ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-31-2012, 03:48 PM   #46
pyoungbl
Colonel Blood
 
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Portsmouth, Virginia
Oddometer: 398
Dachary, I'm enjoying your thread...always entertaining! The Ural 1500 mile oil change interval has me wondering if the reasoning is due to the oil breaking down because the engine is so stressed, or if the factory assumed that there would be lots of swarf in the oil that the filter would be overwhelmed. We can all remember when 'everyone' recommended 3000 mile oil changes in cars, which has been shown to be bogus with new engines and oils. I'd recommend that you take an oil sample and have it analyzed. That will tell you if the stuff you are throwing away is still good. Blackstone Labs will send you a free kit for drawing the sample. http://www.blackstone-labs.com/free-test-kits.php and it's only $25 for the analysis. Another thought is to mount an external oil filter. Summit Racing offers a bunch of kits to install a remote filter. There are two advantages with the remote filter: cooler oil since you can put the filter out in the air flow; greater selection of filters.
__________________
Growing old ain't for sissies!
pyoungbl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 06:45 PM   #47
Renegade_Azzy
Kamen Rider
 
Renegade_Azzy's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
Location: SW PA
Oddometer: 397
I think you need to hit up blackstone and these guys.. http://www.kandpengineering.com/

Get the straight dope on what is happening to your oil, and get a filter you can rinse off. Something else that looks promising is this oil cooler kit :http://uralnwco.ipower.com/store/page8.html

Oil coolers would help the life of the oil, and probably get you a few more miles between changes. i would trust it only after a second blackstone analysis.
__________________
___
Need custom graphics? www.AzzysDesignWorks.com We offer die cut stickers, laser engraving, and even custom keychains in small and large orders.

Renegade_Azzy screwed with this post 07-31-2012 at 06:52 PM
Renegade_Azzy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 07:05 PM   #48
Dachary OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Dachary's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Boston
Oddometer: 313
Just a quick note re: the oil and maintenance intervals - I think it's both: to prevent/deal with swarf, and because the oil is breaking down. We've been using high-quality Red Line oil in the Ural until the 7,500KM service when we just grabbed whatever we could find that was the right weight. But even Red Line visually appears to have been breaking down pretty good - far more than our F650s after a longer interval. And the Ural is notorious for producing a lot of swarf, although the folks on Soviet Steeds mostly seem to claim that after around 10,000kms the swarf pretty much drops off. We have seen a decrease in swarf from change to change, so that seems reasonable.

As far as the maintenance intervals go - it's been suggested to us on SS that Ural may have revised the service intervals for newer models. My owner's manual with service record doesn't reflect that, though. :/ Ultimately, we're reluctant to do anything to the Ural that could potentially void the warranty. One of the reasons we bought a new bike was so that we could have the 2-year, unlimited mileage warranty. So we've been meticulous about the service intervals and completing all of the items so we don't risk voiding our warranty. I'm reluctant to install an oil cooler for the same reason - dunno if it would violate the warranty, and even if I could get longer maintenance intervals safely with an oil analysis, I might be violating the warranty... so I need to talk to IMWA and figure out what the official take is.

And Renegade_Azzy - my understanding is that no-one makes a reusable oil filter for the Ural. It's an odd shape/size and we're not thrilled about that. We've had reusable filters in our F650s since before the Americas trip - we'd do it in a heartbeat for the Ural if we could find one. May talk to IMWA about that, too, when we're ready for our next big trip.
__________________
Check out our adventures: Corporate Runaways
Motorcycle Blog: Ain't No Pillion
Boston to Ushuaia on 2 BMW F650GSs - 2010-2011
BOS -> CO - 2 dogs in a Ural - 2012
Find us on SPOT
Dachary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-31-2012, 07:15 PM   #49
masukomi
Gnarly Adventurer
 
masukomi's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Cambridge, MA
Oddometer: 215
Day 13 - Mitchell, SD to Marshall, MN

We were too tired to do the service last night, and also way too far behind in the posts. We opted for the less physically taxing task of choosing and uploading images, writing the final day’s post, and putting images into old posts. It took a while, but finally, finally we were caught up.

Dachary set the alarm for seven, we got dressed, and headed down to do the 7,500 km service. Dachary left me alone for a few minutes which resulted in three quarts of oil going in instead of two. I thought it needed three and a bit, not two and a bit. Already overheated and hungry she was less than thrilled. I got back under the bike and started draining. Eventually, we got the right amount.



We’d also been keeping an eye on the pusher tire’s tread, and decided to wait until this change to swap it for the spare. We could rotate the tires every 1,500km but to do so on the road is somewhat masochistic. As you can see from the pic, it was definitely time. Yeah, there’s still tread on it, but running a bald pusher tire in the rain seems a bad idea. We’ll keep it as the spare until the end of the trip.

