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is a Ural the right choice as your FIRST bike?


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#1 GAVNO

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 06:40 PM

Greetings, All.

I'm a new user on the system, and I think I've been bitten HARD by the Ural bug!

I'm 55 years old, and make my daily cup of thin gruel as a broadcast engineer. I've never owned or ridden a bike before, except as a passenger. I work with a bunch of Harley Heads, but almost EVERYBODY seems to ride a Hog or a Gold Wing these days; I tend to be one of those folks who swims upstream rather than going with the flow....   and a Ural certainly does THAT, especially when you live within 100 miles of the Harley factory (I'm in Madison, Wisconsin)! The idea of a hack rig is ESPECIALLY attractive; never even SEEN a hack running around locally, and a hack seems the perfect place to plant Bozo, my aging Irish Setter!  :lol:

So far...   been to a Ural dealer in New Berlin, and was quite impressed by what I saw there, both the bikes themselves and the dealer videos. While I was there, picked up a copy of the hack operating book; some of it doesn't seem to make sense (the idea of "flying the chair" in RIGHT turns seems to contradict the laws of physics; having it lift off on a LEFT turn seems more logical). I suppose things will make more sense after I've actually been on one of these critters.

I've already encountered the caveats on the Internet re. early electrical problems with Urals, and heard all the horror stories about the Dnepr "kits" (???) out of Ohio. So...   time for more questions.

Am I kidding myself re. getting a first bike at MY age? On the surface, it doesn't seem like that big a deal, but I don't know. I've already seen net references to a Ural being a "Geezer Bike" (I interpret that to mean easy to handle with relatively low performance; ie, not a Crotch Rocket!).

Next...  I'm intrigued by the idea that the bike is essentially a clone of a 1938 BMW. That says to me that the technology involved is OLD (as in, easy to deal with YOURSELF, without much more than metric hand tools). I keep hearing horror stories at work about the ills of Harleys & the need for dealer service for most everything. Am I correct in the assumption that these things are simple for a shadetree mechanic to deal with?

What I'm considering here is a Bavarian, with or without hack (I figure a hack can be added at a later date, and since a bike WITHOUT is cheaper than one with it makes things cheaper when I register it; Wisconsin demands sales tax at the time of registration).

Am I correct in the conclusion that a Bavarian is essentially a Retro which has a drum brake in the front instead of the Retro's disk?

Is there anything in particular that I should be looking for (ie, trouble spots) in a used Ural?

I understand that quality control and reliability were issues with the early Urals. How far back should I consider buying before I'd run into those problems?

Any opinions on buying a bike off of EBAY? IF the seller descriptions are to be believed, the biggest hassle seems to me to be finding a seller who's within reasonable distance to trailer the bike home...   not into the idea for going to Washington State dragging a U-Haul flat bed behind my pickup!

Thanks in advance for answers and comments re. these beginner's questions.


GAVNO

#2 Baxter's driver

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:04 PM

GAVNO, on Sep 6 2004, 06:40 PM, said:

[snip]
While I was there, picked up a copy of the hack operating book; some of it doesn't seem to make sense (the idea of "flying the chair" in RIGHT turns seems to contradict the laws of physics; having it lift off on a LEFT turn seems more logical). I suppose things will make more sense after I've actually been on one of these critters.

[snip]
Am I kidding myself re. getting a first bike at MY age? On the surface, it doesn't seem like that big a deal, but I don't know. I've already seen net references to a Ural being a "Geezer Bike" (I interpret that to mean easy to handle with relatively low performance; ie, not a Crotch Rocket!).

[snip]
Am I correct in the assumption that these things are simple for a shadetree mechanic to deal with?

[snip]
Any opinions on buying a bike off of EBAY? hanks in advance for answers and comments re. these beginner's questions.


GAVNO
I'll take a crack at a couple of your questions.

First, run far run fast as Urals are addicting.  Mine's comfy to ride, it looks great, and it's a ball to ride.

