Tuesday, May 5, 2020

More Photos from Iceland

Here are a few of the photos from the interior of Iceland,  well, not the interior interior, 
but away from the capital city Reykjavik. 

Cold, damp fog rolls in, as this photographer waits on the cold beach for that right moment to capture
 the fog shrouded "three elves" in the distance. 

Next day is bright and sunny.  
As clouds receded, exposing the peaks, captured this view of Rangárping Eystra.

Experimented with a panorama shot to capture all of the ice flow. 
Iceland's landscape is vast, frigid, empty...
 yet full of highlites, contrast and points of interest. You can be standing in dark shade while distant peaks are lite up in blinding sunshine. 

We explored an ice cave. Clamp on steel spikes on the boots to keep from slipping and 
a hard hat to protect your head when you do slip.

Down in the caves, captured Jean Pierre from France looking for a way up.

Thousands of pieces of ice wash ashore, slowly melting into the black sand, gives name to this spot... 
Diamond Beach.

Photographers from around the world trek here just to capture a shot of the morning sun's ray reflecting thru ice surrounded by sea foam.  
Often risking life and equipment to capture that perfect image.  

Me? I capture images of photographers working the sun, ice and cold. 

They will brave the coldest ice choked stream, looking for a better angle, wanting that perfect shot.

In pre-dawn light, climb high on a slippery ice slope...

Only to stare into the blinding sun... all to capture an award winning image.

Come night fall, we were all hoping for a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis.

On the final night in Iceland, the clouds cleared just long enough. 
Giving us a short opportunity to grab this...
 a 20 second exposure... twenty seconds is forever for a photograph. 

Iceland was a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit some fantastic photogenic locations.

Thanks for following along. 
Ride safe, stay safe, be healthy.


Sunday, May 3, 2020

Photos from Reykjavik

Seems life has been very busy lately, finally carved out a few moments to put a better edit on some of the Iceland photos. First from Reykjavick...

Dogs need walking too..

Fishing boats at dock...

Wandering around the docks, spotted this welder repairing a bulkhead hatch.

In English it's called the Solar Voyager, looking across the inlet of Reykjavik 
to distance snowy slopes.

From this angle, it appears to me that the vikings in the langskip, after a long sea voyage, 
stood up, yelled and cheered, celebrating the sighting of land.

For an artistic shot from downtown Reykjavik...    of all things, a gas station.

Next will post up photos from outside the capital city of Iceland,,, when I finish editing them. 


Friday, April 17, 2020

Project Warthog: Camper Opened

In response to a request to see the side camper opened, here are a few shots 
I took before the rains arrived.

Though the Rocket 3 is a huge heavy motorcycle, with the camper opened up,  it doesn't look so big.

A perfect camping spot: planes, trains and trucks within ear shot.... 
next to mosquito infested standing water in a ditch...
on top of clay dirt waiting to mix with the rain water tonight...
What's not to like?

Am not camping here, just a set up for the photos, then we move on.

The camper door has a small swing up table attached, just big enough for my laptop,  
or to set my coffee cup on in the morning.

The camper looks small for my height, but if I sleep diagonally, I don't touch the canvas at night. 

A new addition to the rig, the mascot...
leading the chase...

Ride safe, stay safe and healthy, y'all


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Project Warthog: Springtime, First Test Ride

Spring has been in the air for the last several weeks in South Texas. People are working from their homes, still out jogging, buying groceries and picking up drive-thru food in spite of the virus threat.

The crepe myrtles in our backyard are putting out new growth, yes, life goes on...
For those who are not familiar with crepe myrtle's, one cuts back the previous year's growth on St. Valentine's Day.  That promotes new growth with bright flowers and greenery for late spring and summer. In the fall the leaves turn a soft scarlet before dropping.

You can barely see it, but a spider has already started a web on the budding leaves.

Flowers are blooming...  three sisters here are sticking together

With Spring in the air, the Warthog is calling out, wanting to escape the Man Cave,  
stretch its legs for the first time.

So we snuck out of town to give the Warthog a shake down ride.  Dropping over to Bellville for a quick stop at the SFA statue, That's Stephen F. Austin for those northerners... Bellville is the county seat for Austin County, thus the statue.  