When we pulled the spare off the back we got an unexpected surprise: rust. Brand new wheel, never used, already rusty. They come with a little plastic rim around the rusty edge to keep it undamaged because that’s where the brake shoes are about to rub, but…



Just as a tally that’s rust in the splines on one of the rear wheels (I forget which), the front bearings (still need to replace those when we get back), and the spare tire, and the steering damper rod. There’s also rust developing on top of the headlight, and the sidecar bumper bar thing. For $14,000 I expect zero rust for quite some time, and definitely not at the first service.

After we put on the spare tire Dachary grabbed the tire pump that came with it, and it self-destructed. This, sadly, had been predicted by the Soviet Steeds. It’s apparently just what they do. We, of course, had our trusty Cycle Pump with us. We love that thing. It’s standard procedure for us to carry the Cycle Pump and a manual backup. The Ural pump was the manual backup.



Service finished, we headed back inside for the continental breakfast (pretty decent, but all carbs), and Dachary took another quick shower just because she could.

Everything packed up to load on the bikes, riding pants on, and I am walking around the room yawning. So tired. It was to be an omen.

Packed, loaded, dogs in tub, off to Wallmart again to hand over the used oil. Thankfully, they could take the container too. Most auto-parts shops are only allowed to take the oil.

It was 11:10 when we were finally gassed up and on the road. Within an hour I was staring lustfully at the billboards advertising hotel rooms with air-conditioning and beds. Not ten minutes later Dachary mentioned over the headsets how she was having the same thoughts. Towards the end of the first tank I was having trouble staying awake. I called for a slightly early rest-stop and lunch so that I didn’t drive off the road into a field.

We found a Subways with some shade (it’s scary how few places have any shade) and each got a foot-long sub to split. We’ve been consuming a ton of calories and I think we’re both running at a deficit despite this. I was so tired I could only eat half of one. I just didn’t have the energy to keep eating.

Usually when I’m tired, getting off the bike and walking around for a minute will revive me pretty quickly. This time I got off the bike, sat down in the bathroom and thought “oooh, I could rest here”, which is, of course, a bad sign.

On the road Ben, who is normally strapped in the back, managed to somehow get himself curled up into the nose, after spending about 20 minutes acting as a hassock for ’Dido’s butt. I couldn’t really see the details, but over the headsets Dachary and I thought maybe the knot shortening his leash from the trunk had come undone. Seemed implausible but what else could it be? I took a picture to examine later.


It’s a little hard to tell if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but the harness under Ben’s head is not attached to him anymore. He’s also pulled the Camelback out of the nose to make more space for himself, and apparently to use as a pillow.

The problem was discovered before we got a chance to examine them though. Somehow Ben had gotten out of his harness. Unfortunately he’s right between sizes. Bandido’s seemed like it might be too tight for him at its full expansion, so we got the next size up, and tightened it as much as possible. We like these harnesses, but there’s not enough overlap between sizes I think. Ben probably turned, pulled against the leash and backed out of it.

But, before we made it to the next rest stop and discovered that, I was calling over the headset for Dachary to start talking to me. It is the only think that will keep me awake when I’m very tired. It’s pretty difficult to start talking to someone on demand, but she stepped up and started streaming out whatever popped into her head. It worked and I made it to the next rest stop without falling asleep.

Drinking caffeinated sodas in the shade of a tree near the next gas station, Dachary was yawning, and we half-jokingly talked about just getting a hotel now, and going to bed. Pretty soon we were calling the hotel on the far side of the gas station to see if they took dogs.

I don’t think we’ll be able to make up the missed miles in time to keep going through Canada on the way back, but we had to stop. Dachary never talks about being sleepy this early in the day, and I had no confidence I wouldn’t be falling asleep again after another 20 minutes on the road.

Canada be damned. We got a room.

It smells weird here, but we didn’t care.

When we rode from Boston to Ushuaia it took us four months, and we felt we were pushing ourselves, and we definitely had to skip things for lack of time. Dachary did the numbers while riding today and realized that if we had done that trip, at the pace of this one we would have finished it in two months.

We’ve been on the road for thirteen days now without a break, pushing hard, mostly on boring interstates (gotta make the miles) with temperatures from 89–110°F everywhere except those few days in Colorado. We’ve gotten up early to beat the heat and we haven’t had time to open our kindle’s once.

One of the things we loved about the last trip was that we had time to relax at the end of each day. We’d still write the big posts, but we’d watch an episode of something we’d downloaded on the iPad, or read something on our Kindles. This trip it’s ride, sleep, ride, sleep.

The goal of this was, of course, to have a good test trip. As someone has mentioned, this has excelled at that. We’ve learned a lot about riding with the Ural, riding with dogs, and what makes a good sidecar cover. We’ve also learned about riding in crazy heat day in and day out. Chilean desert? No problem. Day after day of midwest heat with no rest? Problem.