The good thing about a sidecar as your first bike is you don't have to unlearn all the things that keep you alive on two wheels, mainly counter-steering (look left, push left, go left, etc.)  On a sidecar you point the front tire in the direction you want to go, unless you are flying the chair.  Plus you don't have to worry about dropping the bike and if it's two wheels you will drop it.  Everybody does.  Also on three wheels you don't have to pay the rapt attention to the road surface as you do on two wheels.  On two wheels I am always looking out for gravel in corners, pavement seams, angle of railroad tracks, etc.  On the Ural I still have to pay attention to camber and the tightness of the turn as I would on two wheels, but that's about it.  

Flying the chair, just think when you're driving your truck and turn hard to the right, you get thrown against the driver's door.  Same thing on a hack, all the momentum is going to the outside of the curve as you turn right, lightening the grip the hack tire has on the pavement.  Too sharp of a turn and the wheel will come up.  On a sharp left turn, the weight is transferred to the hack wheel.  Think in your truck how a sharp left sends you toward the passenger side.I am still a complete newbie, so others can give you a better explaination of flying the chair.  Folks here who are good pilots have no problem flying a chair.

They're pretty straight forward to work on and lots of people here have tons of experience.  The newer ones are more reliable; my '04 Tourist is doing great, albeit with only 1,000 kilometers in two weeks.

I would urge you to take the MSF Beginning Riders Course as they'll teach you lots of strategies to survive the street.  Many of those skills are transferrable to sidecars.  Also see if your DOT offers a class on sidecars.

A sidecar is like nothing you've ever driven, but are they ever fun.  Plus practical; my Ural is my daily driver to work.  Enjoy and good luck with your decision.
Once you go hack, you'll never go back.

------------------------------------------
2004 Ural Tourist

tapping foot waiting for Ural ST to become available

2005 KLR 650 in faster, er, dustier red color

#3 Rich Maund

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:06 PM

The Barvarian is a regular Ural that has been stripped down for a minimalist and elegant look and has the old style headlamp housing with the speedo in it. Lower bars too. Nice rig!

The Retro is a new model based on a new frame. 3" longer than a regular Ural. It uses a restored M72 headlamp assembly with a Russian made speedo in it. The Russian made speedo has a resettable trip odometer. The Barvarian Classic uses a Chinese headlamp assembly and Chinese speedo with NO resettable trip odometer. Also, the Chinese speedo is less than reliable, even by Ural standards. The Russian speedo is larger and won't fit though. So they aren't interchangeable.

All Urals can be made reliable, in a relative way.  B)  If you buy used, best to get one from a enthusiast owner who has used the bike and worked all the bugs out. Often, a well used Ural will be more reliable than a new one.

Alternators have always been a weak point in these bikes. Make sure the one you get runs relatively quiet. They seem to last about 8-15k km in use. But they are easy to replace and relatively inexpensive. New and more reliable ND alternators should be available as an upgrade soon. These are already in use on the '04 models.

If you liked to work on your old VW, you'll feel right at home on a Ural. They DO require basic care. They are like updated 1960's technology. If you like doing valve clearance checks and tune ups and oil changes and lubing cables and such, you can be an ideal owner of one of these! But if you want a Honda, get a Honda. Urals aren't refined and don't isolate you from the riding experience like modern bikes do. They're also the motorcycling equivalent of an old pick up truck. They'll carry almost their own weight in cargo if need be and may not be fast, but will get you there in their own time. If you enjoy life in the slow lane, get a Ural! If you like meeting folks, get a Ural.

I have my old cargo rig on EBay right now. Very nice and well cared for rig with a reserve of just $3500. As a cargo rig, it's really well suited for animal travels. It's listed in the owner classified section. Feel free to check it out. I have a new Retro that has become my main bike and after the old Ural is sold, it'll be my only bike. We're building our own sidecar for it now. See attached photo!

