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To Balast or not to Balast the hack


scapaflo
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I have read a few threads on the topic and will start my new experience without balast in the hack. My question is "What have you experienced regarding handling of the bike with addition of balast? Does it behave in a certain way different from no balast. I know that right hand turns will be less likely to fly the hack at simular speeds. I'm wondering about acceleration and stopping etc...

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I have read a few threads on the topic and will start my new experience without balast in the hack. My question is "What have you experienced regarding handling of the bike with addition of balast? Does it behave in a certain way different from no balast. I know that right hand turns will be less likely to fly the hack at simular speeds. I'm wondering about acceleration and stopping etc...

 

 

I had an 80 pound bag of rocks in my hack when I got it. I drove a while with it and took it out. There really was not an appreciable amount of difference that I could tell. I then rode with a 140 pound monkey in the hack for about 6 months. After that I rode without a monkey for a while. In was very noticeable in all aspects. Breaking was shorter, acceleration was crisper and cornering took much more concentration and body movement.

 

J

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I am fairly new at this (only 500klm on new rig) so take it for what it is...i threw two 40lb bag of wood pellets in it when i first started to ride...i could feel the drag pull me to the right when i accelerated and the momentum push me to the left when i decelerated, however it felt rock solid in the corners...i took the bags out and took my girlfreind for a tour one night then the next day i forgot the bags weren't in the hack cuz the cover was on...as soon as i pulled out of driveway and started down the street the rig felt very loose to me as it was the first time driving it with no ballast...i drove that way for a week, accidently flew the chair once :ohmy: ...it made my arse pucker but i didn't panic thanks to reading the forums and all was good...i have since thrown one 40lb bag back in and i really prefer the ride and feel of the bike with that much weight in the hack seems to really smooth things out :thumbsup!: ...i think i will likely put a tool pannier or fuel can on the front outside of the hack which will give me a ballast permanently...just my limited experience two cents worth :cheers:

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I have read a few threads on the topic and will start my new experience without balast in the hack. My question is "What have you experienced regarding handling of the bike with addition of balast? Does it behave in a certain way different from no balast. I know that right hand turns will be less likely to fly the hack at simular speeds. I'm wondering about acceleration and stopping etc...

 

 

I had an 80 pound bag of rocks in my hack when I got it. I drove a while with it and took it out. There really was not an appreciable amount of difference that I could tell. I then rode with a 140 pound monkey in the hack for about 6 months. After that I rode without a monkey for a while. In was very noticeable in all aspects. Breaking was shorter, acceleration was crisper and cornering took much more concentration and body movement.

 

J

acceleration and corning was with or without the money?

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I have read a few threads on the topic and will start my new experience without balast in the hack. My question is "What have you experienced regarding handling of the bike with addition of balast? Does it behave in a certain way different from no balast. I know that right hand turns will be less likely to fly the hack at simular speeds. I'm wondering about acceleration and stopping etc...

 

 

I had an 80 pound bag of rocks in my hack when I got it. I drove a while with it and took it out. There really was not an appreciable amount of difference that I could tell. I then rode with a 140 pound monkey in the hack for about 6 months. After that I rode without a monkey for a while. In was very noticeable in all aspects. Breaking was shorter, acceleration was crisper and cornering took much more concentration and body movement.

 

J

acceleration and corning was with or without the money?

Not money I ment monkey.

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Acceleration and breaking was awesome without the monkey. Cornering was tougher without the passenger, it was more effort on my part to shift my weight around to smooth things out.

 

FYI - your alignment can cause issues with breaking and cornering - make sure that is setup right!

 

 

 

As for the ballast - it all boils down to what you are use to. If you start with it I would encourage you to remove it once you get the feel of the bike. Feel the difference. Get used to the difference. You will learn how to do things based on the feel of the bike and the road.

 

Having said that - it is your ride - ride it the way you like it!!!

 

J

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[quote name='scapaflo' timestamp='1330827880' post='124816'

acceleration and corning was with or without the money?

