent without rummaging in the sidecar boot.

The sidecar nose rack took my camo bag with my personal stuff in it.

The small black pouchy bags were former cycle panniers that clip onto the bars of the nose and rear rack which I was just trying out for the first time as an experiment.
These held some lemonade bottles and a litre of Pimms.

In the photos Skaya looks heavily loaded but it`s not all as big and bulky as it quite looks.



So...all loaded up.

This is where we were heading for.
A camping site and pub called the 'Engine and Tender' in a small village called Broome.
This is in lovely rural Shropshire and is just outside the town of Craven Arms.
Craven Arms is found on the A49 South of Church Stretton and Shrewsbury.

You can see it circled just at the bottom left of this bit of OS map.



It`s only about 80 miles from where we live and it promised to be a pleasant ride on mostly traffic free roads as I`d planned on picking up Glambabe at 6.30pm....so the evening rush hour madass traffic would mostly be over.
The evening would still be plenty light enough to put up the tent and get sorted,too.

The blazing heat of the day was finally easing off as I filled up Skaya`s petrol tank and topped up her sidecar mounted jerrycan.
The latter because she does about 4 miles on reserve.....and you try pushing even an unladen combo very far,never mind a loaded one!
Now you know why nearly all Urals have jerrycans fitted.

Trip meter zeroed.....let`s go and collect Glambabe!




(To be continued a bit later....)
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:16 AM   #2
Tarka OP
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I`m in work while I`m doing this....so occasionally have to leave it to do other things.
You know...make coffee...read a book....have something to eat.

Anyway....back to it.

..........................................

So,slightly later than the planned 6.30pm,due to faffing about and thinking I had lots of time,I set off.

I thought that Skaya sounded a little bit different than normal,but put it down to not riding her through the week and hearing a different machine as I was attempting to get my new 'Wacky Wheeled Purchase' run in (See my other Thread in 'Hacks' for that one).
Anyhow,the different sound seemed to go as I rode to Glambabe`s and I arrived at 7pm.
She was all ready and waiting,so she clambered into the sidecar and I began to turn Skaya around.

I say, 'Began to turn Skaya' because I didn`t quite complete the manoeuvre.

There was a loud graunching mechanical GROAN and Skaya`s engine stalled.
I thought I`d just stalled the now fully loaded machine on the steep hill of Glambabe`s road.
On pressing the starter button,the engine was reluctant to turn over.
I tried a couple of times and it was just as if the battery was flat...but it wasn`t.
I rolled Skaya backwards to the kerb and tried the kickstarter.
This was awkward due to the throwover panniers so I tried the electric starter again.
She turned over and started fine,but there was a weird chirrupy squeak type sound which came and went.

Hmmm...almost exactly the same symptoms as a few months ago when my Mk 1 'TarkaTech' hybrid Mitsubishi/Ural alternator conversion broke the split pin retaining the drive gear centre nut.
Then,the key had worn in the shaft,wearing out the keyway and the nut wound itself along the alternator shaft,against the direction of rotation,and chewed into the front of the timing casing.
My works shift partner and now 'Ural Mechanic' Jamie and I thought we had resolved this with a big 5mm square key and bigger split pin.

I tried riding Skaya and she quietened down,so I continued.
Hardly out of the road and the noise intermittently reappeared.

Glambabe offered to walk the distance home but I suggested trying to ride to mine where I`d investigate what was happening...maybe it was just the alternator to crankcase securing nuts loosening off and altering the backlash.

So....7.15pm and I`m back at Chateau Tarka !!

I checked Skaya over....the alternator nuts were tight.
The noise hadn`t diminished.....it almost definately was a repeat of the earlier problem ..... but there simply wasn`t time to strip the alternator out and still get to the rally.

And I didn`t want to disturb my helpful neighbour and request that he move his car,open his garage and then help me remove my Enfield and then get my other Ural out...and put the Enfield and car back,of course.

So that looked like that......rally over before it started.

But was it ??

All wasn`t lost....in the best 'Baldrick Tradition' I coined a cunning plan.

I wondered if all the kit loaded on Skaya would fit easily on the quad !!

(I can say 'quad' now because the not so secret is out......)

The racks and bars on the quad ate all the luggage..it went on easier than loading Skaya did.
Glambabe had a great idea about putting the throwovers on either end of the big rear rack and they looked quite at home.

Half an hour after arriving back home we were ready to go quadding !!!



This almost seemed like a conspiracy between Skaya and the quad because I was gagging for a chance to load it up and go camping on it!

The camo bags weren`t quite as tall as they look in the photo ..it`s just a dodgy camera angle.
The top headlamp being mostly covered wasn`t a problem as there are four lamps lower down.



The interesting thing would be how it went all loaded up and two-up while running in,as the guy in the shop advocated running in for about 500 miles at about 30 - 40mph with just the odd short bursts of throttle while accelerating.
I`d done about 380 miles up to this point.

Being against the clock...with light fading...I chose the more direct and 'big road' route than the ideal rural A41 and A49 to the rally.
This was M53 to Chester then A55 towards Wrexham.
Thence the A483 down to Oswestry and then A5 to Shrewsbury.
Finally the A49 through Church Stretton and on to Craven Arms...and the last bit of lanes as on the OS map above to the site.

My reasoning was that we could keep at a fairly constant speed on a route with few stops...and enough space on most of it for faster traffic to overtake.

Mind you....the 'fairly constant speed' soon went from 'keeping it about 30 -40mph' to a virtually flat out 50mph.
This gave me an interesting insight to how the quad will be when de-restricted and full power,as with the pair of us and all the gear aboard it was doing 50mph on its current 20hp.

The full 55hp should be most entertaining.

I figured the constant 50mph running wouldn`t be harmful after the pretty careful first 380 miles I`d done.
And it may even help the engine to properly 'bed-in' and loosen off.

Tyres howled and things smelled a bit hot as we blatted down the A483 and then pulled into the Oswestry service station for fuel 48 miles and exactly one hour later.

We were both comfy and it was proving to be a great adventure !!!
Exactly what I`d wanted to be doing with the quad.
But ideally not against the clock in gathering darkness!

Interestingly,the quad felt more 'planted' and happy when fully loaded,and I suppose the extra load let the suspension work properly.
Certainly there wasn`t any noticeable degradation of performance or handling,and it must be a really torquey engine because it fair flew across the big roundabouts on the A roads .
(No....tempting as it was.....I didn`t actually ride ACROSS them!
Although later on you may enjoy a small roundabout moment...)

The light was fading fairly quickly.....but the roads were virtually devoid of traffic....and the ride was thoroughly enjoyable.
Two hours after leaving home we were at the site with no hassle or glitches.
The quad had run faultlessly even though it was a bit whiffy and it almost felt hot enough to set the grass on fire!
(I was told they run rather hot when new anyway,so no worry)

Moonlit strolls may be the stuff of romantic novels but there was nothing romantic about the yelling and cussing as we unpacked and hurriedly put the tent up .... and got everything unpacked and set up in the dark.

Thankfully the on site pub had a late bar.

And that first pint of cold cider Glambabe bought me went down a treat.

We`d made it !!

(To be continued......more photos in the next bit)
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
mikec101
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Looking forward to the rest of this! You can get road legal quads here in Ireland easily enough, and be licensed to drive them (ride them?) but actually getting them insured is a PITA. The route usually involves getting the four insurance companies to refuse to quote you, going to the insurance ombudsman with the four letters of refusal, getting a letter stating you must be offered insurance and then going back to the insurance companies.

Besides a motorcycle, the most driving fun I've had has been on a quad, racing around an island in Thailand!
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Old 06-29-2010, 02:05 PM   #4
Tarka OP
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Right then....Friday night soon turned from celebratory cider to the land of nod.
All it took was two pints and the evening`s worth of problems,resolutions and dashing to the rally against the clock caught up with me.

