Double Clutching Your Ural

A common topic on every Ural discussion Web Board is the quirkiness of the Ural transmission and what technique(s) can be used to improve the upshifting operation. Everyone would like smooth, silent, quick shifts at 4,000-5,000 RPM. There is indeed a way to accomplish this with no adjustments usually required.

Some Background: I've put heavy mileage on BMWs (R69/US, R75/5, R100/7) and the Ural '02 750. All of them have non-synchronized gear sets in the transmission. Their design wouldn’t be at all strange to a 1935 German designer. When the Germans introduced the R69 to the U.S. magazine writers, everyone gave unfavorable mention to the "balky" shifting. Yet at the same time, the magazine writers did give credit to the BMW factory riders for being able to pull redline shifts without apparent difficulty. The Factory riders would feel at home on today's Ural and use the same techniques common in the late 1930's, useful in the late 1960's, and appropriate for today's Ural.

Double clutching when upshifting is the "secret". The higher the RPM, the better it works.

At your desired shift point, pull in the clutch; then NUDGE the shifter upwards (with the top of the arch of your foot, and NOT your toe. You need fine control leverage, and the tip of your toes just can't meet the requirement).  You will have to slide your foot as far forwards under the shifter as you can get, in preparation for the shift.

You will actually "feel" the gearbox slip out of its current gear and into the neutral that exists between every gear set. While letting the engine RPM drop for about 3/4 of a second, let the clutch out, pull the clutch in, and finish your shift. Each rig is slightly different, and you'll find yourself adjusting your timing to fit your rig's personality.

With a week of practice, you will be taking pride in your newfound "silent shifting" skill. And, you might be wondering why nobody told you earlier... since the gearbox hasn't really changed since the late 1930's? I have no idea why!

If you have a rig that returns to idle slowly, this technique still works as described. Your engine will still drop rpm's rapidly at higher engine speeds where double clutching is at its best.

As you gain experience, you will be able to adjust your double clutching movements to accommodate virtually any engine rpm, and do it strictly "by ear". In the long term, you'll be able to shift without the clutch, if absolutely required. If you've ever broken a clutch cable, you know how handy it would have been to get home without waiting for help to arrive.

Downshifting for me has never been an issue on any of the German design gear boxes, I just "grab and stab", resulting in a nice solid THUNK without grinding, crunching or double clutching.

Best Wishes to All
John Panyon