By the way, you are nuts to consider one. But THAT is the one thing we all have in common here!  :lol:   :lol:

I hope you find the rig you want! The search is half the fun.

Attached Files


Rich Maund
Rich's Cycle Upholstery
"Your Ass Will Thank You"
2003 Ural Retro Custom Rig "Oleysia"

#4 BigLarry

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Posted 06 September 2004 - 07:38 PM

Gavno,

Well I'll give it a shot.  Surely others will chime in as well...

You will stand out on the Ural.  We call it UDF, Ural Delay Factor.  Everybody you meet will want to know about it, and that can slow you down a bit, but it's a hoot.  

Many folks use the sidecar to transport dogs - I don't do that, so I'll let others opine on this aspect of Ural ownership.  I do transport the wife and kids, though, and they have a good time.  Even took the whole family, wife and both kids, for a little putt the other day.  That's got to be 600+ lbs of humanity.  And she just chugged along no problem...

As for flying the chair - first know that as a novice, I'd recommend that you throw some ballast in the car to keep her down while you get used to it.  As for the physics of flying the chair, think of centrifugal (sp?) force.  When going around a bend, everything want to go to the outside of the turn.  In a left hand turn, the weight gets transferred to the sidecar, which is on the outside of the turn.  Weight on the sidecar wheel keeps her planted.  The reverse is true on right hand turns.  I know it seems counter-intuitive, bit it'll all make sense once you take a couple turns...

Are you nuts getting a first bike at 55?  NO!!!  50+ is the fastest growing demographic in motorcycle ownership.  You've worked hard.  Now enjoy it...  Just be careful...

BTW, the Ural can trace it's heritage to an old BMW, but in it's current form, it's more of a family resemblance than an example of old tech in the new world.  Yes, most issues can be solved by a reasonable mechanical owner, and with the stock tool kit, but there have been many improvements to keep up with the times.  The new 750cc models have more displacement (vs 650cc), a new electronic ignition (although points are available from several sources), a modern NipponDenso alternator, a Brembo front disk brake, etc.

The Bavarian is no longer imported as a new model.  The closest new model would be the Troyka or the Retro, which suffers from limited availability currently.  Both have telescopic front forks like the Bavarian did.  The Retro is, well, retro in style and the Troyka is fancy, with all the bells and whistles.  The Retro is theoretically available as a solo model, but I don't think there are any available right now.  Probably not until 2005 as the factory has been busy making bikes for Iraq...

The Bavarian (used) will have a drum front brake, actually drums all around.  The Retro has a disk up front and hydraulic drums on the back (and sidecar too I think).  The styling is different - the Bavarian looked more like an old BMW, the Retro looks like a really old bike.  They have different frames - the Retro has a plunger look to the rear suspension...

I would really recommend getting a new 750cc bike if you can swing it.  The recent improvements (disk brake and Denso alternator) fix some trouble spots plus you'll get a 2 year warranty.  Note that some will swear at me for saying that the front brake was a trouble spot.  My opinion is that with the 750cc engine, you can easily overrun the capabilities of the drum, but that's just my opinion.  Dissenters will point out that with drum brakes, all the wheels are interchangeable, which is nice if you get a flat tire...

With a used Ural, trouble spots would really depend on the year as there have been many changes over the years.  If you decide to go used, put up a post with what you're look at and we can offer our suggestions.  Just make sure that's it's a legally imported Ural, not a gray market (domestic) bike.  These tend to be quite rough.

I have bought and sold on eBay.  It has it's plusses and minuses.  Just be sure to ask the seller lots of questions and put up a post here.  It's possible that someone here might know something about it.

By the way, one among our ranks has a bike up on eBay right now.  Check out Rich Maund's 650 rig.  Rich is "THE MAN" when it comes to Urals and other Russian motorcycle stuff.  Although I prefer the 750cc bikes, I would have no problem recommending Rich's 650cc bike if you want to get in for low dough.  He's been through that bike with a fine toothed comb.  The only problem might be that he's a bit far from you, but I'm sure he'd work with you on getting it delivered.