Time for bed,said Zebedee.

.................................................. ..........

Saturday dawned bright and sunny....and gave a chance to see where we were!



In fact,Saturday morning was heard a long time before it was seen due to a cacophony of birds twittering,cows moo - ing and cockerals 'cock a doodle - dooing' at approximately 3.30am !
Mind you,it`s all part of the pleasure of being in the countryside,and sure beats the sound of rush hour traffic noise,car horns blaring and 'boom-ka-boom thump - thump tish' from numerous car sound systems....so it was an easy matter to turn over and get back to sleep for a while.

Once we surfaced properly for the day,we could see quite a few folk out and about...and a few of the combos present at the event.



The quad looked none the worse for the previous evening`s blast.
Looks quite happy on grass,too.



And the temporary 'Chateau Tarka et Glambabe' for the weekend looked okay after being set up in the dark.
It was quite the bargain...bought new but as a 'second' for 80 last year.
Still can`t see why it classed as a second .



Well,despite being an ATGATTer on all my bikes and combos,I was totally paradoxical and hypocritical when it came to riding into Craven Arms for breakfast...........saying bollox to wearing any riding kit all,and just wearing combats and a tee shirt.
Food was available at the pub but you had to pre-order brekky,which we only found about that morning......we may have managed to get a brekky there but we wanted to mooch around the town anyway so decided to ride in and eat there first.

What a hoot it was to just ride there unencumbered by all the usual kit and just a pair of shades to keep muck out of my eyes.
Nice cool air...way cooler than through all my jacket vents.
Well cool to roll up outside the 'biker friendly' cafe outside the weird combined hardware store/agricultural supllies/supermarket and just step off the quad and walk in for brekky.
Glambabe enjoyed doing so too.....she was suffering more than I do with the heat,and it was a pleasure to not wear any bike kit.

Likewise no hassle storing kit to walk about comfortably....on my Goldwing we`d cram it into the panniers and topbox..or on the combos we`d use the sidecar...but until I buy a rear mounted 'quadbox' we have no secure storage.


Once breakfasted we went for a digestion easing walkabout.
I`ve ridden through the middle of Craven Arms so many times over the years that I`ve lost count...yet never stopped to look around.



Down a sideroad we spotted this old fella.




Glambabe loved it !

You`ll see that it was up on a stack of bricks.
We weren`t in Liverpool and it still had its wheels on,so there had to be a good reason for this,heh heh.



Well,the reason was that it served as an external mascot for the wonderful 'Museum of Lost Content' housed in a beautiful old building.
Look at the brickwork pattern...especially around the windows...pure skill and pride in one`s work alas no more in modern buildings.




The 'Museum of Lost Content' is an amazing three story high collection of nostalgia from children`s toys to domestic items....transport memorabilia to 'through the decades' displays of cameras,musical items,holiday memories and general 'Times Gone By' stuff.
It`s absolutely magical and is a private venture totally independent from any government interference or funding.
We spent hours in there...and would happily re-visit another time.
Sadly they didn`t permit photography inside.
Entry is only 5 per adult and I urge you to visit it when you can.
There`s a very nice and reasonably priced cafe inside too.

Further along was an even older building looking a bit forlorn and for sale.
It held a strange appeal for me......
I could imagine it full of Urals and old time solos....almost felt like putting a bid in for it.



Just down from here we paused to discuss yesterday`s happenings and how the weekend actually appeared to be working out for the better.
We felt totally relaxed and more 'on holiday' for using the quad than when we`ve been on a solo or even on a combo.

Maybe we were just feeling relieved at overcoming our transport problem whereas someone else was really stuck down the creek without a paddle....





You`ll have to forgive that one....Glambabe made the quote then I laughed and got my camera .....you should have seen the looks I received from the passing car folk as I photographed a paddle next to the A49.

We saw a procession of combos ride through Craven Arms (seems to be one of those places everyone just rides through...) and recognised them as those from the rallysite out on their rideout.
We just felt like a chilled out touristy day so explored a jumble sale and then some charity shops where we got a few bargains.

