Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth
Just blitzed through the whole thread. Talk about a thread exploding overnight! Obviously Urals are bikes that bring out a lot of emotions, love or hate. IMO we live in a bit of a Golden Age when it comes to mechanical things, and vehicles in particular - engineering, electronics, metallurgy, machining (CNC !)... really, manufacturing on the whole, has advanced to the point we've come to expect (previously unthinkable) reliability. The Ural (just like the India produced Royal Enfield) is a different animal, and despite advancements I don't think it's fair or realistic to compare a Ural to more modern designs. As much as the Ural has character in spades, I'd build myself a BMW air or oilhead hack if I wanted a boxer. Instead I have a Goldwing & KLR650 rig - the Goldwing to satisfy the high tech highway cruiser mission, and KLR for back country cruising. The Ural is really a neat older design, and occasionally when I see a nice used one come up for sale I think, just for a second, it'd be neat to have one. The practical side of me however thinks otherwise.
Yup the Ural thing is an emotional topic, same as when I was into Guzzis. The thing is offbeat bikes are not for everyone, we all know that. To us that own them, we know what we got, most of us research and wiegh the pain versus smiles before we buy, the Ural to me and many others is a joy to ride and own. I'm riding around a bitchin Russian bike in Amerika, to me that is extremely fun. Since I bought the Ural I sold several of my other bikes because I wan't riding them anymore, I did keep my HD Electraglide for long range slab duty, I'm not a total fool. But I have taken my Ural on a 2500 mile road trip, it ran flawless and was a joy to kick back, ride all secondary roads and "smell the roses". I have never been so relaxed and seen so much on any of other of the 40+ bikes I've owned or ridden on a trip as I did on the Ural.
And although some guys say they don't need it, I use reverse all the time and 2wd at this price point has been a must have for me. It just plain works and you can go places other hacks just dream about or can't go.
Okay GWN, next time you get that urge, give into the dark side, heheh, I bet you'll wonder why you waited so long...