We came in, tested the bedsprings, took a shower, and curled up for a nap with the dogs. Still tired, we got up, and had dinner next-door. We both ordered the Steak and Ribs plate with Lyonnaise Au gratin. I was handed a medium steak and small ribs. Dachary, a medium ribs and small steak. Our Lyonnaise Au Gratin, which we’d both been looking forward to looked suspiciously like a pile of hash brows on cheese sauce. As hash browns are an option on the menu I asked the waitress what the difference was between hash browns and Lyonnaise. According to her Lyonnaise is “hash brows with onion”. I refrained from correcting her. The ribs were cooked to perfection, but I couldn’t actually taste them because of all barbecue sauce. The steak was medium, instead of medium rare, and frankly the most uninspired steak I’d had in a long time. I attempted to channel the flavor of the one at the River Rock back in Walden through force of memory, but failed. The Caesar Salad was lacking flavor, the bread was horrid, and at the end of it all we were both a bit hungry still but I really didn’t want to give them any more of my money.

Yes, we both ate a serving of ribs and steak and salad, and still wanted more. Riding in this heat burns a ton of calories.

Back in the room, we are looking forward to watching an episode of World’s Toughest Fixes on the iPad, one last dog walk, and lots of sleep, now that I have finished this post. Goodnight folks.



__________________
-masukomi
a Corporate Runaway
http://www.CorporateRunaways.com/

masukomi screwed with this post 08-01-2012 at 05:03 PM
masukomi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2012, 04:59 PM   #50
masukomi
Gnarly Adventurer
 
masukomi's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Cambridge, MA
Oddometer: 215
Day 14 - Marshall, MN to Merrill, WI

We got up at 6:00 AM. I walked the dogs in the light of a beautiful sunrise.





Despite our attempts at efficiency it was still an hour before we were on the road.



The weather was cool, and it wasn’t long before we had a hundred miles under our belt. Along the way we sat for a few minutes waiting for a pilot vehicle at the end of more road construction. Dachary had an interesting discussion with the woman and discovered that she’d been there since about 5AM and would be standing out in the sun until 8PM. Talk about a long day!



At our first fill-up I asked some locals who served good breakfast around there. They both agreed that Bump’s was the place. They were spot-on. Nothing fancy, just delicious American-style breakfast. My “Everything Omelette” was filled with flavor, as was Dachary’s serving of “Bump’s Skillet”.

We had to move fast afterwards though. Dark skies were brewing behind us and heading in the same direction we were. Dachary tried to capture it over her shoulder, but what looks like blue skies in this pic, is actually the dark underside of the storm-front trying to catch us.





The next fill-up was supposed to be a gas and go, but I was falling asleep and needed caffeine. Dachary wasn’t thrilled, but she values my safety more than our schedule, which is one of the reasons I love her. While in there I finally found another pair of sunglasses that fit over my normal glasses to replace the broken flip-up ones.





They’d do any cop proud I think.

Walked and watered the dogs, consumed our caffeine, and back on the road. Towards the end of this tank I was getting tired, but able to hold it together.

Dachary’s Note: We stopped for gas opportunistically because I wasn’t sure when the next gas would be or how the Ural was doing on gas mileage, and it seemed like a good time to grab lunch, too. I went in and scouted, and told Kay that there was “food ready to go” if he wanted to go grab something nommy. He came out with a sandwich from Subway, which neither of us actually likes and which we accidentally had for lunch yesterday, too… I was a bit surprised.

When it was my turn to go in for lunch noms, I grabbed a “ready to go” pizza and cheesey bread thing, plus some Wisconsin cheese because HELLO! We’re in Wisconsin! Cheese is their thing! Came back out and Kay was all “I didn’t see food ready to go… I missed it entirely.” My food was better. Most of Kay’s sandwich went to the dogs. On top of a fair amount of Kay’s breakfast, plus the side order of sausage we got just for them today. And some Wisconsin cheese. The dogs are having a very tasty day. End Dachary’s Note

The next tank I did pretty well through, but Dachary really started to fade hard at the end.

It was 4:00 PM. We’d been on the road since 7:00 AM, and I declared that as much as we both wanted to camp there was no way she was going to make it 70 miles to the campground. “Executive decision.” I invoked. Before I looked stuff up I ran in to the gas station to pee, came out, and she had leaned forwards, her helmet peak resting on her tank bag, sound asleep. I woke her, grabbed my phone and stared looking for hotels. She went in to grab caffeine and something to snack on and ordered me to stretch the beast’s legs. So I did. Best not to argue with a sleepy girl.

She declared she didn’t want “another crappy hotel” after I’d called three local ones, and (slightly revived) insisted on going to the campground. She can be stubborn when tired.

I watched her carefully as we pulled onto the highway. Her head was sagging to the side, and she wasn’t holding the line as straight as usual. Fortunately her better sense kicked in and she followed the GPS to the nearest hotel we’d looked up (which was only one exit up the road). I went in, and checked the room out (she doesn’t trust the cheap hotels anymore), then booked it. By the time I was done she was sound asleep on the tank bag again. Honestly, I would have taken it in just about any condition short of cockroaches and horrid smells, but it’s not bad. Smells of old smoke covered by Fabreeze-ish stuff but I’ve come to the conclusion that if a state has allowed smoking in hotel rooms at any point in the past decade they will smell of cigarettes regardless of any claims regarding “non-smoking”. It’s just a question of how old the cigarettes are.