The day was getting hotter and hotter...and we got so that we weren`t up to anything other than just sitting or lying down,and maybe even having a late afternoon doze.
I suppose the coffee gateau and large coffee not long after my huge all day brekky may have a small part to play in that !
At least the 'no gear,not even a helmet' ride back cooled us and woke us up a bit.....besides which,it really was pure fun.

When we got back to camp,the 'silly games' were on.....and it was good to see lots of effort put into games for the children.



We spent a while clutching desperately to the shade provided by the tent and its raised awning.
Once we felt rested and cooled down a bit,we went for a walk to look at the combos on site....and those which returned from the rideout.

You can see them when I continue in a short while,heh heh.[/QUOTE]
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:40 PM   #5
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Anyway,after a while my brain had stopped boiling inside my head and Glambabe felt a bit more mobile so we decided to have a drift around the sire and look at all the combos.
I should add that we both suffer terribly in hot weather...I for instance do more riding and more camping between September and May than I do between May and September.

So,boots and socks off,and walking nice and cool barefooted around the field,we had a look around.

First one I wanted to view wasn`t even a combo!
It was a MotoGuzzi V35TT...the baby version of the V65TT which was the forerunner of my own Dakar inspired MotoGuzzi NTX 650.
The TT is a basic as you can get trail version of the road Guzzis instead of the big plastic tank and fairing equippped NTX.



For trail riding/exploring or winter hack use I reckon the TT is superior to a wider boxer mono g/s or Para GS....narrower,looks more durable and none of the BMW shaft jacking either.



There`s also nowt to break if it has a fallover...almost like an Army Armstrong/Harley single.

So...on to the combos.
It is a sidecar rally after all.

Much as I`m a Ural fanatic,I`m not a sidecar anorak so can`t tell you every model of sidecar,every type of subframe or fork,etc etc.

So if you`re interested in seeing some combos,sit back and admire.
There`s a few BMW ones...........
If not interested.....scroll down until the poppies appear. POPPIES,I said.

Big Guzzi with side by side seating in the sidecar.




Honda Pan European with a sidecar needing a Platypus paintjob!




A K series Beemer




Another K series with a quite nice open top sidecar




A nice Airhead BMW combo



I liked the retro effect of the sidecar alongside the flat twin engine.



Next one was a rarity...a cruiser type bike with a sidecar.Forgot what the bike was.



Looked alright though.



Back to big multicylinderd BMWs and a rather rare K1 turned into an even rarer combo!
That`ll probably upset some purist collector types out there,heh heh.




Forgot what bike this one was too......another cruiser type.
The front wheel seems a hell of a long way forwards on this doesn`t it ?





Kawasaki muscle bike ZRX something or other capacity as a combo.



Another one of those BMW Airhead thingeos as a combo.



I`d heard talk that a Uralling friend called Volker had sold his military spec...and tidy looking...Ural Dalesman Gear Up.
Well,I met him at the rally.
And he had indeed sold his Ural.

And he`d gone GoldWing...........



He`d had all sorts of friendly/caustic/abusive and humorous comments off numerous Urallists but although it was de rigeur to proffer some ribald remarks,I must admit it looks a very comfortable and capable outfit.
Volker assured me that it wasn`t wanting for the lack of leading link forks.
It certainly looked nice in the sunshine.




Back to big Beemers with my fave one...a nice colour matched K1200 one.



The biggest of the lot were the numerous Triumph Rocket 3 combos...maybe the best use of this bike ??



Another one of them.



Quite a big sidecar on this second one.....



This Kawasaki W650 twin made for quite a nice little combo.






Though anything would appear small next to this GL1800 GoldWing.



Here`s another one for the Airhead boys.....an R80s/t turned into a combo,heh heh.





Opposite where Glambabe and I were camping was a massive tent and it was populated by a man and his wife....and four children.
They`d all travelled from Bristol on this Kawasaki GTR combo.
Yup...four children in the sidecar!



