Monday, October 13, 2014

Dexter and the Learning Curve

Dexter was a willing participant in a Saturday 75 mile ride.  It was a great day in Arizona with bright sunshine and mild temperatures.  He sat on the seat for about the first 15 miles, then got into his bed and napped most of the rest of the ride.   Only issue on the ride, that went over some small hills, Petunia didn't seem to want to pull herself on some of the upgrades. Mmmmmm.

Sitting and trying to remember back on the when I first got the pigpen, some 7years ago, I began to remember Petunia would haul the tub at 90 mph.  That is when the cam adjusters came apart and I took her in to have new gear driven cams put in.  After getting her back, she wouldn't pull the tub over 40 mph.  I had a couple of other things done to her, so took her back to the shop and they said nothing was wrong with her.  Took the pigpen off and the bike ran well except for gas milage, so just left the tub off.

Sometime in the night, Saturday, it popped into my mind that along with the gear driven cams the Baker 6 speed was also installed at that time.  That lead to my remembering that after last years motor update I realized that now that sixth gear was usable.  Putting the extra weight of the pigpen could have negated that change.

So, Sunday I was going to test my thoughts that I just wasn't using the correct gear for the conditions.  Getting ready to retrace Saturdays route, I took Dexter out to go for another ride. Pushed Petunia into the drive, got out the harness, and Dexter ran back to the door and wouldn't move.  I opened the door and he ran inside, refusing to come back out.  I guess he wasn't ready for a repeat of yesterdays fun.

Retracing my route I kept Petunia 1 gear lower than I had on Saturday and she did great.  Unless I was on flat ground I stayed in 5th gear and no problem. With the cruise set at 70 she pulled the small hills without a worry while turning 3,000 rpm.  On flat lands, in 6th gear she ran 70 mph @ 2,500 rpm.  The learning curve for driving the hack continues and that is the easy part.  I'm hoping Dexter isn't going to start being a problem.


  1. Glad you figured out the hill climbing problem. It's amazing how ideas will just come in the middle of the night like that. Hopefully Dexter simply had other plans for his day and his reluctance isn't a sign of things to come.

  2. After attaching the sidecar to the airhead Beemer, 5th gear became essentially useless. It seems much happier at higher RPM (fairly short stroke engine). the Ural doesn't even have a 5th gear and the factory recommended top speed is only 63 mph.

    The sidecar adds quite a bit of aerodynamic drag in addition to the weight.

  3. So glad you got the gearing figured out.

    Hoping Dexter was just in a mood and he really does enjoy the outings in Petunia.

  4. VStar Lady; I'm sure Dexter will be fine. I just didn't feel like fighting him Sunday.

    Richard; Running 70 mph is only 3,000 rpm and 70 is plenty fast with the pigpen because of your noted aero drag. I did have a rig blow past me yesterday loaded down and with a monkey on board going at least 90! Yep, it was a Harley and the pipes were screaming.

    Trobairitz; Shifting wasn't one of the things I thought about having to relearn. I'll see how it works later in the week when I take on a real mountain pass.

  5. Dexter will be cozy after a few more times. Get him his favorite things. Try those doggles again. Could be his little eyes are suffering a tad bit? Murray isn't so partial to his either. I am still excited for you and this new journey on the hack!

  6. LOL... spelling from my phone is monotonous! It is KaTy Did...pffttt...

  7. Ever since my incident in Kansas trying to pass 2 semis and nearly becoming a road stain, I always remember about downshifting. I consciously ask myself, "Do I need power? Do I need to downshift???" I listen to my motor and if I'm struggling, I give her a bump down.

    With so much damn crap on my bike, the weight can often change the dynamic dramatically, so I have to rethink almost every ride. Riding without my gear is nothing like riding with my gear.

    Glad you figured it out. Now, figuring out how to be smarter than Dexter, therein lies the rub! HAHAHAHA!!


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