Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

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carrsgarage
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Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by carrsgarage » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:50 am

We took the Gear Up out to Colors in the Catskills this past weekend - a BMW sponsored dual sport rally of sorts - at Hunter Mountain Ski Resort. Part of the fun was an "intermediate" dual sport ride around town (pretty mild compared to some stuff I've ridden since getting my Ural) followed by a ride up the access road to the top of the ski slopes.

The Ural performed great on the seasonal access and logging roads, and even pretty darn well on the Bunny Slope portion of the ski slopes. Then, we turned a corner to start climbing to the peak and I was staring at the road going straight up thinking, "Hmm, this ought to be interesting."

That darn bike climbed most of the way up the hill without missing a beat. Unfortunately, the road has large deep ruts running across it to help with drainage - these proved less than desireable to the piloting of a Ural. One of them jostled me off the left footpeg and I was forced to pull off the road and resituate myself. I also decided that, after steering left, but going right for the last 150 yards, it was time to switch to 2WD to which my girlfriend in the hack responded, "You mean that WASN'T two wheel drive?"

So here's where the problem arose. Up until then I had been relying a lot on momentum to keep me going. I was in mostly first gear with some second gear thrown in on the milder climbs. This seemed a little low, but the revs weren't anything more than road speed in 3rd or 4th so I didn't worry. However, when I tried to take off from my mid-mountain stop, the thing would barely move. I had to stop again and make sure I was in first, which I was. Again, rev it up a little, disengage the clutch, give it some gas and the thing would roll, but slowly and the engine revs would not increase.

I decided that, since we were close enough to the top that turning around would be quitting PLUS I had just switched to 2WD, there was no way I wasn't reaching the summit. I revved up the engine pretty good and let out the clutch an off she went!

So my question is: Is this high-revving to start out on a hill normal? I know these things aren't known for their vivaciousness up a hill, but I figured I could at least crawl up it - I thought I was going to come to a dead stop! You can see my carb jetting in my signature. I'm also using a K&N filter in the stock airbox. As far as I know there are still cats living in the pipes, but I may have to evict them soon. Anything I can do to help this out? Not that I plan on climbing a lot of ski slopes, but you never know when the opportunity may arrise.

Oh, and the number of thumbs up we got at the top was more than worth it! The trip back down was cake on three wheels (a couple of the BMW guys fell over), and the ride home was effortless except for a flat tire change-out from a nail picked up on Main Street.

Thanks guys!
Last edited by carrsgarage on Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by edthetermite » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:58 am

You have to decide on two wheel drive BEFORE stopping on a steep hill. The Ural will really strain trying to get started again, especially w/ a hack passenger. On steep hills keep the revs HIGH, the motor won't mind and the tranny will be more than grateful. You can actually twist the sidecar driveshaft doing what you did if not careful. Live and learn.
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by Albuquralque » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:11 am

edthetermite wrote:You have to decide on two wheel drive BEFORE stopping on a steep hill. The Ural will really strain trying to get started again, especially w/ a hack passenger. On steep hills keep the revs HIGH, the motor won't mind and the tranny will be more than grateful. You can actually twist the sidecar driveshaft doing what you did if not careful. Live and learn.

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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by carrsgarage » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:29 am

Ah, well, now I know. It really seemed to love the revs, so that's where I'll keep it. (I thought I could make it all the way up in 1WD, too - guess my pride got in the way of good sense)

An unrelated question, should it be difficult to switch OUT of 2WD? I've noticed that every time I switch into 2WD it takes a little fiddling and maybe some pre-planning to get it to engage, but to disengage it is quite difficult. What's the trick?
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by Msblu79 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:32 am

Common concern among many of us, first gear isn't low enough, gotta plan ahead and keep the revs up and flip it into 2WD before you lose to much momentum. If you have to turn around mid-hill be sure to go right and keep the sidecar on the downhill side. Getting in -out of 2WD can be tricky, main thing is to relieve the pressure on the gears by letting off the throttle a bit and it will shift easier.
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by carrsgarage » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:55 am

So, then, I want to engage/disengage 2WD while moving? I was under the impression that I had to be stopped to keep from tearing the living crap out of things. Also, how do I work the throttle AND reach over to work the 2WD lever? I think maybe a tank shift is in my future.
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by Faultline » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:58 am

Cutting the handlebars slightly left-to-right will help de-couple the 2WD.
You can shift in and out of 2WD pretty easy on the fly, but I normally do it on a slow roll.

