Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Piggy Is Completed and Towable

This is the first picture of Piggy attached to Petunia. This is just after a quick trip around the neighborhood to check her out. There are only a couple of finishing details to have her totally done and ready for the open road. The biggest one being putting weather seals around the lid. I'm really surprised it didn't come with any.

Completing the assembly of Piggy was mostly uneventful until the wiring. It seems that when I first finished turning on the left blinker would activate the emergency flashers. Triple checking all of the connections didn't solve my problem and I tugged her anyway, but riding and not using turn signals just didn't work for me. So, Sunday I talked to Doug, Nancy’s dad, and he suggested disconnecting the LEDs to see if that was the problem and it wasn’t. But because of him telling me to do that I disconnected every wire one at a time until I had gone through each one. Because none of that worked I turned the hazard flashers on and just sat and watched them. Watching them made me see that the turn signals, on Petunia, are also brake lights. That is accomplished with a plug and play adapter that was down stream of the Hoppy Converter. I moved it up stream and the lights now work perfect. All of that because I didn’t think about the auxillary turn, tail, brake lite adapter.

This is my trailer connection prior to making the final repairs to the turn signals. I have since zip tied the flexible conduit to the wires and added a Master lock to the hitch to prevent accidental unlatching. Yea, you can also read theft into that last sentence, but I was trying to be PC. I don't think I'm happy with the safety chains and think I will shorten them and use a different method to connect them to the bike.

I added these really cool decals that I got from E Bay to dress Piggy up just a touch. The Eagle is a left and right pair that cost $9.96 and the Support Our Troops ribbon was $3.96. These items both came with free shipping. They came from Weston Signs and Decals an E Bay store. The eagle picture isn't very clear, but the decals are a great quality and a nice way to display the Patriotic mood I feel. I am a very strong supporter of our brave young men and women that are willing to fight and sacrifice for the freedom I enjoy.

Piggy went on her maiden voyage Sunday morning even though her turn signals didn’t work properly. But, I wasn’t letting a little thing like turn signals stop me from tugging her around and finding out how she felt behind Petunia. I took off and after about a quarter of a mile I thought Piggy was going to bounce me right off of Petunia. It sounded like she was jumping off of the road and when I slowed down it seemed worse. It was then that I realized that Piggy wasn’t bouncing, but rather the plastic saw horses I put in her were rattling as she rolled down the pavement. So, I sped up and got to smoother asphalt and Piggy settled right down. Following, nearly empty, she was right at home behind Petunia and I only heard her when we hit a bump and those saw horses rattled.

That brings me to the claim of others that they can pull a trailer and forget it is even there. It took about three blocks for me to remember what it felt like to pull a trailer. It all flashed back to me, riding almost in the center of a lane to keep the trailer in my lane. It is on a rare occasion that I would ever consider riding in the center oil pattern of a lane. But, when pulling a trailer it becomes a necessity to avoid becoming a casualty. Drift too far to the left and you are in the next lane rubbing up against a cage. Too far too the right and you risk dropping a tire off the pavement. If you can tug a tail and forget it is back there you might print a sign that says….HEY, WAKE UP! THERE IS A TRAILER FOLLOWING YOU….and tape it to your windshield. Yep, it was there and following like it knew where it was going.

After the initial bouncing scare I am quite pleased how Piggy tracked and responded. I also took her out to Gilbert, the long way and with a bigger, quiter load, and had her cruising at 75 mph. Again the occasional bump would make her rattle, but bounce and sway were not a problem at all. My next test will be to take her out the back roads to Wickenburg and over the twisties to Bagdad. I'm not afraid to just hit the road with her, but working out the kinks and retightening all the nuts and bolts is better done at home than the open road.

So, now I need to get down to the planning of the first adventure with Piggy. It is only six and a half weeks to departure. Many things to plan and check out before hitting the road. I did start checking the March average monthly weather reports on the route I wanted to start on, but a lot of those temperatures are in the low 30's. More checking is in order because traveling up to the 14,000 foot elevations in March might be a bit much. Time will tell how willing I am.

1 comment :

  1. Pictures don't do the trailer justice. Take it from me, it's much sweeter in person.