Friday, June 8, 2012

Willy - the Bee

First thing what you learn in team work, project management, etc. is the need to find a good name for the thing you wanna do/build.
My search went all around and of course it had to be aligned with what we want to represent i.e. vegan bikers. So talking about leather, pearls and so is maybe not the best fit. Aaaand of course - our little twisted mind had to be satisfied ;)
Maybe it was the start of summer and all the humming around, we finally came up with a name for the sidecar and my bike: 

Willy - the Bee

This also meant that the colors were clear: black/yellow. After this big decision was done, I was ready to visit the Sidecar building company.

I asked several companies for quotes, and some had good comments and suggestions, others did not like the fact that I want to ride a beamer, several told straight that they do not do such kind of sidecar projects, one was totally booked for this year and another had response times of days and could not be reached by phone for days (I think after I called ten times and only got the answering machine, I had enough). Dear owners of the companies, maybe business is going so well that you do not need to care – maybe in future you do – in any case, I see a huge potential for you to improve your customer relationship. Ok, enough of my old work style talking and back to the visit.

This visit to Germany was absolutely necessary and money well spent. Many details were clarified and of course its easier when one can see samples and details at other sidecars and bikes. I also understood the schedule worries of the builder, what is the critical path in the schedule and I think together we found good solutions so that the given time frame is enough. Lets hope so.

The boat – now I saw a picture of a naked and unmounted one – revealed also a surprise which was not really visible when the boat is mounted. Also it seems that the boat and the boxes together get too long and the boat's backwall shape is not optimum. All this means the boat backwall needs to be cut, the boat shortened and the backwall made straight.

Also quite some time went on how to build the cover, the size, position of the openings in there, so that one can easily get the dogs out without opening all those fancy buttons. Also the entrance door into the sidecar needs to be such that all of our dogs are fine with climbing in and out. The windscreen is pretty round, and this limits the area where Hertta could sit straight. One discussed solution was to have a flatter center and rear bar, which allows Hertta to sit in a bigger area and thus leaving more room for the Lyra and Ulpu to move around. So far the theory, lets see how practice will look like.

Bike will also need to get rid of its silver fur and match the bee colors. I noticed that my pannier will be silver ... well not for long :) 

Now I need to install some add-ons I got from Touratech :) (see next post)

~ Wolfi

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