Questions about the Ural

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Morinite, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Morinite

    Morinite KLRista

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
    Hello folks, been a while since I've posted on Adv Rider, anyway;

    I currently own and ride a 06 KLR 650. I love my bike but I've had it since it was new and wish to get something else. That being said I really like the Ural side car set up. We can get them in Canada and they run about 15K$ CDN new. (incl taxes & fully optioned) I think the concept of having a reverse gear and two wheel drive is just outstanding. I also want to ride with my little girl and dog in the side car (ATGATT of course). I also wish to do some bike camping and do some lite offroading (mostly quad trails).

    After conducting a little bit of research, I found that the bike's top speed is only 90-95kph (for a 750cc??) and that the bike can have issues such as electical problems and fuel issues too. Also that that there are problems with fit and finish issues. So my questions to the group are;

    1) Are these really problems or are they real world issues I should be concerned with?

    2) Are there places out there that specialize (In North America) in these bikes to get the most out them without spending tons of cash?

    3) Are there other side car set ups (ie hacks) that would work just as well?

    Any input would be great, please excuse my ignorance about side cars and the like as I'm just a dude trying his best.

    Cheers
    #1
  2. crampfan

    crampfan Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,734
    Location:
    Clarksville Arkansas
    I own a 06 Gear -Up. My top speed is closer to 110k, although I find myself happily motoring about between 70 - 90kph
    I did need to re-jet the carbs, but other than that no fuel problems at all. The electrical system has been reliable so far.
    As for fit and finish, the only thing to fit is the trunk lid, and it fits fine. The finish is not shinny and seems to be staying on, so I would say acceptable.
    Out of all the powered vehicles I've owned my Ural is in the top 5 for fun, and so far not really been any more or less reliable than anything else I've owned with 2-3 wheels. My Dog and grandkids love it too!
    #2
  3. hanksmybuddy

    hanksmybuddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    Tacoma, Washington
    Had my 2012 Gear Up for a little over two months now. Bike is a blast. Yea, there is some quirks to it but that is what makes it unique. I've had a lot of bikes over the years that I've bought and sold. I think I'll end up taking this one with me to the grave unless I were to replace it with another Ural. It's that much fun :rofl I've had no major problems and have not been babying it. I ride it off road and in the snow. I don't like to ride it much over 55 mph though. It's made for cruising around on backroads not bombing down the interstate. I don't have any regrets getting mine. If you want to be in a hurry to get somewhere don't get a Ural! :lol3

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,338
    Location:
    Westside WA
    Buy from a "proven" reputable dealer so the outfit is set up correctly from day one. Then break it in according to the book, do the required servicing at the required intervals, ride/use it within it's design parameters and it'll be a solid reliable fun bike. Once broken in properly and maintained it'll run all day at 100 kph. If thats not fast enough for you you're looking at the wrong bike.
    #4
  5. RidingDonkeys

    RidingDonkeys Purveyor of Awesome

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,403
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    There are threads for days about issues with Urals. Most are really subject to the eye of the beholder. Here are some things you need to know.

    Electrical issues: Virtually nonexistent. Newer Urals don't have the old "grenade" alternator, so you don't have to worry. I don't recall the last year they used that alternator, but it has been a very long time, and it seems like you are looking new anyway. Any issues with a Ural electrical system can be easily troubleshot. Everything is easy access except the battery itself.

    Top speed: Yep, they are slow. I can run my Ural at 100kph all day, but not much more. With a down hill slope and a tailwind, I've been known to see 120kph. To me, this is a positive. The Ural has taught me the fun of taking things slower. I rarely ride it on the highway, and see things now that I used to miss.

    Other rigs: there is always the build your own rig route. Or, you can have DMC or Claude build you one with the tug of your choice. I have a Bonneville with a cargo hack that I love. It is faster than my Ural, better handling on the roads, and has much longer maintenance intervals that my Ural. All that said, if I had to pick one to travel around the world on, I'd choose the Ural hands down. It might be slower, but it is a simpler machine, and much more capable of going places.

    At the end of the day, you really just have to do an honest assessment of who you are and what you want.

    Sent from the voices in my head and transcribed by their drinking buddy...
    #5
  6. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,328
    Location:
    WNC SWFL
    Newbie on the sidecar and the Ural here but so far so good. Had my 2012 Ural Yamal for only about a month with 800 km on her with no problems. Vary easy to service with lots of good DIY information here and on Soviet Steeds and Canadian Ural/Dnepr Riders .

    I think what RidingDonkeys posted above is right on.
    #6
  7. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,111
    You could also go with a sidecar on your KLR or similar type bike and be in it for a lot less money. We ship sidecars all over for people to install the sidecar on thier own bikes. I have owned several KLR's with both our Enduro and our M72D sidecar on them.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    www.dmcsidecars.com
    866-638-1793
    jay@dmcsidecars.com
    #7
  8. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    666
    Location:
    an alternate universe, much better than yours
    If the Ural suits you and you suit the Ural, it is a perfect match.

    I have a 2006 and love it. It quickly replaced my Honda as both my and my passenger's choice of ride.

    Slow and oh so different than a 2 wheel bike.

