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Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure
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Posted 6/23/2011 11:47 AM (#58615)
Subject: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
After many years of lusting after sidecars, last fall I came across this in the ADVrider flea market and well the rest is history.

It is a 2000 Sportster with a Liberty sidecar.

Liberty designed the "Sport" just for the Sportster but it never really took off.

It's too bad because it is a great combination. The mounts are made specifically for the Sportster and the lines are perfect for the bike. Over the winter I put about 5000 miles on the rig and took it places that well...shall we really wasn't designed to go.

Of course it took me lots of places it was designed to go as well.

This spring I invaded the ADVrider Old School Rally and let the folks at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground take it for a spin and put a smile on their faces.

The more I rode, the more I wanted a dual sport rig. I thought about having Claude Stanley at build me a sidecar for my Dakar but that posed a couple of problems. I like the Dakar like it is and I am pretty cheap. Building a sidecar from the ground up would be more than I wanted to spend.

And then this showed up on E-bay.


It is a 2006 KLR with a Sputnik Sidecar. It is the perfect mix of out of date Japanese motorcycle technology coupled with an out of business Russian sidecar. Throw in some American ingenuity, camo wrap, 1000 miles between the rig and home, a one way plane ticket and the stage is set for adventure.

What could possibly go wrong?

Did I mention the owner put the sidecar on the KLR for his wife so she could ride? She rode it one time and experienced some steering head shake and said never again. The bike has 1800 miles and the sidecar 100.

If I can't get this sorted it is going to be a loooooooong trip home.
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Posted 6/23/2011 11:55 AM (#58616 - in reply to #58615)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
So in true KLR fashion the trip planning has begun.

I have my tool kit.

A map from 2003

An early model GPS.

And a milk crate.

I was going to pack it as a carry on but I figured those nice folks at the TSA give you your own tote when you are headed for the plane now, so I guess I will have to make do.

I wonder if they will let me have an extra one so I can make a top box out of them?

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Posted 6/23/2011 12:06 PM (#58618 - in reply to #58616)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
I made it home. Pushed hard to get home on the last day.

I had one Hell of a trip and a Double Hell of a story to tell.

It involves smoked bearings, cracked hubs, phone calls to people I have never met other than online, JB Weld and lots of hours in the saddle.....

For now this is all I have to say.

Georgia BBQ

Texas BBQ

Any questions?
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Posted 6/23/2011 12:10 PM (#58619 - in reply to #58618)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
The plan was a simple one. Ride the Dakar to Asheville, NC. Leave it at the inlaws house and have them take me to the airport, fly to Killeen, TX, get a hotel, pick up sidecar rig in Texas, ride home, then go to Asheville in the next couple of weeks and retreive the Dakar.

Simple right? :rofl

First step was....gas to get to Asheville. Over in the corner of the lot was a mixed riding group. Which one of these things is not like the other?

It was a reminder for me to keep my head in check and not do anything stupid on the way home. I had pretty reasonable expectations of covering 350 miles per day and could add in an extra day or so if needed. I have always felt that many poor decisions start with some sort of perceived scheduling deadline. If you keep your options open and your mind clear, the stress is reduced and many paths open for you.

I didn't want to pack twice so I strapped the suitcase on the top of the side cases and wore my carry on bag. The weight distribution was high but I was running the easy way to Asheville, no problem. From Clayton, GA to Asheville NC is only about 100 miles and we make the trip fairly often. The DirtDabber route usually takes about 5 hours. :lol3 Today, I took the "DirtDabber Wife" route.

I had packed my rain gear in an inaccessible location the bottom of the suitcase, just in case I needed it.

About 20 minutes from Asheville there was a large thunderhead looming just to the North of my route but it looked like I would slide just past it.

Make that almost slide just past it, The rain wasn't heavy but it was some of the largest drops I have ever seen. I had brought a MX helmet for the trip thinking it would be cooler.

