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1996 Tourist with 4071 miles - good or bad idea?


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#1 philwarner

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 04:26 AM

There is a 1996 tourist advertised somewhat locally (3 hours away) for $3000 or best offer, of which the seller says "I purchased this bike from an elderly fella who did'nt ride it for several years and had it stored in his shop, has very low miles. (4073 miles on speedometer.)" and "Also has reverse, electronic ignition,tank relined,carbs cleaned."

Researching these early Urals, it seems long periods of inactivity can be hard on them.  Would this likely be a money pit or could it be a reasonable purchase?  I currently ride a 2004 Triumph America (low seat for short legs), am pushing 74, and thought that three wheels with reverse might extend my riding life if the Triumph ever becomes hard for me to handle.  I realize these are relatively low speed two lane road bikes, but that is my usual pleasure and "go for parts" riding preference anyhow.

What do you think?  Good idea or bad?

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#2 Russ Noe

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Posted 04 June 2016 - 09:29 AM

Considering this bike still has the old 650 cc engine, I would not get it.
The 650 engines have a crank shaft design that is prone to breaking when used at USA-typical road speeds.
Both our 1995 solo Ural 650, and our 1998 650 sidecar Ural suffered crank shaft failures.
Our three 750 cc engines are still going strong, running reliably with no problems.

I recommend you look at Ural sidecar rigs with 750 cc engines.
~RN

#3 quagster

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 10:24 PM

That is a great deal. All I have owned is 650s and all have been fine after correct setup. If a crank breaks they are cheap enough, and the engines are simple enough that with somewhat basic mechanical skill can be fixed easily. Correct carb synchronization, and reasonable speeds (without lugging, or over revving) seem to be the secret to longevity. You will probably pay much more to get a later 750

#4 philwarner

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 09:29 AM

View Postquagster, on 08 June 2016 - 10:24 PM, said:

That is a great deal. All I have owned is 650s and all have been fine after correct setup. If a crank breaks they are cheap enough, and the engines are simple enough that with somewhat basic mechanical skill can be fixed easily. Correct carb synchronization, and reasonable speeds (without lugging, or over revving) seem to be the secret to longevity. You will probably pay much more to get a later 750

Thanks for the comments.  I emailed the seller asking for the address and about going up there for a test ride this week, but no reply so far.

#5 Vance Blosser

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Posted 09 June 2016 - 08:17 PM

Keep in mind that factory support for any unique 650 parts has ended, they have sold off any specialized equipment needed to make only those parts. The supplies will dry up. You can have a lot of fun with care, I can think of 3 owners who got good mileage out of 650s. And dozens and dozens who didn't. My 94 had 5 crankshafts.

#6 philwarner

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 12:21 PM

View PostVance Blosser, on 09 June 2016 - 08:17 PM, said:

Keep in mind that factory support for any unique 650 parts has ended, they have sold off any specialized equipment needed to make only those parts. The supplies will dry up. You can have a lot of fun with care, I can think of 3 owners who got good mileage out of 650s. And dozens and dozens who didn't. My 94 had 5 crankshafts.

Wow!  Five crankshafts?  That is definitely a problem to consider carefully.  I have a number of not yet running projects already and I definitely don't need another.  Still no answer from the seller to my email.

#7 harleych

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 02:19 AM

Posted ImageThere are lot of NOS 650 crankshafts on a Russian www
https://www.avito.ru..._ural_789797772

#8 philwarner

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 09:22 AM

Yes, I see some new 650 crankshafts on eBay from Russia for $300 to $325 that are a lot better looking than that picture.  I only saw one that had actually been sold recently by mastersss, but that seller has another currently listed for around $220 that says it is the "last one" with four previously sold and 5 people are watching it, so I guess they are available for now anyhow. (too bad I don't read Russian to know about the "Garantie") If I bought the bike I'd probably order one to have on hand just in case.

Still no response to my emails from the seller, but I've about talked myself out of persuing this right now since I have one car overheating and another not charging and the bitter half is on my case to get her a car for a trip she wants to take this weekend.  Both require ordering of parts and the Jaguar's new thermostat ordered last night was $55 ( I hope it cures the overheat because anything else is $$$ more) and the minivan alternator is $100 plus.

#9 harleych

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 03:34 PM

Inside Russia soviet  parts  prices twice lower than eBay for outside.

#10 Duke of Ural

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Posted 27 June 2016 - 09:58 AM

View Postphilwarner, on 04 June 2016 - 04:26 AM, said:

There is a 1996 tourist advertised somewhat locally (3 hours away) for $3000 or best offer, of which the seller says "I purchased this bike from an elderly fella who did'nt ride it for several years and had it stored in his shop, has very low miles. (4073 miles on speedometer.)" and "Also has reverse, electronic ignition,tank relined,carbs cleaned."

