Why you should NOT buy a Ural motorcycle

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

  1. Oldmanriding

    Oldmanriding Adventurer

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    That's why the Space Shuttle had 2 catastrophic failures. The engineers did not think it could happen in this Golden Age.:kboom
    #81
  2. Heyload

    Heyload Remastered Classic

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    Okay, nothing personal here, but just so I'm clear on this:

    You're putting the space shuttle, quite possibly the most complex machine ever devised by the minds of men, into juxtaposition with... a ... Ural?
    #82
  3. Oldmanriding

    Oldmanriding Adventurer

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    No I'm saying that the belief that we live in a time when mechanical devices are so well made that we , the public at large, believe that anything we buy that has a failure is somehow sub-standard.If it is possible for one of the most "expensive" machines to fail , any machine can fail. We do not see complexity as an issue only cost.
    #83
  4. Heyload

    Heyload Remastered Classic

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    Okay, now I'm with you!
    #84
  5. Berger

    Berger Been here awhile

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    Well said!
    #85
  6. Berger

    Berger Been here awhile

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    Dammit Scott....I blew Diet Pepsi all over my monitor!! :rofl
    #86
  7. GeezerStank

    GeezerStank Been here awhile

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    Yup the Ural thing is an emotional topic, same as when I was into Guzzis. The thing is offbeat bikes are not for everyone, we all know that. To us that own them, we know what we got, most of us research and wiegh the pain versus smiles before we buy, the Ural to me and many others is a joy to ride and own. I'm riding around a bitchin Russian bike in Amerika, to me that is extremely fun. Since I bought the Ural I sold several of my other bikes because I wan't riding them anymore, I did keep my HD Electraglide for long range slab duty, I'm not a total fool. But I have taken my Ural on a 2500 mile road trip, it ran flawless and was a joy to kick back, ride all secondary roads and "smell the roses". I have never been so relaxed and seen so much on any of other of the 40+ bikes I've owned or ridden on a trip as I did on the Ural.

    And although some guys say they don't need it, I use reverse all the time and 2wd at this price point has been a must have for me. It just plain works and you can go places other hacks just dream about or can't go.

    Okay GWN, next time you get that urge, give into the dark side, heheh, I bet you'll wonder why you waited so long... :D
    #87
  8. crampfan

    crampfan Banned

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    lol, the power arc module failed, fix was to install a new power arc module and carry a russian "down grade" point type ign. system in the tool kit. I'm ready for anything now!:freaky
    #88
  9. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    #89
  10. chiba

    chiba elitist BMW snob

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    Fun thread. Thanks.
    #90
  11. Darkblood

    Darkblood n00b

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    Ok. This should be fun. This is my first post on ADV, but since Bokad quoted at least 4 of my posts on Soviet Steeds I feel I need to explain. Yes my bike was down for 2 1/2 months this last winter due to a bearing coming apart in the engine. I also had a foot in a cast at the same time so wasn't going to be riding it anyway.
    Has my Ural been featured in "Hammering and Wrenching" a lot. Yup. I also just hit 14,000 km's of Maine roads in just about a year of constant riding, this includes riding in 15" of snow and -20 degrees F.
    I've had my experiences, camshaft bearing, thrust bearing, assorted ground wire issues and broken bolts, however if Bokad checked Ural no longer produces it's own bolts and fasteners but farmed that out. They also no longer build their own bearings. The Germans and Scandinavians do that for them, i.e. FAG and SKF bearings. So my issues would be related to quality control of German bearing producers, and Italian bolt and tool manufacturing.
    As far a reliable. I go down to my bike every morning, kick it over, do a pre flight check (which I would do on any bike) and ride to where ever I happen to be working that day. The bike then sits in the rain,snow,sun all day never complaining until I go to it to leave for home. I kick it over again and drive home, usually over the posted speed limit on roads that will shake your eye teeth out.
    The handle bar switch that broke on my bike is a Domino switch produced in Italy. The ignition is a Ducatti.
    Now for some of his other issues about why Ural does something.
    The United States has specific rules related to importing vehicles and what they need to comply with.
    This includes but is not limited to:
    Emissions (this means they set the bike up to run lean) It also means that they would have to install a stupid anti spill nozzle on the "Fluid" canister to allow it to be considered for fuel. If you've ever used one of those nozzles you know that they just don't work. (Knowing this going into the purchase you can fix both issues easily with tuing the engine to run less lean and carry fuel in the canister)
    As far a speedometer not working or being off. You've got me on that one since mine has never shaken or been anything but spot on.
    Roadside assistance.....Name one Bike that this is included in the warranty.

