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Old 05-29-2012, 10:24 AM   #76
crampfan
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The only time my '06 has been towed was due to a "up graded" ign.system. My Ural is no more unreliable than any of the 1950-1970 European bikes I have owned (ride em' hard on the week end, stand in line at the dealer on Monday) I have to believe that if all the bikes Ural made were "Russian junk" the company would not still be in business. My Gear Up has done everything I have asked it to. Example.. I know it's not a freeway bike, so I don't ask it to do that. Do you really use your hand to put it in reverse?...hmmm....



"Ural, a special motorcycle made for special folks"
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #77
Dachary
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So since one of the threads in the original post about a Ural failure was mine, I suppose I should chime in.

I recently bought a new Ural (bought new instead of used for the warranty, and for some of the improvements they've made in the past few years) and it failed on the way home from the dealer. Had to have it towed back to the dealer just 2.5 miles from making it home!

The dealer claims that the problem was a bad part - a part that Ural themselves outsourced and have had some quality control issues with. So I can't really blame that one on Ural. After replacing that part, the thing has run like a dream. Did a 300 mile day on it the day after bringing it home, which is a lot on a new engine that's still breaking in, and it just keeps getting better and better.

Am I expecting to have problems with it down the road? Maybe. I've been reading seriously about these bikes since January, when I went to look at them at the dealer the first time, and it seems that some people ride these things forever with zero problems and some people have significant problems that turn them off the bike. Since I've just got 500km on mine, it's far too early to tell whether my ownership will be relatively trouble-free.

That being said, yes, the service intervals are a bit irksome. It requires much more frequent service than our Beemers. But in the end, we kinda feel that the ease of service makes up for it a bit.

Reliability? I feel that with any bike you get, reliability is going to be a crap-shoot. We took our BMW F650GSes on a trip through the Americas and had some issues. Spent around $2,000 on maintenance and repairs during a 4-month trip, and another $2,000 when we brought them home to fix some issues from the trip. So yeah, that's a lot. And these are bikes that are lauded for their reliability. (And to be fair, in spite of the problems we had, we were pretty pleased with the way they performed on the road.)

I kinda think of problems with bikes as inevitable. It isn't "if" they're going to break down, but "when" and how you'll deal with it when it happens. So I don't see the Urals as any more difficult than any other bike, because they all have problems. (On our F650s, we've had gasket problems, fork seals have gone, radiator fan died, rear shock died - and we haven't yet encountered the "known" issue of the water pump going, although we do have a couple of spares in our spare kit. We also had some electrical problems that were *very* costly. So I'm liking the idea of a "low-tech" bike on which we can do most of the work ourselves.)

I wouldn't say a Ural is for everyone, because no bike is for everyone. Everyone has their own needs and desires when they buy a bike, and there's always the intangible "smile factor" that can't be calculated. But being more than passing familiar with the types of problems these bikes *can* experience (I maintain that things like "wrenching and modifications" sections of bike-specific forums aren't representative of ownership in general, because people *only* post in those sections when they're having problems) - we're intending to take our Ural on a RTW trip in the next year or two. We're fully prepared to deal with whatever problems crop up while on the road. After doing the research, we intentionally chose a Ural over hacking a sidecar to some other bike for a variety of reasons. It *is* the bike for us.

I'm sorry that you've had problems, but I don't think that is necessarily representative of the average ownership experience for these bikes. And I feel like throwing out the "It Didn't Break Thread" was a bit misleading, because that thread wasn't started "for self affirmation because with a Ural, that's something to celebrate." It was started as a joke, because a newb who had been reading the "hammering and wrenching" forum commented on all the problems these bikes seemed to have, and the point was that plenty of people never have problems with these bikes.

I'm sure that info about your bikes' failures will be helpful to some people who are considering buying. But I feel that your post here is slanted toward the negative while minimizing the positive. It's not objective. And as a result, it's not as helpful as it could be otherwise. It has sort of a "sour grapes" vibe that is clearly polarizing readers.

As far as your statistics for stating that Urals are unreliable compared to other bikes - I'd love to hear your stats. What numbers did you crunch to determine this? Where have you found the data that supports the "higher number of failures versus other bikes" assertion? If you're basing it on more than anecdotal evidence from reading a wrenching forum, I'd love to hear how the statistics break out.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:37 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by crampfan View Post
The only time my '06 has been towed was due to a "up graded" ign.system.,.
"Ural, a special motorcycle made for special folks"

What was the Upgrade, what problem was there and how did you fix it if I may ask? Thank you.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:50 AM   #79
GreatWhiteNorth
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Very interesting thread!

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.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:57 AM   #80
JerseyBlues
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You know, the more bokad posts replies, the more inconsistencies appear with his comments. The more generalizations and dissing of all things Russian...no wonder IMWA no longer responds to him. BTW- Russian Standard vodka is quite good, even to Russians.

