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Old 06-27-2015, 07:55 PM   #1
KStone OP
Joined: Jun 2015
Location: SoCal
Oddometer: 5
Taking the plunge

I try to recall how events over the past month have transpired, but it's a little hazy. Long story short, I'm joining the Ural club.

My friend and I, along with many beers to accompany us, got to talking one night about bikes. I've been riding most of my life and have a few bikes for fun and commuting. He grew up on bikes but he hasn't been on one in years.

As drunken discussions where the wheel is reinvented and dead horses are flogged and great ideas are spawned, I somewhat remember suggesting he pick up Ural as we were discussing potential new rides. He informed me I had too much to drink while slurring my words when pronouncing Ural, so I googleized a few pictures for him. He was sold (his wife, not so much).

As this night progressed, I began to want one. The more he looked into them, the more I wanted one. We drunkenly high-fived, solidifying the solid intent to purchase new bikes. I could feel someone's eyes burning into me, strangely coming from his wife's direction...

My riding style is getting slower these days and I don't have the desire to fly down the highway or tear up roads like I used to. I blame that on my Harley, it definitely got me in the mindset to enjoy the ride and not attempt to break land speed records to get A to B as fast as possible. The Ural just seemed to fit with everything I like about riding and now my dog would be able to join me!

I set out to find a bike. I knew little about them and quickly got up to speed on the changes over the last decade. I'm handy with a wrench and have torn down 2-strokes, gas and diesel engines through necessity (it's the white trash in my blood, i think it comes naturally). After troubleshooting the smog system (80's carburetor, FML) in my 1985 Landcruiser, I think can handle anything a Ural can throw at me. I decided to track down a 2014-2015 model.

I read a lot about sidecar riding compared to two wheeled bikes and came to the consensus it's like riding a quad with yaw, but far cooler. I got up with a dealer and took a test ride. Hooked. I am by no means a side car expert, but just as any new skill is developed, it will become second nature.

I finally locked on a 2015 GU with a dealer near Sacramento. However, I live in San Diego. I have worked out a tentative route which primarily takes the 1 / 101 from the Bay Area back down south. I will hit just about the 1,000km mark as I roll into my driveway, in time to do the first service.

So, if all goes well, I'll be hopping a train this week to head up, sign papers and ride back down in time to cruise around 4th of July weekend on the new rig. Every day for the last few weeks has made me feel like I'm 9 years old and its Christmas Eve night. I have not exhibited this level of patience in my life, ever. I'll update along the way with pictures and such and have a lot of of plans for this.

A few things about this evolution have made me think. At one point in my life, I decided if I were to buy another bike, it would be an R1200GS. For indescribable reasons, the Ural has surpassed the BMW in my odd calculations of what I need. Not sure how that happened. The second, and most alarming piece, the conversation to get my friend a new bike turned into his wife buying her FIRST bike. I'm pretty sure she had little to no interest in motorcycles before this night.

I'm not sure how two drunkards talking of purchasing new toys turned into the glaring wife in the corner getting something first. Maybe Morgan Freeman needs to explain this to me in an episode of Through the Wormhole...
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:53 PM   #2
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: sf bay area california
Oddometer: 35
Great entertaining read. Have a safe ride back home and don't forget to take pictures along the way.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:02 AM   #3
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Next to Rio Bravo
Oddometer: 3,527
You made the right cloudy ride it.

As far as the GS being replaced....hmmm. We have two & there is nothing like them.
However we added a custom built SC to one & .....well I should say, I wish I had been sitting in on one your friendly drinking party. It would have saved tens of thousands of dollars & we'd at least have a new ready to ride sidecar too. Our clear thinking & research over time & great internal debate lead us to a very sorry but popular builder who made up excuses & hid behind out right lies.

Unfinished it was, where as a Ural is finished & turn key ready to ride home.
Ours would have never made it. Bad electrical wiring & the poorest set up of a rig I have ever ridden, unless you like driving around in circles & only to the right. The loose nuts & bolts & broken body parts on the BMW itself were enough to drive anyone to drinking. The welding splatter & unfinished welds are all part of the USA custom build experience, I am told.

It is nice to hear that a clear head decision thinking process may not always be the most fun way to buy a sidecar.

Our best wishes to you & your dog's adventures to come.
Please keep us posted.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:17 PM   #4
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Cistern, Tx
Oddometer: 46
Waiting for them pictures.
2015 Indian Chief Vintage,2013 KLR 650,2013 Moto Guzzi Stelvio,2015 Ural cT
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:05 PM   #5
Skid plate tester
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Near Richmond VA
Oddometer: 2,386
Welcome to the club. I pick my ct on Friday.
2009 Wee-Strom, 2002 VFR800, 2015 Ural cT
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:40 PM   #6
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Parkland, FL
Oddometer: 128
" the consensus it's like riding a quad with yaw, but far cooler. "

Congratulations on taking the plunge. It is a learning experience. The thing to remember about the yaw (right turns especially) is that it can kill you Never want to wear a Ural as a tricorn hat

A good training road to take is http://evergreenmotorcycletraining.o...ecar-training/ to start the good habits. Dave Hough's book is an excellent source of informaiton.

