ACHTUNG!!!

In interest of keeping this thread on track.
Advance to 8.20 for the item of interest.
:yikes: :er:

Got a kick out if that video. My Harley is a Dyna model and I can relate to all this guy made fun of. There is an easy fix for the Dyna "wobble" which entails mounting after market braces on the front and rear motor mounts. This fixes the motor laterally within the frame. No more lateral flexing when cornering. Would never ride another Dyna without these braces. Can't believe there were no class action suits against Harley for this design. The rear swing arm is not attached to the frame.:yikes: It is attached through the tranny which is hard bolted to the motor. Without the aforementioned bracing, you go around the corner with a rubber mounted engine, it is definitely unstable. Especially when the rubber in the mounts deteriorate from age. Many newbie Harley riders that buy used Dyna's have no clue about this serious design flaw or the related $400 "fix". You couple the rubber mounts deteriorating with piss poor stock shocks, they are death machines for sure. Mine now corners like on rails with these two issues fixed.
 
Got a kick out if that video. My Harley is a Dyna model and I can relate to all this guy made fun of. There is an easy fix for the Dyna "wobble" which entails mounting after market braces on the front and rear motor mounts. This fixes the motor laterally within the frame. No more lateral flexing when cornering. Would never ride another Dyna without these braces. Can't believe there were no class action suits against Harley for this design. The rear swing arm is not attached to the frame.:yikes: It is attached through the tranny which is hard bolted to the motor. Without the aforementioned bracing, you go around the corner with a rubber mounted engine, it is definitely unstable. Especially when the rubber in the mounts deteriorate from age. Many newbie Harley riders that buy used Dyna's have no clue about this serious design flaw or the related $400 "fix". You couple the rubber mounts deteriorating with piss poor stock shocks, they are death machines for sure. Mine now corners like on rails with these two issues fixed.

I had never heard of that issue until I watched that video, that was pretty scary!
 
I had never heard of that issue until I watched that video, that was pretty scary!

There are still a ton of Dyna fans out there. The original Dyna FXR is still coveted as being a great bike. The thing is, Harley could have easily resolved the issue by including hard-linked braces to front and rear mounts, but they cheaped out and simply have one top-motor link brace from the motor to frame. It can be adjusted to ensure alignment between front wheel/frame to rear wheel/swing arm. I would bet most Dyna's on the road are out of alignment which not only causes handling ussues but can wear and cup tires badly. Really like my Dyna, but it took several years before I even knew this issue was a thing to be concerned about.
 
...and now for the next chapter in the Saga of Gretel - a 1983 BMW R100RS after which I have lusted since I was a mere boy of 19 when this model was introduced in 1977 by "those other people" in Munich.

I ride with a group of guys from the central Ontario city of Peterborough (about 500 km northeast of me in Windsor) and I am the youngest by about 8 years. The group has a lot of fun; we don't ride for more than 90 minutes without a stop for a pee-pee (older guys ya' know) and we seldom do more than about 350-400 km/day (around 200-250 miles). We stay in reasonable hotels and do not eat at McDonalds, although Timmy's meals are typical - 'cause we are all Canadians. Each afternoon we dismount by about 3:30 PM and have a "healing circle" which involves adult beverages etc. and then we walk or cab (NEVER ride) to a decent restaurant and we turn-in by around 8:30-9:00 PM with a kickstands-up time of about 8:15 AM.

The group is known as the WKRMC (Walter's Kawartha Riders MC) - named after Walter, a retired bank executive and our Fearless Leader who rides a 2019 H-D Road Glide / King / Chromasaurus...something-or-other. The other guys on this trip were Paul (a retired General Electric nuclear engineer) on 2016 Honda F6B which is a GL1800 bagger, and my cousin Grant - a retired building contractor, riding a 2021 GL1800 Gold Wing - so I had, by far, the oldest and least sophisticated bike.

I have attached a couple of maps of Ontario so that interested readers can follow along. Ontario is a pretty big province (eg. it is about 800 km from Windsor in the extreme southwest to our national capital city of Ottawa near the eastern end of the southern part of the province). You will note that much of northern Ontario is only sparsely populated. About 90% of Canada's 34M inhabitants live within a 100 mile-wide strip north of the US border and about half that number (around 14 million) live in Ontario - the vast majority of whom are in the southern Ontario "band" between Windsor and Ottawa. Once you get north of that "band", the countryside really is beautiful, but it is mainly rocks and hills and trees - all the way north until people start using the Cyrillic alphabet.

Like many Canadians, I have travelled widely outside of our country but, sadly, I have never been north of say... Kapuskasing (oh, I'd love to hear people from abroad try to pronounce that town name) or Kenora. There are very few, if any, roads to places like Attawapiskat, Bearskin Lake or Fort Severn and travel up there is mainly by air or rail.