I'm certainly no mechanical genius, but he references one of my threads where I have to remove the sidecar driveshaft, rear shocks, swingarm, rear brake lever, final drive, neutral switch, air box and starter motor to replace a broken clutch acuator rod that cost me $15. Most of my friends were absolutely amazed that I was able to do that repair on my own with only the tools that came with my 2004 Patrol! Heck, I have trouble fixin' the push mower when it won't start!

I've seen Ural owners replace cylinders in a campground on the ground covered in pine needles while drinking Baltika #9s (another great Russian product) and then go riding offroad the next couple of days and ride it home afterwards with no further issues (QBall).

The more you post, bokad, the more it is apparent that you are certainly not capable of wrenching, let alone adventuring anywhere that doesn't have maid service and your special kind of bar soap in the hotel rooms you would have to stay in. You talk like you are a well-versed world traveller, you had me fooled. Most people that fit in that category just book the trip with a tour guide and ride in the bus...

When I go on rides out past where Jesus lost his sandals and something breaks, I can fix it and get home. Many, many of my Honda/Suzuki/KTM/Kawi riding buddies break down out there and guess what? Yep- I tow them out with my Ural so they can take it to the dealer to have it fixed in a week or two.

I've got 32,000kms on my '04 with LOTS of long distance travels (not as much as Berger, or windmill, or Mr Cob, or garylongstitcher or whatever his name was, or even Hints from Heloise!) but I know what the rig can do and what it can't do.

Here's a quote from windmill that says an aweful lot:

The beauty of a Ural isn't about the common things it can't do, it's about the uncommon things it can do. -windmill
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:00 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
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. .
That's why the Space Shuttle had 2 catastrophic failures. The engineers did not think it could happen in this Golden Age.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:07 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Oldmanriding View Post
That's why the Space Shuttle had 2 catastrophic failures. The engineers did not think it could happen in this Golden Age.
Okay, nothing personal here, but just so I'm clear on this:

You're putting the space shuttle, quite possibly the most complex machine ever devised by the minds of men, into juxtaposition with... a ... Ural?
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:12 AM   #83
Oldmanriding
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No I'm saying that the belief that we live in a time when mechanical devices are so well made that we , the public at large, believe that anything we buy that has a failure is somehow sub-standard.If it is possible for one of the most "expensive" machines to fail , any machine can fail. We do not see complexity as an issue only cost.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:14 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Oldmanriding View Post
No I'm saying that the belief that we live in a time when mechanical devices are so well made that we , the public at large, believe that anything we buy that has a failure is somehow sub-standard.If it is possible for one of the most "expensive" machines to fail , any machine can fail. We do not see complexity as an issue only cost.
Okay, now I'm with you!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:17 AM   #85
Berger
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Originally Posted by cdscoot View Post
I think it has been talked to death on the Soviet steeds forum that if you are not mechanically inclined or do not enjoy fiddling with your bike then The Ural is not right for you. The corralary to that though is that you are not fit for ANY bike. These are not appliances like cars that are forever forgiving. One mecanical failure on any bike can be life threatening. Every manufacturer that builds bikes has these problems. Many would like you to believe the have none, but the sad fact is they do. Ask any honest dealer out of earshot of his shop. If you want a blender then you should be looking for something else. I don't personally think the ideal machine is made for you Bokad !
Well said!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:23 AM   #86
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When I go on rides out past where Jesus lost his sandals....
Dammit Scott....I blew Diet Pepsi all over my monitor!!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:26 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by GreatWhiteNorth View Post
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...
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:28 AM   #88
crampfan
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Originally Posted by Oldmanriding View Post
What was the Upgrade, what problem was there and how did you fix it if I may ask? Thank you.
lol, the power arc module failed, fix was to install a new power arc module and carry a russian "down grade" point type ign. system in the tool kit. I'm ready for anything now!
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:46 AM   #89
GreatWhiteNorth
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[QUOTE=GeezerStank wrote: Okay GWN, next time you get that urge, give into the dark side, heheh, I bet you'll wonder why you waited so long... [/QUOTE]


Actually that's kind of why I bought the KLR hack. Although the Ural & KLR are different critters, they're fairly similar in their simplicity compared to more modern multi cylinder machines. I've really come to enjoy farting around cruising gravel country roads. The thing with bikes like the Ural (and KLR rigs) is that you can't be in a hurry (you're not going to cruise at 75 mph), and shouldn't expect them to be something they're not. Never know... maybe if the right deal came along, and the stars aligned correctly, I'd have a Ural someday. Never thought I'd buy a KLR either, or enjoy it so much!
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:01 PM   #90
chiba
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Fun thread. Thanks.
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