 

 

 

I we're gonna start bustin' stones for missing letters around here...it's spelled "ballast":rolleyes:

 

 

 

In regards to using it though, it's ok for a bit of extra confidence during that first ride or three. But, lose it early on and get used to how the rig handles.:cheers:

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I've never figured out the fascination with ballast. When I bought my new Gear Up about 6 months & 3000 km ago, I listened to the scare stories and tossed a couple of 40 lb bags of softener salt into the hack the first day. I rode it that way for the first day or two, then took out one bag, and a day later got rid of that. About half the miles I've put on the bike since then have been solo, half with my wife as monkey. I honestly don't see the problem with riding it without ballast. I guess I'm a very conservative rider, but I have to work to fly the chair intentionally. I'd never ridden a hack rig before buying the Ural and it had been 40 years since I last owned a bike so I didn't have the MC rider's muscle memory to unlearn, which I'm guessing is the issue with many folks. I don't really think of Vasily in bike terms; I liken it to my old 4"-lifted Jeep Wrangler and drive it much the same way.

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I have read a few threads on the topic and will start my new experience without balast in the hack. My question is "What have you experienced regarding handling of the bike with addition of balast? Does it behave in a certain way different from no balast. I know that right hand turns will be less likely to fly the hack at simular speeds. I'm wondering about acceleration and stopping etc...

hello scapaflo, the only ballast i've ever used is when i went shopping-i just dumped the shopping in the sidecar and drove back home again.

ride safe and free. martyn,aberdare.:biggrin:

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  • 1 month later...

Acceleration and breaking was awesome without the monkey. Cornering was tougher without the passenger, it was more effort on my part to shift my weight around to smooth things out.

 

FYI - your alignment can cause issues with breaking and cornering - make sure that is setup right!

 

 

 

As for the ballast - it all boils down to what you are use to. If you start with it I would encourage you to remove it once you get the feel of the bike. Feel the difference. Get used to the difference. You will learn how to do things based on the feel of the bike and the road.

 

Having said that - it is your ride - ride it the way you like it!!!

 

J

 

I used about 40 lbs the first week just to get used to the bikes controls. then i threw it out. and never looked back..

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I am comfortable enough with hack rigs, to ride anywhere solo, or with my monkey. The handling is different for load or no load, but it isn't scary - to get a rig to do anything frightening, you first have to do something you should not be doing - like speeding into curves, as you can with a two wheel bike. If you understand the limitations of the hack machine, it won't surprise you, scare you, or even let you down. There is no intentional ballast in my rig, but I have a jack, a tool roll, a rope puller, some emergency gear, a few spares, and all the Ural tools and gear in the trunk. A total of about forty pounds, and that stays in the rig all the time. I have ridden both one wheel and two wheel drive rigs - I prefer the two wheel drive for the activities I enjoy doing, and the fact that it is a more stable ride in corners - the one wheel drive was more willing to lift, but still was not scary at all. I live in WA, where the roads don't follow straight lines so curves are commonplace, so riding the rig is a sedate meander through the countryside, unless you want to have a pro monkey and throw yourself around in the seat. Then you CAN get amazing maneuverability with these machines and a fantastic work out at the same time. Unfortunately the Pro Monkey I know is not in my family, so the chance of having curvey fun is limited to the experience of my spousal monkey. She does well enough for us.

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I decided against using ballast. I wanted to learn the rig just as is since most of the time i ride, it will be as such.

Yes Me too. But, turns out I do most riding with a Monkey. Either my little Buddy [grandson] at 3 y.o. he aint heavy.. say 30 lbs. Or the Bitter Half, probably goes 130-140lbs or so.

Honestly it is gobs of fun w/o anything/body in the car. I can say though that the smiles I see next to me from my vict... er, monkeys, is worth the bit of extra attention required with weight in the car.

My answer... I wouldn't dream of putting anything But a monkey, in My rig! :smileywaving: Oh maybe a bit of "Barley Pop" in the trunk!! :cheers: Heck I don't even carry tools except my Leatherman! :blush2:

$0.02

RP

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