BDR on a Ural or 1WD Hack?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Bain Dramage, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Bain Dramage

    Bain Dramage Been here awhile

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    Doing one/all of the BDR routes on a Ural -or- some other hack.

    What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea?

    Why?
    #1
  2. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Good idea for all the BDR's except Oregon, and better with a buddy because there may be some places where muscle power is needed to get out of a stuck place. But generally the BDR's can be negotiated by a big GS with a moderately skilled rider so I'd think a reasonably competent outfit would do OK.

    The Oregon BDR I hear is a few degrees more difficult and more tilted towards smaller dual sport bikes. I have not done the Oregon BDR, though, so I'm just talking through my hat.
    #2
  3. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Ahhhh, what is DBR, please ?
    #3
  4. FR700

    FR700 Banned

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  5. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Any hack will do them all. 2WD is nice (no, I don't have) but there were people doing rougher stuff before 2WD was invented. There's none in Australia and it don't seem to slow them boys (and girls) down much at all, even though they lust after it. And in Russia they make fun of us fat lazy Americans for even wanting it.

    One of the rigs in this vid is 1WD
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvg4q8Ln4AE
    Same goes for the 1150GS in one of the popular Death Valley videos.

    If it was me, I'd go for a more reliable bike that requires less maintenance.
    Yeah, the foil hat crowd will be here any sec defending Ural, and they do have a point (to a degree) about owners failing to do required maintenance. But Ural has more than its share of engine replacements, and the clutch is a weak point on any before '13.
    #5
  6. WU7X

    WU7X The Old Fart

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    I've been dreaming of doing something similar. But my street hack wouldn't be up to it. Maybe when I win Lotto, heh heh.

    Do you plan on doing all three in one season? I was thinking about that and the elevation and latitudinal changes would make for some fun planning. I live in eastern WA. My idea was to wait late enough in the season to start at the Canadian border, run through WABDR first, then go north-south through UT, and south-north through CO. I'm thinking at least a month, so August/Sept. would seem about right. It would be really hot in the Four Corners area then though....

    Please writeup a RR when/if you go.
    #6
  7. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I've done much of the WABDR and it's OK as long as you don't mind scratches in your paint (the shrubbery encroaches on the right-of-way in many places). As for Utah and Colorado, I spoke to the BDR guys when they were here in town doing a film presentation, and they thought the only place I might have difficulty was in southern Utah where sand and silt can get pretty heavy (which of course turns to deep mud if you time it wrong.) I kinda think I'd rather be on three wheels than two in deep sand, but I've never done deep sand on three OR two wheels, so I don't know.
    #7
  8. the1mavin

    the1mavin Adventurer

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    I rode some decent sand when I was younger on two wheels. As long as you kept momentum up you were good. Steering was slow and the motor was always going much faster than I was moving...

    Sand and snow on the GS with sidecar feels like I'm dragging around dead weight. It slows you down and drags you toward the hack. Even in shallow sand I was really working to go straight; sometimes I was pushing the front end a different direction than it was pointed. If I had stopped, I don't think the gearing in the GS would have allowed me to get started again.

    Your experience may vary and mine was limited to a short section of road that went from packed to gravel to sand and back to packed again.

    I have only ventured in patchy snow and when I hit real loose deeper drifts, it felt much like the sand, but keeping rear tire traction was more interesting.
    #8
  9. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    Ural guy chiming in to defend.:D Our 2010 went cross country and more without any issue while loaded down with 2 people and their gear for a month. Ours has been as reliable as any Goldwing I've owned. (More reliable than the FI 1200LTD.)
    As for silty sand, I've it it in 1wd and it damn near spun me around. That hack tire can act like an anchor. A quick slip into 2wd and away we went.
    That sounds like a great trip. I hope you do a ride report on it.
    #9
  10. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Lots of them have done some very long tours, as long as you're not in a hurry. As you stated, and pretty obvious, 2WD makes a huge difference in sand, snow, or mud...and you can still get stuck. Performance-wise, it's the ideal pick for the BDR type trips :deal They're very rugged, although you can break them if you try hard enough.
    But there are common quality issues. My friend Thomas (inmate T-REX) has had his in the shop near Atlanta for over a month, trying to get a leaky output shaft seal taken care of on his '12 GU (I've heard of a few of these). Seems they can't get the flywheel off and are now talking about replacing the whole engine, under warranty of course. His '07 Patrol was flawless (other than the common final drive breather leak).

    An engine (or other major system) failure is really only annoying...until your rig is out of commission for months. Most Urals don't have major issues, and most of the problems you hear about are caused by "deferred maintenance". Once they're run in and don't have issues they seem to do quite well. I might be more inclined to buy a proven 1-3 year old one, rather than new.
    #10
  11. PetrB

    PetrB Adventurer

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    In the video, posted upper, I don't saw any places, where 2WD could be nessesary.
    #11
  12. oppozit

    oppozit Banned

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    The bit about no 2WD in Australia is not true, there was a 2WD BMW trials outfit in SA back in the '80s and a certain inmate here, again from SA has 2WD outfit. And in the Sunshine State there are several Dnepr 2WD outfits - we can have RH chairs if the bike is over 30 y.o.
    #12
  13. RidingDonkeys

    RidingDonkeys Purveyor of Awesome

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    I live in the "sandhills" of NC. I've spent a whole lot of time in loose sand. T1M is right, momentum is the key. I have two rigs, so I'll compare them and maybe that will help you.

    The Bonnie takes some work. It has the power to make up for being a low street rig. For example, at the H Cooper Black Trials Area in SC (Home of Sandblast), the roads are wide and deep. The Bonnie rig will handle it with a lot of work. The sidecar wants to drag the tug around. To dial things in, I took some air out of the rear tire, and kept the hack tire bouncy. The kept the hack from dragging so much and gave the tug a little more traction. Stop the rig, and you'll be flagging the Ural around for a tow.

    The Ural required nothing to handle the deep sand. I was able to take it right off the asphalt and tear up the trails. Momentum isn't so important, because if you stop, you just engage the 2WD to pull yourself out. I did this several times just to test it.

    A GS rig is going to be at least 100lbs heavier than either my Ural or my Bonnie rig. For long stretches of sand, that might prove to be a problem without some better offroad modifications.
    #13
  14. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

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    If you do go with a non Ural bike we would be happy to work with you. We have built about 500 rigs of this type around many bikes. All of the different BMW GS's except for the new water cooled bike as the bike I have on order to develop every thing around has not come in yet. We also have done the Moto Guzzi Quota, are now doing the Moto Guzzi Stelvio, Triumph Tigers, Suzuki V strom and the wee strom. Suzuki DR650, KLR 650 and many other bikes.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    www.dmcsidecars.com
    866-638-1793
    #14
  15. RockyMtnRoadRash

    RockyMtnRoadRash Useful and decorative

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    We actually interviewed the BDR guys (both the butler maps folks and touratech USA) about it on wheelnerds. The topic of Ural'ing it came up and the consensus was that in general it should be fine, barring a couple narrow-track areas you could bypass.
    #15
  16. boxertwin

    boxertwin Long timer

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    I've done several sections of the OBDR on a DRZ and a 950. Certain routes we took I would not have been able to do on my VStrom rig. There are some steep, rocky, rutted climbs. Stuff that I wouldn't want to do on anything less capable than a 950 and even that felt quite large.
    #16