Here's a link to Rich's bike: http://cgi.ebay.com/...ssPageName=WDVW

I hope this helps.

BigLarry
2002 Ural Tourist

#5 Becky Blosser

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 04:47 AM

Dogs - ours won't go NEAR either bike.  But I've known a few who love it.

Little kids - can't take their eyes off it.  It's really neat to pass a school bus and see all the little noses mashed up against the glass.  :wub:

UDF - get used to it.  We printed our own cards with relevant web sites to hand out to people.  Then IMWA began providing kits for owners with brochures and dealer lists to hand out to folks.  Be sure to leave space in your sidecar trunk.

Vance used to carry bags of water softener salt in the hack until he got used to the handling.  I wasn't allowed in the hack on the highway for the first two weeks or so.

Availability of the Retro is slow due to the large amount of hand assembly that is required.  Glad we got ours relatively early.
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#6 Mark_MB750M

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 05:56 AM

Hi Gavno,

     After some experience with both 2 and 3 wheels, my view is that in general a sidecar rig is fine for a first bike, considering you'll be a newbie in either case. If you are set on getting a sidecar, a Ural is definitely the way to go.  The rig is basically a turn-key proposition, so there's very little engineering involved on the rider's side.   I personally have a 1975 KMZ, which is the flathead Russian boxer, but so far even this has been generally reliable.  If you have any mechanical aptitude (or are willing to learn), these bikes are no problem.  The one potential downside is you may not be able to drop it off at the dealer or pick up spares so easily, but as you see there is an active community that can help!
     Definitely get some training.  Not all states have sidecar courses, but many offer the MSF training, and sometimes it's even free!  Avail youself of this to get a good grounding in the basics of operating the bike and the mental skills to go with it.  It's also a good way to get your motorcycle endorsement without the hassles of the DMV.
      You will get a lot of attention - more than the cruiser and sportbike guys.  You can extend the riding season as long as your body can take it - I have no problem on my Honda when it's below freezing as long as the road is dry, but with my KMZ even snow on the road won't be a problem.  You can take at least 2 and maybe 3 other people with you.  You'll never drop it in a gravel parking lot.  You won't worry about parking head-in on a slope.  And so on...
      I hope this helps.  Also check out the US Sidecar association (sidecar.com) for more information.

      'Geezer bike?'  Maybe - I'm 35 and love the heck out of mine.  

Mark
Current:
2002 Ural Tourist
2017 Harley-Davidson FLHTK

Previous:
2000 BMW RT1100RT
1975 MB-750M
2002 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
1995 Honda Pan-European (ST1100)
1977 Honda CB750F

#7 mcdean

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 06:10 PM

I thought my Beagle would go great in my tourist and at 52 pounds he would be good ballast but as soon as I start the bike he bails out.
  
  I think it would be an ok 1st bike though, your not going to break any land speed records, Since you have not been tainted with the 2 wheeler feel, you might learn it easier.
   The Geezer comment is bull, all the women want to ride in my rig!!!!!!! The best is one beside and one behind. wheeeeeeeee There goes my cane.... ;)
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#8 greenmachine

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 06:28 PM

Gavno,

Age is not an issue as long as you are capable of staying in the seat and operating the controls OK. Not having any experience with a solo bike is NOT a bad thing at all. It will make learning how to ride a rig easier IMHO cuz you won't have a lot of habits to change that make sidecar riding more difficult than it is. You drive a rig and ride a bike......

