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Everything posted by BigJames

  1. Come on out, or stay at home and watch You Tube, your choice...
  2. For those who have not seen what we are talking about, this was seen at a CostCo near Redmond, Wa and on the road. Note the license plate... looks like direct drive to a 1WD final drive, gears, we don't need no stinking gears with an electric motor... Poor ilya was denying it existed to the very end...other improvements are coming to the gas engines too, but that is old news and continuous these days... It should be noted that some folks apparently knew about this and not one of them spilled the beans, but someone riding it to CostCo (that is the current circulating story) was either brilliant marketing or an huge mistake. Either way, sign me up.
  3. My herd of the discontinued... They are going to have the Gear Up and the cT going forward as existing models and the plethora of rumors about Electric bikes (not so much a rumor now since someone took the prototype to the local CostCo a week or so ago and pics are all over Facebook and ADV), engine mods (They are a comin') and even a new engine (we ain't gonna like it) if the boxer can't meet Euro5 regs... Who knows if there is even a customer base left for the Retro, about 40 a year is all they ever sold/built! It was never really given a chance! Oh well, still the nicest looking and handling of the bunch and I have 2, so good for now (and 1 of the weirdest handling things they ever built).
  4. Well, you know my feelings on this model. If one does not market something, it will not sell. Riding my Retro (not the newish M70) to the Pirates Rally in Florida this weekend. Primarily a BMW rally. With 96K showing, they don't call it a Urinal any more and actually talk about buying one...not after this year, pity.
  5. and here is what I did for National Ural Rally Day...
  6. Site has been done due to Irma. It's back. Please enter your results! The site is open and ready for you!
  7. Site down due to Irma. Will be back up as soon as Ga Power and Cox Communications are.
  8. Result page is open at the same URL you used for registration...what, you didn't register? https://www.imz-ural.com/national-rally-day Just click the registration button to get to the links. You have to register to have points recorded. It will let you enter them, just won't record them if not registered, check first if unsure. You can still register. When you enter points, you may notice your IP address staring at you. That is recorded and time stamped so we can see if any results have been tampered with by others.
  9. National Ural Rally Day is Saturday! So far we have 118 folks registered from 4 continents (as they are counted now). You know, there are 3.2 million Urals out there, we can do better than that! If you plan on participating Saturday, you are going to need a rally placard to put your rally id on so you can register your score and win stuff from Ural. While you are out riding Saturday, please keep the folks along the Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina coasts and the Caribbean in your thoughts. A lot of folks are recovering and possibly more are preparing for the worst. If you are in South and Central Georgia, avoid the interstates even more than normal, some start going North only at 8:00 AM Saturday.
  10. So far we have 86 folks registered from 5 countries (ok, one person thinks Guam is a country, who am I to argue?). 1st registrant was from Australia. It's open to everyone, everywhere. Nothing in the rally that can't be completed any where in the world, except may be the go by a dealer part (hard even for me). Awards will be made, pictures will be shared, will be a good time.
  11. Registration is open! https://www.imz-ural.com/national-rally-day
  12. Information about registration will be in the upcoming Irbit Informer! Look for it. After the Informer comes out, will post the links everywhere for the few who foolishly do not get the Informer delivered to their in box... Everybody has to register to have results recorded and recognition.It's easy. Only takes a few clicks and very little typing. If you are new to the National Ural Rally Day, just a little more typing but very easy. Download and print the Rally and Bonus pack after registering. Can make changes to your registration info as well, please verify your email address. That is the only way we can contact you to let you know you won something! After the rally, come back to the same link to enter your results! Remember to upload your pictures and videos to your favorite place for those things. A place is provided in the results page to tell folks where to look! Results will be verified, steps have been taken to prevent tampering. And yes, in the name of fairness, the exact same post is being made everywhere...
  13. Folks the servers and I are in Macon, Ga. That witch Irma is heading our way. Our utilities are almost all above ground, so I will lose power at some point Monday. That means the site will be down. As soon as power and internet are restored, it will be back up. Thank you all who participated! 2017 National Ural Rally Day is coming. Registration will open in just a few weeks. If you've participated that last few years, it will take about 10 seconds. More to follow...this is called a teaser...
