|Don't try this at home friends. I'm a trained professional. . .|
I managed to get every last bit of rubber off the pusher tire that came with my Ural Gear Up. Of course, I was only about two miles from home this afternoon when the death knell sounded. Pop! Wheeze! And it was down for the count.
OK I thought, I've got a spare. That's one of the good things about a Ural. Things aren't too bad. I remembered that getting the bike on the center stand is not fun. That's why I used to carry a small bottle jack in the trunk. Of course, when I sold my old 2003 Patrol a couple of years back, the bottle jack went along with it. Today it was the center stand and nothing but the center stand. I thought I was slick when I positioned the bike facing up an incline. It was still a grunt to roll it back on the center stand, but it was up.
I haven't changed a Ural tire in at least 4 years, so I had my first fit before I remembered that the special oil filter wrench is also the special rear axle nut wrench on the two wheel drive Ural bikes. It was a struggle to get the cotter pin out too of course. Then I rediscovered that the center stand is not high enough to be able to roll the tire out from under the fender. (Note to IMWA, the Ural Oracle, three words: Hinged rear fender. Come on, BMW did it in the 1930's. . .) So, unbelievably, the Gear Up's shovel saved me for a second time in the space of two weeks. I got to work chopping the hard dirt and rocks away from under the rear tire. If you ever wondered why they call these hills the "Rocky Mountains", I can tell you why. It took almost 15 minutes of chopping before I was able to squeeze the tire out. And Bob's your uncle! I thought. . .
|All dug out, nowhere yet to go. How do you like the fuzzy cell phone camera effects?|
Ah, fun and games. I spent the next few minutes trying to dig the center stand out in the hopes of popping it up. I even contemplated leaving the motor running, the bike in gear--in two wheel drive--and pulling on the front fender's grab bar. I figured that might possibly end nastily. I reconsidered. Brute force was obviously the answer, so a few more minutes of bouncing, and pulling, and grunting, basically left me breathless and no closer to home. Then salvation arrived in the guise of a local bicyclist who happened by and offered to help. With him pushing and me pulling we got it off the center stand and I was them able to power out of the little trench I had dug.
After a thanks from me, the cyclist went on his way and I pulled out onto the tarmac for those last few miles home. Holy Cow! I couldn't believe how the bike was handling. It became an entirely different beast with the change of the tire. The bike seemed to have a mind of its own! It didn't want to steer left, and was scary going right. I never experienced this on my old Patrol the many times I changed its tires. I even thought for a second that maybe my spare wheel didn't have any bearings in it and it was wobbling around. A quick look down showed a cleanly rotating tire. I checked the tire pressure and adjusted it to 40psi right after I mounted it on the bike. The old flat pusher was a Duro, the spare tire a Uralshina. Different cross sections, but I didn't think it would make such a big difference.
I don't know what's going on there. For this evening, I've had enough bike wrestling. I'll look at it tomorrow. I guess my forlorn BMW F650 will get a ride tomorrow. It's been lonely since I brought the Ural home two weeks ago.
|Oh, if only those last few inches of rear fender were somehow removable. . .|