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Old 05-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #196
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Well said Hogmaine
Thanks Tom
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:21 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cob View Post
You should also contact Ilya, and ask if you can get a percentage on Ural's sold in the future because of the exposure to many who perhaps would not have even considered buying one if not for your thread.
New from Ural:

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Old 05-30-2012, 01:51 PM   #198
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This has been a fun thread. I was just thinking " gee, I haven't posted on Soviet Steeds in awhile." Now everyone on Steeds has turned up here!

"You wouldn't be riding a motorcycle if you weren't an optimist."
- Matthew Crawford
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:34 PM   #199
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I think the folks at corporate Ural should be delighted by this thread. Very few companies have customers so emotionally involved with the product... When the geniuses at Piaggio decided that Vespa was an obsolete name brand and changed it to Cosa (=Thing) there was almost an uprising among Italian Vespistas. They fired a couple of big shots and brought the Vespa name back in a hurry. Cannot see Honda riders go up in arms because the Shadow will now be called something else... Anyway, the difference is that as far as the US market is concerned, Ural is a relatively young company while it took Harley, Triumph, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, etc.the better part of a century to accomplish this...
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:35 PM   #200
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Not to stir the pot more when things are dying down, but...

Originally Posted by bokad View Post
The dealer and Ural claim it's not their fault. That's a big surprise!

'So I can't really blame that one on Ural'. I think you can. They are the ones that determine where parts are made, how much QC is done, etc... Certainly someone must take the blame, it's not an act of god, right?
I disagree. They have no control over how the companies they outsource parts from conduct QC, how they make parts, etc. (They can decide whether or not to do business with the company, but that's a separate point.) With a problem like I encountered, I feel that they had no control over the issue itself, and what matters to me at that point is how they deal with it. Whether they're willing to make it right. And I've been satisfied so far with the way it was handled.

Sure - I imagine they probably chose the cheapest supplier of that part, but that's not unexpected. It's how you run a business. You try to make a product as inexpensively as possible, and sell it at enough of a profit to make it worth your while. So no, I don't blame Ural for outsourcing parts to a cheap supplier and getting a bad one.

What I would blame Ural for is continuing to use this supplier without changing their internal QC process for this component, but I have no way to know how they're handling this issue internally (although I seem to recall the dealer mentioning to me that Ural is no longer using the particular supplier of the part that was bad in my bike). But if they *knew* about the quality issue and made no effort to resolve it, then I would be annoyed.

From everything I've heard and read about these bikes, though, Ural is attempting to improve their reliability by making improvements and sourcing better parts. From what I've read, I believe they've come a LONG way since Carla King did her ride around the United States and Canada on a Ural in 1995. Are they on par with other bikes being sold? I have no way of discerning that data with any degree of accuracy. The problems posted on SS don't seem to be particularly more frequent or more severe than the problems on the other two motorcycling forums I follow (F650 forum, and my local BMW forum). It's possible they're more frequent by ratio - i.e. with the relatively smaller number of Urals sold annually, they may have more than their fair share of "issues" compared to other bikes. But I have no way to know those numbers, and you've admitted that you don't have numbers to back up your assertions about reliability either.

I'm not trying to pick a fight or defend Ural as being "uber-reliable" - as I said before, I'm sorry you've encountered problems and I'm sure it's helpful for people who are considering a Ural to hear about the difficulties you've encountered with them. In that respect, I think it's helpful to put that part of the info out there. And I don't disagree that maintenance intervals on this bike are more frequent than maintenance on other bikes.

But I think your assertions about the reliability of Urals in general, which are by your own admission based on anecdotal evidence, lack impact. It's clear that a lot of people here are reading your posts as "lashing out" because you had a bad experience with the bike. I think that sorta undermines the points you were making in talking about the problems you've had, and the fact that you expect better from a "new" bike. If you had stopped after your point number 2, or had only included your point number 9, I think you would have made more impact and less controversy with your post.

Do you think you'll try another sidecar combo? I'd be curious to hear how your experience goes. After reading about the other options out there, a custom hack just seemed too expensive/complicated/difficult to set up properly to us, which is a part of why we went Ural - it's set up out of the gate to do what we want to do with it. We'll just do some mods to make it better at doing what we want to do, and to do things *how* we want to do them. But we do that with all our bikes - it's part of what we love about getting new bikes.

I'd be curious to hear how things go from here for you - please do keep us posted!
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:42 PM   #201
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Oh, oh, here we go again...
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:13 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by techsan View Post
Free country, free speech, your own opinion good for is mine, stick it in your tail pipe you long winded tree hugger!

As folks on SS can attest, I AM a long winded tree hugger, and I love my Ural! It gets me to more trees to hug.

Don't confuse "tree huggerey" with "buying the wrong thing-ery".

Probably 80% of Sara the Hack's riding is far, far off pavement, with no one else near for miles. About all that's been a problem is when some gunk got on a carb slide, making it not slide. Never gotten stuck or unstuck, except by my own doing.

Stan and
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:13 PM   #203
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Why do so many of you take the OP's opinion so personally? Ride your ride and move along. Bokad, thanks for firing up a good thread!
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"When all else fails get a bigger hammer."
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #204
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I think a lot of a Ural purchase comes down to self realization. I posted the following over on the Stupid Things People Ask You thread when we got off topic...

"Funny story, but people laugh when I tell them that my Ural is the most modern bike I've ever owned.

Until now, I've never had a bike with a windshield, a neutral light, mirrors, running lights, or even turn signals.

Simpler bikes are just more fun."

Then I thought it should go here too. My wife wanted a motorcycle with the old school look of my classics, but without the maintenance. She picked the Ural, flew to Boston to pick it up, and drove it home. I promptly fell in love with it and "borrow" it regularly.