As for a BC ( Bavarian Classic ) they are nice rigs, but you will probably NOT find one without a hack installed. IMZ made some solo bikes very similar to a BC but they are not quite the same. You could get a solo and later add a hack, but you will spend MORE money usually doing this, not less....   You will NOT get a rig and take the hack off and go riding it solo and then put the hack back on. It's too much of a hassle to set even a BC up to ride nice solo , like changing the tires to round ones and resetting the head bearings and stuff like that along with the right side indicator lights, etc.....  Almost nobody switches back and forth. YMMV

Almost no BC rigs will have a current 750 model engine /alternator and gearbox. There might be a few out there, but very few. They will be 650 engines with cast iron cylinders and aluminum heads , and probably a 35A alternator with integral regulator. Most will have E-start. All have reverse. The BC has telescopic forks and a simple front and rear brake and hub setup. They are not quite as complex as a Patrol for instance, since they are not 2WD capable. Parts for BC's are readily available and almost all operating parts are interchangeable with newer models as regards the power train and drive systems. The BC has a very tight headlight bucket which contains a whole bunch of electrical stuff. They are very similar  in appearance at least with a 60's vintage Beemer rig with a Ural chair.
One was just sold in Joliet Illinois last week for $5600 and delivered to St. Louis by the seller.

You need to think about the kind of riding you do and not just what the rig looks like. Looks are always important, but a nice rig that meets your expectations as to features , performance and maintainability are what make a rig your friend over time.
If you intend to ride with two folks most of the time and actually go someplace, then please get a rig with a current 750 engine/gearbox. You will be happier in the long run. If you seldom ride two up or with heavy loads or in the mountains, then the 650 may work fine , but will not cruise with the big dogs....  
If you intend to ride in Wiscaaaansin all winter, then you might wish to consider whether you would like selectable 2WD or not. If you don't ever get out on much snow and don't plan on going out blasting through drifts and such then you will not need 2WD just to get around on paved roads in winter. You may wish to have a knobby tire on the rear however or you will get in trouble sure as God made little green froggy rigs.....

The front end differences between the tele models and the leading link models are great. BUT, as a newby rider you will not note a whole lot of handling differences as they are subtle. I , like many, feel the steering is a bit lighter with a loaded rig using the LL front end. They are also superior on rough gravel roads and work best with the 19" wheels which handle unimproved roads much better than the 18" wheels do. BUT again, the smaller diameter wheels provide a lower CG and rolling moment in corners on smooth roads, and may give a better gear ratio for a 650 engine but less top speed, etc....  I could go on and on with crapola which until you go test ride a couple of rigs is fairly meaningless!

I myself ride a venerable " classic 650 " Patrol and it suits my needs very nicely. I am " into " military stuff, I ride pretty much every day of the year in Northern Illinois, and I don't park the rig when it gets rainy or snowy or icy or cold or hot or anything else in between.  My own rig has never had a single mechanical problem in over 75,000 K in three years of heavy use. I had my first alternator go goofy at 70,000. I HAVE managed to bend or mutilate a couple of parts here and there, but it has been operator error and abuse for the most part, and always a simple and straightforward fix. I have never had any engine stoppage or any gearbox problems.
I do all my own maintenance and try to wash to rig at least once a year. It works real fine, lasts a long time, don't cost much.  I have been very pleased with the rig, and do use the 2WD fairly often. I do not carry a monkey more than maybe 10 times per year, but I always have a load on the rig like plenty of jerry cans and guns and mounts and oxygen/propane tanks ( it's a long and gory story ) and keep lots of fishing gear in the hack all the time.
The rig always starts instantly and runs fine. I have to fiddle with the cable operated drum brakes now and then, which suits me fine since I enjoy the " classic " experience. If you wish to actually stop the rig I highly recommend getting a new rig with a juiced disk on the front. I far prefer to have interchangeable wheels, but if you are not into working on the brakes and keeping them in tip top form then save youself a broken bone or two and get the vegamatic-baloney-slicing-butt-ugly disk. They work better, they are just too sissified for true hackers. :-))

