Cide1’s Ural + Hack Thread (was Ural 650 Reliability)

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by cide1, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. cide1

    cide1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Fishers, IN
    So I've bought a 1998 Ural 1wd with the 650 motor. It looks pretty original and unmolested. Has about 12k on the odometer. It didn't run when I bought it, but a few electrical tweaks, and a valve adjustment and I got it running (although poorly). As I'm thinking about trying to get this back on the road, the response everywhere else has been "don't plan for it ever to be reliable" which I just don't believe. IMZ made something like 4 million of these over 70 years, and people have been around the world with them. So....my question is: "Say I was willing to put $1000 in making this run more reliably, what should I do?"

    I live on the edge of a city surrounded by two lane country roads, and I have family 30 miles away on these type of roads. I want to be able to do 60 miles round trip at 50 MPH and have a pretty fair shot at getting there and back.

    So far, I've ordered all new cables, new Pekar carbs, new petcock and fuel lines. It has a relatively recent battery. The brakes are non-existant, and will need addressed, and it will need new tires. I believe the ignition, alternator, regulator, wiring harness, etc. are all stock as made in 1998.
    #1
  2. eastbloc

    eastbloc comprador bourgeois

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,428
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    They made them for about 40 years. Before that, they were flatheads.

    I think you’ll be fine with the purpose you have in mind, with regular maintenance. You might eat a crankshaft once in a while but you may not, especially if you don’t abuse the thing and keep it to 50mph I see no reason you should not get many happy kilometers out of a 650.
    #2
    cide1 likes this.
  3. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,987
    Location:
    Only N flowin river emptying in an ocean
    You sound sincere in your desire to make it work.

    This could be a great hobby which has some fun returns.

    If you're not disappointed easily you'll make a good owner/rider of your 60 yr old design sidecar.
    #3
    Unstable Rider and cide1 like this.
  4. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    Oddometer:
    799
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Check out he Soviet Steeds site, good info over there about your rig.
    #4
    eastbloc likes this.
  5. eastbloc

    eastbloc comprador bourgeois

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,428
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    I’m currently in the process of replacing my Russian gear tower on my 650 with Herzog gears, and installing a Denso alternator. If you have the 35A alternator on your rig, you’ll want to toss that in the bin — it can lead to premature engine failure. It’s known as a “hand-grenade” for a reason.

    Take some photos and post them here or on Soviet Steeds, we’ll be able to tell you more about what you have.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #5
  6. cide1

    cide1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Fishers, IN
    So what happens to the alternator that gave it this nick name? Is there a good place to source a Denso replacement?
    #6
  7. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,875
    Location:
    north of seattle
    I believe hand grenades are known to blow up.

    You're going to find the best Ural info over on soviet steeds.

    good luck
    #7
  8. eastbloc

    eastbloc comprador bourgeois

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,428
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    The hand grenade will seize and take the motor with it, since it doesn’t have a rubber cush drive to disengage the two. It’s also a suspected factor in premature crank failure.

    +1 on Soviet Steeds, see you there.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    #8
  9. Tourbus

    Tourbus Lost but not worried

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    269
    Location:
    SW Mo. Escapee from the Tax Nightmare
    Closer to 45 mph road speed might be more realistic. But all bikes have are different and have a sweet spot they like to run in.

    Wear ear plugs, the less you hear, the less you worry.

    Do everything for the 10,000K service.

    Replace any Russian bearings you run across, with SKF or another name brand.
    #9
  10. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,149
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    Feel free to put up some images, I would be interested in seeing the progress on it.
    I worked on or "refitted" a bike over 9 months a few years ago, it was a great way to break up an otherwise long cold winter. Very pleasant memories.

    I'm subscribed. :johntm
    #10
  11. cide1

    cide1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Fishers, IN
    Here are two pictures I have handy... (I know its a Solo, I hope you guys understand that the Hacks forum is the best place on advrider to discuss these). I've got a lead on a matching sidecar to go with it, but given that's its a Solo that needs attention, I may buy the sidecar and install it on my Triumph Thruxton / Bonneville hybrid.