And yes, before this flames back up, a Ural requires a lot less maintenance than 60's Triumphs. So your definition of maintenance intensive is subjective.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by hogmaine View Post
I started riding some 40 years ago, being well not well off, my bikes were to say the least running basket cases. Thru dozens of bikes dirt and street I kept getting slightly better bikes, bikes that got me further between break downs. Eventually worked my way to newer Jap. bikes and somewhere a whole lot of the fun, I was having all those years went away, riding was somewhat boring. I guess some people look at getting there, while others look at how they got there. Kind of like being born with a silver spoon instead of working for it, it just does not have the same meaning when you get there. Like most other Ural owners, I knew what I was getting, I knew what I was looking for. This is a bike you can work on, not needing $120.00 an hour service tech. This is a bike I can pick up the phone and call, text, email, pm the owner of the company, talk directly to him, and he has always been willing to help. I cannot say enough about this company and it's people. And for that matter the people I have met that own and love these motorcycle as well.

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
Henry David Thoreau

Same can be said of motorcyclist.
Wow- Hogmaine, that's like some kind of Zen & the art of motorcycling story there! Kind of inspirational. There are tons of uninspiring, unloved UJMs out there that are great traveling machines, but lack character. It's more than specs or performance that make the machine IMO... and obviously I'm not alone in thinking that. Ural owners, despite the flaws of the machine, obviously really love the riding/driving experience! Heck of a volatile thread... most (ahem) interesting I've seen yet in the Hacks forum!
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Bikes currently owned: '91 Honda Gold Wing with sidecar, '92 Kawi KLR650 with Enduro sidecar, '94 KLR650, KL250 Super Sherpa.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:34 PM   #206
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I've been out of internet range for a couple of weeks so have been trying to get caught back up...tough to do, as fast as replies are being posted to this thread. I've found it rather amusing. I've read a lot of long-distance touring books and I don't recall one where bike problems weren't part and parcel of the they Ural, BMW, UJM or whatever. I read the books because I know I'm not good enough with a wrench to tackle a trip like that on ANY bike. I suppose my Ural may strand me somewhere, someday but then so did my Honda. There are a few folks whose posts set off my Spidey sense from the very first time they show up on a forum. Bokad was one of those, but he's not the first or even the most prominent and won't be the last. Some people just seem to have the reverse-Midas touch; everything they touch turns to s&#t. Some of it's poor decision making, some of it is apparently bad karma, some of it here on the internet is pure BS. Being charitable, I'm going to put Bokad in the bad karma batch, but I suspect he'd have had problems with any marque.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:46 PM   #207
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Mr. Cob remains the resident Uralogist and gentleman of the Forum....I defer my aloted post time to him

counselor......your witness
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:57 PM   #208
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why so glum? must have the real lemon of the lot...I've had my Ural Patrol...2010...for going on 2 years, and yes there were issues early on...but I did what every ural owner did and learned to do my own work, She's a finicky machine to be sure...she requires some basics...air, oil, gas and attention to detail...but that is about it. 18,000 km's and no real issues...other than the first week owner jitters...You have to do your own maint. because paying someone $85 an hour for changing your plugs is nuts. The guys over on SS are knowledgeable and well informed and will help you at the drop of a hat.

No, she's not a highway bike, not a Gold Wing, not a KLR, not a Harley...she's a Ural...a cranky, demanding, fun loving soviet 'quality' machine...and if you didn't realize that before you bought one...well...caveat emptor...I've owned bikes my whole life, and son of a gun...every one of them had thieir quirks and mech. problems, but I have never had as much fun as I have with my Ural. I can take off on the forest roads, across the fields, down the beaches, over the fields and down the blue highways...

It's a small circle of quirky owners and friends, and we can all agree...the Ural is not for everyone, and it's not the be-all to end all bike...but I love love love...being able to patch my tire on the road in the mountains...not that it's a lot of fun...because it sure the heck aint...but it is a lot cheaper than relying on someone with a truck or a trailer to haul my carcass into town to have someone say..."never worked on one of them!".....

Sorry to hear that you were not happy with the Ural...but the fact that these machines have been made the same way...for the most part...since 1939...and they are still being used for everything from farming implements to hunting transport to RTW bikes?...then they have something going for them....

Good luck to you and to whatever you decide to invest in next.....
...if I can't ride on it or fix it by the side of the road, it ain't worth havin'...
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:36 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by WeeMcD View Post
Why do so many of you take the OP's opinion so personally? Ride your ride and move along. Bokad, thanks for firing up a good thread!
I hear ya WeeMcD. Hey, maybe he just got a bad URAL.
He's posting some great photos and has a good story to tell.
Thanks for that Bokad!

I can only hope that when I get my Zundapp EL rig together it runs as far and as well as his URAL has.
Jakarta... probably not, but a European tour is not out of the question for me and the wife.

Don in Nipomo
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:46 PM   #210
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You mean your highly modified lots of time spent on Ural, right? What does that have to do with the stock model the rest of us ride? A $1200 scooter/moped is more capable here than the Ural.

Originally Posted by Mr. Cob View Post
That said I have had my Ural in places that would make what your doing look pretty darn tame.
Oddly enough, I did contact them before I started. Not asking for support as I'm not so much in to handouts or being beholden to someone else. What I did do is say "Hey,FYI, I'm going to do this really cool thing on my Ural and also could you tell me the weight and dimensions of the Ural crate that you use to ship to dealers".
No response. No biggy, moved on.
Originally Posted by Mr. Cob View Post
If you had talked to IMWA BEFORE you started your trip and asked them if they would support you in such an undertaking there is a pretty good chance you too could have gotten some sort of support for your ride as it would have made great advertisement for them.

bokad screwed with this post 05-31-2012 at 12:31 AM
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