Ural vs ATV

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Vdub1970, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Vdub1970

    Vdub1970 n00b

    Aug 15, 2011
    I am looking into getting a Ural as a daily rider to get to and from work where I live in Vermont. I travel about 70 miles round trip a day, mixed interstate and backroads but the commute really could be converted to all off-interstate with only about a 5 minute time difference. The speed restriction doesn't bother me I drive old volkswagens reguarly, think a Ural is slow try 54hp and 3200lbs in a tintop vw camper...

    Anyway my question is more in regards to the offroad capabilties side of the Ural 2wds. I would like to be able to access all of my property easily. My land is fairly steep and very soft/often muddy. There are quite a few down trees and logs mostly all under 6" around. IF you can get in deep enough there are some rutted up old logging roads that are reasonably passable. A buddy of mine came by last weekend and we tried to get his dirtbikes back there but it was way too soft to get up the hill to get on to the logging roads. I know my neighbor gets back behind his land which is similar with a utility style ATV (I think its a grizzly or a sportsman). I was looking into getting a Quad but maybe a Patrol or Gear-up could kill two birds with one stone. I would like to be able to drag out some firewood and do other land related tasks. Wood could be cut to a reasonable size and its all downhill to the house so I think either a Ural or an ATV would likely be able to drag wood down to the road where it can be grabbed by my tractor. I would likely harvest primarily in the winter and could get the log nose up on something so as to not dig in. I have seen pictures of Russian Rigs in WW2 dragging some heavy artillery through some pretty tough terrain.

    Anyway bottom line question: what kind of offroad capabilties do the 2wd Urals really have?
  2. MrPulldown

    MrPulldown Long timer

    Aug 18, 2009
    Nice first post.

    From what I have read the 2wd Urals are good for muddy and snowy roads where traction is limited. They are fairly poor off road, and maintenance intensive.

    I think you would be better served by a 4wd quad.


    This is a great trip report. Look at some of the terrain that he encounters that give him problems. Still the ride report really makes me want to own a Ural 2wd.
  3. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Nov 6, 2005
    Westside WA
    A 2WD is very capable for a motorcycle. But 2WD isn't magic either. It's not going to be a mega built up crawler 4wd Jeep. For your use as a log skidder I wouldn't recommend it. If you can't get to the logs with your tractor you likely won't get there in a Ural either. Depending how close you can get you'd be better off putting a PTO winch on your tractor.
  4. fyr

    fyr iRoast Coffee

    Oct 30, 2005
    Bytowne, Canuckistan
    I used my Gear up in some rocky steep rutted areas and it worked well.. In the mud & sand I found the exhausts turned into pontoons and the front wheel was a rudder..But on roads and snow it was great.. I wasnt always in 2 wd but fun when it was.. I miss it and am searching for another rig.

    I figure a quad would suit your purpose more as you have rear and front tires getting power to the ground.
  5. RomaDakota

    RomaDakota Illuminatus!

    May 15, 2006
    Goldilocks Zone
    Possible problem. First gear isn't nearly low enough for these situations and Ural has a dry clutch. With that in mind, proper technique will help.
  6. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

    Mar 2, 2007
    Sounds like I have a similar property here in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
    IMHO, You are gonna burn up the clutch in the Ural trying to drag logs.
    I have ATVs, a UTV, and a four wheel drive compact Kabota tractor and for me the tractor wins out for dragging logs down the mountain on the logging roads.
    Of course, my buddy's log skidder is the safest way to bring those logs down.
  7. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass Not all who wander are lost- but I am

    Mar 7, 2009
    The Lost Coast of California
    As much as I love my Gear Up, I have to agree with everyone else. A 4x4 ATV would be much better suited out of the two choices you are looking at.
  8. Vdub1970

    Vdub1970 n00b

    Aug 15, 2011
    You may have noticed I joined a couple years ago. I had intentions of posting a trip log from a 10,100 mile cross america trek I did but never got around to it. I do quite a bit of lurking around here as google searches of odd motorcycle related questions tend to lead me here more often than not but had yet to post.

    I looked over that trip report linked and looks like a pretty amazing time makes me want a Ural or at least a hack all the more.

    My tractor is a 1955 Ferguson TO-35 (very similar to a ford 8n) with a loader. Its 2wd and lacks power steering. Its a great rig for what it is but I have trouble getting around the yard without getting it stuck sometimes, no way will it ever make it into the back woods unless I winch my way from tree to tree.

    Sounds like the way to go would be a Ural with 2wd to play with in and out of the woods and a cheap used ATV and winch for my wood pile.

    Thanks guys.
  9. vetsurginc

    vetsurginc Been here awhile

    Jan 26, 2012
    Parkland, FL
  10. graygoat657

    graygoat657 Been here awhile

    Apr 3, 2013
    in the woods
    I have extensive ATV and SxS background and I have a GU. Like most folks here I would recommend finding a good used ATV ( Honda TRX 300FW or mid 2000's Sportsman 500) for work and keep the Ural for commuting and mellow offroading. While you can certainly beat the snot out of a Ural, and it can take you places you might not normally go on two wheels, you would be better off not ask it to double as a pure work horse.
  11. windmill

    windmill Long timer

    Feb 18, 2008
    Kent, Washington State
    I ride my Ural on snowmobile trails in the winter, logging and forest service roads in the other 3 seasons, do enduro rallys with it..................................but try to use a Ural as a replacement for a 4X4 ATV and you will have a stuck or broken Ural.

    Choose the right tool for the job.
  12. Nuttymopar

    Nuttymopar Never a Dull Moment

    Jun 15, 2011
    VDUB, how about you get in touch with me and I can come over and give it a try with my Ural....

    I live around Montpelier, so not sure where you are at in Vermont.

    If anything, it would make for a fun day.

  13. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Dec 24, 2006
    Next to Rio Bravo
    We use to get stuck all the time w/ our first Ural 06.

    We learned, now we get stuck only half the time......wife is still laughing.
  14. gobium

    gobium Been here awhile

    May 30, 2012
    south of south pole
  15. Rolan

    Rolan Plains Rider

    Nov 3, 2013
    USA Oklahoma
    I have had my Ural Gear Up since I bought it new in 2007 and I have to agree with Fyr here. I use mine ghost town hunting for metal detecting, so I gets a good deal of off road use. It is very good on dirt roads even very rough ones. Its good off road through pastures and trails. Its very bad at deep sand and deep mud, also the gearing isn't low enough for crawling over extremely bad terrain. Urals are also maintenance intensive by modern standards. research carefully and get the right tool for the job.
  16. white_bear

    white_bear Adventurer

    May 4, 2010
    Idahoinski Oblast, Khartooshka Ul.
    Depending upon your budget, the 2014 Ural is going to be a big improvement over the previous models. There will be EFI, disc brakes, simple oil spin filter, and more reliability. At least that is what Mr. Cob says on Soviet Steeds. Go over there and check out the news on the 2014s and a a thread "and so it begins", "2014 Model Updates".

    I was going to get an older one, but I am now waiting to see what the $$ is for the 2014. I want it for my mountains and similar stuff. I cut wood with a trailer and a 4Runner, or have a small trailer+4x4ATV if I need to go that route. A Ural just can't do what the ATV can do. Maybe a UTV would be OK, some of them are street legal, but cost a bundle.

    Whatever, do some homework and try a Ural for fun. Leave work in another slot. Wood can get pretty damn heavy! :D

  17. crampfan

    crampfan Banned

    Nov 4, 2008
    Clarksville Arkansas