  14. Just got back home from bringing the M70 to Gene for some repairs and mods. I am tired but had to post this after talking to a few people who called about the rally whilst I was trying to drive! Folks think the campground is full up! WRONG! Talked to the campground, they have plenty of sites, both RV and Tent and a cabin available! So if you've heard otherwise and that clouded your decision to come, please reconsider, lots of space is available! Come on down to North Georgia. You think a "normal" Ural rally is diverse? If you haven't been to the Howdy Summer/GROPE, you have not seen diversity in a sidecar rally yet! About half the club own Urals and about half of those left secretly lust for one...we have cops, we have hippies, we have military, we have peacnics, we have drinkers, partiers and tea totalers, we have musicians, we have the tone deaf, we have folks who cook and folks who eat, we even have folks who still admit that they are Republicans and Democrats. I am cooking something Saturday night (and may be Friday if I don't get to beaten up riding) and there will be vegetarian options as well... This is the 23rd year in a row we've hosted a rally - there have been Urals at every single one (I've only had one 6 years, my treasurer since 1997)...so we decided to create a Ural named rally 'cause Urals are special! At least 2 officers of the club have been Ural owners since 1999...not many sidecar clubs will admit that, we will...nothing would make me happier than to have Urals out number the "normal" sidecars! Really it would... Was planning on riding my HD this year (it's been 5 years since the last time she went), but if I can get 10 folks here commit to coming (have 4 Urals committed already so that means 6 more) I'll ride Myrtle or my low mileage Retro up, if Myrtle, possibly towing Sid's old trailer...Challenge has been made. If you have already have a site and are coming, now it the time to let folks here know, 'cause we have no idea who is coming! We don't charge, so there is no registration, just come and have fun.
  15. Same here, wonderful build. Wish I had room.
  16. Russ, I was off Social Media. Bural posted it for me under the name of our street sidecar rally that runs concurrently. GROPE is still the Ural Rally. We head to the FS roads when the street folks head to the smooth pavement...
  17. It's coming! Tentatively planned for the Saturday after Labor Day in the US, so that would be September 9. Tons more to follow.
  18. 1st day on the road was uneventful, this is a link to a very boring video of the 1st day ride. That was the last video that the camera managed to save for this part of the trip. I made the cardinal sin of going on a trip, left the tried and true camera at home and brought a new one with new video cards. Lesson learned, glad others took pics! After riding for what seemed to be all day, because it was, I saw Pavel and Cober on the side of the road pointing down a hill, that is where we were camping that night, by a lake. Just ride down the hill and follow the trail to the site. That is where they discovered my total lack of off road skills. Got the Dnepr to the camp site (or may be someone else did, I don't remember) and then we got her stuck on the beach. After getting her out and in a safe place, the light dirt bikes got ridden over to our site and we had a good night with some Vodka, Sala and luke. (Vodka, yummy pork fat and onions. I liked that combo, so did my friends...).Here is a link to another video: The little fella holding that really big shot glass is Cober's traveling companion... That is Cober's bike. Next morning we packed up, got the bikes off the sandy beach, got everything packed and we were off again. I found an alternative route out that was a bit more sidecar friendly – and that is my story and I am sticking to it and we started our normal pattern. The 2 guys on the right bikes took off and led the way, then me and way in the back generally Harleych on the tiny moped turned into tiny dual sport. I was carrying most of the stuff so they could enjoy the ride. We all carried gas with us since gas stations are plentiful but spread out and I used mine at least once a day. Buying gas was interesting. In some places you pay get gas then get change, others gas then pay. Never knew and generally they told you, in Russian of course, which way it went so I just assumed pay up front all the time and just let them know this nut on the ancient bike is a crazy American not an old school Russian biker. That was always fun. I also discovered that I am inept at kick starting a Dnepr. I can kick my Retro, no problem, Myrtle (the Beemer powered Ural) a little but the Dnepr confounded me. Down right embarrassing! Oh well, managed to get going every time, so it was a good way to meet people! Next night camping was right outside a village, again on the side of the road. Not many commercial campgrounds in Russia. We rough camped, stopping at markets every night to get stuff for dinner and breakfast. Not a bad way to travel. You know, I think I'll stop right here. Next installment will be the Rally and the ride back out and heading to Murmansk. Ok, now will wait for Harleych's comments and corrections then on to days 2 and 3 and the Rally (Meeting as it is called in Russia).