SFA is considered the Father of Texas. With his blessings, we moved on...

Soon found an unpaved county road, not much dust with the rain we've had. 
Weeds are green and high. Oak trees are putting out more leaves with... lots of yellow pollen to color cars or patio furniture left out at night. 
Asthma sufferers can tell you when the pollen count skyrockets around here. 

So how does the Warthog handle?     IT IS A HAND FULL !

 If this had been my first sidecar experience, I never would have continued on with them. Very unnerving, not like motorcycles at all. It shakes your thinking that you can handle one of these machines. The Warthog would be too nerve racking for a novice. Lucky for me, I started with a URAL sidecar many years ago, have worked my way up to this monster. 

Yes, there is that low speed, both hands on the handle bars, wobble... settles down around 40 and above... until you hit 68 - 72, then it gets lightheaded up front. Squirrelly, some would say.

Smooth and steady, one handed steering around 55 mph in fourth gear, 2500 rpm. Up shift to fifth gear, rpm's drop to 2000 and a slight lugging is felt. Down shift back to fourth, smooth once more.

The faster you ride (50 - 70 mph), the more you have to push on the right handlebar and pull on the left.  We're pushing a lot of air with that nose. Yet overall, the Warthog meets my expectations. 

Good news, Warthog averaged 25 mpg on this 130 mile loop ride. Better than expected. 

Still needs a few more tweaks and twists before any long trip; a highway peg for the left foot, a taller windshield, cruise control, steering dampener...


With the Warthog back resting in the Cave, I edited a new photo, called "Fresh Face". 
Young, bright, full of life, just like the rig, 
only much prettier.

The Warthog project continues, as does life.

Ride safe, stay healthy, cover your face and wash your hands.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Project Warthog: Getting Gas to Flow

With new fuel tank parts now in hand, we can continue the work on plumbing in the auxiliary fuel cell.

However while waiting for new tank parts, a discarded piece of aluminum diamond plate caught my eye,.... hmmm... odds and ends laying around and a cutter / grinder at hand makes for a dangerous situation.

Could not resist, made an elephant ear for the Warthog...? WHAT???   Now why would I do that??
Can you guess the purpose of the giant ear?

With new fuel tank parts in hand, now to figure out where to drill for the aux fuel line bulkhead fitting. After trying several different combinations and sizes, settle on this.

Note how bad the old plate was rusting and flaking. The tank itself is in great shape, no rust.

Dry fitted the 1/4" connection. Inside view. Can fit a socket or wrench on the nut to tighten.

Outside view of the barbed nipple with a rubber washer.

Started with the rubber washer but then remembering my experience with rubber and fuel in Canada causing leaking problems. Decided instead to go with JB Weld epoxy and a copper washer for a leak-proof stable seal.

Painted the epoxy in, under and between the inside fittings also.

Once the epoxy cured, added a length of fuel line with a quick disconnect fitting that extends past the edge of the main tank. Here it sticks out from under the tank.

Starting at the auxiliary fuel cell, first is a quick disconnect screwed into the tank,
 then the fuel line leading to...

...the inline fuel filter secured between the rear upper sidecar mount and the shock mount. Is not touching anything that might crack it. Wrapped the line clamps with electrical tape to cover sharp edges. Zip ties hold the line in place.

After experiencing getting bad gas on another ride, having an inline filter is very important. Plus having an easy way to clean or replace that filter without losing all of the fuel in the tank is critical.

Coming after the inline filter is the valve for turning the fuel flow on or off. This is a simple gravity feed flow, no need for a fuel pump. The Aux fuel cell sits higher than the main tank. Simplicity is best, easy to fix, can source replacement parts anywhere on the road. 

Oops, seems to be a gap between the shut off valve and the male quick disconnect fitting coming from the main tank.

Actually the gap is too small, as I need to fit a check valve and the female end of the quick disconnect in there.  Trimming back each of those two hoses should solve that.

The check valve allows fuel to flow to the main tank but does not allow fuel to flow the other way. 

