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Old 12-05-2008, 07:55 AM   #1
tomshell OP
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1996 Ural Tourist Help

I am looking at a used slightly beat to hell Ural Tourist.The bike has only 6000 kms on it. I have to decide quickly, and registered at russion iron dot com but can not post there yet. Any help would be appreciated, so here goes.
The bike runs rough, and has been sitting,and i noticed the left side jug is quite a bit warmer than the right. Could this be an indication of trouble?
The carb boots are flimsy and possibly leaking. Is there an upgrade to a firmer rubber avaiable, as they are gonna need replacing anyway.
What model designation would this be, as i would like to search for a manual and they may help.
What top speed can i expect to cruise at comfortably? 55?
Can the sidecar be removed and the bike be ridden without?
Are parts readily available?
Any weak points i should look at before pulling the trigger on it later today?
Thanks a bunch, i am not new to turning wrenches, know this bike will require a lot of attention, and have wanted a rig like this for 30 years......Tom
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:10 AM   #2
RedMenace
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If the sidecar is in decent shape and you can get the entire rig for about what a sidecar would cost you where you are, and you don't mind working on it go for it.

Weak points:
low top speed
generator tends to grenade and take out the engine
overall qc is poor.

I find Urals to be ill handling solo bikes, but if the one you are looking at has telescopic forks it can be done and I know folks who are enthusiastic about running Tourists solo. It can also be done with link fork models, but the consensus seems to be they really should not be run without the sidecar.

Once you get on Russian Iron you can find various work arounds for the carb rubbers. I've used radiator hose cut to fit, others have used flex hose

A leaking intake would cause it to lean out, run rough and overheat one side. So would a bum ignition or coil(not unheard of on Urals) So would any number of possible failures, some monumental, most inconsequential to deal with

650 parts are less available than 750 parts but can still be had through the better dealers and through the Ural community, which you will find to be warm and very supportive.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:22 PM   #3
jeep44
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I have a '97 Tourist-not much different then that '96, I imagine.

This will have the 14W generator (if it has not been changed)-it will not cause the timing gears to break up like the later 35W one will-it has been very sufficient on my bike, but it is low output, so you really cannot run any extra electrical things on it. Replacing various bulbs with LEDs helps to conserve what juice you have.
650 Urals are notorious for breaking their crankshafts-my low-milage '97 did so this summer. Lugging the engine is apparently fatal to the crank-I have no idea how the PO of my bike treated it-probably not well. I have read of one person on one of the Ural forums that has broken 5 crankshafts-and driven home on four of them, if I recall right. A new replacement 750 Ural engine, that has a much better crank that doesn't break, can be dropped in, but they are upwards of $4000 now, so that isn't much of an option.
Several Russian ebay vendors have Ural parts, and you can get New Pekar K68 carbs from them that were original equipment-the mikunis with the rubber boots on your bike are EPA requirements-the Pekars are very simple carbs that bolt right up to the heads-no boots.
You will get all sorts of other tips from Russian Iron, and find out there is a lot of antipathy between them and the "other" Russian bike forum, but both will give you all sorts of valuable info on these bikes. Good Luck.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:34 PM   #4
tomshell OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeep44
I have a '97 Tourist-not much different then that '96, I imagine.