I took a large drop square on the end of the nose and tucked behind the screen till I cleared the storm.

Five miles from the in laws, I stopped at a red light and the overheat light came on. :huh

Over the last few months I had noticed a little weep around the radiator housing where it attaches to the core. A new radiator is $380 and I have just been riding the BMW locally and watching the level. It had not gone down any so I wasn't too worried. I guess a couple hours at highway speed was enough to boil some of the coolant off and when I stopped at the red light the indicator came on. No problem, I will deal with this issue when I get home.

Had a snack and checked out the new handrails they had just installed on the back deck at the in-laws and then headed for the airport.

But first I need to thank one of the sponsors of my trip. Whitney Smeed of the Cheer Factory All Stars. Your kind donation to Goodwill helped made this trip possible.

The flight to Killeen was uneventful. I did have a two and a half hour layover so I goofed off on ADVrider and read a book. Starbucks was closed for the day which was a real bummer. :lol3

Killeen Texas.

I always do my part to make sure the TSA employees have a job. I wonder if it was the toolkit, spare parts, or camping gear this time.

I had tried to find a cheap room but all the cheap hotels required a $25 cab ride from the airport. I got a good rate with shuttle and sit down breakfast at the Shilo Inn.

It was the overall cheapest option, other than sleeping at the airport. :evil

The bar had already closed so they gave me a coupon for a free beer at the bar for the next day....after I was gone. :bluduh

Who says KLR riders aren't generous. I handed it off to a guy in a business suit in the lobby the next morning that looked like he could use it.

Had a great breakfast and on the way back to the room I really, really had to resist the temptation here.

Touched base with the bike owner and then it was game on..... :clap
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Posted 6/23/2011 12:14 PM (#58620 - in reply to #58619)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
We traded cash for keys and a title and then I set out to figure out the new ride.

Now the previous owner, I'll call him David, because, well because that's his name. Anyway, David bought the KLR for his girlfriend at the time to try and get her to ride. Well it did not work out, the riding part that is, so he decided to marry her anyway and get a sidecar for the KLR. Turns out she liked that even less than a KLR on it's own so David was the one that was stuck riding it. He has an 1100GS which although not as nice or practical as a KLR with a side car is a good bike nonetheless.

So the bike was set up for David at 240 lbs with an empty sidecar and I am 160 with 75 lbs of tools and gear in the car. I had planned to have to do some adjustments to get everything to ride right. The steering shake that I had planned on resolving first turned out to be a non-issue with gear in the sidecar. What became the bigger issue was the leanout. With a sidecar the bike needs to lean away from the sidecar to accommodate for the crown in the road. This lets the bike pretty much be verticle while the sidecar is in the same plane as the road. The shock was set on it's minimum level so I assume David squatted it down pretty well and it rode just fine. With me it pulled hard to the right. I spent the morning heading on whichever roads took me North or East since nothing went Northeast, taking pictures, and trying to adjust the leanout where the bike would track correctly.

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Posted 6/23/2011 12:20 PM (#58621 - in reply to #58620)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
I did not have Texas maps loaded in the GPS. Since it is a small state and I was only crossing half of it I just didn't see the purpose in it. However when you navigate this way you do tend to run into obstacles.

It turned into a great side trip getting around the lake and I got to play around on the dirt roads.

It was hot, I was hungry and thirsty and decided to look for some BBQ for lunch. I keep an eye out as I move from town to town looking for something that catches my eye. Usually the best places are not much to look at but there are usually quite a few cars out front.

I found a spot that fit the bill.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

I tried to stay off the numbered highways and stuck to the farm roads as much as possible. Farm to market roads is what they are called.

Either the soil is very soft or they get a lot of wind here.

I stopped and adjusted the turnbuckles a few more times, each time going 10 threads beyond where I needed to be before returning just to make sure I had enough threads left for strength.

It is deceiving looking at the pictures how everything is adjusted because there is so much squat in the suspension, but clearly it still needed more adjustment.