Another good source for Ural info is

Welcome to the foilhead experience
doug maccoy
South Florida
Vasily, 2011 GearUp
Gustav, 2010 BMW RT
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:58 PM   #7
KStone OP
Joined: Jun 2015
Location: SoCal
Oddometer: 5
Thanks for the welcome! I will definitely keep the trip posted with pictures.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:31 PM   #8
Bar None
IBM Retired
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Joined: Mar 2007
Location: WNC SWFL
Oddometer: 5,152
You have a great route for your first run on a Ural.
Congrats and take it easy and enjoy the rig.
Vince @ SWFL or WNC
2015 Ural cT 2012 Dong Fang DF250RTB-A
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:38 AM   #9
Carl Childers
Ghost in the Machine
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Joined: Dec 2012
Location: Northern New Mexico
Oddometer: 933
New rig and a road trip? Does it get any better than that? Nah!! Be safe and have fun.
New Mexico, not really new, not really Mexico.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:11 PM   #10
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2006
Location: 29 Palms, CA
Oddometer: 186
Me too.

I have always loved military vehicles and I have ridden motorcycles since my teens, so the combination of the two was inevitable. I moved from Harleys to the adventure style bike in 2004 and 3 bikes later ended up on an R1200GSA. I love it as a street bike, a commuter, and a sport touring machine but there is something missing.

I miss the simplicity of some of my earlier bikes. I found a 2000 Ural Tourist on CL recently and I was trying to work a trade for my 77 Condor, but the fella just needed cash.

I had talked myself out of it but my wife of all people told me that I have always wanted a sidecar and I should just go for it. Long story short, this baby lives in my garage now and after taking my two teen daughters and my wife for a ride around the block, it looks to be a permanent resident. They loved it too. Now I can't wait for some grandkids to show up.

It is definitely a learning curve on riding it. I am taking it slow. It doesn't look like they are any training courses down here in Southern CA, so I am reading everything I can and practicing the exercises in the "yellow book" in my yard.
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #11
KStone OP
Joined: Jun 2015
Location: SoCal
Oddometer: 5
It's been one hell of a last few days...

I had everything lined up. Financing covered, bike had arrived and was assembled. All that was left: hop a bus/train combo to travel from San Diego to Sacramento. Looked good on paper, sounded easy enough.

The bus ride was as expected, full of creepy people. The train ride, that's where thing got fun. I had a fairly good window to get the bike and ride out of the Bay Area before rush hour traffic hit and enjoy a leisurely coastal stroll back down south. The window got destroyed when the train I was on, died on the tracks.

A good while went by when a friend of a friend who happened to live in the town the train stranded us, borrowed a truck from yet another friend (it's good to have friends) and volunteered to drive us the remaining 100 miles to the dealership. A little late, no biggie.

Everything went well at the dealership, in and out. On the road. I got used to the hack fairly quick and pointed west just in time to see traffic pooling up. After some recalculations, we determined another route to get to the coast. I made friends with the slow lane and cruised.

UDF was strong, every gas stop people clammored and every car that passed me gave a thumbs up. I think I got at least one proposal of marriage. It is a chick magnet, but my girlfriend has nothing to fear.

The leisurely pace was enjoyable, but did not cover ground fast. Depending on terrain, we never made it over 60. My focus was a solid break in ride so I wasn't worried about getting home a day late. We stopped every hour or so to top off the fuel and let the bike get a breather.

Flash forward to current. I'm typing this, sitting in a parking lot of some building in LA off the 101. As I was riding, the bike sputtered and died. I had calculated the distance I had remaining for fuel, but figured my mathmology was off and the bike needed a drink. I had a fuel can for just such an occasion. After putting in a little go juice, I fired the bike up and tried to pull back on to the freeway.

Now, from my short time upon Urals, I managed to discover the are not masters of expedient acceleration, but something was wrong. Then I noticed the plume of white smoke. I limped off the freeway, into the aforementioned parking lot. As I got off the bike, I saw smoke coming from one pipe. Pulled the plug, covered in oil. So, I'm thinking rings fried or I popped the piston.

Apparently motorcycle coverage is not included in my AAA roadside assistance. The can easily tow my old 7,000 pound F250, but not a 700 pound motorcycle. Well, they COULD, but it would take 7 days to process...

Now, instead of posting pictures of my awesome ride, I will follow up with how well the factory warranty works out. Made it a whopping 904km. Happy 4th of July everyone!
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:05 AM   #12
Joined: Feb 2013
Oddometer: 12
Man that sucks. I hope you get it sorted out and back on the road soon. Urals are a blast to ride.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:54 AM   #13
Skid plate tester
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Near Richmond VA
Oddometer: 2,386
Ouch. From everything I've heard, they will get it fixed up. Downside is getting it to a dealer and waiting while they get everything sorted.

I had been doing the borrow a trailer/truck vs temp tag calculation when my dealer emailed me with a fair price for delivery. Now I'm just waiting for him to show up instead of begging a friend to borrow a trailer and drive 175 miles each way on a holiday weekend.
2009 Wee-Strom, 2002 VFR800, 2015 Ural cT
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:09 PM   #14
Dog Chauffeur
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Tacoma, WA-ish
Oddometer: 4,104
Progressive Insurance offers Roadside Assistance on their motorcycle policies.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:56 AM   #15
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Maine
Oddometer: 693
[QUOTE=DRONE;27136048]Progressive Insurance offers Roadside Assistance on their motorcycle policies.[/QUOTE

Yup.....used it twice. Once $600 tow bill fully reimbursed. The second time $350 fully reimbursed, which adds up to more than I have paid in premiums in the last 7 years.

Good Luck
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. Jack London
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