This will have the 14W generator (if it has not been changed)-it will not cause the timing gears to break up like the later 35W one will-it has been very sufficient on my bike, but it is low output, so you really cannot run any extra electrical things on it. Replacing various bulbs with LEDs helps to conserve what juice you have.
650 Urals are notorious for breaking their crankshafts-my low-milage '97 did so this summer. Lugging the engine is apparently fatal to the crank-I have no idea how the PO of my bike treated it-probably not well. I have read of one person on one of the Ural forums that has broken 5 crankshafts-and driven home on four of them, if I recall right. A new replacement 750 Ural engine, that has a much better crank that doesn't break, can be dropped in, but they are upwards of $4000 now, so that isn't much of an option.
Several Russian ebay vendors have Ural parts, and you can get New Pekar K68 carbs from them that were original equipment-the mikunis with the rubber boots on your bike are EPA requirements-the Pekars are very simple carbs that bolt right up to the heads-no boots.
You will get all sorts of other tips from Russian Iron, and find out there is a lot of antipathy between them and the "other" Russian bike forum, but both will give you all sorts of valuable info on these bikes. Good Luck.
Thanks for the info....I misquoted the year of mine-which by the way I have comitted to buy-it is a 97! I have read a bit about the crankshaft, I will try not to lug. the carb info is very good to know. I pick it up tomorrow, 2k for a 97 with 6000 kms.....I am feeling like a little kid in anticipation! Tom
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
jeep44
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You will enjoy entering the wonderful world of Urals-be prepared to be delayed at every stop by curious people (The UDF-Ural delay Factor).
I'm sure you will anyway, but immediately check your valve clearances, and change all the oils-engine, trans and final drive. Unlike later ones,Yours will have a grease fitting on the universal joint at the rear wheel, and you must grease it with a special fitting-a long, sharp-pointed tip that will shoot grease right into that grease fitting-I found mine at the auto parts store by all the grease-related stuff-it's a tight fit, so you will need a flexible hose.
If it doesn't have a fuel filter on each line to the carbs, get a pair.
The Russian fuses are a strange type-better order some from a dealer before you need them.

Will you get the original manuals and toolkit with it? I got a fairly useful shop manual on the 650 from Crawfords (my local dealer).
That's about all I can think of in the way of tips now-you'll pick up lots more from Russian Iron and Soviet Steeds.
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:42 PM   #6
RomaDakota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomshell
I pick it up tomorrow, 2k for a 97 with 6000 kms.....
Outstanding. Now that is the way to buy a URal!
I would add a compression test and timing to the list already mentioned. Really a quick go-over of everything will save you headaches later. Keep it under 55mph and you'll enjoy your experience more which will be more "Russian-like" with that year. Post a pic when you can and we'll tell you stuff we know and advice on stuff we know nothing about.
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:42 PM   #7
SandHog
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Welcome to the crazy world of Urals.
Looks like you have committed to the deal, so you are off on a good start by just being here.
A good guy you need to know is Gene and Whitey in Holopaw FL.
http://www.uralfla.com/
He had been socking away 650 parts for a long time and is knowledgeable in all things 650. I know him personally and bought my present ride from him.

Another place to visit is http://SovietSteeds.com.

Between here, there and RIMC you should get a lot of help.
Most of us belong to all three forums.
Good luck and keep the rpm up on that rig.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:32 PM   #8
eastbloc
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Can't go wrong at that price.

An airhead motor is a good alternative to the 750cc Ural, although it requires more in the way of adaptation, while the 750cc will bolt right in.

Low mileage is actually not a selling point. Expect rotten seals -- they seem to last much longer when oil is sloshed against the surfaces. A lot of the reputation of older Urals in my opinion comes from second and third owners who picked up 'low mileage' bikes expecting them to be good as new, when in fact the neglect ages some components prematurely.

When the seals blow out, do yourself a favor and replace the bearings, as it will save you some trouble down the line. I've never lost a crankshaft personally (although my Sportsman has had it replaced by the PO) but I've replaced an output shaft seal, output shaft bearing, or both on every one of the Urals I've owned or had the pleasure of working on for others, and that's at least five bikes (who can count these things).

These bikes are reliable when you drive them in a Soviet style. That means highways should be a rarity, and the motor will tell you in a reassuring gurgle the speeds it favors. At around 62mph a 650cc Tourist or Sportsman will remind you with an angry whine that it is nearing its limits, and though I've done a few long highway rides at those speeds I never felt terribly good about it.

Your bike is more likely to develop lots of little annoying failures than major catastrophic ones. Things will rattle apart and need tightening, it's a good idea to periodically check the torque of fasteners.

The fuse box and 'birds nest' electrics in the headlamp and around the front end are notoriously shitty, as are the various molex-type connectors scattered around the wiring harness.

I strongly recommend adding a proper ground lead to the sidecar, it will dramatically improve the reliability of your lighting. The 14A alternator is a reliable and reasonably quiet unit in my experience, though you'll want to change out the bimetal blinker relay for an electronic unit if you want your blinkers to blink. If the 35A alternator was installed by the previous owner, discard it immediately.