I rolled into the next town and decided to stop at the Honda dealer and score a rear tire since I had question if it would make it all the way home. It only had 1800 miles on it and looked to be in good shape but I never have had much luck with tires lasting on KLRs. The Honda shop didn't have a tire but they were super nice and every employee there had to come check out the rig.

I decided to stop at the Yamamaha/Suzuki/Polaris/Can Am dealer to check as well and they were about as helpful as a honey badger. They did have a showroom full of bling though.

As I headed out of town the Temp at the bank said 104. I decided right then I was done working on the bike for the day.

I had about a week to do some research between my winning bid on e-bay and the day I could get economy rate airfare so I asked some questions about KLRs and sidecars, specifically Sputniks.

Jay at DMC sidecars offered his advice.

[QUOTE=jaydmc;16067421]Changing the toe as little as an 1/8 inch either way can make a big difference. Make sure that the wheel is "round" on the sidecar, While the Sputnik sidecar is a great sidecar for the money, the wheel was/is not. The spokes on this wheel have cut threads rather then rolled treads and as such when you go to tighten them, they strip easy. Also make sure that the sidecar does not have Russian wheel bearings in it still, They tend to fail at speed. If this is a Sputnik that was sold by Dauntless Motors up until the middle of 1999 they went out with Russian bearings, after that either replacement bearings were installed or at least supplied.
Jay G
DMC sidecars.

When I picked up the rig I asked David about the bearings and he wasn't sure so I kept it in the back of my mind that I might be running on Russian bearings. I felt fairly confident that things would have been sorted since this rig would have been purchased after the bike and the bike was a 2006.

I was 300 miles into the trip and running the farm to market roads towards Cooper Lake State Park with a goal of crossing into Oklahoma and camping around Broken Bow.


Chirp Chirp

Chirp Chirp Chirp

Chirp Screeeeee Chirp



Only I didn't say "Fudge." I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!

Luckily the State of Texas saw fit to put a roadside picnic area with shade at that exact spot along the roadside.

Edited by DirtDabber 6/23/2011 12:23 PM
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Posted 6/23/2011 12:29 PM (#58622 - in reply to #58621)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
Now would have been a good time to have Texas maps loaded in the GPS.

Come to think of it I probably should have pulled the trigger on the AAA motorcycle plan I looked at earlier in the week. :lol3

I pulled out the paper maps and between Garmin having the standard state roads and the paper maps showing city size with various font and dot sizes I made a decision to head toward Commerce TX.

The bearings had not completely seized, but they were smoking when I stopped. I took the chance that there was still a little grease in there and kept my speed around 25 mph for the 15 mile trip to Commerce.

Found an O'riley's Auto Parts and as typical with most chains the service is hit or miss.

The kid behind the counter knew how to look stuff up on the computer but he had a blank stare when I told him "I don't think you will find this on there"

It obviously didn't register because he asked again what they go on with his hand resting on the mouse eagerly awaiting clicking the correct box on the computer screen.

Wheel bearing for a Sputnik side car.


Can you try and cross reference the bearing number?

I think so.
Click, click, click It doesn't show anything.
What's that number?

It's Russian.


A customer in the store pipes in that I should have bought American, I smiled and told him my other bike was a Harley and it had an American sidecar. That and the camo wrap seemed to be enough for him and he offered to help. :lol3

I was hesitant to pull the bearings from the hub because at that point I was committed to the repair, whether I had parts or not.

I bought a pair of snap ring pliers and a center punch and went to work.

Yes, that is my helmet being used as a jack. :deal

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Posted 6/23/2011 12:33 PM (#58623 - in reply to #58622)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24

The eyelet just broke off the outer snap ring.

Between using one side of the snap ring pliers a screwdriver and a pair of needlenose pliers I was able to get it out and then hammer the bearing out. I was committed at this point. If they could not match the bearings then I was stuck.......