Walked her into the room, grabbed stuff from the bikes, and found her flopped with our support crew.



We’ve made up some of yesterday’s lost miles, and if nothing else, we’ll get some rest tonight. Tomorrow, Canada. Last night we realized that it was just as far to go through Canada as back down and under the Great Lakes. We’ve both done the latter, and agree that it’s lame. This part of Canada may not be great, but it’ll at least be different, and cooler.

Dachary’s Note The Ural was running in tip-top shape today. It was kinda shocking. I had power… UPHILL! I passed people! Multiple people! Sometimes on a two-lane state highway! And once… UPHILL! I dunno what’s changed, but this is the Ural we briefly glimpsed in New York/Pennsylvania. Every time we filled up, I was afraid the magic fu would somehow go away… but it lasted all day. Consistently 55–65MPH with power to spare, and very occasionally even up to 72MPH when I wasn’t paying attention and rolled on too much throttle. I think Stravinsky deserves a commendation today.
__________________
-masukomi
a Corporate Runaway
http://www.CorporateRunaways.com/
masukomi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2012, 05:00 AM   #51
Dachary OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Dachary's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Boston
Oddometer: 313
Day 15 - Merrill, Wisconsin to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

I woke up before the alarm went off and went ahead and turned it off. Hit the bathroom and started doing my morning stuff, and the next thing I know it's 6:30AM and Kay still isn't awake. I woke him up, and we were still on the road by 7:15. Which just goes to show - Kay can sleep in an extra half hour and it doesn't make any difference in the time it takes to get on the road. Our baseline is an hour when we're in a hotel. I feel like we ought to be able to improve that, but we don't really dawdle…

By 8:15, I spotted gas and wanted to grab it opportunistically for the Ural, because I wasn't sure where the next gas would be. Things are a bit more spread out in this part of Wisconsin. Gas stop was right next to a McDonalds, and I was FRIGGIN hungry, so I suggested to Kay that we grab breakfast even though we hadn't been on the road too long. I wanted noms, and didn't want gas station food. Discovered, to my dismay, that their credit card machine was down and I had no cash on me, so I had to wait for Kay to get back from acquiring water for our Camelbaks to ask him to use his cash to acquire breakfast for us. Dogs got some noms - we got them an Egg McMuffin, and Kay keeps forgetting how much he hates tearing apart the ham in those sandwiches. It seems to not tear as easily as sausage. Maybe next time he'll remember.

Back on the road by 8:45, and by 10:15 it was time for another gas stop. I was feeling anxious about the number of miles we needed to cover, but Kay was really dragging, so we had to stop long enough for him to grab some caffeine. It couldn't be helped. Safety is paramount.

Sometime just after this gas and caffeine stop, we hit the edge of Lake Michigan and drove along the Upper Peninsula along the lake. It kept flashing itself and then disappearing behind trees and buildings for quite a while. I'd heard from a lot of people how beautiful the Upper Peninsula is, but the part we were driving was just kinda… meh. But it was better than driving through the midwest again.


Lake Michigan by CorporateRunaways, on Flickr


Dachary in Mirror by CorporateRunaways, on Flickr

At around 11:30, we passed a sign saying that we were entering the Eastern Time Zone… and there went an hour, *poof* gone. It was 12:30, just like that. I really started feeling a time crunch after this.

Shortly after 1, we stopped for gas again and grabbed lunch at Wendy's. Again, I could have waited, but I wasn't sure what we'd see down the road, and I've gotten really tired of gas station sandwiches. Grabbed lunch and had our usual UDF, which slowed us down getting back on the road again, so it was around 2 by the time we got back out. I just felt like we weren't getting *anywhere* today with all of these breaks, and how long each break takes… it felt like as soon as we got started, we were stopping again. I do miss that about being on *just* the F650s. We could run around 150 miles before we had to start thinking about gas, which meant far fewer gas stops and far fewer breaks/delays in our day.

Not too long after getting back on the road, we started driving toward a really black cloud. We'd been flirting with rain off and on all day, but had never gotten more than a few sprinkles. I felt confident that this was gonna pour, though. I called out to Kay, who was in the lead on the Ural, that I needed to pull over and stow my phone in a dry bag so it wouldn't get wet. We both took the opportunity to put our rain covers on our tank bags, and we rolled down the outside of the cover on the sidecar but left the inside open so the dogs could still get some fresh air. We were already quite warm, so neither of us bothered to put on our rain gear - we were thinking it would be better to get a little wet from a refreshing summer shower than to get all hot and sweaty in our rain gear.


Searching by CorporateRunaways, on Flickr

That turned out to be a mistake.