One of the K series Beemers and the Pan looking intimidating across the field.



Of all the GoldWings this early GL1000 was my favourite one.



What a lovely combo it made.



Earlier on,whilst we were cowering from the sunshine back at the tent,I heard an excitable conversation centered on my quad.
It was a lady called Lyn and her male partner whose name I`ve sadly forgotten.
She was a bit of a petrol head...had her own bike...loved rallies and shows but had some arthritis making holding up her bike painful and difficult.
She had ridden up as a sidecar 'monkey' but didn`t want to have a combo to ride for herself.
She had been thinking about quads and reading about them...was very well informed as it happened....and was wowed by mine.
I took her for a short quad ride and that was it.....they were last heard muttering about how to make the space for one at home and what bikes would be sold.
They had travelled on a VERY nicely made and great looking combo.
Another BMW...but an Oilhead R1150R twin.
The guy had taken it as a solo to be converted and I was struck by just how much the combo mods suited the bike's lines.
Maybe my overall favourite of the weekned.






About 7pm,it was time for a pretty good prize raffle.




Once more,the children were catered for by a special set of raffle tickets drawn for them and their own prizes.
Buggerit...I wanted the Play Doh set !!

Mind you...when checking it out,I was a bit disappointed with it anyway...it doesn`t have that special 'Play Doh smell' I can still remember from my childhood years.
It was a kind of plastic vanilla smell...remember it ??

The prizes for the adults were pretty good too...although an initially appealing crash helmet soon became a kind of boooby prize thanks to the incredibly small size of 52cm.

Well,that day left us a bit tired too....and still hot.

So it was time for some of this.



Nice view from the pub table too.

Nice food there as well.

I had a delicious steak and ale pie with chips,carrots and peas with gravy and Glambabe had a nice looking veggie lasagne with chips and same veg as me.
Meals came to 16 and left us stuffed.

Right...I`m off to bed for now.

I`ll continue and finish this tomorrow
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
Sid E. Carland
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Hobgoblin Rally

Tarka; The big cruiser is an XV1900, with Ohlins springy things and extra fuel tank. The sidecar is an EZS Rally.

http://sidecarland.co.uk/HobgoblinRally2010.aspx
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:16 PM   #7
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Here is a pic take in front of the cannon on the green in the city of Ely. It is in front of the cathedral. It was captured from the Russians in Sebastopol and given to Ely City by Queen Victoria in 1860 after the Crimean War. Her gift was in recognition of the successful formation of the Ely Rifle Volunteers.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid E. Carland
Tarka; The big cruiser is an XV1900, with Ohlins springy things and extra fuel tank. The sidecar is an EZS Rally.

http://sidecarland.co.uk/HobgoblinRally2010.aspx
Hiya mate.
Thanks for the identification and link.
I`ve not seen many cruiser type combos.....looks well.
I`ll bet the engine torque barely feels the sidecar!
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:47 PM   #9
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Sunday morning.
Daybreak was once more heralded in advance by a riotus cacophony of moo-ing,birdsong,cock-a doodle-dooing,and the odd dog bark.
It was yet another bright sunny day when we arose and got sorted.

Once again,we elected to ride sans bike kit into Craven Arms for breakfast.

On the way in to town from Broome,there was a small junction between the lane from the campsite and a small housing estate.
Paint and white tarmac must be cheap around here because instead of the normal painted-on 'mini roundabout' there was a rather large painted or white tarmac created version.
It was easily about ten feet in diameter and a good 8" to 12" in height at the centre.
Yesterday,on the way for brekky,there wasn`t any other traffic about,and I couldn`t be bothered negotiating this roundabout so I took the term 'straight over the roundabout' to its literal meaning and we rode right over it.
The quad`s long travel suspension just absorbed the bump as if it wasn`t there.

So,today,we were approaching it again.
We were travelling at about 40mph and due to the tall riding position I could see that no vehicles were approaching the roundabout from within the housing estate.
Likewise no traffic was oncoming either.

