Ural Owners- Should I buy One?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by dirtymartini, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. dirtymartini

    dirtymartini Shaken, Not Stirred

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Harveys Lake, PA
    I have been kicking this idea around for quite a few years now, the idea of a sidecar rig. I have always liked the 2WD Urals for their utilitarian appeal and go anywhere approach to sidecars.

    My question is, Are you happy with your Ural? Would you do it again? Has their reliability improved? I don't mind if it's a little needier than other brands (I own a Norton for christs sake) but don't want a catastrophic failure every time I ride it either.

    I am considering the Patrol or Gear up but would consider a good deal on a 1WD. Any advice on 1WD versus 2WD? I live in the Northeast and would probably be taking it out in the snow occasionally. Probably dirt roads and some forest roads.
    #1
  2. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,042
    Location:
    Decatur, AL
    I love mine but I wouldnt want it for any only bike. Why not you ask? I just it mostly the need for speed. And although I have taken it on a multi day trip I would not trust it to trapse across the country.

    As for reliabilty. I have had a couple of break downs, however I was able to fix it along side the road so I guess that doesnt count. Most of them happened when it was new to me. I bought it used with around 12k. It required valve adjustments and fluid changes every 1500 miles. But they are very easy to do.

    Personally I dont know that I would spring for the 2wd given a choice. Mine is a 2wd and I find it very hard to steer when the side car wheel is engaged. Of course I tend to shy away from the really bad stuff. During my 4x4 days I found the only thing it gets you is another 100yds in before you get really stuck.

    Would I buy another one. Heck yes.

    Yankee Dog
    #2
  3. dirtymartini

    dirtymartini Shaken, Not Stirred

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Harveys Lake, PA
    I have a couple of other bikes so this wouldn't be my only ride. Have had yours in the snow at all?
    Nevermind...I see you live in Alabama!
    #3
  4. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,084
    Location:
    Kent, Washington State
    I love My Ural, use it every day. Didn't ride my other bike even once this summer. The Ural is way better in the snow than My 4X4 Suburban. A late model Ural is like bikes were in the 70's for maintainance, and reliability.
    #4
  5. gec343

    gec343 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Oddometer:
    883
    Location:
    Evart, Michigan
    I love my 06 Ural Tourist. However, I use it for grocery shopping and other errand type missions. Really, I still prefer two wheels, but this Ural is tons of fun. My dog loves it, but he loves my other bikes too.

    My advice is, buy a Ural. You will not be sorry, but the later models have much better reliability. The biggest prblems with Ural's is that they take up too much garage space!!!!
    #5
  6. dirtymartini

    dirtymartini Shaken, Not Stirred

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Harveys Lake, PA
    Is your Ural a 2WD? I started riding in the early seventies so I guess I could live with that reliability again given the fun factor of the Ural.
    #6
  7. cpres

    cpres Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    327
    I am just under a year of Ural ownership aith over 5000 klicks and I would buy again. For what it is worth I am in So. California with a Retro (1wd) and we have done just shy of 400 mile trips in a day. My wife calls it hers and I am her driver. We take it to the store and weekend playdays together. I wish it would cruise a little faster but hey it looks old and the cages seem to be more patient with it then other bikes I have owned. Just be warned that you will get lots of attention.
    #7
  8. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,789
    Location:
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    My question is, Are you happy with your Ural? Would you do it again? Has their reliability improved? I don't mind if it's a little needier than other brands (I own a Norton for christs sake) but don't want a catastrophic failure every time I ride it either.

    Yes, very happy.

    Yes, I'd do it again.

    Yes, their reliability has GREATLY improved. Just about every year they are making changes that owners recommend.

    Any questions...see the link in my signature. Or check out Mr. Cob's around the Country adventure.

