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What Did You Do With Your Sidecar Today?

Arrived back home late yesterday afternoon from a trip to Oklahoma for Jane's family reunion. We left home Thursday morning, rode to El Dorado, KS mostly on US 77, and continued on US 77 to Guthrie, OK. We jogged west to Kingfisher, OK where we got onto US 81 and took it to Chickasha, OK. Stopped near Fletcher, OK to visit Jane's sister before going on to Lawton, where we stayed until Sunday morning with her brother and his wife. For the return trip we rode mostly I-44 to Cushing, OK where we got onto OK 66, part of which runs on the original US Route 66 right of way. We took OK 66 to Bristow where we returned to I-44 and continued to US 71 before turning north to Carthage, MO, where we spent the night. We saw the eclipse of the moon and the "blood" moon while in Carthage. We successfully dodged rain showers in NW Iowa before arriving home about 4 pm yesterday.

We discovered the gas tank behind the seat in the sidecar holds 9 gallons. We can go 'way too many miles between stops. For some reason the electric fuel pump in the sidecar can pump gas faster now than before. I had timed it when we first got it working earlier this summer. We can now pump nearly as much gas in half the time as we first did. Maybe it has to do with how much time is spent priming the pump?

We met a guy in Kingfisher, OK at our noon stop who said he saw the sidecar when he rode by the restaurant on his '97 Valkyrie. Then he noticed we had our sidecar on a Valkyrie, so he turned around and came back for a closer look. He claimed he had never seen another Valkyrie and certainly not one with a sidecar. He decided to ride with us from Kingfisher to El Reno, OK (22 miles). He was running 6 into 6 pipes that were LOUD. Oddly, they didn't sound as loud when he was ahead of us as when he was riding to the left rear of us.

Valkyries are smooth riding machines with plenty of power to accommodate a suitable sidecar. Mine pulls an older Hannigan super sport. My trip to North Florida was the first longer one since the original engine failed while camping in the Rockies prior to the national rally. I never made it to the rally but instead trailered the rig back home. I found an engine, bid, won, then started the replacement project. Doing this was a terrific teacher. I learned several new skills and alternative uses for my tools. I did not practice any new four letter epithets but did use some while installing the engine and accessories. It was a relief to hear the engine turn over and start after completing the project. Finally, I transferred the sidecar from the GL1100, measured the vital stats and took some trial rides to see how it handled. After adjusting toe-in, etc. I was ready to go. I rode down to North Florida, a trip of 1200 plus miles. One significant problem arose during the ride. The right valve cover gasket began seeping oil. I had installed both covers before installing the engine and didn't notice any problem until several hundred miles. The left gasket was fine. The valve cover was removed, cleaned, then carefully reinstalled using Black RTV to seal whatever imperfections existed. So far the seal is oil tight. I'll find out more in two days when I begin the (wet) return trip. With limited time I'll be riding on the big roads, I-75 to Atlanta, I-85 to Charlotte, NC, I-77 over the mountains, then I-81 to Scranton, PA, finally the hated I-84 to the Delaware Gap, finally, local roads over the last 25 miles in New York. I added one interesting accessory during the visit. I installed a windshield wiper system, hoping that it won't mar the windshield and allow me to see better through the expected rain. I've tried it during some rainy times and am satisfied that it works properly. Rather than buying a ready made kit, I bought a marine motor and wiper, added wiring and switch, then put it all together using a custom made switch holder mounted to the handlebars, wiring added to the under seat fuse block. The motor was installed using the middle bolt/nut of the Honda windshield hardware, drilled out to 3/8 inch to accommodate the wiper shaft. I'm ready for the road.

We rode to Cherokee, IA Saturday morning (39 degrees) for breakfast with our Gold Wing Chapter and then went for a ride into the Loess Hills southeast of Sioux City. We had lunch at Pisgah, IA at the Old Home Fill 'er Up Café, rode to an apple orchard near Mondamin, IA where we enjoyed some cold apple cider. Some in our group had apple pie too, but Jane and I were full. We then headed north and west, crossing into Nebraska at Decatur, and then rode to Sioux City for dinner at the Golden Corral Buffet.

It was after dark when we arrived back home after 375 miles. The rig will need a new rear tire before we go very far again.

I actually rode it for the first time since it died just before the Monumental rally. Repairs were complete so I made a short neighborhood ride to sort out the details. A quick adjustment to the rear brake pedal, and the addition of the ballast to the car and I was ready. I did a 40 mile ride to check out alignment and ride. All appeared to work. It started, ran, and tracked well. All seemed good. Until I parked back in my garage; where it left a pool of foul looking oil. All the fluids are new so now another mystery needs to be solved.

2014 CB1100 Std, 2000 ST1100 with DMC Classic, 1981 CB650C

I hate to see a pool of anything under a vehicle. I hope you solve this quickly. I did have that uneasy feeling after seeing the tip of my boot exhibiting the oil sheen of an obvious leak on my last trip. Fortunately, that seepage was sealed and no further evidence of oil has appeared. I did have another issue. It seemed that power was lost at highway speeds when going up any incline. I imagined so many scenarios involving electronics, air, fuel, spark, and timing. I inspected the engine after I was home and finally discovered that one of the six carburetor air tubes was not attached securely. This is a monotonous task that needs small flexible hands (mine fit that need) and patience to work with hard rubber surfaces. I finally succeeded in seating the tube and tightening the metal band. A test ride confirmed that power was restored and even a nuisance ticking sound disappeared. Fun with motorcycles.

I went to a rear tire on the front of my R1150RT/Escort rig. Bridgestone Battleaxe. In my short (10mi) ride to work there seemed to be an amazing difference in the handling. Can't wait to try it on the road this weekend to the Colonial Rally.

My brother, Rick and I, rode up to Cochocton County this morning. Lots of color coming into the foliage! It looks like it'll be a good year for "leaf peeping"!
On the way home we stopped and picked up some Apples and Apple Cider! OK, I also splurged on some "Loganberry Jam" too!

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I went to a Federation of Sidecar Clubs rally at the Motor Museum, Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire. A good turn of outfits and a cracking little museum.

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My friend, Richard joined me at Troy, Montana for a trip up the Yaak valley over the summit to Rexford bridge then down the FDR road ro Libby. It was a beautiful ride with all the trees turning color and around 70 degrees. Richard and his GW/Hannigan rig was a life saver for my newly-purchased Ural Sportsman when the generator ceased to generate and the batteryfailed to keep the ignition firing about half way through the trip. He has a marine battery in the Hannigan and gave mine a re-charge that got me going then it started to generate again. Overall a great day with his help and now I need to check out the electrical system. Any ideas would be welcome.

Some bikes have trouble with dust from worn brushes building up on the brush holders and keeping the brushes from making contact with the armature. I don't know much about Urals so it could be something totally different.

We rode a part of that route (the US 2 portion) a little over 3 years ago on the way to Couer d Alene to the national rally, but it was in June. It was beautiful without the fall colors.