I gunned the throttle to accommodate the rising surface of the roundabout.
Ahem...the 8" to 12" high roundabout......

Suffice to say that Glambabe`s howl and the noticeably light steering announced the fact that...in motocross terminology...'We got air' !!!!
I laughed like a loon as we compressed the suspension just a tad on landing!!

I must admit that this early morning riding into town on the quad for brekky and being comfy and unencumbered by helmets and bike kit felt 'ever so Continental'...and I could happily make a habit of it.

Today`s breakfast in Craven Arms was at the 'Station Cafe' which I`ve meant to stop at and try for many a year.
It`s always been popular with bikers and as ever there were a few bikes outside when we got there.
The breakfasts were absolutely fantastic....noticeably better than those yesterday and I can highly recommend the 'Station Cafe' if you`re in the area.

We enjoyed a leisurely al fresco breakfast then sat back while people and traffic watching for a second cup of coffee.
Hey,it was just like being on holiday!
Well,we were in a way..if only for a long weekend.

Finally,it felt like time to ride back to the site and have a final walk about prior to breaking camp and loading the quad for our homewards journey.
Once again,it was a doddle to load all the gear,thanks to the quad`s massive racks and plenty of tie points.



I actually think it looks pretty good loaded up.



The day had turned a bit cloudy while we were packing,which was a welcome break from the constant sunshine..but it soon returned to clear blue skies,and the heat was rising.
Seeing as we weren`t in a rush like we had been on Friday evening,I decided to ride home on the A49 up towards Shrewsbury and then follow the A41 to Whitchurch and onwards via Chester..... then stay on the A41 through the Wirral and home.
We could take our time on this scenic route and enjoy a couple of leisurely stops for a drink and let ourselves,plus the quad,cool down a bit too.

A pleasant coffee and cake stop was made at the 'Lazy Trout' just North of Church Stretton.
Another biker friendly place on the A49 that is worth a stop for decent food and drink.

While riding some of the fantastic twisty country lanes north of Church Stretton on the A49,I saw red.
No...not me overheating or being annoyed at something.
I quite literally saw red.

A field of poppies hove into view.
What a dramatic and lovely sight they made amongst the other green and yellow fields.



We made a note to return here in a few weeks when they should be in full bloom and sure to be an even more spectacular sight.



One more lazy stop was made at Lynn`s Raven Truck Stop just South of Whitchurch...at the roundabout junction of the A49 and the A41 .
Again...yet another biker friendly stop,but even more so than the others as the owners Lynn and Pete are both bikers and members of the friendly Ogri MCC.
If you`ve not been before it`s worth the trip....breakfasts are good and their Sunday carvery roast dinners are legendary!!

Before long at all,we were home again.
We`d had a great weekend away with an extra element of adventure thanks to going on the quad.

And talking of thanks...We both thank the Hobgoblin Sidecar Club for making us welcome and for their efforts in organising a fantastic first Hobgoblin Rally !



Despite it being labelled the 'Engine and Pushchair Rally' it seems that most people have referred to it as the Hobgoblin Rally.
Whatever it ends up being named,I hope there is another one next year.


I`m just going offline for a bit and when I return I`ll let you know what actually happened to Skaya on the Friday.

(Continued very soon)
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:45 AM   #10
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Right then...Sunday afternoon and I`m home about 4pm.

It was still a nice dry day so as soon as I was unpacked and my clothes washing lobbed into the machine I decided to start checking Skaya over.

I`d been pondering the nature of the initial 'chirrupy' sounds she`d made when riding to Glambabe`s on Friday...and also how the engine stalled then was reluctant to turn over.
Like I`d said earlier,the reluctance to turn over on the starter motor was just like having a flat battery...but the battery was good.

So that suggested a physical loading.....some sort of restriction.

And when Skaya was being ridden,despite the varying sounds,there was no undue vibration through the footpegs suggesting big end or main bearing problems.
There was no top end noise either.