The northern highways are generally in good condition but there is nobody else around and the bush begins literally about 20-30' from each side of the road. Wildlife abounds and large animals such as deer and moose pose a serious hazard to travellers at night. The rule of thumb is that if you hit a deer, you will be injured and your bike wrecked - but if you hit a moose, you will be dead. European visitors often ask about wolves and bears - but they are rarely seen near roads and don't pose much of a concern unless they are startled, feel cornered or their young are nearby. If you want to see a bear - go to a garbage dump in any northern town - but stay in the car and keep the windows UP. Only total idiots would ever attempt to feed a bear. They are not meat-eaters, but they are big and strong, have sharp claws and teeth and can run much faster than any human. If you piss-off a bear, you will lose. Wolves...never seen one up close - they are generally shy and don't want human contact unless they are hungry and smell food waste or a small dog etc.

Here is a photo of the WKRMC beside Hwy. 17 - just south of North Bay in typical northern Ontario scenery (left to right: Walter, Paul and Grant). NOTE: Gretel is parked on the Brown aftermarket sidestand and it seems fine at this point in the trip (but, more about that later).
WKRMC-Aug-21-02.jpg


The WKRMC Summer 2021 trip was basically from Peterborough north to New Liskeard (between Cobalt and Englehart) and then the plan was to go into Quebec to Val d'Or and then south to Mont Tremblant (a major skiing destination in the winter - near Mont Laurier) and then back to Peterborough via Ottawa. BTW - Peterborough is just north of Oshawa (not Ottawa) - just east of Toronto on the map. Aren't aboriginal Canadian names fun?
ontario-map.gif


The Trip
To beat some impending rain, I departed Windsor after lunch on Friday Aug. 6 and stayed with Marie, my #3 daughter and her guy Adam in Kitchener (about 275 km from Windsor) and then the next morning, I rode to my own hometown of Peterborough (about 240 km) - arriving in time for lunch and a bike-washing session. I stayed with Walter that night.

The WKRMC group left on Sunday morning (08/8/2021) and went east to Kaladar and turned north up Hwy. 41 past the big Bon Echo provincial park and campground and on to Pembroke (halfway between Ottawa and North Bay) where we grabbed a nice Best Western hotel and had a refreshing swim in the pool.

The next morning (Mon. Aug. 9) we rode up the Ottawa Valley past the little towns of Chalk River, Deep River and the big CF Base at Petawawa and on to New Liskeard. History buffs may recall the key roles played by the Chalk River Nuclear Labs in refining the uranium used in the two WW-II Manhattan Project bombs and the NPD (Nuclear Power Demonstrator) reactor - the first CANDU nuclear reactor to generate electrical power built near the little town of Rolphton in the early 1960s. Good ole' Hwy 17: a pretty historical road by any standard. That evening, we tried to get hotels in Val d'Or and Mont Tremblant - but August is holiday season in La Belle Province and there was NOTHING at all available in either town.

The next day (Tues. Aug. 10) it was p!ssing down rain and so we donned our rain gear and headed into Quebec with the goal of riding down the east shore of Lake Temiskaming and the Ottawa River and simply returning the the Best Western hotel in Pembroke. That went fine except for a 10km stretch of muddy highway construction just south of Notre Dame du Nord just over the Quebec border from New Liskeard. Sooo...we all got very wet and dirty - but hey, if you don't have a sense of humour about the weather, you shouldn't be a Canadian.

The next day (Wed. Aug. 11), we headed east through the nice little Ottawa Valley towns of Renfrew ("The 'frew") and Arnprior ("The 'prior") and I split off from the group to go see an old Ottawa friend who is terminally ill. The rest of the gang went cross-country to Cornwall down near the Quebec border (there is a nice hotel that we like there). As it happened, my buddy was too ill to see me - so I rejoined the group in Cornwall in time for the afternoon swim. It was nearly 38C that afternoon (that is more than 100 deg. F - not much by Mailman standards - but pretty danged hot for the rest of us) and very humid, so the swim was a welcome diversion.

After a fitful sleep in Cornwall, I got up at 2:00 AM (Holy Crap - shades of GLJ) on the morning of Thursday Aug. 12 and left alone for Windsor - a ride of just over 800 km (a tad under 500 miles). The forecast was for rain later in the day and so I figured that I might just make it home before getting wet(ter) than I already was. The other guys carried on snoring until they left for Peterborough at about 8:30 AM - by which time I was getting totally soaked just north of Oshawa (and boy, did I get wet). I finally pulled into Windsor at about 1300 (1:00 PM) by which time I was pretty-much dry again.