  19. Next day was sorting out gear and cameras and just trying to get my act together. For the next 3 weeks I pretty much knew not where I was, nor what time it was or what was being said. Harleych tried to eep me informed and folks tried their English out on me a lot, but I was pretty much clueless. Even going to the store was a little much for me at first, but with Harleych's prodding I started to interact more. (ok, he got really tired of baby-sitting me, I don't blame him. After he said something, I realized what a pain in the ass I was and tried to correct it a bit, Harleych is not one to NOT let you know what he is thinking. I like that about him.). Keep in mind that we never quite got around to prepping the bike so off we went. Me on a 1987 Dnepr with Izh (pronounced eesh) sidecar, Harleych on a “50cc” moped basically (slightly modified), Cober on a 110cc Yamaha and Pavel on a 10 year old Suzuki Bigboy 250 – the fastest bike in the group.
  20. Logo is based on what are basically the cheapest cigarettes one can buy in Russia! Cober, one of the guys who rode with us and the owner of GAD13 custom bike and hot rod shop even gave me a tee-shirt! Harleych bought me a pack of the cigarettes as reference, they are in the picture above. Our puppy at that pack shortly after we got home... Here is a link to the video I shot of us riding around on day one. You will note at the end of the video I talk about video problems... almost 80% of the video I shot got corrupted and is garbage. Bummer, some of it would have been most impressive. Oh well, will just have to go back... but I digress.. Back to the story. We rode over to Pavel's place where he showed me his Zis (or may be old enough to be a Zil) that he rescued from Finland. I think he has it running now. Not sure if this is Pavel's or not, but that is Pavel on the left and Cober to the right of a Zis, you can see car running in Harleych's video here:
  21. Ok, I've waited way too long to do this. This all started at FART last year, so wanted to start this with something about FART this year. Ok, it rained... Now for the ride report from Russia. Harleych, gonna need your help with this! KNow I am going to get some stuff wrong and feel free to add and correct. This is eventually going to several other forums, in case it reads a little weird here. This July I got a chance to ride an old Dnepr/Izh sidecar rig all over north western Russia. It all got started at the FART Ural rally in Asheville, NC. Glenn Hamilton, the founder of Russian Iron MC, one of the Ural forums hosted here in the US, got a copy of a movie called Normalno from a guy named Sergei Stepanenko, we know him as Harleych. (the movie was "smuggled" out of Russia by being stuck into a headight shell then Glenn purchased from Harleych a long time ago!) I later discovered that he is known as Harleych on the Russian Iron Forum, I emailed him saying, “Hey, saw you in a movie last week!” he asked which one and sent a link to it. Here it is if you want to take a look. Well the conversation carried on and finally Harleych said something about they had a run planned in July to go to a rally on the White Sea then ride up north of Murmansk. Great I thought, sounds like fun. Here is where the fun started. I ride very little off road, I am a street rider, even on a Ural. I was not aware of the phrases 'Forest Road' and 'Road not very good' were about to test my abilities and lack there of quite a bit. Harleych was not aware of this nor that I speak zero Russian and had never been out of North America. I was a bit pitiful. Then I tried to get a tourist visa. 1st place kept jerking me around, tried to get me to pay for an auto-tourist visa and so on, I gave up. Commented on this on Soviet Steeds and I get an email (sorry, I forgot who sent it) saying I should try gotorussia.com. Checked them out, gave them a call and discovered they had an office in Atlanta. So, I go find them, give them my passport, they make a few minor changes to my visa application and in 3 weeks I had a visa – about a week before I was supposed to be in Russia. Well, since I had already figured the trip was not gonna happen, I stopped trying to learn Russian – big mistake! So, with visa in hand, I tell Harleych I am coming, get my tickets and we are off. My cell carrier insisted that my phone would work in Russia. It is a Blackberry and they are made in Finland, right next door... so off I went. My last email I sent form the US was to Harleych asking how I cold identify him at the airport. He said by my motorcycle helmet... 