Valkyrie or Ural

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Nightrunner, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Nightrunner

    Nightrunner Long timer

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    Hi all,

    Total sidecar ignoramus here in need of advice. My Dad (80) had to give up riding a few years back due to failing vision. I was thinking to get some sort of hack rig and take him around the countryside (paved only) a few times a year. I live in a different state so it would be on vacations only and the rig would likely live in storage. I now have a Tiger, a DR650, and a Transalp. Other than taking my Dad riding I have no interest in the hack for any other purpose. So at this point I'm thinking either:

    1) The Ural. They get rave reviews here and obviously they are ready to go. Buy it, take one of the courses, and start practicing. The downside being they are a dedicated machine, so in some number of years, when Dad cant go with me anymore, the Ural would be sold. No big deal I guess. Also concerned about the size of the car.

    2) A Valkyrie Tourer has been on my list for quite a while. That, and a removable hack would do the job nicely and would presumably be a much bigger sidecar.

    He should use a cane but doesn't. So one question is how big are the Ural sidecars and how easy for a 5'-10" old fella to get in and out of? The nearest Ural dealer is a ways away or I would have looked already.

    If you think the Val is a better way to go, then what sidecar do you recommend?

    All comments welcome. Thanks in advance
    #1
  2. rapidrider

    rapidrider rapidrider

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    I am a Ural owner (07 Patrol) and realy enjoy it. The top speeds are low enough to slow me down which may be a good thing. It is not practical to remove the car on a Ural and use it as you would a two wheel bike. The steering geomitry make it very squirrely. As much as I love this bike, It would not be my first chioce for your intened use.

    I have also owned several Valkeries. This would be my choice to outfit with a car like the ural tub or one of many others available. Don't go with too light a car. This would be an ideal outfit to haul around a passenger as long as you stayed on maintained roads. It would not be suitable for the off road stuff we do with the Urals. The Honda by itself is a great bike... very fast and very smooth. At speed it is very nimble as well. Surpising for a bike of this size and weight.

    A simple conversion to the front end can be done to improve steering as a hack rig. Dauntless in Washington I believe makes a steering kit for this bike.

    Great to see you thinking of your Pop. Good on ya!:clap
    #2
  3. cpres

    cpres Been here awhile

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    I would use a ural Retro as it is able to ride solo (without the sidecar). I am over 6 foot tall and fit in the chair just fine. My concern with any hack would be does he get out of chairs easy or have any issues that make it hard to get up. My wife who has pins in the ankle, pelvis, and femur gets in and out of the Retro sidecar just fine for the record. My wife and I have both sat in a Harley bathtub type sidecar and it was much harder to get in and out of. The main thing to do is put in lots of practice with a rig so you can pilot it safely, maybe take a training class to see if playing with a hack rig will even be something you want to do a few times a year or if you get bitten with the hack bug. I really enjoy the sidehack but it is not for everyone, I would have owned a hack years ago if I had known how much fun I would have on it. If you post your location maybe a fellow hack owner would show and tell what they have and let you sit in and on it or take you for a ride.
    #3
  4. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    It sounds like a Ural Retro might fit Your needs. Just remember, while Urals are ready to go, Thay do like a little more tlc then a Honda. The Ural / Steib style sidecar is very popular, even Dauntless makes a copy in fiberglass. The only sidecar I ever have heard bad comments about are the Harley tubs being hard to get in, and having poor ride quality.
    #4
  5. Nick in PRC.

    Nick in PRC. Been here awhile

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    Why not buy one of Jim' Bryant's BMW powered Changs..........I know he has a couple of nice lightly used ones in the US he's selling.
    The BWM motor means it's more reliable than a Chang or even a new Ural.....has the same size bucket, a bit more power and I'd bet you'd be able to sell it when Dad can't ride with you and not loose your shirt.

    http://www.mycj750.com
    #5
  6. Caddy82rats

    Caddy82rats Long timer

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    You can buy the Ural with the waranty (now they are good bikes) for less than the price for a second hand valkiry.
    A Ural hack had revers gear wich is really important for an old man.

