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Old 01-05-2015, 06:35 PM   #1
JustKip OP
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Location: Fresno, CA
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Disenchanted

I was all set to pull the trigger 6 months ago. I had my pennies and nickels all saved up, and was soliciting bids from the well known builders. Then I had started a thread asking "What's the perfect tug", thinking that since my GS was totaled it might be time to choose sompin else.

And it's not like I've never driven a rig before. I've been on 4 different Urals, in the last 6-7 years, and took the S/TEP Class from Vernon "Red Menace" Wade. I was sure I was going to get a hack of my own, and drove other people's every chance I got.

My first ride on anything motorcycle related, after my June crash, was the Ural cT demo in November. It was the most nimble rig I've driven, so far...and I was terrified the whole time

I've always been fairly athletic, and driving a rig was a whole body experience, till I busted up my leg in June. Since you don't lean a sidecar, weight distribution while underway is a big part of the ride to me. And since I couldn't use my left leg to move my ass around, I was being incredibly over cautious. I could tell the bike had a lot of untapped performance I wasn't even getting close to...and remember, this was a Ural! I never got it over 50mph, and slowed to half what I think the rig could do in corners.

Someone told me it could have something to do with the wreck, and I haven't been back on a 2-wheeler yet, but leaning a bike is second nature for me and I don't think I'd be nearly as apprehensive on a motorcycle as I was on the Ural.

Is it time for me to just forget about it, and stick with 2 wheels?
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:47 PM   #2
mikejjmay
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only you can make that decision, however I will say it took a long time before I was fully comfortable on my hack. there are still some times going into corners a little fast or something like that and I still get that pucker factor. I think I'll always have a hack at any point in the future, but it does take time. if it's something you're passionate about I say go for it and commit to learning. I know you said you had some rides before but it really took me a whole summer of riding everyday to feel totally comfortable and feel like I had a beginning of a mastery of it

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Old 01-05-2015, 07:24 PM   #3
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Check out Neptune03's video. Then read his build thread. Along the way you'll find that he's been paralized from the waist down for most of his life. It doesn't slow him down.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:54 PM   #4
3legs
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G'day. As they say once you go hack you never go back. I got into sidecars because of a serious accident back in 1979 (had a head on with a car whilst on my Ducati) Completely totalled my right leg. Smashed my pelvis and did some nerve damage. I have a drop foot which means I cant raise my foot therefore can't use the rear brake properly. I still use a stick today hence my nickname (and no it's not because I've got a 12 inch dick).
When I first got back on a bike it scared the shit out of me. I couldn't lean into right hand corners for fear of ripping my leg off. I persevered and I got used to riding solo again but I still had that nervousness about right hand corners.
Then back in the early 80's my mate let me try his sidecar. I put it straight into the gutter. Tried again and again straight into the gutter. Then he slapped me on the back of my head and threatened to withhold the beers and said for the 100th time STEER ya f@#kwit not lean. I've never looked back. Gone was the fear of hurting my leg (even though in Australia the sidecar is on the left) and it was a great feeling when I got onto the dirt and I could keep up with my mates or in a lot of cases go faster than them and have even more fun power sliding around corners at 100 mph.

Keep at it and that nagging doubt about your leg will disappear. Trust me I know exactly what you're going through.

Hope this helps

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Old 01-05-2015, 11:01 PM   #5
DRONE
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I can see how it would freak you out if you can't use your left leg to push your weight over to the right on right handers. Keep in mind, though, that there are a lot of guys with limitations with their legs who enjoy riding. Also, I've ridden with lots of guys who simply lean from the waist up and never move their cheeks off the centerline of the seat. They seem to do fine.

Plus, Tarka's opinion notwithstanding, there's always ballast. When I have my wife in the chair I can take right handers at ridiculously fast speeds! You could add 100 lbs to the car to give you confidence while you are learning. Then reduce it (or not) as you build confidence in your skills.

But I can definitely see the attraction of a two-wheeler where just a little countersteering is all you need.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:41 PM   #6
bmwhacker
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Old 01-06-2015, 05:32 AM   #7
Carl Childers
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I agree with Drone, a little bit of ballast will go a long way in allowing you to drive a rig without a lot of movement on your part and keep you in your comfort zone.

Ultimately you will need to listen to yourself, no one knows better than you what the answer is. Thankfully it is a one or the other decision and not having to choose no riding at all.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:53 AM   #8
CrankyTom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejjmay View Post
only you can make that decision, however I will say it took a long time before I was fully comfortable on my hack. there are still some times going into corners a little fast or something like that and I still get that pucker factor. I think I'll always have a hack at any point in the future, but it does take time. if it's something you're passionate about I say go for it and commit to learning. I know you said you had some rides before but it really took me a whole summer of riding everyday to feel totally comfortable and feel like I had a beginning of a mastery of it

Sent from my SGH-T679 using Tapatalk 2
+1 Took me a whole summer to start really loosening up while driving my Ural.
It's been two summers now and I'm feeling fairly competent,I'm cruising and cornering much faster now(have to watch the over confidence thing!) and enjoying driving a rig more every time I go out.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:35 AM   #9
KHJPHOTO
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Damn! I didn't relize the crash was that severe. Hope you recover 100%.