The Troyka is like a BC but with all the new goodies and a two tone paint job. BC rigs are black only as I recall....  Try a Troyka, a Tourist , and a Retro to see which you like. They ARE different in operational feel as well as looks. But you won't be able to tell the difference much without riding them! The Patrol is very similar to a Tourist but with 2WD. I LOVE the Patrol/GearUp, but suggest to anyone that unless you really want the 2WD and need it then don't pay for it and also have to maintain the more complex drivetrain systems which costs more in time and money. The 2WD ONLY operates in a very low traction environment such as off-road mud and snow, etc....  It should never be used on a paved road or even gravel unless it's so deep in snow that you can't get traction. The steering SUCKS with the live axle engaged. The older Sporty model steers very nicely and is a full time 2WD system but they are no longer in production with their cool differential. If you see a Sportsman for sale don't shy away from it however, they are very nice and many of us like them almost the best of all models once upgraded with a current powerplant  and voltmaker.....

Anyway, go and ride some rigs and determine what you really like and what you really will use the rig for before you buy one. A good and clean used rig is just as good as a new one depending on how well debugged it is and how close the price is to a new one. I hate reading threads about folks that buy a used Ural and HATE it since they bought a rig that someone else never sorted out and didn't know how to do it themselves. When you buy a well sorted used rig it can be a very good experience for a newbie. New is always new, and you get a warranty, which don't make the rig ride any better or keep the thing running. Only good sorting and debugging do that in any case, but at least you have a " friend " in your dealer, and always on these boards.

Go get 'em Gavno....


MuuHahaha...
Kermitski
Former Frog-Meister
Rode around the block a couple times
and got rid of that goofy thing...

#9 Vance Blosser

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 07:45 PM

One other thing that makes a Ural a good first bike in my opinion is the fact that it IS easy to service. All the machinery is right out there. No fiberglass panels to cover up the 'evil' parts. You can see the carbs, spark plugs, air cleaner, alternator, starter and reach them easily. It's easy to see how everything works, so if you have a problem it's usually easy to figure out what's wrong.

And the comments about the new bikes are right on the mark. They still aren't "gas n go" but they are getting darned close.

#10 Ken Ulrich

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Posted 07 September 2004 - 10:56 PM

Well young fellows ( I am a ripe 71)  have been driving,racing,hill climbing, and in general making a nuisance of my self since 1948. I have fell off,been thrown off,slid off,and knocked off, two wheels more than I care to remember! Have all the scars broken bonz to prove it. I have just been in heaven hot shoeing it deep into turns,and watching to see who would back off the gas first............but eight  kids made me calm down a bit. Sooo took up flying,33,840 hours later I find that My 86 suzie savage does not balance quite as well, and I get little edgy about moose( ya,live in Alaska) and AK drivers, tourists,wet roads,etc. New Bride ( yes lost my true love of 28 years) could not ride tandum,so popped for a Velorex,hauled it to Ak on top of an old dodge,sat down and put it togather. Second trip to heaven! The fun just increased in an undiscribeable amount. Folks stopped to chat,could give kids a ride without mom fainting, and dad sippin for support and I felt secure again.    If there has ever in history of cycleing, a device that was made for the over thirty or so crowd, a side car is it! BUT...ya still have to think a bit. Don't do right turns going likity split, flying the chair as it is called is foolish,very hard frontwheel braking can make life very intresting. The people in the movies do it for money! However a well set up hack rig will stop long before a solo machine on the wet stuff.  Three tires and brakes used properly just have more stopping power. Three wheels do have their limitations, our good friends the russians,knew early on that too much speed ( 50mph and up) tended to get squirly in a hurry, hence we have the speed limitation of the Urals and Dneprs (take off your hats please Dnepr MT11 here) for very good reason. Even a Goldwing with a side hack slows down a bit. (Got one of them too, but don't remove ur hat)            So, to the readers of this  page who have limited experience with two wheels or none for that matter, remember how we did as kids, we learned to crawl,then walk, and finially run, not too fast at first. With a side rig, do the same,go to wally world  parking lot early Sun morning and learn to crawl.....and go from there

#11 GAVNO

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Posted 08 September 2004 - 06:47 PM

Greetings, All!