Since 100% of my off-roading is 2-up (thank you, Monkey!) in slick dust over hard pack , I almost always use 2wd.
Powerslide the corners, stab it and steer it.
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by carrsgarage » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:03 am

For your viewing pleasure. Pardon the crappy quality, the weather was nasty and my little monkey did the best she could from the sidecar while in mid-air.
332724_2558414039087_1216103609_3226179_388284802_o.jpg
337595_2558416999161_1216103609_3226180_1267087638_o.jpg
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by carrsgarage » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:05 am

Faultline - what gear are you in when you "stab it"? My attempts at this have been more like poking with a pudgy finger than stabbing - not a whole lot of throttle response when trying to spin the rear wheel - seems to bog.
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by Niteblues » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:09 am

carrsgarage wrote:So, then, I want to engage/disengage 2WD while moving? I was under the impression that I had to be stopped to keep from tearing the living crap out of things. Also, how do I work the throttle AND reach over to work the 2WD lever? I think maybe a tank shift is in my future.
Tank shifter will do it for you.

My '04 does NOT have the detent thing required to be pulled out to engage the 2WD lever, then moved again to disengage. In other words, I can simply kick my rig into 2WD with the heel of my foot with no effort. If you are following me, you won't notice that I engaged 2WD, and you may get stuck :oops:

Getting it OUT of 2WD is a different matter since I'm not putting my hands down there so close to the spinning things as I'm riding along :shock: . So I have to stop. Now the trick is to have the rig turning; that is, make the hack wheel turn at a different rate than the pusher while trying to pop it out of 2WD. When done correctly, the FD will come right out of 2WD. You can do this with just your foot pushing the rig just a tiny bit.

Same thing with getting it INTO 2WD...sort of.
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by cdscoot » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:10 am

Getting going from a dead stop on an up hill line can be daunting, especially with a full load. Mr COB at one time had a video showing the proper technique. What you do is basically what you did . Rev her up and pop the clutch to get the rear wheel spinning. Regulate the throttle to the point where you get some bite but not enough to stall, and then build your momentum up from there. If you try to feather the clutch you will end up burning it out and or warping the plates from heat. The reason you do it this way is because the engine has limited power and the first gear is fairly high for mountain climbing. In our neck of the woods with the slimy mud top layer this can be tricky. You must have done good to get to the top! :cheers:
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by Msblu79 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:18 pm

Forgot to mention that you can engage 2WD on the fly at low speeds. Raceway tank shifter makes it super easy. Reach over with left hand while attacking to throw it into 2WD. My feet don't work so well anymore so I can't do it Ivan style. :lol:
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by URAL CT » Mon Oct 03, 2011 1:39 pm

Msblu79 wrote:Raceway tank shifter makes it super easy. Reach over with left hand while attacking to throw it into 2WD.
Yep...way to do it as long as you do not forget to "throw it into 2WD" while on the attack. Mr. Cob reminded me of this while at Moab. Having a sharp memory, I got stuck in the sand pit that's when I shifted to 2WD, well that didn't count. He instructed me that they will be rocking the rig back & forth, I was to rev the motor some and when he yells "go"!!!...dump the clutch, don't feather it...or you'll burn the clutch. With this fresh in my mind (whatever little I have left) I followed his instructions to the letter, I let go of the clutch lever and the rig jumped out of the hole in the sand I was in and damn near got thrown off, hanging on to dear life...then I hit a bump on my way out of the sand pit...the rig & I got airborne just like in Rat Patrol and when I got to solid ground, I kept going till I was completely out of the mess then looked all over my body to see if anything broke. Other than a soiled short, I was OK. I felt the rig LOL ( :lol: ) at me. The rest of the week I played tourist at Moab, while I can still physically move about.
I hope Mr. Cob, Dirty DR, Bounty Hunter, Windmill and the other good off-roading crazies posts the fine points of rough riding. Maybe even create a sticky for the methods & skill development. I know there are arm chair experts out there but them don't count. :P I enjoy watching what these crazy folks can do with the Ural but from a distance. Problem is the Ural can take punishment, will tackle just about any terrain (if you know what you're doing), but my tired old "BOD" just can't handle any more of this, 2WD mountain goat riding!
You young 'uns & old 'uns mentally capable (insane) enjoy and be safe! :moto: :moto: :moto:
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by mr. cob » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:36 pm

How to shift into two wheel drive while moving………



Howdy All,

Use this information AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Long before I bought the after market two wheel drive shifter from Jim at Raceway, I had extended the stock two wheel drive shifter so that it was easy to reach and use while the rig was moving.

If you look closely at the final drive you will see that even when the rig is in ONE wheel drive the drive shaft going over to the hack wheel turns when the rig is in motion. Inside the final drive there is a "dog clutch" which when moved to the left slides a toothed collar that engages a toothed gear, when these two parts are locked into engagement the rig is in two wheel drive.

Remember if the following is not done properly you WILL be spending a lot of money replacing parts and depending on where its done and at what speed its done you could get injured or killed. Now that the disclaimers are out of the way this is how its done.

When shifting in and out of two wheel drive while the rig is moving DO NOT FORCE THE SHIFT.