    That is my top tip to you; read everything you can about driving a sidecar, take a class if you can (even if it means going some distance to do it) and treat driving the rig with great caution until you get the feel of it.

    Asymmetrical layout and weight balance make for some interesting events in turns and cambered roads. Find out about that in very controlled circumstances, not unexpectedly while carrying those most dear to you as passenger.:huh

    You may be quite a way from a dealer (don't know what the network is like in Western provinces) but if you have some mechanical skills or know someone who does, you can overcome most service and potential issues.

    You can do limited off road with it (compared to an ATV) but it is in its element on back roads and mild trails.

    #8
  9. Zojirushi

    Zojirushi Surly Sailor

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Oddometer:
    109
    Location:
    El Paso Del Norte
    Do not buy one unless you are a competent wrench. With that said, I've put around 7000km on mine and love it. No issues and none anticipated. Cheers.
    #9
  10. dbigkahunna

    dbigkahunna Whopeee

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16
    Location:
    Gaines County, Giant Side of Texas
    Have a 2012 GU at almost 7000 km. The hardest thing to do so far is adjusting the valves and that is no big thing. Anything you want to do to your ride or maintenence is available on Soviet Steeds. Break it in right and then drive it like you stole it.
    In Russia.
    I cruse at 100kph and can push it it 120 but it no like to stay at that for too long.
    If you do not like to talk to people, dont buy a Ural
    If you want to go fast, do not buy a Ural.
    If you are not comitted to doing the maintenance, do not buy a Ural.
    #10
  11. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,652
    Location:
    The Lost Coast of California
    17,000 trouble free KMs on my 2010 Gear Up. We love it.
    #11
  12. steelhorseadv

    steelhorseadv Zombie Killer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Northern Michigan USA
    Greetings,
    Judy and I have two Urals with about 5000k on each. A "T" and a "Patrol".
    Absolutely no negative issues. We do get a lot of UDF especially with Brutus (monkey dog) aboard. Seems like everybody smiles at ya, even the HD folks.
    Very cool experience on the Urals.
    So relax and enjoy!
    steelhorse
    #12
  13. Morinite

    Morinite KLRista

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
    Hi everyone, thank you for your replies. The main reason i wanted to get at least 100 kph is because i live on the Canadian prairies and most everything that is paved here is as flat as tabletop. The highways can get pretty crazy with tailgaters and motorhomes, RV's etc..i need to pass at times to keep clear. Don't get me wrong slow is good for the fun factor. I still want to get a patrol with all those options and go for broke. I'm competant with wrenches as i am a KLR owner. My wife does support this purchase but i must sell the thumper first. Last question, are there any Ural clubs out there?

    Thanks again
    #13
  14. RidingDonkeys

    RidingDonkeys Purveyor of Awesome

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    9,403
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    There used to be a great club, huge too. It got broken up in 1991. :D:D:D:D:D

    Sent from the voices in my head and transcribed by their drinking buddy...
    #14
  15. MartyL

    MartyL Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    183
    From what your saying it sounds like you want the ponies to go faster than 65 mph constantly. The Ural is not for you then. If constant speeds of 65mph or faster is a big concern go with Jays advice. If your ok with 60 mph with spurts of 65+ then a Ural will be fine. Check out SovietSteeds and do a search. Lots of info there.
    #15
  16. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,338
    Location:
    Westside WA
    For the dirt back farm roads a Ural would be great but for a hwy prairie schooner rig I'd pass. If you're crusing along at 100kph and decide to pass a motorhome etc. make "sure" of your traffic situation waaay down the road then kick back, light a smoke and go for it but expect you may be in Saskatchewan before you get around the RV. Passing vehicles on the hwy is NOT a Urals strong point. I've crossed the Canadian great plains on a 2 wheeler but can't imagine even attempting it on my Ural. I also don't like running a bike fully maxed out wound up tighter than a guitar string for miles and miles. These bike are NOT built for that duty. For your use and safety I'd go with an oilhead BMW like a R1200GS and add a chair. Gonna be a lot more expense but you'll survive to tell the tale. For your intended Ural hwy use I think eventually you'll find yourself in a situation you can't get out of gracefully.
    #16
  17. rebelpacket

    rebelpacket four-stroke earth-saw

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    730
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    In todays speeds, to me the top speed is the biggest limiting factor you need to think about. That said, if you are never in a hurry when your on your bike, and can plan realistic mileage for days you'll really enjoy it. It does motor along quite nicely (especially on forest / dirt roads).
    #17
  18. Morinite

    Morinite KLRista

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
    This info has all been great. I'm pretty sure i'll get one for sure. I love the whole concept of the three wheels any ural riders out here on the prairies? I'm pretty close to North Dakota too.

    Thanks again for all the great advice
    #18
  19. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,328
    Location:
    WNC SWFL
    #19
  20. bvardi

    bvardi Probably not Deciduous

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    299
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Good resource for Ural owners certainly - also there is the is the Canadian Sidecar Owners club (not many prairie province members at the moment but working on it) - free forums if you don't want to signup as a full member.

    www.sidecarclub.ca
    #20