MANY thanks for the replies! You've convinced me that I'm NOT totally cracked on this idea, tho My Lady might well disagree with that assessment. I pointed out to her that besides the Hog nuts at work there are also a couple of middle aged types that suddenly went out and bought Corvettes (possibly to recapture thier self perceived pasts as studs!), so I don't think there will be TOO many protests over a hack rig!  :D

Re. dogs & bikes; I'm sure Bozo would handle riding in a hack with no problems; after years on the dog show circuit and a championship in canine agility, she's worldly and wise well beyond her 13 years, and takes EVERYTHING in stride. In fact, I think she'd be insulted if I left her behind; we BOTH realize that her primary function in life is supervising me at all times...  that is, when she's not busy being Queen of the Universe!

Re. BCs without a hack; I held off on bidding, but this past week on EBAY a 2002 minus hack was sold, and the seller was CLOSE to me (Waukesha, WI). The seller (a dealer) said is was set up to add a hack already. The comment here about it probably being MORE expensive than a hacked bike seems to be accurate tho; it went for about $3600, and it drew a TON of bids. Well...   back to the drawing board on THAT idea!

Re. link vs. telescoping front ends; that's one reason I was looking at the BC; what I've seen so far on the net seems to suggest that a link fork isn't a good idea for a bike used solo...  tho I'm not sure just WHY. In my pea brain is lurking the idea of occasionally riding solo, but the more I look at that possibility the more likely I am to discard it, for a number of reasons.

Before finding out about the Bavarian, I fell in love with the Tourist, and if I have to spring for a NEW Ural that's no doubt the way I'll go. The Patrol & Gear Up are eye poppers alright, but the added utility of 2 wheel drive isn't worth the extra expense to me. Besides, the engineer genes in me have doubts about the whole idea of the practicality of driving the sidecar wheel thru a tranny case takeoff, ESPECIALLY without a differential!

Part of my strategy is to look for a bike NOW, at or near the end of the the riding season. Reason tells me that Fall is the time of year that most bikes get sold (and the time that will yield the best prices for a buyer). We'll see...

The kind of riding I have in mind here is nothing too strenuous; lots of boppin' down country roads kinds of stuff, and occasionally to and from work (about 25 miles) when the mood strikes, and the only possible long hauls (100+ miles) being occasional hunting / fishing trips...   of COURSE no limited access / interstate kind of stuff; even at this stage of the game I know better than to try out the Interstate system with a 650 or 750, with or without a hack!

Re. the suggestion of riding, at least in the beginning, with ballast in the hack; WAY ahead of ya on that one! From what the book is saying it seems to me to be suicide to take any other route before you get used to the handling characteristics of one of these things. One of the beauties of being beyond your 30's...   ya get to APPRECIATE staying alive, and do whatever seems expedient to maintain that status quo. By that time you hit 40, you've gotten all the craziness out of your system. With me, the foolishly mistaken belief that I'm immortal was exorcised by a hitch in the Air Force; I took my share of risks in my 20s, but DAMNED if I'd do it NOW!  :unsure:

On the same note, needless to say that a helmet, GOOD boots, and a lotta leather (my old flight jacket, among other things) are already here, mostly in use NOW (hey...  I'm not real fashion conscious  B) ). The only holdup is finding and buying  MY particular rig.

Re. hack riding classes: there seems to be one held over in Milwaukee, held by some local enthusiasts. One of the instructors (Certified) is the Ural dealer in New Berlin that I visited to see a Ural in the flesh (or, in the METAL would be more accurate!).

Once again, THANK YOU ALL for the answers to my questions! I'll be checking in here from time to time to let you all know where I'm at in this particular quest.


