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Old 10-02-2008, 11:40 AM   #1
boplicity OP
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Laconia, NH
Oddometer: 28
questions about an 02 Ural 750

I'm interested in buying a sidecar rig for me, my girlfriend and my dog. I'm hoping to look at a 2002 Ural 750. The seller sent me pictures and the bike looks great - very, very clean. He describes it as a cross between a Bavarian and a Tourist. I don't know what this means! Can anyone here shed some light on that description? Obviously I'll ask the seller but I'd like to be a little informed before I go.

Also, can anyone tell me if there's anything I need to be aware of for 02 Urals? Are there any known issues with this year? Is there a break point on upgrades (ie did the 2003 Ural feature monoblock billet front calipers and billet radial master cylinders making the 02 and earlier bikes less desirable (of course I'm kidding)). I bought a 2004 Frontier without doing enough research and learned afterwards that the 05 models had upgraded engines that were review much better than the 04 and earlier ones - doh! I don't want to do that again.

And finally, I'm really into the looks of the CJ750 but I can't find any for sale locally and I'm not sure I have the guts or patience to try and import one. Aside from looks are there any compelling reasons to go for one versus the other (newer Ural versus a CJ750)?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:05 PM   #2
Scott Davis
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I have an 06 Tourist 750 and I have no issues with the bike. The engine is sound. Not sure what year the Bremo front brake came out.

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Old 10-02-2008, 12:43 PM   #3
boplicity OP
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I was just kidding about the Brembos - a setup like I described would cost as much as an entire new Ural!
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:16 PM   #4
comprador bourgeois
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You'll probably spend a lot more time riding the Ural and a lot more time kicking the CJ.

There were no "bad years" IMO for Urals, but there has been a steady progression of relatively minor modernizations every year since 1996.

There are those who have had interesting experiences with early 750s under the old importer (CMSI) -- but every year has its share of silly bugs to fix. Some years have cranky ignition systems, others have wonky alternators, etc.

For these and other reasons I tend to prefer specimens with slightly higher mileage, as it's more likely their specific issues have been addressed. They're usually quite minor, but can be frustrating for someone who expects things to "just work."

It all comes down to the price. You can add all the newer goodies to an older bike...
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:10 PM   #5
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Location: Kent, Washington State
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I put 1500 km a month on My Ural, I use it every day, and it has never let Me down in any way. With a CJ, the two questions are will it start today? and how far will it go before something fails. There has never been a legal DOT/EPA importer of new CJ rigs. It has been tried a few times but never happened except a handful solo bikes in the 80's. Any CJ in the US is a gray or antique import. There are a few high mile CJ's out there, but it is a true labour of love. A legal import Ural or Dnepr will be much more dependable. I see a good number of Urals running around Seattle, but only 1 CJ that belongs to a scooter shop. I saw it running once, but usally it is sitting out front with something removed for repair. That being said I would love to have a PLA flathead CJ to play with on the farm.
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:53 PM   #6
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Location: Evart, Michigan
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06 Tourist

I have a 06 Tourist, 4000km. Love the rig. Use it for grocery shopping, err ands, etc. However, I still prefer two wheels for touring, etc.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” --
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:19 PM   #7
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Location: Stevensville, Michigan
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I own an 02 Tourist which I purchased new in July 2003. It was part of the original distributor's inventory (CMSI) when the factory (Irbit) took over U.S. distribution (and is titled as an 03).

The 2002 Tourists have drum front brakes, electronic ignition, and the only weakness is the Russian alternator (which has a tendency to seize its bearings, fry its internal windings, or lose its ground).

The factory switch to the Denso alternator/with adaptor solved that problem (I think it became standard equipment on the 2005-2006 Urals).

I've put 18,200 miles on my Tourist and the only troubles I've had are with the alternators (the Russian ones). I got a new Denso this summer (the solder connections on my second Russian alternator melted while riding one afternoon) and have had no real complaints other than it's a little noisier than the old alternator. I have also worn out the three original tires and broken one throttle cable and replaced a frayed front brake cable.

Top speed with no one in the hack is 65 mph to 70 mph. With a passenger, it tops out at 60-65. Gas mileage is in the low thirties.

It's a great bike and I love riding mine.
(hope this helps).
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charlie98210 screwed with this post 10-03-2008 at 09:19 AM
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:28 PM   #8
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Hey Miles-

I'm a new Ural owner, and although I ended up going new, strongly considered everything from cheap Dneprs, through all years and makes of Urals, all the way up to '08s.

I think it really depends on how you see yourself using and riding the machine. Is it a second bike, a weekend runner, will you be just as happy tinkering on a sunny day because it's not running or will it really frustrate you to be tearing apart as your GF and dog stand hopefully waiting to take a spin while your up to your elbows in engine oil?