    Great think that you take care of your father :clap
    #6
  7. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    Get the Valkerie unless you plan on doing dirt. Paired with a Champion Legend it makes a beautiful rig that will eat up the miles. It does have very very heavy steering. This is one bike that almost demands a modified front end if you plan on doing any distance. That would, of course, make switching back and forth from solo impractical.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

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    Nightrunner,
    something like my mate's outfit?

    [​IMG]

    Bit blurry, sorry.
    #8
  9. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Russian sidecars look fine on Valkaries

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Nightrunner

    Nightrunner Long timer

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    Thanks so much for the comments. Yeah it would be no problem to leave the car on the bike and do a steering mod. He lives near in Tucson and I would likely just leave the whole thing there in storage. Sorry for the poor choice of words on the OP. I didn't mean I want to take it off and on routinely; just eventually remove it. What caught my eye about the Ural is that lowered section; looks like it would easy to get in to. That Harley type of car is out of the question. He's pretty stiff; lots of wear and tear on the body. He also has a knee joint replacement. At this point I'm leaning toward the Val. I will definitely check out that Champion sidecar.

    Yeah Dad's a good guy. My Mom passed last summer and I want to get in some quality time with Dad while I can.

    I will be lurking here to pick up some knowledge.
    Thanks
    #10
  11. Nightrunner

    Nightrunner Long timer

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    Nice pics. I'm drooling.
    #11
  12. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. Threewheelbonnie

    Threewheelbonnie Long timer

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    The Ural isn't going to cover the distance as well and will not take kindly to being stood. That said, no "demountable" outfit is going to handle anything like a dedicated set up and is going to involve hours of work going either way if you actually use it (squared off tyres anyone). Getting a used Ural and leaving it at your dad's place might be the most cost effective solution IMHO, but the Valk dedicated is going to be much more useful in general.

    Andy
    #14
  15. Uncle Ernie

    Uncle Ernie Long timer

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    For roominess and freeways, you can't beat a Valkyire and Ural tub.
    If you're just going to store it at his place and tootle around, that's another story.
    #15
  16. Nightrunner

    Nightrunner Long timer

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    I plan to visit later this month. There's a Ural dealer in Mesa so we can take a day trip and see how it fits.
    #16
  17. gec343

    gec343 Been here awhile

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    I would vote for the Ural, since it is already set up for a sidecar. Late model Ural's are very dependable, but of course, nothing is as reliable as a Honda.

    However, Ural's are a ton of fun. For short rides with your father, it seems that the Ural would be perfect. If you buy the Ural used, when you do sell it, you'll not take that much of a loss. I love my Ural for rides under 100 miles, but always use my ST for long distance tours.

    I admire what you are doing for your father, very admirable, to say the least. I will be 67 next month, and I fear the day when I can no longer ride. I just hope that my sons are that good to me.

    Good luck in whatever you decide. :norton
    #17
  18. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

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    an alternate universe, much better than yours
    Spend some time driving a Ural, you will be hooked for life and become a sidecar zombie.

    I have an ST1300 that has spent many lonely days since the Gear Up joined the stable.

    Speed is a relative thing.

    More about fun........and 2wd with high ground clearance is definitely fun.

    What are a red neck's last works? "Hey, watch this!".

    Ural pilots tend to say that a lot.:rofl
    #18
  19. Sidecarmikel

    Sidecarmikel n00b

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    This is my old rig. The front end was never modified and I really had no problem with handling. If I spent a lot of time in town zig zagging around back streets it would get old, but normally, it was no harder to ride than any other.
    Interesting thing about this thread is that this photo shows the new owner riding it away from my home in northern Wisconsin in December of 2008 on his way to his home in Tucson.
    I would vote for a Valkyrie, and the sidecar was easy enough for a 92 year old nursing home patient to get in and out of unassisted. If she can do it, your dad will be fine.
    #19
  20. chairhead

    chairhead HAIRY

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    Its got to be the Valk everytime and with something other than a Ural chair,
    remember guys this an 80 year old fella who would proberbly like a little bit of comfort,im not saying that he has to wrapped in cotton wool but the Ural tubs are basic,great for dogs and cargo granted but i wouldent put my old man in one:D
    #20