I got the hub side bearing out and noticed the inner snap ring was snapped in half and loose in the hub. It also looked like the bearing had shifted a little, since there were a few aluminum shavings in the hub as well. I also noticed some stress cracks in the aluminum hub. :huh I went back and looked at the picture I took at the picnic area to see if they were there then or if I had just destroyed the hub trying to get to Commerce. The pictures showed the cracks but didn't solve the problem of how to get home....

One problem at a time, first I need to get some bearings.

The other employee in the store had been down this road before and knew how to use a set of calipers as well. He probably had a little more motivation as well since if he could not match the bearings then I was going to have to camp out in their parking lot. :evil

They only had one bearing in stock but we were able to cross reference that bearing and find another that would work. The only problem is they did not have snap rings.

I installed the one snap ring with the broken eyelet. That would at least keep the hub from creeping into the backing plate and destroying itself. I would have to monitor the creep from the other direction by counting threads on the hub. Even though the wheel was bolted on, any bearing creep would still result in the loss of the wheel.

I headed out towards Oklahoma, I was done with Texas.

Now I probably should have gone back towards Cooper Lake State Park where I knew there was camping but there was still an hour of light left and I thought I may be able to find something around the Red River. As I crossed into Oklahoma there was a Choctaw Indian store just over the border. I went in, looked at the discounted deli items and decided to just have a V8 and ask someone about camping.

Not sure what the time was but it had gotten dark on me. Keeping my speed down and monitoring my unkempt bearing had taken more time than I thought it would.

The previous night I had not slept well in anticipation of the trip. I had bought a bike, done numerous adjustments, one substantial repair, and traveled 360 miles for the day. I was hot. It had been a long day.

Most of the locals seemed rather reserved and I did not feel like they would give good advice based on the looks I had been given. There were a couple of guys getting "another" 18 pack of Bud Light and seemed loose enough that I would get some advice, good or otherwise.

Hey Tommy this guy needs a place to camp.

Tommy starts rattling off directions to different RV parks in the area faster than I could comprehend the directions. The only bearing I had was that I knew I left Texas when I crossed the Red River and I was now in Oklahoma.

I explained that I did not need an RV park just forest land where I could throw out a sleeping bag and go to sleep. Tommy said, "In that case you can stay in my yard." Sid offers up that the fire should still be going.

I glanced down at the 18 pack of Bud Light and realized my day was far from over.
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Posted 6/23/2011 12:42 PM (#58624 - in reply to #58623)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
Tommy said just follow that white truck with a trailer and he and Sid went out to bed down their purchase in ice.

Tommy's wife was at the wheel of the truck, there was a teenage boy in the back seat and two younger kids in the bed. The trailer was loaded down with toolboxes and various construction equipment. The cooler was loaded down with Bud Light. Tommy and Sid were just loaded. They got in the truck and off we went.

Up to now I had been keeping my speeds low, mindful of a cracked hub and missing snap ring. However I found myself now running a very brisk pace trying to keep up with Tommy's wife. Luckily the roads were straight and there were only a couple of turns so I was able to keep her in sight. About 10 minutes later we were outside their home near Idabel OK.

We were greeted at the gate by two horses, two hound dogs, two cattle dogs, a couple of mutts, and a donkey. The teenage boy held the gate open and the animals at bay as we slipped into the driveway.

Tommy sat down on the tailgate of the truck next to the cooler and I hopped up on a toolbox on the trailer.

Want a beer?

No thanks, I am just going to drink some water.

Here have a water then.

Tommy was in his mid 40's, roundish, and loved to talk. He told me he sealed driveways and bought and sold stuff for a living, I got the impression it did not matter what, as long as he could make a llittle bit off of it he would buy it, sell it, or trade it. He picked my brain as to the value of a Sportster that someone wanted to trade him for a tractor that he had $1200 in. He thought it might be easier to sell the bike.

Sid came by to get a beer and said. We should have bought those chairs then you would have a place to sit. Tommy agreed and offered they probably could have gotten them for fifty cents a piece.