Within a few minutes of rolling out again, we hit the edge of the storm. And pretty quickly after that, the rain was coming down HARD. And then there was hail. The guy in front of Kay kept slowing down unexpectedly (I imagine due to poor visibility) but he didn't have his headlights or taillights on, and wasn't using his brakes, so Kay had to keep braking because suddenly he'd be on top of the guy in front of him.

Kay's note: most of the time I wasn't that hard on top of him, but the visibility was crap and he kept slowing down unexpectedly, and forcing me to do the same. It was quite helpful to be able to call back to Dachary that I was about to be slowing.

8 minute after rolling into the storm (I looked at the clock), I could feel water running down my shins into my boots. My glorious, wonderful waterproof boots. They're only waterproof when the rest of you isn't sopping wet. Because I didn't bother to put my rain gear on, the water just ran right down my legs to pool in my boots. Literally. When I got off the bike later, my feet were "squish squish"ing every time I took a step, or shifted a gear. It was really unpleasant.

Meanwhile, Kay was complaining about the stinging from the rain and the hail. But his gear is heavier than mine. So every little pinprick of rain and hail sting he felt, I felt a lot more. And it really didn't feel too bad to me. So I thought he was being a little whiny - I was enjoying the cooling rain, even if I was sopping wet. It reminded me of when I was younger and used to go walking in the rain just because I could. It's kinda invigorating.

Kay's note: she's right. I was being whiny. ;)

Of course, it stops feeling that way after about 15 to 20 minutes. Then you just start getting cold. Especially when you're driving along at 60MPH and you've got wind and cool air rushing over your sopping wet self. By the time we stopped for gas again, both of us were goose-pimpley and unhappy.

How did the dogs fare with the inside of the sidecar cover rolled up? We'd been through a light rain before like that and it wasn't a problem. The dogs didn't even get wet. But in this epic storm? Kay said afterward that it looked like "the side of Ben's leg is wet." When we stopped for gas, I noticed water dripping from what looked like the sidecar. It was clearly time to investigate. We pulled over to the side of the parking lot and coaxed the dogs from the sidecar to discover a wet, sopping mess. The top of the cushion had a small puddle of water on it. When Kay pulled the cushion and the stuff out of the nose, we found a lot of standing water in the bottom of the tub. It was trying to drain out the hole where the people seat metal thinger attaches, and we've also discovered that the weld in the underside of the nose is not complete as there were a couple of spots where water was dripping from the weld.

In other words, it was pretty wet.

Ben was pretty wet, but Bandido, who had been in the nose, was mostly dry. Luckily, it was in the mid to high 80s, so being wet wasn't a problem for the dogs, and he dried pretty quickly.

Kay's note: This was one of the reasons we were willing to try leaving it up. We had to know what the real-world-effect would be but we also believed that if they did get wet it would be for a short time and they'd be able to dry out, and warm up, quickly afterwards.

I ran into the gas station to grab some paper towels to begin to sop up the mess before putting things back together, and Kay tried pushing the water toward the hole in the bottom of the tub to get some of it to drain. A few minutes and a few sopping paper towels later, the sidecar was dry again (and some of the dead bugs, dog fur and accumulated dirt of two weeks of dog travel had been cleared out) and we were ready to hit the road again. Kay and I were still pretty wet and not looking forward to riding that way, but I still maintained that I'd rather be wet than hot.

The rest of the day's riding was pretty uneventful. We didn't run into any more rain. Eventually we did run into a bit of a headwind, which slowed us down to 50-55MPH, but we were nearing the Canadian border and we weren't going too far after we crossed.

The GPS directed us flawlessly to the border crossing at Sault Ste. Marie, but even if it hadn't, there were plenty of huge signs. There was a moment of confusion as the woman at the toll booth (the bridge from the US to Canada is a toll bridge) thought the sidecar axle was in the middle of the vehicle instead of aligned with the back motorcycle wheel and thus was going to throw her sensor off, but we sorted it out and got through. Right as my headset died. We'd been on the road for almost 12 hours at that point, and apparently my battery was unhappy.

Got to the border with Kay in front on the Ural with the dogs, and the border guy asked a few perfunctory questions. "Where do you live? Where are you going? How long are you going to be in Canada?" Kay asked if he needed to see the dog's paperwork, but he didn't care at all - he just waved him through. My questions were even more perfunctory. It was nothing like the Canadian border crossing I remember when I went up in 2005. It seemed like at this border, anyway, they just wanted to pass people through as quickly as possible.


Looking back at the USA and Dachary by CorporateRunaways, on Flickr


Welcome to Canada by CorporateRunaways, on Flickr

On the other side, our first order of business was finding Canadian cash. We've learned the hard way on our Americas trip how many fees you have to pay for international transactions, so our strategy was just to pull out the cash we'd need in one lump sum and then use cash for everything while we were in Canada. The welcome center didn't have an ATM, but the helpful lady inside directed Kay to the casino next door, where he grabbed some cash and then we headed out to our campground for the night.