Keep everything lubed, valves adjusted, carbs tuned, advance timed, don't overheat or overstress the motor, and the Tourist will give you many happy miles. Post some pictures when you get it
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:38 PM   #9
tomshell OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastbloc
I strongly recommend adding a proper ground lead to the sidecar, it will dramatically improve the reliability of your lighting. The 14A alternator is a reliable and reasonably quiet unit in my experience, though you'll want to change out the bimetal blinker relay for an electronic unit if you want your blinkers to blink. If the 35A alternator was installed by the previous owner, discard it immediately.

Keep everything lubed, valves adjusted, carbs tuned, advance timed, don't overheat or overstress the motor, and the Tourist will give you many happy miles. Post some pictures when you get it
Wow great info here.....The ground will be done and I will check out the alternator. Is there an easy way to tell if it is 14w or35w?
Pictures will be posted this weekend, here and at the other site I mentioned in the first post,provided I can post by then...my user name there, as on every moto forum that i belong to, is tomshell as well. Thanks guys, keep it coming!


Edit: Does anyone know if there is a numerical designation for the bike?M-65 or something?
also, any maintenance manuals available on line?
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:47 PM   #10
eastbloc
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35 Amp:



14 Amp:



Sorry for the small pictures, you can probably make out the difference anyway. The 14A has a thin pressed sheet-metal shroud covering the rear half, while the 35A has a thicker cast aluminum housing.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:56 PM   #11
tomshell OP
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Got it!

Picked it up this morning. Plug on the right side was fouled. Cleaned it and it ran much better. Drove her home about 5 miles and that was real interesting. Much squirellier than I had expected. Took my dog for a spin and as expected he really dug it. Tonight I took it out again, and the same plug was again fouled. After a few minutes running on 1, it unfouled itself and ran great. Here is a pic from this afternoon:



Some observations:
None of the lights work correctly.
The trunk does not latch right.
The thing handles like shit.
It pulls much better than I thought it would.
Brakes are weak.
I drove it 1 block after leaving the buyers, and stopped for gas. 2 guys stopped me and the first q and a session had begun....only a few minutes as I had little time to spare...
I am already in love with the bike and can not wait to get to fixing it up.....
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:15 PM   #12
eastbloc
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Brakes may need adjustment. It's a black art I haven't mastered, but you can get them to work pretty damn good.

Lights are notorious. Get some 'bulb grease', it will help keep a connection when the bulbs rattle out of the fixtures. Adding a ground is a huge help with sidecar lighting.

The trunk probably either a) broke the strap at some point and was stressed at the hinges, bowing them out or b) has bent tabs where the hook slips in. Either is an easy fix.

Check toe-in and lean-out. Handling should be very strange initially but quite good really when you get used to it.

I see someone took a rattle can to the bike pretty indiscriminately. I'm almost surprised the tires aren't green

Take some more detailed pictures for us!
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:19 PM   #13
RomaDakota
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Looks great!
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:17 PM   #14
windmill
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Way cool, 100% Russian iron!!! Get the manuals, change the oils, get a K&N air filter, clean and adjust the brakes, take a 3 wheel class, and RIDE-RIDE- RIDE!!! Give it some time, at some point things will click, and 3 wheels will be second nature.
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:23 PM   #15
jeep44
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My trunk was like that-the weight of the spare, and a too-loose strap allowed the hinges to bend. With a little bending and adjusting, I got the latch to work fine.
I am still not satisfied with the brakes on mine. I was told by the dealer that the stock Russian linings are much too hard. I put on a new set from him, but I'm still not totally happy with them-it stops better, but the front brake does not have the bite that the twin leading shoe brake on my BSA has-or even my Enfield. Maybe it is all the weight that these brakes are expected to stop,but the brakes on my rig do not inspire a lot of confidence in me. Maybe I still don't have them adjusted right.
It took me some time to get used to the handling,too. After a while, it will feel normal to you.
My '97 is still in the original shiny olive drab paint, with white pinstripes. It still has the batwing fairing and sidecar windshield, too. They also came with legshields,but I took them off. I like having a fairing for the wind protection, but I really like the look of a rig without a fairing. I kinda like the all-over green of your bike-really gives it a vintage military look. Here's my Ural (I had this pic posted somewhere else on this forum)


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