Monday, March 14, 2011

Old Age = Bad Memory

A fellow blogger asked a simple question about fitting a Suzuki V-strom DL1000 with a sidecar . Of course the V-strom has a great reputation for rock solid reliability with simple maintenance. I mean why didn`t I think of this being a Stromtrooper myself. Anyway, I remembered seeing a V-Strom DL1000 a couple of summers ago in Kelowna during the Scooter Rally. Kelowna is just over 4 hours East of Vancouver on the other side of the Coquihalla mountain highway.

(Suzuki DL1000 Hack parked in Kelowna, BC)

I remembered talking to the owner and was even offered a ride during the weekend where he was going to `Fly the Wheel`. Anyway the ride never happened but I was sure that I could contact the owner again asCharlie6 wanted to contact him to discuss how to mount the sidecar to the `Strom and to get other set up tips. After a few days of attempting to contact this owner, he told me that I was mistaken as he had never owned a Hack.

(Suzuki DL1000 hack, in Vancouver, summer of 2010)

Last Summer I saw this Hack again during the Vancouver Scooter Rally, and also at some of the venues. For some reason I don`t recall ever seeing the owner but he must have been in close proximity.


I think my memory is going. Must be old age settling in. I mean one day I will probably go for a ride and forget how to get home. Now I have lost touch with the Scooter Scene in Vancouver as they all migrated to FaceBook . Since I don`t do FaceBook I don`t know where the meetings are, nor where they ride otherwise I could spread the word and someone will know who this person is.


The next time I see this unit I will be sure to take more detailed photos of the mounting points and make of sidecar.


I had high hopes of helping Charlie6 but right now I am more of a hinderance as I know nothing of the mounting hardware, where to purchase it or even the make of the SideCar. At least I have an excuse. I am old and I forget easily


As much as I had wanted to ride on Saturday, it was not to be. I had made an appointment to bring my Honda commuter into the dealer for service. There is a service indicator on the dash which flashes Yellow when your oil interval is below a certain threshold which necessitates having to push the reset button everytime you start the car. Also the transmission was getting notchy and I wanted them to replace the transmission fluid. For simple stuff like this I usually wait until the service is finished.

After I checked the car into the dealer I walked around the corner to EMS where I get my V-Strom serviced. Ted is laid back and doesn`t mind me asking a ton of questions

(Honda ST1300, valve cover removed)

This is a view from the left side, cylinders 1 & 3. It is a double overhead cam and he was checking the valve clearance and shims. Factory specs is .022-.028


The cylinders are timed 180 degrees as you will notice from the cam lobe. The cylinder on the right is at Top Dead Centre. Ted was checking the shims for wear and possibly replacement when they hit the low limit. He was pushing his feeler gauge to check the clearances.

Sometimes you wonder about a bikes history as this was a 2001 model


and the Made in China sticker on the wiring harness has a date of 2002-02 which I would presume meant 2005 February (2nd month), so how did a 2005 wiring harness get installed on a 2001 model bike.

No new shims today, all was within specs and the bike was re-assembled and ready to be picked up


It`s a good day when you are able to learn something new


  1. Sorry the two-wheeled ride didn't work out. But the four-wheeled ride is much happier.

    Learned something new, but given the title, how long is it gonna stay? ;)

    We will be the benefit of that as you recap stories over again. hehe


  2. Bob

    So you are an archaeologist - I always check for the dates stamped onto components too - can be quite revealing! I assume in this case Honda use the "just in time" supply chain principle and the Chinese factory set their clocks forward to avoid missing deadlines...

    Why don't bike engines have self adjsuting hydraulic valve lifters like all cars do these days?


  3. I don't know who owns that black V-Strom with a sidecar, but I can put you in touch with a guy who owns a blue one in Seattle. After many conversations and comments online, Pat Barnes showed up on my doorstep in Cincinnati during one of his cross-country rides. As an MSF instructor, I am sure he'd be most willing to help.

  4. I've always wanted to get into the sidecar scene, but Don't think I could handle it as my daily driver. Dom, who has one, rides through the ice and snow and all manner of beastly weather. He should be called a snowtrooper instead of stormtrooper. (Caution: Star Wars reference)

    While I'd love to have, or even have a ride in one of these, the hack has always fallen about 5th or 6th on my list of machines to own. Some day, maybe. Probably the day my wife finally realizes how worthless I am and leaves me alone with nothing but cold mechanical comfort.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  5. Dear Bobskoot:

    I am assuming that the whole "Stormtrooper" thing relates to V-Strom riders and sidecars. I have never had much interest /in hack rigs as I understand they are taxing to ride and tiring over the log haul. When the time comes for me to throw in the towel for arthritis purposes, I get a trike.

    Still, there is an aura of durability and power in the V-Strom hack rig that is absent in the Ural profile. A least Dom won't be riding back with exploded parts in a basket anymore.

    And don't worry about getting absent minded. It's when you have trouble remembering you have to go to the little room in the house to take a piss that complicvations arise, or so I hear. LOL :)

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  6. Interesting combination, I'm sure it will be much more reliable than any Russian motorcycle.
    Sometimes it's good to be absent minded, gives you an excuse when you forget things, just blame it on age ;-)

  7. There is a very simple explanation about the wiring harness. That particular 2001 model is in fact a time-machine. The owner went forward in time to go seek out a newer and more reliable wiring harness when the original earlier harness failed. You knew this once, but must have forgotten about it.

  8. Steel Cupcake: It's nice to learn new things, as long as you don't get in the way.

    Nikos: I had a friend who used to be in the car business and we always looked for signs of collision damage. Stickers are only put on replacement parts.

    Brent: That's great. Perhaps Dom will get in touch with him, through you.

    Brady: I'm not sure I could handle a Hack either. There are different dynamics to riding one. I may still prefer to lean into the corners.

  9. Jack r: You are right. We are referring to but there is also V-strom riders international, sort of like a fraternity for V-strom riders. I think Dom may get used to Suzuki reliability.

    GeorgeF: I've used the age thing a few times already, and it works. It's just that I don't look my age. I think I could easily pass as your twin brother.

    Gary: We always joke about having to carry around a pad of paper and writing impliment and write down what we were going to do just in case we can't remember. Have you ever gone to a store to purchase something and forgot what it was ? Sorry, I forgot you are much younger and your brain cells are more intact

  10. Hi Bobskoot--nice to "see" you here. Nice of you to try to help out a friend. BTW, there are all sorts of things one can do to improve the aging brain. One thing is more miles on the two wheeler and lots of photo therapy ;-)

    Thanks for visiting me!

  11. How friggin' cute that lil' sidecar thingamabop is (not that my fat ass would actually be able to squeeze into one, mind you) yet I've always been against 'em. I dunno why, but I always seem to equate sidecars with, like, really oooooold-ass age, and that's when the words "hell NO, I'll NEVER!" come to mind. A trike instead? Eh, I doubt it. If and when the time comes (which it already HAS...its kinda hard controllin' a bike with numb hands & achin' legs) then I stop ridin' altogether (which I HAVE, dag nabbit).

    But forget all that. The REAL reason why I came here is to let ya know how much I enjoyed readin' yer "covered-all-the-bases" comment on my GOTD (now my GOTW/M/WE, and yer right...I reckon ya DO know me pretty darn well).

  12. Thanks Bob for the additional pics of the Strom with sidecar attached. I'm getting ready to order the M72 sidecar from Dauntless....


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  13. Bob, I believe the pics you have in this posting are of the Dauntless Rig, may I have the use of the pictures for my blog? With proper attribution of course!


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner