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Old 06-17-2008, 03:28 PM   #8
Ural Australia
Joined: May 2008
Oddometer: 52
Originally Posted by The Ragman
Flying the chair is part of phyical dynamics not the type of fork - the leading link fork makes driving the rig easier, which is why the Ural comes with it, on most rigs. I have driven a hack rig without, and don't envisage myself doing it again any time soon - though there are people who would disagree and say that standard forks work fine.. My Ural is MUCH easier to control than a friends KLR650 rig - he has the Ural frame with a custom box on it, but it rides like a thing possessed - turning makes a praying person out of you. My friend rode my rig, when I rode his - he is saving for a leading link.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but leading link forks do not necessarily make an outfit easier to drive. It all depends on the geometry. And Urals do not have leading links because they are better. They have leading links because the original U.S. importer wanted to emulate BMW's Earles Forks, and they're cheaper than the telescopic forks to manufacture/buy in. The Ural's leading links and Russian telescopic forks have exactly the same rake and trail and in most situations handle exactly the same. Due to the wheels travel being slightly different between the two set-ups, some people prefer the leading link off-road, but in most situations the "obvious" differences between the two set-ups are merely psychological.

The Ural steering stem is a forerunner of the "Steerite" system in that it has a 5 degree rake to the stem. It also has very solid steels castings for the upper and lower clamps and the fork tops are tapered and screwed into the upper casting. All those features, together with a reasonable diameter axle ensure light and responsive steering.

Telescopic forks got a bad reputation due to Japanese bikes of the '70s that had forks that weren't even up to the job on a solo bike let alone an outfit. A good fork brace is a good start. Maybe heavier fork springs or preload, heavier oil, lots of options without taking out a second mortgage.

Final point, Vernon's right. 600 miles a day is a lot for a sidecar novice. Hell, 3,000 miles in 5 days is a lot for an experienced sidecarist. Have a good rethink on those plans.
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