That's where we are today. The Warthog project inches along each day, not all progress is dramatic or even visible. As long as I have the parts to work with, all is good. But the waiting for parts can get ugly, even produce elephant ears and all.

Oh, I can hear clearly now, the ra.........

The ear idea is to divert more air flow toward the exhaust headers on the right side of the engine. Have read of complaints from Rocket owners about the excess header heat burning holes in their rain gear. 

Next up is to mount the camper tub.

Stay tuned, riding weather is here. Am getting anxious to get the Warthog on the road.

Ride safe and far friends, cough in your elbow and wash your hands. 

Now... where can I mount a gallon bottle of sanitizer on the rig?


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Project Warthog: Two steps forward, one back

After competing all the welding work for the racks, we moved the Warthog off the trailer and started working under roof in the garage.

With the auxiliary fuel cell mounted, now to decide where to tap into the main tank for the fuel 
to gravity feed from the aux to the main tank. 

Why the aux fuel cell?  
All sidecar rigs are known to drink gasoline faster than two wheel motorcycles. Once this rig is loaded, I still have no idea how many miles per gallon to expect.

If you remember, the stretch of roadway from Coldfoot, Alaska to Prudhoe Bay is 245 miles with no services. Plus there is the strong possibility of headwinds causing even poorer gas mileage. I want to be carrying enough fuel for a 300 mile range. The main tank carries 6.3 gallons, the aux cell holds 5 gallons. If the Warthog can average better than 27 miles per gallon,  I will feel secure. 
Won't know mpg for sure until we get it built out and road tested. 

Look at those stout twin support tubes the engine hangs off of. 
Triumph knew what they were doing when they designed the Rocket III for strength and rigidity.

Draining fuel from the main tank was messy, even dangerous but neither I nor my friend Gary smoke... anymore. 

Finally opened the main tank only to find rust and metal flakes. Further investigation showed, thankfully, it was not the main tank at fault, but the mounts used to hold the fuel pump and filter in place.

Exactly where I had planned to drill a hole on the main plate for the aux fuel inlet was corroded. That would not give us a secure drip free fuel connection. So ordered the OEM plate and arm for the fuel pump and filter. To arrive in a couple of weeks.

Next had John Klien my welder/friend fabricate a mount for the left side pannier. Good solid steel. One thing we do not have to worry about with this build is weight. The Rocket has so much hauling capacity, we can go stout, weight be damned. 

Starting to look cluttered, messy, thus the name... WARTHOG.

The side pannier sticks out too far when working on the rig in the tight confines of the garage, 
so will wait until later to bolt on the pannier box.

Recycled the left heavy duty pannier from the Vstrom1000, kept the old stickers.

Stand by for a slight lull in the build, while we wait on several replacement parts to arrive.

Ride safe and far my friends,


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Project Warthog: The Rocket comes home...

The Texas Sidecar Company wrapped up their end of the project, time to bring the Warthog home to continue the work building my three wheeled adventure RV sidecamper.

The left side of the Rocket shows where the sub-frame is mounted in three spots: top, middle and lower. The latter two are bolted through the engine giving a very solid mount.

On the opposite side, the vertical upright is connected to the top cross over pipe, the middle engine bolt and to the lower subframe. Two upper struts branch off of the upright.

The two upper struts

The two lower struts are adjustable both horizontally and vertically.  The lower bolt was left long until we make the finally adjustments with the rig fully loaded. 

All of the upper and lower strut ends are double shear for strength. 
Texas Sidecar did a great job making this rig solid and stout. 
All in preparation for another ride from Key West, Florida to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Mounted the auto battery box, then wired in the Odyssey car battery to the Rocket.

Kept the weight of the car battery low and inline with the rear axle.

Next was to modify the rack for the top box and aux fuel cell. 
Cut and weld till everything fits.

The five gallon spun aluminum fuel cell has baffles inside to prevent fuel sloshing. The previous tank have an anti-slosh foam, which disintegrated in Canada by the fuel additives... ethanol?

The tank in mounted off center but inline with the center of the rear fender. 
Thinking is this might make a good spot to attach a backrest. 

The Warthog project will continue...

Ride safe my friends,