Tommy reached into the cooler. Here have a beer.

This time I accepted.

I told Tommy I was a paint contractor and he said he had a contact with Wal Mart and could probably get me some work. I told him thanks but it wasn't the type of work that we did. I said I didn't want to grow, I preferred being small and focusing on giving the best service to the clients I had. It has worked for us and I was able to make it through the recession without having any layoffs.

Tommy agreed and said that was a really good plan. The lawyer he had for his first couple DUIs was really good and got him off with just a fine. When he got the last DUI his lawyer had gotten too busy and he had to do 120 days. Now his wife drives him everywhere.

Here, have another beer.

No thanks Tommy, I'm good.

The evening continued this way. Tommy telling stories and making sure the hinge on the cooler still worked. Sid was busy setting up the smoker and getting wood ready to put on a brisket.

They were polishing off three Bud Lights to every one I downed and soon Tommy realized he needed to send his wife out for another 12 pack. Sid had the fire going again and a couple more teenage boys stopped in to see Tommy's son.

I saw this as a good jumping off point and pointed the rig toward a corner of the yard where hopefully I would not get stepped on by a horse in the middle of the night. The coyotes were out and about. They would howl, which would set off the mutts, then the cattle dogs, then the hounds, at which point the donkey would jump in and bray until everyone else shut up. Tommy offered up that if I stuck around in the morning they would have a big breakfast. I couldn't imagine that happening before 10 or 11 so I said my thank you's and good byes, put in my ear plugs and headed off to bed.

I was up at 6:30

Apparently there was only one survivor for the evening.

I loaded the bike and headed toward Idabel in search of a circlip.

Edited by DirtDabber 6/23/2011 7:08 PM
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Posted 6/23/2011 2:48 PM (#58626 - in reply to #58624)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
Found a Mom and Pop auto parts store in Idabel, purchased two circlips and headed off toward Broken Bow.

The road changed from straight to gentle sweepers so I found some shade and got to work.

I was releived to see the new bearing was right where it was supposed to be.

More Better.

I cleaned up the debris left over from when the old bearing had shifted and allowed the hub to contact the backing plate at some point.

And then set up the truing stand to true the wheel.

A couple on a trike stopped by to check on me and make sure I was OK. We talked for a few minutes. They had ridden up from the Waco area yesterday and stayed in a hotel.

I think my day was slightly more interesting.

With the current repair out of the way, I headed Northeast toward Arkansas as I contemplated what to do about the hub.

My original plan was to head to the Oark General Store and have a cheeseburger and a piece of pie. I continued in that general direction knowing that I had seen several ADVriders post up in the Ozarks thread and I could ask for some help if needed.

I kept the speed low and stopped at a couple more bike shops looking for a tire and options for a sidecar wheel. Talked racing at one of the shops along the way. There were some posters and trophies from Europe from the 60's. Turns out the owners dad knew my old boss Bryan Kinney who raced in Europe and then came to the US and won the open class in the first Daytona Supercross in 1971.

The trip shifted focus at this point, the cheeseburger would have to wait. I needed a plan to get home.
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Posted 6/23/2011 2:52 PM (#58627 - in reply to #58626)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
So, I had added 4" in length to the turnbuckles adjusting the leanout and the bike needed to go more. You could see it standing behind the bike. Problem was I was at the limit of comfortable adjustment allowing for enough threads to hold things together. If I rode on the wrong side of a dirt road the bike tracked perfectly, but that wasn't a viable option either. I could pull the chair and set everything up from scratch but it was easier to just counter-steer.......for hours at a time. :bluduh

The real issue was the hub. I had no idea how long the stress cracks had been there. I had no idea if they would get worse. I had no idea if the wheel would stay together for the trip.

I did feel that keeping the speed low would reduce the stress on the hub but I was still over 1000 miles from home and I needed to get somewhere that had options. I was just about to enter Arkansas and although moving further North would get me closer to possible help it would not get me closer to home. I needed to go East. :deal

Who the hell lives in the middle of friggin Arkansas?