    If you do get one - you MUST know it is not a speed machine. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But it's AWESOME at what it's made for. And it's built like a tank.
    #8
  9. LoCat

    LoCat Time it's a bitch

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    324
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Ditto all the above except my dog is too bug for anything but the side car. I would not be afraid to take her anywhere after doing a 500 mile trip over Mt Rainier. I don't like what cagers do on the freeway to get a pic of my dog. :eek1

    Go for a Tourist 06 or newer you can get some good deals out there,

    Best
    #9
  10. vecchio Lupo

    vecchio Lupo Diplomatico Di Moto

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    554
    Location:
    Washington D.C. Metro Area
    I have a slightly modified 04 tourist, alternator, carb and exhaust mods. No trouble and I use it all the time, I ride it at least 3 times a week for two years now, and for everything to include poker runs. I don't think I'm missing out on the TWD option since I am an Urban Rider in a sub tropical climate.
    #10
  11. Sam Simons

    Sam Simons Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    central Indiana
    Yes.

    Yes,I would. I've owned two, a used patrol 650 and later a new '03 GearUp,which I still have.
    I believe the Ural's reliability has improved over the years,beginning
    with the introduction of the 750 engine that is used still today.
    I do not believe,however, that new Ural prices are justified,and
    would suggest that you purchase a properly cared for used machine
    for your first Ural....they depreciate noticeably ,and are not difficult
    to find at very attractive prices.....
    If you're looking for the 2WD feature,it's only useable off road,unlike
    the earlier 650 Sportsman(which I would prefer over the Patrol/GU
    if it were still available today).


    Sam in Indiana
    #11
  12. dirtymartini

    dirtymartini Shaken, Not Stirred

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Harveys Lake, PA
    Just read your entire ride report...Now I really want one, Thanks! That Arctic paint scheme is the best they ever had for the Gear-Up IMHO.

    Chances of me finding one of those are pretty slim I think.

    I realize the Urals are no speed machine, but neither am I anymore!
    #12
  13. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    24,707
    Location:
    Where the stupidest people on earth run things
    I have an 06 Patrol & would buy another one in a minute. I'm lucky enough to have a garage full of bikes & the Ural is the most fun of all of them. Some go faster, some go further, some are more practical, but none are more fun.

    I have never come home from a Ural ride w/o a smile. Not one single time.

    If you've been thinking about it & are willing to accept its design limitations, buy a Ural.
    #13
  14. dirtymartini

    dirtymartini Shaken, Not Stirred

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Harveys Lake, PA
    I think I might know of an '06 Gear-Up that's for sale....Hmmmmm
    #14
  15. AceRph

    AceRph Affluenza Free! Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    24,707
    Location:
    Where the stupidest people on earth run things
    A hoot in the snow!

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. norham

    norham flagrant bozo

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    my own world
    I have a '94 Tourist, it now has 72,000km on it. I bought it new. It's on its fourth crankshaft assembly. When the engine craps out again, I will re-power it. Russian bearings are shit. Russian metallurgy is shit. My bike is my only transportation and has been for many years. If you can buy an older cheap one, I mean about $1500, do it and buy a new engine and gearbox. Take care in rebuilding and save a lot of bucks over buying a new one. They're all slow, old style bikes. The bikes are utilitarian. Go cheap and have fun....
    #16
  17. dirtymartini

    dirtymartini Shaken, Not Stirred

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Harveys Lake, PA
    You're killin' me:clap
    In deep snow do you put it in 2WD and steer with the throttle?
    #17
  18. dirtymartini

    dirtymartini Shaken, Not Stirred

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,639
    Location:
    Harveys Lake, PA
    I know where I can get a Dnepr MT-16 thats been well sorted out...
    #18
  19. muschelschubser

    muschelschubser Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    294
    Location:
    Kuddew├Ârde
    I little push at the bars and throttle wide open. No rear wheel slip means straight ahead when 2WD is engaged. And yes, I was happy with mine. But I replaced it before a big trip.

    Dirk
    #19
  20. norham

    norham flagrant bozo

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    my own world
    Dirty, can you get it cheap? Dnepr's are not nearly as good as Urals. You can get parts for the Ural....
    #20