Researching these early Urals, it seems long periods of inactivity can be hard on them.  Would this likely be a money pit or could it be a reasonable purchase?  I currently ride a 2004 Triumph America (low seat for short legs), am pushing 74, and thought that three wheels with reverse might extend my riding life if the Triumph ever becomes hard for me to handle.  I realize these are relatively low speed two lane road bikes, but that is my usual pleasure and "go for parts" riding preference anyhow.

What do you think?  Good idea or bad?
Phil, unless you're mechanically inclined and enjoy wrenching I'd step away from the 650s. They exist in the era of the 40s, i.e. ride, repair, repeat. I would not want to rely on shipping large component parts from Russia. Could get expensive. Depending on how much you want to spend up front, you're further ahead by buying a 750cc Ural. And the newer, the better, as they have a legacy of continual improvements. You can find used 750s thru the usual channels in the 6 to 7K range. Even less if you only require 1-wheel drive. Having said all that, I just had a final drive failure on my 2012 750cc model. Newer model, still old technology.

#11 VWNate1

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 11:12 AM

Final drive failure ? what failed ? .

I think I'm beginning to feel vibration fom the final drive on my 2010 Solo sT.....

FWIW , I never lost a crank on my 1994 Ural 650 , I make a point of never lugging it (Americans LOVE lugging engines in everything)  , I have over speeded it willy - nilly .

Agreed , it's prolly time to let the 650's fade away but they're fun little Motos as long as you understand to use them fairly gently .

On one hand $3K for a cleal hack rig is cheap .

On the other hand it's now a worthless orphan so I'd offer $1,500 and see what happens .

If you can't make it run when you go to look at it , it's scrap , period , even if you're willing to bring it back to life .
-Nate
Living the good life in Southern California
'94 Tourist Solo 650
'96 Solo 650
'10 Solo sT 750
Rust
Arthritis
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#12 philwarner

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 04:47 PM

View PostVWNate1, on 05 July 2016 - 11:12 AM, said:

Final drive failure ? what failed ? .  I think I'm beginning to feel vibration fom the final drive on my 2010 Solo sT.....
FWIW , I never lost a crank on my 1994 Ural 650 , I make a point of never lugging it (Americans LOVE lugging engines in everything)  , I have over speeded it willy - nilly .  Agreed , it's prolly time to let the 650's fade away but they're fun little Motos as long as you understand to use them fairly gently .

On one hand $3K for a cleal hack rig is cheap .  On the other hand it's now a worthless orphan so I'd offer $1,500 and see what happens .
If you can't make it run when you go to look at it , it's scrap , period , even if you're willing to bring it back to life .

   It is still on Craig's List without any photos and saying it is "reduced" to $3,000.  In the mean time I purchased a 4 year old Cub Cadet Zero Turn S Mower with a steering wheel that I needed more than another bike project, so my ready cash is a little less than it was.  I appreciate all the advice and the warnings on the 650s - much better knowing the pros and cons than going in blind and possibly soon regretting a purchase.  I've been there a time or two before.

  BTW, the Cub Cadet Z-Force-S 48 worked well on my hilly/rocky Arkansas property as long as I took it slow and turned downhill and not uphill when cutting across a 20 degree slope.  The owners manual says to do just the opposite, but with one wheel driving forward and one in reverse for Zero turn the forward wheel does not have enough traction turning up hill.  I wonder if a 1 wheel drive side hack has similar problems.

#13 Vance Blosser

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 07:07 PM

Generally you won't have problems with traction on a 1wd turning up onto a hill under normal conditions. When Ural used to make the Sportsman which had a differential 2wd, they put 70% of the torque on the bike and 30% on the sidecar, so the majority of grip is on the bike side. However, terrain is not uniform and your results may vary.

Regarding cranks, my first one was broken when the clutch screws backed out while driving which stopped everything too abruptly. There was a lot of puzzlement over the next 4 and I was committed to a trade when the dealer called me and said they had found the issue - my bike had solo gearing to lower rpm at highway speeds. That, coupled with 19" wheels (as opposed to the 18"), and mountainous terrain formed a combo that put the crank in a resonant frequency. They offered to cancel the trade and swap out the rear end, but I was set on a new bike so I traded. Had no crank failures with that on. Otherwise I only know 2 people personally who put over 100k on 650 engines without crank issues. One was a slow and steady driver, the other ran his at highway speeds a lot, including the IronButt. Go figure!

#14 VWNate1

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 11:51 PM

Still wondering what failed in the final drive........
-Nate
Living the good life in Southern California
'94 Tourist Solo 650
'96 Solo 650
'10 Solo sT 750
Rust
Arthritis
Memories




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