As for the rig; I don't have much to offer other then keep with it. My first rig was a R60/2 back in the early '80's. Never had a problem. Kinda came naturally I guess. Don't know about Ural's; but the R60, built by Ozie, and the R12GS, built by Claude, I imagine it has alot to do with how it is set up. I'm a rider, not a "wrench" so I don't know a tinkers dam about the mechanics. What I do know
is a hack is a blast!! Don't give up!

Hacks:
Can't fall over
Drift the corners on dirt roads
Great to flat spin on ice :)

God speed your recovery!
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:52 AM   #10
RedMenace
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I have gotten on factory prepped Urals that were twitchy as hell. Sometimes setup or sometimes the front end was put together sloppily. A little tweaking got them to settle down.

I had a very severe flinch for a couple of years after a big wreck. It takes some saddle time to get over it and regain your confidence. I would expect that in spades switching to a similar but wildly different vehicle such as you are doing by going from two to three wheels.

Take it easy, keep trying different rigs when you get a chance, consider taking another STEP from Evergreen just for a refresher.

You can use your good leg and your arms to shift your weight. No shame in taking it easy, going a little slower in the corners, shifting a little less weight and using ballast. That untapped performance will come to you as you get more saddle time. Don't worry about it-think of it as your reserve. If you want to ride, you will ride. You can do it!
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:54 PM   #11
SwampFox883R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMenace View Post
... I had a very severe flinch for a couple of years after a big wreck. It takes some saddle time to get over it and regain your confidence.... No shame in taking it easy, going a little slower in the corners, shifting a little less weight and using ballast. That untapped performance will come to you as you get more saddle time. Don't worry about it-think of it as your reserve. If you want to ride, you will ride. You can do it!
Kip, I sat out motorcycling for 6 years after a crash in 2001 which was followed 3 months later by a friend's fatal crash in the same curve in OK. Even thought I physically recovered in about 6 months, it to took a long time to find the fun in riding, which returned after assembling our 1st rig. As the RedMenace points out, no shame in taking it easy, and the comfort level usually returns over time. Well, I'm still slow according to most of members of the local riding community.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:51 PM   #12
Prmurat
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I lost my right radial nerve and my right leg is often in pain after a motorcycle accident (-09): I am not confy with heavy, told bikes, front drum and non CV carbs anymore so 3 years ago I bought a Ural and discovered new pleasures and still have the pleasure of learning something new every time I take any of my 4 sidecars... (5th in project!!).


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Old 01-07-2015, 06:24 AM   #13
JustKip OP
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I appreciate all the thoughtful responses! A whole lotta wisdom being handed out, thanks!

Yeah, Karl. I expect to get back to 90% use of the left leg, but I'm not there yet, and was only at 25-30% when I rode the Ural cT 7-7 weeks ago.

I think Vernon is right on the money about switching from 2 to 3 wheels right at this particular time in my recovery. I had much of my attention on my leg, which couldn't reach the heel part of the shifter, and on actual shifting. I felt incredibly distracted and incapable. I've got about 70% use of the leg now, and I'm sure the ride would be a little different. And practice always helps, too.

As for the ballast suggestions; David, from Ural HQ in Seattle was kind enough to take me to a parking lot to see IF I could shift, then play monkey for me while I rode the street. The rig was well set-up, and the one he had been using for the previous month or 2 during development. The cT handles much better than the (all 2WD) previous Urals I'd driven.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:08 AM   #14
usgser
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Kip don't be disgruntled about the Ural heel/toe shifter use being awkward. It's awkward for everyone. I've got a gimpy left leg and foot(leftovers from a stroke) and though I can use the heel shifter it's like my typing. Hunt-find-push. On my later Urals I went with the tank/hand shifters from Raceways(one for forward gears, one for N/R). Yeah you gotta move your hand from the throttle to the shifter but easy solid shifts and the lag time from throttle to shifter works out to be pretty ideal for everything to spool down for a nice solid clunk shift, no buzz no grind. The hand shifter set up also leaves the original foot shifter in place to use when the urge arises.
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:02 PM   #15
KansasKawboy
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You said the leg was 25-30% when you rode the Ural and it's now 70%, have you been on a rig since the improvement? I would think that you could go to the Ural dealer and just sit on a rig and see if you can move around without riding it. I have osteoarthritis in my left knee and have stopped, put my left foot down and had my knee give out on me and had to pick the bike up after I got the knee working again so I am getting leery of 2 wheelers.
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