GAVNO
Mad City, Wisconsin

#12 Becky Blosser

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Posted 09 September 2004 - 04:48 AM

Gavno,

Here's a link to "My Ural Story" on www.imz-ural.com.

http://www.imz-ural....ty/myural07.htm

Excuse me if you've already read it - but you might want to pass it on to your lady.  I was EXTREMELY reluctant, too - this article does NOT convey the irritation/aggravation/just plain anger that I was experiencing at the time Vance bought the first bike - without my approval or signature on the loan.   It was the first and only time he has ever done anything like that - the other 2 bikes were purchased with my full approval.

What changed me?

1) for a mid-life crisis purchase, it was WAY cheaper than a Corvette (or other traditional red convertible).   ;)

2)  People.  You really DO meet the nicest people on a Ural.  Whether or not they are owners - most of the people who have questions are nice and polite and truly interested in what you have to say.  It's been a good trip, so far.
Becky Blosser
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Winchester, VA
A lonely outpost on the Eastern Front

"The answer to any question starting, 'Why don't they-' is almost always, 'Money.'" - Robert A. Heinlein

#13 gerald

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 02:11 PM

Hi Gavno:

    Yep I also am a new rider and bought a Ural as my first bike.   Coming up to 40 with extra cash.  Originally I was going to by my ex-brother-inlaws 1971 Harley for
$7000.00 but then thought about the sidecar.  Camping and grocery shopping and and if I wanted I could  get an extra babe on for a ride on the bike!  This bike is a conversation starter ;)    I took my 2003 Ural (Canadian Cruiser w/sidecar) to
Port Dover's Friday the 13th in August.   Over 100,000.00 bikers showed up on
the Friday.   Lots of hard core Harley guys stopped to chat about the bike.   There
not the rebels any more, WE ARE!   Everyone owns a Harley and I would tell them that I'm not into having the same thing as everyone else.   I will post some pic's of the Port Dover event as we did a wedding when we were there.   Don Ashby drove the bride in his Dnepr and I took the bridesmaid in my Ural down the main street.
Neat things happen when you own one of these bikes.    I never put wait in the sidecar and feel comfortable at 100 km pr hr.   Although if you hit a cross wind and your bike skips it can unnerve you somewhat.   I've been on the hwy's on
corners at 90 km hr and havn't had the side car fly yet so it's a fairly stable
bike.

   I havn't been on the board for a while and its great to be back.   Lots of interesting stuff to read yet but I thought I would post to say hi.

Gerald

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Gerald - Ontario, Canada.

2003 Ural - Northern Cruiser
"Ima Spokusnytsia"

#14 GAVNO

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 03:31 PM

Hello Gerald!


Nice to make your acquaintance!

That Canadian Cruiser is a SHARP rig! Looks like I'll have to expand my search to EBAY.CA, and consider the possibility of hauling a trailer to Internationiona Falls, Minnesota & beyond!   :)


GAVNO

#15 gerald

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Posted 10 September 2004 - 03:56 PM

Hi Gavno:

   You can check out this site www.dneprman.com.   Thats Don Ashby Sidecar Sales  where I got my bike (he also has some rebuilt used stuff ).   Don fixes all the engines before he sells them and quarantees his products.  In Canada the Northern Cruiser (proper name) is the only Russian bike we can get .   The Canadian standards are alot more regulated than the States.   Unfortunately the Northern Cruiser is under re-evaluation so there will be NO new imports into Canada until the fall of 2005? I think Don has a black version and a black and burgandy like mine still in stock.  750cc with sidecar drive gear?   Anyways your looking at $11,900.00 Canadian up here w/sidecar.   The Russian Iron site, is a great website, with good people who have helped me out with bugs in my "new" bike....  Now I just need a small trailer to get to Michigan this weekend and N.C. in the fall :wub:

Good Luck and remember that you are talking to enthusiasts on this site, so make sure that you can deal with a bike that is manufactured in a country that has a 80% alcoholic rate within the male population ;p

Gerald
Gerald - Ontario, Canada.

2003 Ural - Northern Cruiser
"Ima Spokusnytsia"




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