I had found us Glenwood Cottages, just 8 miles from the border, where we secured a tent spot and Kay worked on setting up camp while I literally dumped water from my boots and lamented my poor pruney feet. As soon as Kay had the tent set up, I was inside - too many mosquitos. I had taken for granted not having to really deal with bugs in Colorado, and the mosquitos hadn't been too bad the couple of other times we've camped on this trip, so it sorta caught me off guard but I DEETed the heck out of myself and then dived in the tent because the Canadian mosquitos didn't seem to care about the DEET too much. I left poor Kay to deal with cooking us dinner on the camp stove while I set up our bed, the dog bed and organized the piles of gear in the tent.

It was kinda nice to be camping in Canada and not have Internet access to distract us. I talked Kay into putting off writing the post for the day, as we wouldn't be able to post it till we got back to the US anyway, so we just chilled and watched an episode of World's Toughest Fixes on the iPad. It's only the second time we've watched 45 minutes of TV on this entire trip. But we'd gotten into camp so late, and finished dealing with food so late, that it was around 10:30 by the time we finished. That's a bit late for the 5-6AM wake up calls we've been doing lately, so we set the alarm for 7.

The campground itself was decent, but it was close to a major road which meant a ton of traffic noise. Unfortunately, this was to be a harbinger for the night to come.
__________________
Check out our adventures: Corporate Runaways
Motorcycle Blog: Ain't No Pillion
Boston to Ushuaia on 2 BMW F650GSs - 2010-2011
BOS -> CO - 2 dogs in a Ural - 2012
Find us on SPOT
Dachary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2012, 05:52 PM   #52
Dachary OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Dachary's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Boston
Oddometer: 313
Quick note, all: we made it home this afternoon, right on schedule! Been relaxing a bit and crunching numbers (gas mileage is an interesting one - worst of the trip for the Ural is 17-something and best is 25.86) but we'll get the last few days posted hopefully tomorrow, as well as some follow-up thoughts and responses to questions/replies.
__________________
Check out our adventures: Corporate Runaways
Motorcycle Blog: Ain't No Pillion
Boston to Ushuaia on 2 BMW F650GSs - 2010-2011
BOS -> CO - 2 dogs in a Ural - 2012
Find us on SPOT
Dachary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2012, 08:08 PM   #53
charliemike
wannabe Adventurer
 
charliemike's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: atlanta, GA
Oddometer: 100
Mileage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dachary View Post
Quick note, all: we made it home this afternoon, right on schedule! Been relaxing a bit and crunching numbers (gas mileage is an interesting one - worst of the trip for the Ural is 17-something and best is 25.86) but we'll get the last few days posted hopefully tomorrow, as well as some follow-up thoughts and responses to questions/replies.
Ouch...Ive got an older dodge dakota with a v6 that gets similar if not better mileage...

Very cool trip report though! Thanks for taking us along.

How did the dogs like / do on the long trip?

charliemike screwed with this post 08-05-2012 at 08:32 PM
charliemike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2012, 11:03 PM   #54
roscoau
Studly Adventurer
 
roscoau's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Pambula, NSW
Oddometer: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dachary View Post
worst of the trip for the Ural is 17-something and best is 25.86
I was good to read of your trip, but things will be much better when you get the tuning sorted out. To show what you could be getting here are my fuel usage since Nov '09.

http://rosco.id.au/uralfuel.pdf
__________________
Aussie Ural Owners
rosco.id.au

Ural - speed limits aren't a restriction, they are an achievement!
roscoau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2012, 10:31 AM   #55
ST RIDER
Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Oddometer: 13
Next time take a few cats also.

As usual you two did a great ride report. Sorry we missed each other in Colorado. Vern
ST RIDER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2012, 03:21 PM   #56
Merlin III
Mean SOB
 
Merlin III's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Maine
Oddometer: 1,147
Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoau View Post
I was good to read of your trip, but things will be much better when you get the tuning sorted out. To show what you could be getting here are my fuel usage since Nov '09.

http://rosco.id.au/uralfuel.pdf
That is decent mileage for a sidecar rig I would think. Why the new engine after 1 year?
__________________
"I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure about anything." Richard Feynman, CalTech Scientist, Challenger Disaster Committee member.
Merlin III is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2012, 03:41 PM   #57
roscoau
Studly Adventurer
 
roscoau's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Pambula, NSW
Oddometer: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
Why the new engine after 1 year?
At the 5000km oil change (the bike at the time was running fine) when I took the engine drain plug out there was a piece of bearing cage sitting on it. The bike went back and bearings replaced but as they were reassembling they noted a tiny hairline crack in the case on one of the bolt holes. They said it looked like it might never be a problem but they wanted to replace the case to be on the safe side.

A couple of weeks later I called and it was ready to go - but getting a new crankcase had been going to take too long so they just put a whole new engine in.