18 hours and 2 flights later, I am standing in line waiting to go through customs in Russia. Nope, customs person did not speak English, I speak no Russian, piece of cake, was done in 5 minutes and heading out. Hoping Harleych was there. As I come out I see a guy about 6' 5: standing there with a white bike helmet on, that must be Harleych! He was easy to spot... We put my big bag in the body of the Izh sidecar, I use his spare helmet (mine is in my bag), climb on the back of his bike and we are off. This is the 1st time I have been on the back of a bike since 1971. Off we go to the other side of town where Harleych's mom's place (Mom is in the country in a village enjoying summer). Harleych's place is outside of town in another village that St Petersburg is growing towards quickly. I am pretty much shot then discover that my phone, regardless of what Verizon said, was dead. Only works when there is a wireless connection. (at the end of the trip, we discovered that a Russian sim card works in it that would have made it work, oh well, lesson learned for the next trip). Day one was used to rest and recuperation from jet lag. We are heading north in just a few days, so we did not have a lot of time to prepare. Needed to change some US dollars in to Russian Rubles and get insurance so I can legally ride the Dnepr/Izh rig. If you go to Russia, make sure you bring fresh brand new $100 bills. They want nothing else. It seems our money is so counterfeited that this is all they will take. I saw 10 of my bills rejected, Fortunatly I brought too much money, so it was not a problem. Ended up changing $1000 and brought about a third of it home... Anyone need some rubles? Then off we go to get insurance. 1st place says no can do, have to go where the bike is primarily insured, basically adding me as a rider. No problem, we hop back on the bike, I am in the sidecar this time, and we go to the insurance agency. Little paperwork, about $50 and I am insured to 6 months. Have no idea what I am insured for, but I am legal in case anyone stops us or we have an accident. (no one ever stopped us and we had no accidents, of course). After that we go off to meet the other 2 guys who will be joining us on the adventure they named – Highlatitude Lowcost International Run 2015.
  22. Already started on SS, will be here too. Sorry, it just sort of started over there.... Take a peek there or wait, everything will be here too since this is where it all got started.... Sitting in CDG ariport in Paris. Its wireless has already wipe out a few attempts at this post. No sleep in +36 hours, I am shot and this airport sucks... more to follow and of course there are pics and video, lots of them... around 4 k on a Dneper (me), little Chinese moped (Harleych) and two other Russian friends on a Suzuki Big Boy 250 and a Yamaha 125.
  23. Come on now Glenn (who now has double digit posting numbers on SS and even a discussion with, well the guy who owns it. Very cordial even!), it's not that bad on SS (but they do like their farkles), but there is a lot more BS (like there is no one here with some personality issues) flowing...You know, I really don't see a lot of Russian Iron on that rig, may be the engineering... harassing satire is still allowed here, right?
  24. The shaft to the sidecar won't be turning with the driveshaft removed so you can even remove the part that holds the u-joint for the sidecar from the bike. Might want to fab a cover for what's left. All that 2WD stuff will now just be useless unsprung weight that could still potentially break... It's easy enough to remove the driveshaft for your bike, however lowering the sidecar to 1WD heights involves moving the "snowman" to the sidecar frame (and change the top attachment to the tunnel) from the brackets they sit on now so they will be in the tunnel. Then you still have the stuff for the driven sidecar wheel on the sidecar that will still need maintenance (that the 1WD sidecar does not have) even though there is not driveshaft anymore. Better option, if you just have to do this, is get a 1WD sidecar (they are available, just have to look) and replace your 2 WD hack one with that. If you are not wanting 2WD, you could get a 1WD swing arm and FD for your 2WD parts plus some cash, to help offset the cost of altering the sidecar for instance... It's your bike, of course, do to it as you wish, but it sounds like you just bought the wrong bike! Find someone with a Tourist, T or cT and make a trade instead! A lot more cost effective and you won't be altering a fairly rare special edition Ural. Regardless, have fun with her.
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