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Dinero 07-06-2015 03:02 PM

Hack Ride Report
 
The first night I just took it around a couple of blocks with the Electrical Engineer along as a passenger to see what it would feel like. Except for that first truck parked across the street, we didn't have any problem. It quickly became apparent that you don't lean, you steer.

I next rode down to the closed grocery store (HEB for you History buffs) and commenced to ride some circles and figure eights etc. Tonya and Cowboy wanted a hamburger so we all rode to most every place in Belton but everything was closed up due to the Fourth of July.

Sunday I started out by heading to the parking lot again for some practice exercises and then I hit the road for some practical experience.

You can't steer any other way than by manual steering. All the leaning you want to do just looks a little silly and putting my foot down at stops would get me to laughing at myself. The toe setting seems to be perfect. On a straight level section of road, I could almost let go of the handlebars and it just kept going straight. There is virtually no low speed wobble that I read so much about with sidecars. There is no pull in either direction. Steering is obviously more work and it seems that left hand turns are much easier than right hand turns. I'm not convinced that it is the bike. It may well be me. I'Íl have to ride it several hundred miles before I make that decision.

The overall ride is pleasant with one exception. I went over a multiple railroad track crossing and with three wheels in different places, it can be very jumpy/bumpy.

During that first day's ride I intentionally went looking for several roads that I am totally familiar with. One in particular has a stretch of potholes and torn up blacktop and is rougher than a cob. You ride it real slow no matter what you are riding. Once again the placement of the three wheels causes the bike to jump around and requires a good amount of strong arm steering. I spent most of the day riding only a hundred miles. I took plenty of breaks and drank plenty of water and came home and watched the World Cup soccer game. The crown of the roads and the slope of the roads is real noticeable due to an almost immediate pull and anytime you accelerate, shift gears, decelerate or put on the brakes, the drag or inertia of the car pulls or pushes you. It really didn't seem to take me too long to adjust and start steering into the affect each time. I also noticed just how much these various roads slope and crown. The oddest thing is how the slope reversed itself as quickly as some of these roads do. I guess 50+ years on two wheels had me countering subconsciously and I just didn't notice. Now every change is immediately noticed.

My fuel mileage went from about 40 mpg to 30 mpg that first day. I am riding almost always one gear lower and 500 rpms faster dealing with the drag and weight. Today, with a little more thoughtful and smooth use of the throttle I got 37 mpg and I was thrilled with that. Today was a lot more real riding and less parking lot. I still managed to put my foot down at one stop sign. But I'm learning.

By next weekend I should be able to go on a real ride with a couple of other bikes but I am running much slower right now. On a good road I was real comfortable at 60 to 65 mph. I did sneak up to 75 mph for a short distance and it didn't feel bad at all but I don't have enough faith in my riding ability (read panic situation) to ride at that speed right now.

Today I did notice that my turns and curves are already getting faster. I am comfortable going to the left but right turns and tight right curves stress me out waiting for the inevitable wheel lift. And while I never did fly the car, I did manage to get the wheel up off of the ground once. Talk about a pucker factor and I thought my heart was going to pound out through my chest. I find that it is pretty hard to get that wheel up. In talking to Ricky about my driving habits and the fact that I am alone 99% of the time, we discussed putting a steel plate on the frame under the car for permanent ballast. He initially thought about 50 pounds and I wanted more. He ended up putting about a 105 pound piece of steel under there and coupled with the beefed up frame, it seems to work just fine. It is like carrying a small, cute, rider at all times and since that is unlikely to happen, the steel plate serves a useful purpose.

I took the time to check all (I hope) of the connections when I got home today and everything is still snug and tight. I am noticeably tired today after two days of riding and it is a strain on my shoulders and elbows, not to mention my death grip on the handlebars. That is probably one problem with my turns. Twisting the throttle with my tight grip as I make the turn creates some exciting affects at times but that will clear up with practice and experience. I may remove my throttle boss for a few weeks.

All in all it has been a fun couple of days and I am looking forward to riding myself back into riding shape and putting a lot more miles on.

Fe Butte 07-06-2015 03:15 PM

Sounds like a learning curve.


Maybe fill a blowup date with sand and sit her in the hack?

Any pointers from sidecar Doug?

MrSurly 07-06-2015 04:27 PM

Outstanding, Jim. I like the write up. Thorough and methodical, as expected.
I'm really pleased that you are diggin' it.

Also, have you tested the hack brake?

Turbo Turtle 07-06-2015 05:26 PM

Awesome first report Dinero. I expect this will keep you in the breeze for many more years! :bowdown:


BOB

stoney 07-06-2015 05:29 PM

Sounds like you're getting the hang of it...... it will keep getting easier!

orbit 07-06-2015 05:39 PM

So far so good!

DaSkip 07-06-2015 05:52 PM

This post makes me happy!

Bone Stockman 07-06-2015 06:06 PM

Great report. I've never ridden a hack, only a trike, and that scared the hell outta me.

Baby steps with it. You've got years of muscle memory to overcome.

Margarita 07-06-2015 08:15 PM

Quote:

On a good road I was real comfortable at 60 to 65 mph. I did sneak up to 75 mph for a short distance and it didn't feel bad at all but I don't have enough faith in my riding ability (read panic situation) to ride at that speed right now.
Finally- a Harley Maggie can keep up with.

She will be so pleased. :sofa:

Dinero 07-06-2015 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrSurly (Post 1454894)
Outstanding, Jim. I like the write up. Thorough and methodical, as expected.
I'm really pleased that you are diggin' it.

Also, have you tested the hack brake?

I'm saving that for a few days. Maybe a Thursday or Friday parking lot exercise.

Quote:

Originally Posted by stoney (Post 1454898)
Sounds like you're getting the hang of it...... it will keep getting easier!


I'm looking forward to it.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bone Stockman (Post 1454905)
Great report. I've never ridden a hack, only a trike, and that scared the hell outta me.

Baby steps with it. You've got years of muscle memory to overcome.


Exactly why I'm spending so much time in the parking lot and not doing any long runs.

Infidel! 07-06-2015 11:00 PM

Way to go Jim!

Glad you're digging it

Sidecar Doug 07-06-2015 11:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fe Butte (Post 1454890)
Sounds like a learning curve.


Maybe fill a blowup date with sand and sit her in the hack?

Any pointers from sidecar Doug?

From Dinero's ride report it sounds like the hack was set up right. Jim's doing good by learning how the bike with a sidecar handles lot differently than a traditional 2 wheeled motorcycle. Forget about counterstearing and leaning in turns. Adding some ballast (weight) in the sidecar will keep all 3 wheels on the ground in right turns. Left turns are more stable. Once you get the hang of it, you'll really have fun in the rain & when the roads are slick. :sidecardoug:

BillyB 07-07-2015 08:22 AM

Great ride report! Sounds like you are getting the hang of it Jim.

Harry The M 07-07-2015 08:39 AM

Well done Jim!!!!!!!

MegaGlide 07-07-2015 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaSkip (Post 1454902)
This post makes me happy!

This.


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