    IMG_0748.JPG IMG_0782.JPG
    #11
    Unstable Rider likes this.
  12. cide1

    cide1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Fishers, IN
    Will a 750 alternator fit the same spot as the 650 generator?
    #12
  13. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,769
    Location:
    Westside WA
    You say "I got it running (although poorly". Go back to basics. In order: 1 insure valve lash is in spec. 2. insure ign and timing is in spec. 3. Insure carbs/induction system is in tuned spec. Once you have a known base line to diagnose from you can than rethink fix or bail out. Granted the 650's have weaker cranks that lugging the motor can destry but there are still tons(literally) of Ural 650's still running around and very sweetly. Driven sanely and kept well maintained it's a smooth adequate motor so long as you're not expecting a freeway flier. $1000 budget huh? If you do your own work I'd expect you can your project motor smooth within budget. If you evaluate it's time to punt on your 650 you might consider going a little over budget and springing for a used 750 motor. Only you can determine that based on original issue, budget, time, willingness to do the work. There are times when it's a sound economic plan to do a used motor swap but only once you've got a very firm grip on what your motors issue is. A new to you unkown used motor may be better or worse than your 650. Short of catastrophic failures Im a believer in fix what ya got before dumping money into an unknowm motor. These are pretty simple old tech so no need for an expensive hourly shop guru but ya gotta put in the time/effort. You bought a project...well ya got one. I'm holding out for an older flathead Ural as my next project but wouldn't be afraid of a poorly running stock complete 650 Ural. Spend your time/effort/money intended use/expectations on figuring out you poor running issue before committing to the next grand plan. I vote fix it , ride it, maintain it.
    Best of luck.
    #13
  14. Tarka

    Tarka Strangely strange. Oddly normal.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,334
    Location:
    Across the pond.
    Someone asked if the 750 alternator will fit.
    It's the same,so yes.
    In fact,the very early 750 actually had a hand grenade one anyway.
    The so called hand grenade alternator can shear its shaft and drop the drive gear down the timing gear stack,jam against the casing and burst it.
    I was lucky as it somehow went the other way and ended up almost flat avoiding case damage.
    Also,the rotor windings can lose contact with the sliprings internally.
    I had 3 of these alternators fail.

    I once made up an adapter to mount a small Mitsubishi alternator but for some weird reason the drive gear kept coming loose.

    Instead of spending lots of money on a Nippon Denso alternator I bought an earlier L424 one and a solid state rectifier.
    Been on over five years now with no trouble.

    The original Russian coil is likely to die on you,most likely by failing when it gets hot and causing intermittent and increasingly bad misfiring and back firing.
    It'll trick you into thinking it's crap in the carbs,and while you're draining them or checking jets the coil will cool down.
    The bike will run great until the coil heats up and the problem reappears.
    I solved this by buying a generic universal twin outlet coil and mounting it on a bracket under the tank.....no problems since.

    A bit of mechanical empathy and common sense checkovers with regular servicing should keep a 650 sweet and happy for many years.
    My 650 has been in regular use for over ten years now and I actually prefer it to my 750 for anything other than very long trips.
    #14
  15. mtrdrms

    mtrdrms Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    605
    Location:
    NW CT
    #15
    cide1 likes this.
  16. cide1

    cide1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Fishers, IN
    Thanks all for the feedback. I'm thinking a new alternator, electronic ignition and plugs, brakes and tires, new carbs and cables, new petcock and gas lines, and a once through the maintenance / tuneup procedures will give me a solid starting point.

    What I'm quickly coming to realize is that this bike is two projects: 1.) It has lots of deferred maintenance with consumable parts that need replaced, and 2.) An electronic ignition and modern alternator make an older Ural more reliable.
    #16
  17. cide1

    cide1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Fishers, IN
    I have purchased a hack, picking up in a week or two.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    #17
    Bobmws, High Octane and FR700 like this.
  18. cide1

    cide1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Fishers, IN
    The front forks were binding up and not springing back up. I figure a rebuild is in order. I was having trouble figuring out what was inside, so I took one apart and grabbed this picture for reference: [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    #18