With the benefit of hindsight I can see this engine ran better than the original ever did and with 26,000km on the clock now I wouldn't hesitate to take it around the country tomorrow. I've never seen a company take a negative and turn it into a positive experience like these guys did.
__________________
Aussie Ural Owners
rosco.id.au

Ural - speed limits aren't a restriction, they are an achievement!
roscoau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #58
Dachary OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Dachary's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Boston
Oddometer: 313
Day 16 - Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Bracebridge, Ontario

When the alarm went off at 7AM, Kay and I both groaned. Neither of us had slept particularly well, and his back was already hurting. Not a good way to start the day. I decided that I felt gross and wanted to shower before we headed out, and I needed to wash some socks and underwear anyway, so we headed out for a quick morning walk with the dogs and I was going to shower. Alas, my shower with clothes washing took FAR longer than I had anticipated, and when I got back to our campsite, I found that Kay had already taken everything out of the tent and disassembled it. Unfortunately, this meant that I had zero shelter from the mosquitos. I jumped back and forth from task to task frantically, without really finishing things, because the mosquitos were driving me to distraction and I just wanted to be *gone* before they could get more of me.

Because of my shower and laundry-washing delay, we didn't get on the road for nearly 2 hours after we woke up, and I decided that since we were in Canada, Kay needed to experience the awesomosity that is Tim Hortons. Consulted the GPS for "points of interest" - found a Tims and headed off. We each had a nommy breakfast sammich, and a pastry, and I had a tasty mocha latte to start my day. So at least there was that. (Although, to be honest, since the last time I had Tim's it isn't as tasty as I remember it. I've encountered too many delicious bakeries in the intervening years and now Tim Hortons has gone from being the bomb diggety to… meh. They still have great variety, and we don't really have a "fast food" chain like it in the US - except that we do have some Tim's here in some parts of the country - but it's not as deliciously awesome as I remember it being. I think Kay was a little underwhelmed after all of the praise I heaped on it.)

Back on the road, and I'm pleased to report that the riding wasn't as boring as I remembered Ontario being, either. The last time I was in Ontario, I was driving across the top of the great lakes toward Montreal, and I remember it being rather boring. It was largely flat and empty and devoid of interesting stuff. But maybe I was sleep deprived on that trip (I did it in one push without stopping in something like 20 hours in a car) or maybe I just took a different route, because this Ontario was a different beast entirely. It was quite pretty, in fact. We passed endless lakes, forests, hilly bits and just very pleasant scenery. I'm happy to report that my memory of Ontario was about as representative of Kay's memory of Wyoming, which is to say not at all - we were both pleasantly surprised that our memories lied when it came to these places. (These pics don't really do it justice, but it's all we have from the day.)


Dachary by CorporateRunaways, on Flickr


Quick Stop by CorporateRunaways, on Flickr

Not a whole lot to report during the afternoon. I was cold all day, but I kept not putting on another layer underneath my jacket because every time we stopped, the ambient air temperature felt quite warm. But whenever we started again, we were going fast enough that I was quite chilly. Like goose-pimply chilly. I don't know if it was remnants from being rained on the day before, or the fact that my body was finally succumbing to the long days and the tough pace, but I was starting to feel unwell.

By the time we stopped for gas and some noms around 3:30PM, I was feeling downright sick. I felt flushed and cold at the same time, and Kay says I didn't look good. We had fish and chips at a restaurant at our gas stop - and poutine, because HELLO! When in Canada, have poutine! But all the greasy gross food weighed heavily on my poor unwell self, and I started feeling nauseous and gross as we headed out after our late lunch stop. We were back on the road at around 4:30 with still far too much ground to cover.

Our next gas stop was at around 6pm. I still wasn't feeling well - felt like I was coming down with something plus just exhausted from our long days in the past few weeks - and we still had around 75 kms to cover. At the pace we were going, it would take probably an hour to an hour and a half. And we were off interstate at that point, so the roads were prettier but they were hilly and curvy and it required a lot of energy to muscle the Ural through the turns. My poor exhausted body wasn't up for much more of this. We had conveniently stopped for gas RIGHT NEXT to a campground, so we inquired about getting a spot for the night but they were full up. And they told us about something important that we had completely missed - it was a long weekend in Ontario. They said that ALL the campsites in this part of the country were likely to be full up.

I looked at Kay. I told him that I wasn't confident that the "close" campsite I had found was actually a public tenting site - it might be some sort of summer camp type of camp. The one that was definitely a public type campground was over 100 kms away, which I was skeptical of us reaching before dark and even if we could I wasn't sure I was capable of driving the Ural that far. But I didn't see that we had a choice, so we hit the road again.

About 20 kilometers down the road, we rolled into Bracebridge. I had been watching the road signage as we'd ended up on a short stretch of interstate again, and I pulled off when I saw a sign for gas, food and hotels. I led us into a Home Depot parking lot, and told Kay that I was totally wiped out, not sure about the campsite and that I'd need him to drive the Ural the rest of the way if we wanted to try to get out there because I couldn't drive it anymore. I was too exhausted and feeling too unwell.