The '02 Ural (from what I read verses real world experience I admit) will be far more reliable, run better with traffic and much less work than a CJ. Urals as noted by eastbloc have steadily improved year by year whereas the CJ's have not- most are antique bikes frozen in time.

What the previous owner should be able to tell you is the service record of the bike, fluids used, quirks, strengths, issues fixed etc. Why? Because as an owner you either have to do work on it or pay someone to- they are bikes you need to bond with on a mechanical level. You can't gas n go for years at a time...but for me, that's a tremendous amount of the enjoyment of owning my Ural. It's kinda like raising a child- the degree of love and attention you put in is returned by how that bike grows up....but they really do require it.

I can't speak to specific year by year improvements and models. Ask over at the Ural board IMZ Board and you'll probably get a ton of advice.

I will say this. I am LOVING my bike. If I lost mine tomorrow :shudder: I'd buy another Ural in a second.

Good Luck!
1995 1100GS, 128K Miles

There comes a time when the jewels cease to sparkle, the gold loses it's luster, and the throne room becomes a prison. And all that is left is a father's love for his child.

XPatriot screwed with this post 10-02-2008 at 07:38 PM
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
Gnarly Adventurer
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'02 was the first year for the 750 motor and the last full year for the old importer. As with the first year of any design there were some teething pains and the bike quality was a little more variable in those days.

I'd feel better if it had at least 20k km's on it after all these years, any less may indicate that it doesn't run well enough to use regularly. If the alternator has not been upgraded, DO IT.

There was a model that was kind of a cross between a Tourist and the Bavarian Classic. It was called a Luxury Cruiser. It had telescopic forks, 18" wheels, a solo seat with coils springs and a chrome rack on the rear fender.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:48 PM   #10
comprador bourgeois
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Not only have the bikes improved, but the baseline was much higher at the first import year (94 or 95? Not sure, mine's the earliest I've known) than the CJ imports.

I'm sure that there are remanufacured CJs that are as reliable as a Ural or as a vintage BMW. The problem is separating the gems from the rough, where even the best of gems are probably only on par with the regular import Urals you can get for a fraction of the price. Unless you absolutely must have a side-valve bike with a plunger frame, you're better off with an IMZ or even a KMZ bike.

And in my experience, you're going to have so much fun with a sidecar outfit that the extra 'character' those bikes provide is going to be eclipsed by flying the chair, taking your dog out, or going on runs to the local Home Depot, to the extent that you'll eventually get cranky with the rig being up on blocks in the driveway for a rebuild of whatever it is that needs to get rebuilt.

I've gone through over eight years of Ural ownership. I know everything there is to know about the beasts, the only part that I haven't fully dissected is the final drive. I'd be happy with my '95 as a daily rider, as long as my daily ride didn't exceed 100 miles from my house. As a commuter, it's a great bike -- ask the last owner of my Sportsman, who put 40,000 klicks on it commuting every day to work.

The only reason my '95 Sporty isn't my sidecar of choice going forward is my thirst for the TOUR. I want to be able to hit the slab to get to some roads worth riding on. I live in an absolutely horrible place for launching tours, as useful as a motorcycle (and especially one with a sidecar) is in New York City.

Being able to hop on the highway, ride out a few hundred miles at 80mph with my buddies on two-wheelers, to be able to hit the backroads of Vermont or Virginia is where it's at for me.

But that's something you mature to as you realize that three wheels are always going to be a part of your life. They're almost more important than the two wheels that I could also never give up.

Another anecdote. When I finally pulled the trigger on my order to Dauntless for the bits I would need to build my R1150GS-Ural outfit, I was so nervous that I would miss the two-wheeled abilities of the bike, I was biting my nails. I ended up buying an R1200GS Adventure. and selling my K1200RS.

Although I am absolutely in love with the new overpriced Bavarian beast, in retrospect, I could have lived with the K12. My main qualms was how I would park it in the city -- I usually park perpendicular to cars, and the K12 getting knocked over is an event as traumatizing to me as it is to my insurance company. I rationalized the purchase as needing a bike that can get knocked over...

Anyway, the moral of the story is that I've put about four times as many miles on the hacked GS than I have on the Adventure. Sure, I miss riding on two wheels, but somehow three wheels have become more interesting. It's a demented sort of thing, where you have to go slower, but the art of it consumes you. The asymmetry of it. The trust you develop with your outfit. It's hard to explain.

Most people who ride my rig, ride it about one km down the road before they get off, cursing me and creation alike. "What the fuck?" is not an uncommon expression. But I can tell you this much -- you will pry it from my cold, dead hands.
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