Am I high ('03 'Busa vs. Ural "Patrol" hack)?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by mcoyote, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. mcoyote

    mcoyote Occam's Razorblade

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    Read a really positive MCN review of the '05 Ural "Patrol" sidecar rig -- the only street-legal, ready-to-go hack sold in the US.

    Apparently the Ural quality has improved dramatically in the last year or so, and both the outsourced goodies (e.g., Brembo 4-pot brakes) and basic construction is much better than it used to be.

    Never considered a hack before, but this is a dual-sport model, complete with nice big wheels, part-time 2wd *and* reverse. And it's, like $10k. And there's supposedly a dealer in Colorado Springs.

    I've had zero luck getting the SO on either bike in the last couple of years because she's afraid of both of us going down, and I'm annoyed that (by my own standards) I have to wait x number of years before my 4-year-old will be ready to ride pillion.

    So with this thing, everybody still has to gear up but there's less chance of falling over and if the SO or kidlet falls asleep they won't be in (any more) mortal danger. Plus, I can carry a bunch of stuff with this thing and be better off on the dirt-over-asphalt roads in CO.

    So, what of the 'Busa? Very reliable, excellent motorcycle for the street. On balance, I would prefer to keep the dual-sport (KTM 950) for its all-around usefulness.

    The 'Busa is also probably twice as reliable as the KTM or the Ural, so maybe between the two...I'll always have a working bike?

    Anyway, a pic:

    [​IMG]

    ...and another:

    [​IMG]

    ...and you can find the specs here:

    http://www.imz-ural.com/patrol/

    ...and the specs for a camo-ed version with an extra fuel carrier and searchlight called the "Gear Up":

    http://www.imz-ural.com/gearup/
    #1
  2. mutineer

    mutineer pierpont lives

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    I am not sure what this betrays about my chracter or lack thereof but I would take the Patrol over a Busa without a second thought.


    If you think you'll ever get here on a Busa you have access to much better stuff than I do and at a much better price :wink:
    #2
  3. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    There really is no such thing as the perfect bike, as much as we d-p guys like to think. This is why they made a 1 car garage capable of holding up to 6 bikes. One should have one for each specific purpose, or mood.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #3
  4. mcoyote

    mcoyote Occam's Razorblade

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    Extra detail: Maybe I should have said -- I already have an '03 'Busa and an '04 KTM 950. Were this to pan out, I would have to replace one of the above just to keep the financials under control. So, yeah, hence the "'Busa vs. Patrol" thing.
    #4
  5. ilmostro

    ilmostro Under Da Sea

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    Almost... :evil

    [​IMG]

    +

    [​IMG]

    =

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. mcoyote

    mcoyote Occam's Razorblade

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    Well, more to the point -- there are quite a few models that can be mated with an aftermarket sidecar, and Harley even sells a sidecar kit for their regular bikes, but the Urals are (apprarently) the only ones that are designed/built and shipped as complete sidecar rigs.
    #6
  7. fixer

    fixer KLR-riding cheap bastard

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    OK, who do i have to kill for the Rral "gear up" hack, with a beltfed MG on the pintle mount and Linzi (err *ahem* a girl LIKE Linzi) riding monkey in the hack.
    #7
  8. BIG SHIRL

    BIG SHIRL Banned

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    This was linked to the ural site:
    At first glance, it resembles a BMW and there's a good reason for that impression. The story of IMZ-Ural began late in 1939, when a secret meeting was held in the Defense Ministry of the USSR. The matter under discussion: What model of motorcycle is most suitable for Soviet forces. Settling on the example of BMW, the Soviets secretly bought five bikes in Sweden. By early 1941, the first trail samples of M-72 bikes were shown to Stalin and the go-ahead was given to produce them. Which brings us to today and this classic bike that looks like an older BMW. Even the gearbox and transmission work similarly.
    #8
  9. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    First off you cant get much further apart than an Eye-abuser and a patrol. Its like saying "Hmm. F-16 Falcon or Ultralight....decisions, decisions"

    Second, the *only* time a hack is less likely to fall over than a 2 wheeled bike is at a dead stop. If you do get a hack, be very cautuous in learning to pilot it and take a course if it is available. They handle entirely different than a bike. Check the Ural thread in "road warriors" for more thorough comentary.

    Thirdly - Urals are far far better than they used to be. But they are no where near the kind of "start it and go" kind of hassle free ride that other modern bikes are. Think of it as buying a BMW /5 with a warranty. The maintenance is easy, repairs are just as easy....but the maintenance is frequent. Initial teething will expose some substandard parts. But the warranty is excellent, parts are readily available, you are able to do warranty work yourself or through any bike shop you choose (with prior arrangement with Ural) So beat the dogpiss out of it during the warranty period. Be meticulous about maintenance and it will run forever. Performance is just about strictly backroad. Flat out in the slow lane on the freeway and you are still getting passed by vegetable trucks. But noodling along on a backroad or exploring a dirt path is a hoot. Kids, dogs, wives love 'em.

    I would buy one without a second thought. But I want you to be very aware of what to realisticaly expect.
    #9
  10. mcoyote

    mcoyote Occam's Razorblade

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    Oh, I realize that. Somebody else mentioned that and I basically said "What? 200lbs more and 1/4 the horsepower of the 'Busa can't feel *that* much different, right?"