To shift into or out of two wheel drive while the rig is in motion, back off the throttle, apply LIGHT pressure to the two wheel drive shifter, when the dog clutch aligns it will slip into engagement or out of engagement as the case may be.

Because the pusher wheel and the hack wheel may be turning at slightly different speeds, the shift will be made easier if you SLIGHTLY wiggle the handle bars from side to side. Wiggling the handle bars will allow the two tires to come to a common speed where there will be NO STRAIN on the moving parts of the dog clutch this will allow a smooth, easy, quiet and no parts breakage shift.

Now this is the part that sends shivers up the spines of those who first hear or read this, there is NO NEED TO USE THE CLUTCH. Think about this for a moment, the clutch in no way disconnects power to the sidecar wheel, the shaft is spinning when ever the rig is in motion, using the clutch does nothing as regards the sidecar drive shaft It is the rotation of the hack drive shaft that allows the shift to made while moving.

MANY times I have come across people who are stopped beating on the two wheel drive shifter with a rock or a hammer trying to get the two wheel drive engaged or disengaged. There is absolutely no need to do this. The reason the final drive can't be shifted into or out of two wheel drive is because the dog clutch is either not aligned or it is engaged in two wheel drive and the parts have strain on them preventing the shift to be made.

If your rig is at a stand still, transmission in neutral and you want to shift it into or out of two wheel drive all you have to do is roll the rig forward or backward as your rolling the rig have the handle bars turned one way or the other and apply slight pressure on the two wheel drive shifter, as the rig moves in the arc the pusher and the hack wheel will rotate at different speeds, when the different speeds allow the dog clutch to align the shifter will easily move, NO NEED TO BEAT ON IT.

For the five years I have been driving my Urals, I have shifted into and out of two wheel drive at speeds up to 60 MPH with out using the clutch and I have NEVER had a problem with the final drive or any other part of the drive train while doing so.

The trick is to let off the throttle so that your not applying power to the drive train, wiggle the handle bars to align the dog clutch and using LIGHT pressure on the shifter, when this is done right you'll be able to maintain your momentum and get through or over stuff that you wouldn't other wise be able to conquer, shift into two wheel drive before your stuck, shift out as soon as your through the nasty stuff, that way you can keep moving at the optimal speed for the conditions your riding in.

Now that I have explained how to do this, give it a try and you'll be amazed at how easily, quietly and none harmfully this can be done. If you blow your final drive or kill yourself, don't blame me.
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Re: Hill climbing issue - am I expecting too much?

Post by Msblu79 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:52 pm

Awesome Mr.Cob, I have been working the throttle to disengage the 2WD and have had a few moments where it still was hard but your explanation about wiggling the bars is just what I was lacking. Never gave that a thought about the two wheels working against each other as well, especially if the tires are worn differently. I will have to try that next time out, Thanks :bow: I love my 2WD, my wife & I were out this weekend 3-wheeling in stateland and had a blast hitting the trails. :boogie: But I definately have to be careful about how severe a hill I will tackle, you have to know your limits as they say, you can't always follow your 2 wheel buds everywhere. You have to pick & chose your paths & challenges carefully or bad things will happen. Given that I have been impressed with some of the trouble I have gotten myself into and then back out of in regards to hills. I recently was out in the forests above & behind one of the areas top skiing resorts which is closed this time of year. I took a wrong turn, forgeting where I was exactly, and ended up dropping down a step at the top of the ski slopes near the lifts. I couldn't go back as it looked like a clutch frying incline, so I got off, looked over the edge and examined my options. There were three slopes to go down, 2 were steep & fast straight down the hill, one to the right was angled down the side of the hill and for rookies I hoped, my kinda path, problem was the vegetation had grown 4ft. high and I had to stand up to see where I was going. Oh well, now I know what Herbert feels like, how do I get this rig out of here without trashing it & do it without getting arrested for tresspasing. As a longtime enduro rider I knew what plants to look for that grow in dry areas and which that grow in wet muddy zones so I took a deep breath and headed off down the hill bashing my way through the brush & tall grass, over drainage ditches, bottoming the shocks & my teeth out, zig-zaging across the slope looking for dry ground praying that the end would be reached soon. I got to stare at the sidecar up in my face a couple of times. I stopped once in a dry spot to catch my breath for a minute and looked back up and said "you dumb MF, what the hell are you doing here!" I was half way down from what I could see. I continued zig-zaging untill I reached the bottom and found an open exit thru the lift station to a road out. My Ural was stout & rugged & took a beating going down that hill but it got me outa there, I had grass & crap stuck everywhere, I blazed a new trail as it were and it was a adrenline rush I hadn't felt in a long time. No other sidecar motorcycle could have ever done that, my Ural rocks! :cheers: Sorry no pics.
Last edited by Msblu79 on Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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