The long ride across southern Ontario was challenging and there was a lot of traffic around Toronto (basically the roughly 200 km between Oshawa and London) but the bike ran perfectly and I do enjoy the challenge of a long solo ride. Here is a close-up map of the major landmarks of our trip...
Ontario_close-up.jpg


At least it wasn't cold - in fact, the nighttime temperature seldom dipped below about 23C during the whole trip (that is about 73 deg. F for our American friends) and during the day it was upwards of 32C or 90+ deg. F, and even much higher on Wednesday and Thursday. So much for Canada being an Arctic wasteland all year-round....

....to be continued.....
 

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PART 2

So, how did my dear old Gretel do on the trip? She ran absolutely great - not a single hiccup despite very high temperatures, a fair bit of high-speed riding (120+ km/hr) and a good deal of rain. She burned NO oil at all and the electrical system was flawless. Perhaps the legend of BMW Airhead durability is accurate...

Now - for the issues that I did have (and there were two):
  • the aftermarket "Brown" sidestand mount bent which resulted in my having to use the stock BMW sidestand (truly one of the worst design features of any motorcycle I have ever seen). I really do not understand why the Brown sidestand bent: these things are very widely used by Airhead owners and AFAIK nobody has ever complained about them bending before.
Hmmmmm....anyhow, within 15 minutes of arriving in Windsor on Thursday afternoon, I took the stand off the bike and went directly to the university machine shop where I straightened it and welded on a reinforcing plate - and NOW it doesn't bend at all. My apologies to the artistes in the crowd for the rough appearance of the welded-on reinforcement. I was working against the clock because the shop was closing for holidays and I needed that thing to work again. Longer term, I will also do a mod on the stock BMW sidestand so that it isn't such a frickin' nightmare to use going forward;
wkrmc-aug-21-04_browns-sidestand_repair-jpg.196694

  • the other problem was less annoying, but every bit as disappointing: the nifty Honda GL1100 top-box that I mounted on Gretel got a bit loose and wobbly in the latter part of the trip.
The actual mount that I had fabricated with help from my buddy who did the 3-D printing of the little mounting brackets, worked perfectly - but the lightly-built BMW seat rack simply wasn't up to the rough Quebec construction zone roads. I do not have any photos (it was raining HARD) but I was able to secure it with bungees. The box itself was fine - it was the BMW rack that flexed more than I liked and so before it broke, I did the bungee thing and will be working on a Mk-II version that will be tied into the Krauser bag mounts as soon as I can.

Overall, I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed riding my "dream bike" more than 2600 km across the province in rain and shine, night and day - and mud...

Cheers,

Pete
 
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Sounds like you had a really nice trip Pete, and I very much enjoyed reading your travelogue ! Every old bike is a process of nailing down the details, all in all I’d say you had a very successful outing.
Are you happy and comfortable with the riding position and wind protection? I don’t have to ask about the smoothness! ;)
 
Thanks Bob!

Yup, the riding position is very “forward” and low (the BMW RS bars are quite narrow and nearly flat) - but I have gotten used to it. The wind protection is surprisingly good even though my head is several inches above the top of the little windscreen.

I have no trouble hearing my music or podcasts in my Cardo PackTalk earphones and overall, the ride is quite pleasant. You really don’t hear the engine at all except at low speeds/high RPM).

The big Airhead engine is not very powerful for a 1 litre unit (I think it is about 70 HP) but cruising at high speeds is quite effortless and as you say, very smooth. I had no trouble keeping up with the much more powerful Hondas on the trip.

Pete
 
PS: On the rainy days I got 22 km/litre (that is around 66 mile/Imperial gallon - which is 20% bigger than a US gallon I think) - waaaayyy better than the 45-50 mpIg I used to get on the Honda ST1300.
Thanks fer the travelog Pete!
K1200LT is pulling 50MPUSG at 60MPH even though it's nearing 100K on the clock. Much better than the Venture 1300's which typically got about 40MPG.
 
Thanks fer the travelog Pete!
K1200LT is pulling 50MPUSG at 60MPH even though it's nearing 100K on the clock. Much better than the Venture 1300's which typically got about 40MPG.

Yup, those big slow-reving twins do pretty well on fuel.
 
I am looking for angled valve stems that will fit on an inner tube Schraeder valve (the usual kind found on cars and bikes).

My dear old Gretel is a 1983 BMW R100RS and she still uses inner tubes - and the spacing of the cast wheel "spokes" is very tight for most air chucks.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an "inner tube" friendly 90 deg. valve stem extension? I have tried several that leak but I'd really prefer a set that do not leak ;).

Pete
 
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