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New owner with some questions


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#1 spook

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 12:45 AM

Hi all. It turns out cheap Urals do exist after all!

I managed to put some money down on a M67-36 of 1983 vintage, which I will drive down to pick up in October. It's a solo, but I'm keen to pop a 'modern' ural chair on it when funds allow.

Anyway it doesn't go, as far as the owner can tell, and its been sitting for a few years untouched. I've heard horror stories about unloved urals becoming money pits, but I'm a sucker for punishment and I figure if I treat it well, there should be less difficulties.

Urals seem to have this mythology of being indestructible, yet also unreliable, and I'm finding this to be hard to reconcile. I'd like to take it off road when the time allows, but don't want to have to call a rescue chopper or something if the bike breaks down. I've read many posts and articles on both the old and the new models, including exploding alternators, finicky carburetors and barrels cracking etc, and have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting into, but what do you guys think? How many people take them off-road, and what do the single-wheel-drive models compare with the dual wheel drive?

Anyway, this is one of my dream bikes so I can't wait for the big day, but its good to get some opinions nonetheless!

Cheers
Spook

#2 MotoJ

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 08:28 AM

These things have loads of torque and in terms of frames, spindles, spokes, rims, hubs, etc., they are very heavy duty, but all the same I wouldn't abuse the older models the same as you see guys off-roading the new 750s. They are fine for fire-roads, gravel, etc., but I wouldn't do any hill climbing with mine. I've heard of the 650s twisting cranks under heavy load. My 750 sidevalve twisted the crank twice.

Never had 2WD, so I can't comment.
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#3 Mike Goldthorpe

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 08:58 PM

They're old tech bikes made in modern times.  In Oz they were sold at a $ pr cc ($605 for 605cc if I recall the ad I saw in a mag) - cheap bikes tend to depreciate once passed on and get bought by even cheaper owners....to who maintenance is $$$ so could be skimped.  The 70s and 80s were a period of stagnation if the history books were read right at school and the way the system worked was that everyone had a job even if they were crap at it.  Investment was something slightly capitalist and evil and factories kept making the same thing until told to stop (which is why the Chinese kept at CJ manufacturing until recently).
The time and effort I'm putting into my M66 will never, ever, not even in my grandchildren's grandchildren's time get any return on my investment.  Heck, even on postage alone I think I have spent well over the price of the bike, never mind the parts.  But then, it's nothing to do with money.  I get a bike that looks and acts like a vintage BMW and I will know it works almost like a vintage BMW because I tried my best to make it so (I have a late 50s BMW - I can make a comparison ;-)  BTW - even old Beemers have flaws! ).  I'll never get my money back...but then I'll never get money back on the BMW....and the Ural spares are WAAAAYYYYYY cheaper!
The cheapness does have a useful side effect - I can do changes to specification without worrying about ruining a "priceless" classic (I'm swapping my sidecar mounts to the other side - means cutting and welding and manking the bike *SHHHH* unoriginal (try that with a BMW these days!).

#4 spook

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 09:41 PM

Yeah I've wanted an old Ural for a long time, and I didnt really want a new Ural as they are become very modern and reliable, but also expensive and complicated with FI, which takes away a little of the fun.

Given the older bikes tend to appear on gumtree etc for thousands of dollars, and I got this one for $875, I'm pretty happy.

I don't want to take it in really rough off road, but I'd like to do unsealed roads and maybe head up to Cape York once it's become reliable. I wanted to put all the cool ammo cases and jerry cans on it, but my girlfriend is eyeing that space off for a picnic basket...

I'd also prefer not to twist a crank! How is that even possible??? Only in Soviet Russia

#5 MotoJ

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:12 AM

View Postspook, on 02 September 2014 - 09:41 PM, said:

Yeah I've wanted an old Ural for a long time, and I didnt really want a new Ural as they are become very modern and reliable, but also expensive and complicated with FI, which takes away a little of the fun.

Given the older bikes tend to appear on gumtree etc for thousands of dollars, and I got this one for $875, I'm pretty happy.

I don't want to take it in really rough off road, but I'd like to do unsealed roads and maybe head up to Cape York once it's become reliable. I wanted to put all the cool ammo cases and jerry cans on it, but my girlfriend is eyeing that space off for a picnic basket...

I'd also prefer not to twist a crank! How is that even possible??? Only in Soviet Russia


Wow, that's a steal. Good score!
The cranks are pressed together- at least my old 750 sidevalve crank is, and I think the old 650s too- they have big cast lobes pressed onto steel crank pins, with the connecting rods on the pins, between the lobes. I think after years of use they just start to loosen up, and if they get a shock or some abuse- like running the bike under load on one cylinder, lugging it for a long time, or standing on the kick starter when bike is in gear, the lobes slip on the crank pins. It might only be a couple degrees, but that's enough to scuff up or seize the pistons.

Oh yeah - we like pics around here, so get crackin' once the bIke is in your hands. Congrats!
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#6 spook

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:05 PM

Well I do have some pics that the guy has sent up, here you go! He says he has the leg guards, tank and seat as well as some gaskets etc. The bike has fallen by the wayside as they've been renovating and he's decided it has to go.

Posted Image
Posted Image

I cant wait to the 6th Oct!

#7 MotoJ

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 07:39 PM

Nice- looks like it's all there. You're gonna have fun!
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