    This gets to why I ride. I *love* my Hayabusa, especially when I don't have to look at it from anywhere but the cockpit. It's as reliable as its payment schedule, which is to say very, very reliable. Days when my KTM needs a cig and two cups of coffee to start, the 'Busa is down the road.

    Problem is, I love my famlily also. Not enough to do the actually safe thing of not riding at all -- gotta keep #1 sane, first -- and I can't see how we'll ever share motorcycling at the rate we're going. Plus, just think of it, load all of your crap in this thing and just ride (with a passenger).

    I've got two bikes that are great on the slab already -- if I was down to one I wouldn't be suffering. A natural choice there is the most versatile one, the KTM 950. OTOH, the most reliable one by far would be the 'Busa -- maybe I should keep the 'Busa for "work" and the Ural for "play", not sure.

    Noted. I recall a couple of fellows I've met that have been in pretty bad sidecar accidents in routine conditions.

    Hmmm...so maybe I need to think differently about my garage. I probably need a ringer of a street bike (the 'Busa) and a funmobile, like the Ural. Parting with the KTM would take some soul-searching, but I'm no rally rider by any means...hmmm...
    #10
  11. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    No question if you want the family involved, get the Ural.
    I got a chance to ride a new one from the hack, and again from the handlebars. They are a hoot, but yes, there are not really a bike, the are a side hack, totally different operation/steering in every way.
    When I'm too old to hold up a bike, I'll be getting one in military garp, and get the hammer & sickle of the old Soviet Union.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #11
  12. johnstokesII

    johnstokesII Adventurer

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    If you've never ridden a hack, be sure to take a sidecar riding course before you buy. A rig can be neat, but they're not fun to ride, and at times they can be a lot of work. For a family with small children, a rig is a great way to take them along on rides. Another possibility is something like a Yamaha PW50 for the little one, a 125 for your wife and a 250 for you to spend the day riding in the woods together. Of course, that means towing a trailer full of bikes behind some sort of tow vehicle, and soon enough upgrading the PW50 for an 80, maybe a trials bike..."Look Dear, she'll still be riding slow", etc. Even so, that will still be more fun than a sidecar.
    Used rigs are available, and worth looking into if you have your heart set on getting one. Especially for a 4 year old, the Ural car might not be the best choice. Certainly, a sidecar outfit is one solution, and overall, may be the least expensive solution, but there are other possibilities.
    As long as you're having fun, that's the main thing.
    #12
  13. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    I cant recommend used. Any used hack has been set up by someone else. Hack geometry is complicated. SO they are often home made. I've seen some ugly contraptions. Used Urals *look* like a bargain. But I wouldnt buy a used one that was older than an 04. Unless it was an absolute screaming deal and then I would expect to double the price in fixing screwups
    #13
  14. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

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    FWIW, my SO finds riding in the hack to be more terrifying than riding on the back of the bike. If you have never ridden inside a sidecar consider: you are below most cars and suvs, there is nothing in front of you, and you have absolutly zero control of what is happening around you. This is fine if you have absolute trust in the pilot, but if your SO is scared of the bike she may not find the sidecar any more comforting. Before you sell anything, try to get her a ride in one and see if she likes it.
    Your kid will, of course, think it is the coolest thing ever.
    #14
  15. mcoyote

    mcoyote Occam's Razorblade

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    FWIW, checked a few dealers out west. One or two scared me off, but most sound like they actually have bikes and parts within reach. Supply and demand is still low, maybe less than $10k OTD, even with a couple of useful options (wanted a searchlight and fuel carrier).

    After thinking about it, I think I need to hold onto a ringer of a street bike -- something that will always start and work well. If I were to part with anything at this point it would be the nine-fiddy. I love that bike also, however. So, all I have to do, is figure out how to fit a hack *and* two cycleshells/bikes into my budget and fenced driveway...
    #15
  16. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    above all else, keep bikes that you ride. Nothing is worse thana bike that just sits. So if you get more miles out of a Hedgeabuser, then hang onto it. Keep the ones that becon you to throw a leg over when it would be so much easier and more comfortable to ride in the heated comfort of a car.
    #16
  17. Sabre

    Sabre PrĂȘt? Allez!

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    Chopperman speaks from experience, and clearly wants you to make an informed decision. I must add, however, that my Ural never left me stranded anyplace. Sure, it needed a few little tweaks along the way, something tightened here, something reattached there, but nothing that couldn't be straightened out in a few minutes. If you've read The Long Way Round you've had a taste of how self-reliant cyclists from the former eastern bloc nations view such things.

    Yes, others have been stranded with dead alternators or stripped driveline splines or other horrors...there is no denying that these machines have earned their reputation fairly of being a rig for those who don't mind challenges. You might spend some time digging through the Ural discussion board on the IMZ site to get a flavor of the reliability of these machines. The upgrades that have taken place in the past several years are impressive.

    NOTHING can compare with the sex appeal / family appeal of the Ural hack rig. If you know anyone who flies an old airplane you can get a sense of what the appeal is (like Chop said, though, this old biplane comes with a well-backed warranty). Dealer support is important, and you would want to do your homework in this area, though bear in mind the high availability of spares through an extensive network of support.

    IMHO, every hack rig on the street enriches all our lives. Sentimental drivel? I'll cop to it.
    #17
  18. BonneRocker

    BonneRocker Been here awhile

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  19. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    #19
  20. BonneRocker

    BonneRocker Been here awhile

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    Good info, as always! I just thought Ural was the only complete hack out there and our local dealer seems clueless about the products he's selling.
    #20