Why you should NOT buy a Ural motorcycle

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by bokad, May 28, 2012.

  1. lakesuperiorural

    lakesuperiorural n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
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    Location:
    Green Bay, Wisconsin area
    I am new here but have been riding cycles for well over 40 years and have a few comments in response to the Ural basher. I do not own a Ural but have a friend locally who does but I have owned Hondas, 2 triumphs, 2 Yamahas and a Suzuki. My son owns or has owned a Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and a Suzuki. Between us we have over 70 years of motorcycling experience.

    I had a 1 year old Honda that had a crankshaft failure at less than 8000 miles. No dealer in the US had a replacement crank, it had to come from Japan and I waited fron April until October to get it! The bike rusted, as will any bike made of ferrous metals. Nothing new there. The Yamahas I had ate through starters like popcorn. we often had to pull start them with a rope and another vehicle. The Virago I had had an internal oil filter and no dealer EVER had the correct gaskets for it, so access cover always leaked.

    My son bought a brand new Suzuki GSXR 1100 and the first time it was ridden, uopn stopping it, it would'nt restart-the charging system had failed. He had one of his Yamahas at the local dealer for service, dealer parked it on blacktop lot on a hot day, it sank, fell over and busted off the mirror. Dealer refused to replace the mirror. Any make can have dealers who are less than stellar.

    My son also had an XL 250 Honda than quit everytime it rained. Water ran into the electrics and killed it-and it was an enduro machine!

    My Triumphs continually leak, spew, throw oil and generally make a mess. One of the kick starter levers did bust on it as did the guy claim one did on a Ural. On my Bonneville, the internal racketing mechanism on the kick starter failed and locked up. The gas petcocks leak on both, the carbs will flood on occasion and they also will rust. One of them burned thru a set of rings in under 5000 miles which necessitated an engine rebuild-dealer didn't cover that. Valve covers have cracked, both machines have stranded me on the side of the road, they are very unreliable but I still love em.

    I have a Suzuki Cavalcade which had had its regulator fail, leaving me for dead over 1000 miles from home. It also goes thru expensive tires.

    Bottom line, after reading through many, many Ural threads on several websites and talking with my frined who owns a Ural, is that they are no worse than any brand motorcycle. (Incidently, my buddy rode his Ural completely around the USA, to all 4 corners, in one year, logging over 20,000 miles and had NO, yes, NO mechanical problems. So, I can see no reason for bashing the Ural to such a degree. To me, they appear no worse or no better than any other make. They do have their place, though, they are not road racers or setup for high-speed, Interstate flyin. Ask yourself how long would a Harley Ultra Glide or Suzuki GSXR1100 last busting thru the mud roads of Russia or Montana for that matter? Or getting back into a good fishing spot over 10 miles of logging roads? Each bike has its own merits for what it is made for.

    I hope to own a new 2014 Ural in the next 6-12 months. I won't have any problems plunking down my cash.
  2. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

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    an alternate universe, much better than yours
    The Ural Cabal has convened a special Plenary Session and voted unanimously: you Sir are approved to purchase!

    I am sure you will enjoy your Ural when it comes home with you, good riding.

  3. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    Location:
    Florida Keys
    I think this is exactly the OP's point. You are comparing a modern Ural to motorcycles from decades ago. My modern Bonneville has 130,000 kilometers on the clock, factory stock, with not even a light bulb failure in nearly seven years of riding. I hope the 2014 Ural delivers on the advertising promise.



  4. BigAround

    BigAround Adventurer

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    Location:
    N. Central Arizona
    I'm happy with mine and that's all that matters to me. :clap
  5. kyudogator

    kyudogator no really, we're not lost

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4
    6 years ago I decided to succumb to severe mental illness and get a hack.
    Having never driven one I knew from+ years of motorcycles that I was more than likely to beat the crap out of at least the first one. I got a $3000 1996 ural italia, With my faithful canine companion, Gus, I set out to terrorize the roads and backways of N Fl. We ran dirt roads, smashed the chair fender into walls, posts and small trees, blew the cylinder head across a 4 lane highway ( it kept running and got us 500' to a safe pullout), I am in agreement with all uralists in that it is a RPOC. it'slack of power was only exceeded in its inability to stop.
    So after about a year of this silliness, I traded it in on a 2003 Retro ( told you, sever mental illness) with ~15000km on it. It now has 49000. in the last 5 years Gus and I have ridden it to NC, done the "tale of the dragon several times", suffered the main street crawl at bike week. In the last 5 years I have had the alternator go bad and damage a timing gear. The alternator I got rebuilt at a local alternator shop for $40, the timing gear had to be replaced at the dealer $200 P&L, How much would the bill be to replace the timing gear/chain/etc in your ride? Owning a Ural means you will have an intimate relationship with routine maintenance, If you're the type who takes his bike to the shop for oil changes then a Ural is definitely not the bike for you, but then neither is an airhead, Norton, or Enfield

    Recently I took delivery of the all american rig I have been working on, Victory Classic Cruiser for the tug and Clark Stanley Motorworks chair. The first thing I realized was just how well the Russians set up the rig.
    1 No head shake
    2 very slight pull right on acceleration, none at speed
    3 brakes applied properly, no pull left even on panic stops

    Eventually I will have the Vic rig set up the same, But I have the advantage of the Russian standard as to what is acceptable handling.