Apparently I looked it, too, because he immediately said "I saw a sign for a hotel. Let's check it out." I really didn't want to spend the money on yet another hotel, and I had enjoyed camping last night so I was looking forward to camping again, but I also wasn't in a position to argue, and I was skeptical about our ability to find a campsite since it was a holiday weekend. So we went to the nearby Travelodge, where Kay inquired whether they were dog friendly (yes) and about their rates ($130 Canadian - more than we'd paid for any hotel on the entire trip, including in downtown Denver). In spite of the high rate, Kay suggested that we take it. By that point, I just wanted to pass out, so I put up a perfunctory objection but was secretly hoping he'd override it so I could feel better about the cost. He did, so we got the room and pulled around to unload.

It was actually a fairly nice motel, as they go. It was all ground floor rooms that open onto a parking lot that wraps around the building, so we were able to park right in front of our room and easily unload into our open door. There was a sliding glass door out the back of our room onto a courtyard type thing with plenty of shade, which was a great place to walk the dogs, and there was a pool that we totally didn't take advantage of, but sounded great if I'd been feeling better. Kay made sure I was safely ensconced and then went out to find cash (as we'd used the last of our Canadian money on the hotel room and still had another day in Canada to finance) and food. It turns out that the town was ALSO having a street fair, so he had a heck of a time getting to the ATM to pick up cash, and the restaurant we'd chosen for him to acquire takeout for dinner for us was packed to the gills so there was little chance of getting food. He came back empty-handed (but with a full wallet) and we ended up ordering delivery from a pizza place just because we were both too tired to deal at that point. Another $55 Canadian.

This was an expensive evening. But I pretty much ate and then passed out in air-conditioned splendor, thanking my lucky stars for a hotel. And I did get a good night of sleep this time.

Kay's note: Dachary spent much of the day frustrated by how behind schedule we were, and how many miles we still had to cover. She was determined to get me back home on Sunday so that I wouldn't have to call in and ask for yet another day off of work. The end result was that when I initially pointed out the beauty of what we were passing through she reluctantly grunted in agreement, but had trouble enjoying it. Let this be a lesson to you folks. The worst thing your adventure can have is a deadline. Ugh.

With regards to the hotel, health and safety are my number one priority when riding. Take breaks when you need them, and pay money when you need to to compensate for the body's limitations. It sucked to spend that much on a hotel for only one night, but I didn't hesitate to pay it, or regret a penny of it. She needed it, so I got it.
__________________
Check out our adventures: Corporate Runaways
Motorcycle Blog: Ain't No Pillion
Boston to Ushuaia on 2 BMW F650GSs - 2010-2011
BOS -> CO - 2 dogs in a Ural - 2012
Find us on SPOT
Dachary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2012, 07:42 PM   #59
Dachary OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Dachary's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Boston
Oddometer: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by ST RIDER View Post
As usual you two did a great ride report. Sorry we missed each other in Colorado. Vern
Sorry we missed you, too, Vern! I keep meaning to call you, but I got your VM on a day when we had no cell signal - I just saw it show up magically at the end of a day - and we had spotty signal when we were in CO so I didn't get a chance to get ahold of you. We would have loved to catch up. When we get our RTW ready to head out, we won't be on such a deadline and we'll definitely swing by to say hi :)
__________________
Check out our adventures: Corporate Runaways
Motorcycle Blog: Ain't No Pillion
Boston to Ushuaia on 2 BMW F650GSs - 2010-2011
BOS -> CO - 2 dogs in a Ural - 2012
Find us on SPOT
Dachary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2012, 07:48 PM   #60
Dachary OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Dachary's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Boston
Oddometer: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemike View Post
How did the dogs like / do on the long trip?
Dogs did great! They loved it - it got to the point that when we were packing up in the morning, the dogs would hop up into the sidecar unprompted (often before we were ready for them to get in) because they were ready to go. The only time they didn't seem to want to hop back in were a couple of times on the long mileage/really hot days when they just wanted to chill, I think - even though the cover kept the sidecar quite a comfortable temperature, and the Frogg Toggs chilly pad kept them cool to the touch - they just wanted to not be driving. But after a night's rest, they were right back ready to get on the bike the next morning. The smaller one, Bandido, especially seems to love it - he's constantly sticking his head out. He particularly seemed to enjoy the Rockies, the Badlands and Canada. Ben, on the other hand, tends to curl up when we're going more than about 30 MPH and nap. But if we're going under 30, he pops up to look around, too.

Kay's working on a more in-depth writeup of the gear and how the trip went, which we'll probably be ready to post later in the week as we're still playing catch-up on the last few days of the RR, and also on sleep now that we're home.

Which reminds me...
__________________
Check out our adventures: Corporate Runaways
Motorcycle Blog: Ain't No Pillion
Boston to Ushuaia on 2 BMW F650GSs - 2010-2011
BOS -> CO - 2 dogs in a Ural - 2012
Find us on SPOT
Dachary is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 10:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014