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.

CCjon

3 comments:

  1. Really nice photos. Especially the last one. Maybe it’s the subject. Glad to see the machine is on the road.

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    1. Thanks Richard, I hope you two are staying safe and away from strangers. Course you can't go home until Canada reopens their border, can you? Well, the lower 48 aren't so bad. You might even like summer down here.

      There, did it again. Posted a reply to you from Safari, Poof, gone! Reopened with Chrome, will try again.

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    2. Still using Safari n the iPad. We are still at Lake Texoma. They extended our stay until the end of the month for free. I’m not going to complain about that...

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