    Bottom line is
    If you can't or won't take the time to do 90% of the work on your bike no Ural for you.

    however, If you want to learn how to drive a hack and not be worrying if its weird or just normal sidecar weirdness, or even if you really want a hack. Get a post 2000 Ural before investing $30k on a full rig

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/kyudogator/13194209503/
  6. BWeber

    BWeber Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Oddometer:
    262
    Ural is a great rig to try out a sidecar for a season or so without breaking the bank. That's what I did for the last 7 years.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. RidingDonkeys

    RidingDonkeys Purveyor of Awesome

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    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    It took 5 1/2 years for you to make your first post. :clap

    Seriously, this could be the best first post ever. Well stated. A Ural is a labor of love. You have to be comfortable with maintenance.
  8. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

    Joined:
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    Location:
    WNC SWFL
    We might be slow but we were passing all the GS owners in the sand during our ride from Bartow to Ochopee. Then they would pass us on the pavement and then we would pass them in the Florida sand again. :rofl

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jlWJEocaWf43HVCi5Al2U2vAnO462cOpmvhpyOCGDFo?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-kzQiHVimQXE/UyXNxJu629I/AAAAAAAAOs0/OlAxrd7upx4/s800/0315141133-00.jpg" height="600" width="800" /></a>

    Waiting for the GS boys to catch up.:rofl
  9. FR700

    FR700 Banned

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    May 4, 2007
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    8,512


    It's hard to drag a bm' ground anchor through sand ... it takes time :deal :lol3



    How long did you have to wait ... until their Starbucks were cool enough to drink ?



    Any more pic's of that Retro on the far left of pic' ?


    .
  10. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    Nope, but anyone that says that the Ural Retro won't go off pavement in the FL sand is full of it.
  11. SEMPERFISILVER

    SEMPERFISILVER n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    Hey, that's my Retro! Here's another shot of it! hey Barnone - I got the sidecar wheel to stay down for this section!! The Retro ran like a champ, kept up with Gear-Ups, Patrols and the DS's. :rayof Semper Fi! Doug

    Attached Files:

  12. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    Yep, that SEMPERFISILVER was always showing off on his Retro flying the car. As first I though he was muy loco but he handled it just fine.
  13. nbsdave

    nbsdave Been here awhile

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    Jul 26, 2012
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    Location:
    sarasota, fl

    he IS muy loco
    and a good time was had by all!
  14. SAM7

    SAM7 Been here awhile

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    Apr 1, 2014
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    105
    Sure, Gearups and Patrols have considerabily more off-road potential then Retros but calling Retros a "no off-roader" doesn't make sense at all... Russians used M72's in WW2 and current Retro M70's are heavily based on M72's. Russians wouldn't have used them in the war if they had no off-roading potential. Secondly, look at the BMW R75 and M70, they bears a striking resemblance... If I ever buy an Ural, it would definately be the Retro. I'm not a big fan of Gear Up's and Patrol's "Scrambler-ish" looks and besides I've absolutely ZERO trails and dirt/gravel roads in my area!!!
  15. Mash3d

    Mash3d Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    27
    I know this is an ancient and dead thread but just in case anyone else runs into the problem of a Ural Sputtering in the rain.
    I don't think the carbs were the problem. The problem comes from water getting into to the Air filter and fouling up the plugs. I used to have the same problem.
    This problem happens a lot with the flat top style air filter case. Usually the riders legs help protect the air filter when riding. It's when your off the bike and rain gets into the air filter case and pools at the bottom of the case.
    Then you start the bike up, water gets sucked into the chamber and them you have fouled plugs.
    Two solutions,
    1. cover the air filter when not riding the bike and it's sitting in the rain.
    Looks weird but a plastic shower cap works, or a piece of cardboard.
    2. Drill holes in the bottom of the air filter to let the water out.

    Once I started covering the air filter when not riding in the rain the sputtering problem stopped.

    I won't ask how he manged to get his ural to set on fire.
    I've been trying to set mine on fire for years with no luck :)
  16. SilkMoneyLove

    SilkMoneyLove Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
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    2,489
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Start camp fire. Roll Ural onto fire.

    But, you can just replace a few melted bits and it will be running again shortly.
  17. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

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    an alternate universe, much better than yours
    "I won't ask how he manged to get his ural to set on fire.
    I've been trying to set mine on fire for years with no luck :)"

    Insurance adjuster might have some questions too.:clap
  18. epix1718

    epix1718 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Michigan/Indiana border
    I don't know whats wrong with me..... but I just bought my 2nd Ural :stupid

    Scored a pretty decent deal on a 2011 Gear Up to replace my 1997 Sportsman. Sportsman runs fine but figured I'd enjoy some of the modern features (such as being able to run a heated jacket/gloves!) Finding parts to fix the Sportsman was a bit tough on my patience as even minor parts most Ural dealerships no longer carry 650cc parts so always had to order thru Europe/Russia.

    Thus the Sportsman will be up on the for sale block in due time.

    She's been a great steed and gets much attention yet excited about "upgrading" to a modern Ural to actually see the refinements first hand.. I've actually never checked out a newer Ural in person before.
  19. Paint shaker

    Paint shaker Been here awhile

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    Nov 6, 2009
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    Location:
    West Central Flori-duh

    Taught him everything he knows about flyin' :D :freaky
  20. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    PS,
    So that is where he got that! Too bad you missed the swampy run.