In fact all the noises were from directly below the petrol tank......and that`s where the alternator is.

So,I was fairly convinced that there had been a repeat of the incident I mentioned where the alternator drive key had worn out,and worn the keyway out too.
This had led to the splitpin failing on the alternator drive gear securing nut and somehow or other the nut had unwound against the direction of drive and worn into the rearmost interior face of the timing casing.

Having established this 'cause and effect' theory,I removed Skaya`s alternator.

This is a doddle of a job.
Disconnect main earth wire at speedo cable securing bolt on gearbox.
Undo clips and remove left and right inlet hoses from between airbox and carbs.
Remove the two securing bolts either side of the front of the petrol tank.
Lift rear of tank off the rear frame rubber mounts.....and while keeping all fuel lines still connected,prop tank slightly higher up than normal against the top of the rear mounts.
This gives clearance to remove the top mounting bolt for the airbox.... slide it out to the left while depressing kickstarter to allow side clearance.
Unplug two alternator field excitation and charge lamp wires and remove one 10mm nut to remove the ring connector mounted alternator output wire .
Undo and remove the two 17mm nuts securing the alternator to the crankcase studs.....and slide alternator out.

Once the alternaor was removed and in my sweaty palm,I could see straight away what had happened !!!!



Can you spot it ??

Yup...exactly as I`d suspected.... the securing nut had backed off again !!!
Somehow the splitpin had failed again and the nut had backed right off and chewed into the timing case again.




The castellated end of the nut appeared to have made an excellent hole saw !!





The nut had done a right good job on the rear face of the timing chest.





Mindful of the fact that a fair bit of metal had been eroded...even though it was soft alloy...I thought it prudent to remove the oil filter and check the housing for swarf.
The filter was actually clean and recent so it was okay to just rinse and reuse.
But while the filter was off its spigot,a fair bit of swarf and metal flakes could be seen at the bottom.



Hmmmm...don`t want this swimming around my engine.



And because of this,I decided to remove the sump too.

After the first splitpin failure,the end loop of the failed pin,and the mangled remains of one of the legs,were found in the sump !

This time was yet another repeat.....here`s part of the second failed splitpin.



I love how the Russians have even cast the Ural logo on the inside face of the sump plate!



I wiped out and sprayed clean the inside of the sump,and then replaced it along with the oil filter and refilled Skaya with fresh top quality supermarket mineral 20W50 (For those who like to ask ).

On inspecting the alternator,this time there was no wear on the shaft key or the keyway.
All that had happened was the failure of the splitpin.

Jamie reckons that this happened when the adaptor stubshaft of the hybrid unit finally achieved full tightness due to rotation under load and this sheared the pin......the theory being that centrifugal force combined with the effect of the field magnets could tighten it all more than we could by hand.

I tend to agree with his theory.

I still can`t get my head around how the nut unwound against the direction of rotation but Jamie reckons vibration may have done it.

Seeing as everything was okay,it was decided to just clean the shaft thread and not bother with a splitpin this time.
After liberal application of industrial Threadlock, a Nyloc nut was wound down nice and tight...and a hot air gun applied carefully,as this sets the Threadlock like an epoxy.

Here it is all nice and tight,and all set.

The small green blob is an amount of Threadlock that seeped out...it really was hard as epoxy.


I rebuilt Skaya last night and she started straight away...and she sounded sweeter than ever.
No chirrupy sounds,no graunching,no knocking.
So with the with the Nyloc nut combined with the Threadlock let`s see how this 'Mk2 Version' works out,eh ??


I hope this Rally Report combined with a quad review and a Ural workshop session was of some interest or some entertainment to you.

Thanks for reading !
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:54 PM   #11
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:50 AM   #12
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Another good read

When do you sleep ? Alternatively, is it something you're on that can only be obtained via prescription ?

However, enjoyed this in depth rally report, which should help it develop as the organisers no doubt wish.

Meanwhile, mate, I'll keep an eye out for some Play Doh for you !
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