I logged into ADVrider and sent Tinks a PM

I wrote that I needed a place to stay for the night and possibly leave the sidecar till I could sort the wheel issue.

My thinking was remove the sidecar from the bike, ride home, come back with new wheel, install sidecar, finish trip.

I put the phone in my pocket and headed towards Conway.

Next gas stop I checked messages, I had two missed calls, a voice mail, and a text. :clap

I called Tinks back and assured her that I thought I could make it there without a tow but I still had 120 miles to go and I could only run 45 mph. I had a place to stay and options for the bike.

It was time to make the best of the next three hours.

Three hours gives you a lot of time to think about how things work. Not that you are accurate in your assessment or anything, but it gives you time to think nonetheless......

The hub was built with a metal hub riveted to an aluminum hub. The aluminum hub had splines on the outside that ran from the hub outward and gave strength to the wheel. The inner hub served as a brake drum. I could use that space......

Now we joke about baling wire, duck tape and milk crates but sometimes you just have to make a plan and go with it. I stopped at the hardware store picked up some supplies and gave Tinks a call. Julie met me in the parking lot, parked behind me and immediately said. You need a new rear tire.

Yeah, well I have kind of known that for the last 750 miles or so but that is not my biggest issue right now. Within a flash she was on the phone at 6 pm on a Saturday and had a tire reserved for pickup on Sunday. :huh I had been turned away either by phone or in person at over 10 dealers over the last two days.

With the tire issue sorted It was time to hatch my plan......
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Posted 6/23/2011 2:56 PM (#58628 - in reply to #58627)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
I had traveled another 340 miles for the day at speeds hovering around 45 mph. The good thing was I never rolled off the throttle as I moved from town to town. But it was another hot day, hovering right around the hundred degree mark.

Julie gave me the grand tour of the house, told me I was now family and not to expect special treatment. :D

I took a shower, changed clothes and went out to play MacGyver.

Now it could have been the heat, or dehydration, or lack of sleep but for some reason I thought that this just might work.

The plan was simple.

Cut expanded metal to fit inside brake drum.

Add JB Weld.

OK, add a lot more JB Weld

Strip brake backing plate.

Install specially modified Sputnik JBWeld 5000 wheel.

This good wheel

Strong like Ox

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Posted 6/23/2011 3:00 PM (#58629 - in reply to #58628)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
Now Julie's husband Scott (Scoon66) had his own plan......

He had an 04 KLR that he was pulling some of the farkles off of to sell. Somehow in all the confusion his parts got mixed up with my parts and his bags accidentally got installed on my bike. It wasn't entirely my fault because he had the fasteners snugged down and ready to torque before I noticed. Rather than create an uncomfortable situation I went ahead and sent him a paypal just to smooth things over. :lol3

Julie and Scott along with their roommate Ryan and daughter Autumn were great hosts. I don't know how to express what my stay at your home meant other than to say it was an oasis. Thank you.

Got the required shot with Tinks.

We were watching racing, I swear, really, it was just a commercial. :lol3

I hung out as long as I could to eek out a free sandwich for lunch and then headed down to Little Rock to get a new rear tire.

Ryan works at Cycle gear and had put me a rear tire on hold. I went ahead and sprung for the matching set since the front was showing the stress of constant counter steering.

I guess the twisted throttle stickers don't really work with the bike anymore. :lol3

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Posted 6/23/2011 3:04 PM (#58630 - in reply to #58629)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
I headed East. I had 750 miles to go and was burning daylight.

As usual I got bored with the road I was on and started wandering. The wheel was doing great and I felt comfortable enough with it to get back on some dirt. At least until I got within 85 miles of the Mississippi. :lol3

I did some more exploring, some back tracking, some re routing, but in general I just enjoyed the day. The plan was to get through Memphis and find a state park to camp. But looking at the time I needed to make an adjustment.

