Monday, September 2, 2013

AZ 191 - Hannigan Meadow by sidecar - Day 1

No camping planned for this ride so we were able to pack pretty light. We were on the road by 8:30 Sat. morning. A beautiful morning and not a cloud to be seen. We headed south through the El Malpais Monument. The roadway follows an ancient lava flow for a number of miles.

Very interesting sandstone cliffs along the route in El Malpais.
                                               (left "click" on photos to enlarge)

Large Arch 

                                   Navigators view - between El Malpais and Quemado NM

Views through Darians' sidecar windscreen

Miles and miles of yellow sunflowers.  We saw probably less than 1/2 a dozen cars. 
Photo below was taken through the "smoked" sidecar windshield so the color is odd. 

The scenery changes as we entered the San Francisco Mountains.
Darian in her navigator / photographer position.

Great ride through the canyons.

We had a room reserved in Alpine but arrived there pretty early. Decided to run over the summit to Eager / Springerville AZ.

                                      Overlook between Alpine & Eager.

Down the grade into Eager / Springerville.
Typical afternoon "monsoon" in the background. 
We've been seeing spectacular storms nearly every afternoon. Witnessed a few small "flash flood" episodes since we've been down here. 

Spent the night at Alpine at the "Sportsmans Lodge". An old Motel but well kept. The owner is a BMW rider and had a couple bikes out front. We talked about his bikes for a while and discussed the route we were planning on taking the next day. We wandered down to a local "grill" and had steaks for dinner. A great day!
I peeked outside at about 11:00 PM and some guy had squeezed his 1 Ton Dodge Pickup in against the sidecar. I had a cover on it and the guy was less than 6" from the fender with his front right tire. It looked like he had hit it. I went out , uncovered the bike and moved it over a few feet. 

The pushrod tube seal leak required attention all weekend. I have been stuffing small chunks of cloth rag below the tube / lower frame to contain the oil seep so it doesn't end up all over the rear of the bike / tire. Had to swap out the small piece of rag every 80 - 100 miles or so as it would saturate. The engine lost nearly 1/2 quart of oil via the leak in the 550 miles we rode. No more road trips until I get the seals replaced. That task will have to wait until we get to Yuma AZ...probably in mid - late November. I'll remove the sidecar and give her a good "once over" which I like to do every so often. I also would like to get a steel pipe brace welded into the Earls Front end....whoever modified it years ago removed the steel pipe bracing section (interfered with the front engine cover) and did not reposition / weld it. I currently have an axle shaft in the extra Earls swingarm hole for additional bracing, but need to get a proper brace welded in. The tight corners / switchbacks we encountered this weekend reminded me that I need to do this. No issues, but that is a LOT of stress loading on the front end when in such terrain.I've been meaning to accomplish this for a couple years but have no "trusted" welder located...I'll have to work on that when we get to Yuma AZ.

Day 2 took us into some awesome riding country....I'll hopefully post "Day 2" later in the week or next weekend......gonna be a long, busy work week for us. Will be hitting the road by 4:30 AM for the next few days.


RichardM said...

Wonderful post. That is a huge tank on the tug, I went into your archives to read more about it. The stock 6 gal tank means that I'll need to carry a gas can on just about any road trip.

BMW HACKER said...

The tank is supposed to be 8.5 gallons but 7.5 - 8.0 is more realistic. I'm achieving 25 - 30 mpg depending on speed. I have an extra 1.25 gal. fuel container strapped to the sidecar step on trips like this. Towns are very small and I wasn't sure how many gas stations would be open. As it was, no problem, but after 80 - 100 miles I refuel if I can.
One year I got caught in the Mohave Desert when the only gas station for 80 miles was closed....ended up buying gas off some construction workers to get to Baker CA.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.