I sent a text to my friend Red Bud to let him know I was coming through Memphis. Got a reply back - Come on. :clap

Mark had to miss the Old's Cool Spring Rally and I had to miss the Eastern Rendezvous, so it was going to be good to stop in and see him.

Now there is something about Mark that the KLR rider in me likes.

Mark was working on his R90 trying to change out the farfenhickey or something like that.

Anyway, it is not often somebody hands me a Fat Tire Ale and lets me beat on their BMW with a hammer but I had a great time.

Hmmmmm maybe that was a little toooo much force after all.

There, good as new.

Red Bud was off to work at 0 dark thirty and I spent a little time getting things organized and then headed East. By now they had figured out I wasn't at work and I decided to make the push for home.

Originally I had planned on heading to Telllico Plains and riding the Cherohala Skyway and then some of my favorite back roads home.

So I left Red Bud a thank you note where I thought he would find it.

And set my course for the day.

Of course I did not stay on route very long. :lol3

An odd combination.

Every town seemed to have something like this.

As the morning waned I started looking for options for lunch.

But it was still early and once again I found myself heading in a different direction.

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Posted 6/23/2011 3:08 PM (#58631 - in reply to #58630)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
I was heading South on the Trace, well more Southwest than South, and was seeing more and more damage from the recent storms. I decided I needed to find a road that headed East.

The parkway delivered.

I had no idea where I was but the compass said I was headed East and that was good enough.

Eventually I started thinking about food again but by now it was after one and I needed to make a plan or I would be stuck eating fast food.

I found a no-name diner in a no-name town. The lunch rush was over but the staff was still pumped full of adrenalin from trying to feed the whole town in an hour. The waitress kept my tea glass filled but for the most part I was invisible. I sat back read my maps and watched the staff. It was like a mixture of Cheers and Gilligan's Island

I fueled the bike and headed out.

As I got further East the draw of the Appalachian mountains and home became stronger and stronger.

Sewanee, TN

TVA on the Ocoee.

You know you are deep in the south when.....

Almost home.

Tired, but home. Almost 500 miles for the day.

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Posted 6/23/2011 3:13 PM (#58632 - in reply to #58631)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 24
Time to get rid of the wonky.

Even after all the adjustments the bike still leaned the wrong way. It was easy to go around right hand sweepers though.

Step 1. Start over.

I didn't like how the mounts were set up. If you notice the front lower mount is more vertical and closer to the frame while the rear mount is more horizontal and at the very end of its adjustment. This allowed for a lot of twist in the sidecar frame and put more stress on the upper mounts.

The front upper mount was missing a brace as well. This allowed the arm to move up and down and the rear upper mount was taking a higher stress load.

This is going to be a lot easier without the tub.

Looking better already.

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Posted 6/24/2011 12:29 AM (#58637 - in reply to #58632)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 1699
Location: Summer Grove, LA USA
Thanks for the ride report & pics. That was a great journey. I hope you get the rig set-up properly and working well. Please keep us informed of your progress.
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Posted 7/9/2011 7:30 PM (#58929 - in reply to #58615)
Subject: RE: Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Posts: 65
Location: Huntsville
Dirt Dabber,

Wow...just read your post. Um...doing the Heintooga was a good recommendation....but remind me not to go on a trip with you.

Just kidding. Wow....just wow. I'm glad you made it back in and hope things are sorted out now. What a trip. The KLR looks great with those hard bags and matching sidecar. Kudos to you for persevering. That's too bad Liberty dropped the Sportster sidecar. It looks great too. Think it would fit on a 1200 Sporty? I keep reading that the 883s are better for sidecar duty and that's unfortunate as the 1200 is paid for. Paid for is always nice.

Thanks for the wonderful photos and time taken to post your odessy. I'm new to posting pics and after getting bumped off or messages about files being to large etc, I appreciate the time involed in getting so many photos up.

Columbus, GA
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