    Now for a spot of reality. My bike has only been to the shop once and it cost me nothing. The engine was torn down to replace the bearing and while there the dealer blacked out the engine and exhaust vastly improving the appearance of the bike, and something I had planned anyway.

    Every other issue I've had was solved with a phone call to my dealer and new parts being shipped out to me no questions asked. they didn't even want the old broken parts. (Which is why I take pictures and post on SS since the dealer network actually reads those posts and have been in contact with me via private message.)

    I've made calls to the local dealer at odd hours and he has talked me through a procedure. My first valve adjustment was on the side of I-95 with a cell phone to one ear and wrenches in my hands.

    Would I buy another Ural. In the blink of the eye I would. Nothing out there is as easy to fix with limited experience and very few tools.

    In full disclosure I do rebuild engines in my spare time so am not adverse to tearing a head off and polishing valves but in a complicated world the Urals simplicity of design is a breath of fresh air.

    I've kept records of maintenance costs since day one including oil changes and in 14,000 km's or just under 9,000 miles total maintenance costs (Not including adding stuff because I wanted to like racks and extra doo dads) but also including the 4 tires I've worn out comes to the grand total of $683.43. Yup that's tires x4, oil changes x5.6 (including new filters, top hat gaskets and o-ring and Final Drive oil each time), one set of front brake pads, and a light bulb. for 15 months that amounts to $45.56 per month for maintenance. or just about $0.05 per kilometer or $0.08 per mile. Also at the 32 mpg I get at an average cost of $3.78 per gallon this costs me about $0.12 per mile. So the bike is costing me a grand total of $0.20 per mile to operate. If you look at the allowance for vehicle maintenance this is well below what is suggested to put aside to operate (the government of the US allows on average $0.44 per mile. This means that apparently MY Ural is above average when it comes to operation and maintenance and I would bet MY bike has been featured in "Hammerin and Wrenching" probably more than most. Which is probably why I got this PM....


    To each his own but for my money I've been extremely happy with my decision to buy the Ural and sell my cage....yup I'm motorcycle only and have been for a year (minus the 2 months I had a cast on my foot)
    #91
  12. Berger

    Berger Been here awhile

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    Another comment I just have to make...there are a few of here who definitely cannot get along with each when it comes to politics....but we will fight for our rides! :freaky :lol3
    #92
  13. ikonoklass

    ikonoklass Kountersteering Krew

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    What's your beef against Russian caviar?
    #93
  14. Heyload

    Heyload Remastered Classic

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    Don't forget their pilot ejection systems! Some of the best in the world, right there.
    #94
  15. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

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    I don't believe you have one much less two Urals. I call Bull Sh*t

    Some of the trout will rise to your flies but the rest of us fishies will be riding our relatively trouble free Urals in the spring sun.
    #95
  16. RomaDakota

    RomaDakota Illuminatus!

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    If I am processing correctly, I believe the OP is attempting a cost balance; i.e. it costed this much hence it should be this reliable. And with this I do agree to some point.

    Do I think they are cool – yes.
    Would I like to have one – yes, especially a pumpkin/pink GU!!
    Would I buy a new one – no.

    Yes, I am mechanical and yes I am familiar with Soviet and Russian things however I have watched Ural price themselves out for me. For a decked out GU, they are approaching 15k; in my opinion too much for what you get. The GU name is a problem as well however that is another topic…

    The post M72 "Ural" was developed as a Soviet commercial grade motorcycle to be used by villagers to get from one place to another via unimproved roads where the roads themselves limited speed. I feel normal use in the US is getting close to the upper envelope of the design.
    Roads: Heck, the gravel roads around my place are so nice, I was doing 70mph on a one yesterday! Not to mention the slabs… Village roads are not like that in Russia; BTDT.
    Weight: The 3-4 Russian villagers crammed onto the Ural weigh less that 2 average Ural riders in the US and maybe 1 with a lot of crap in the trunk (may be a slight exaggeration, but you get my point).

    Of course these are my opinions built upon owning several Soviet rigs, riding Urals, having friends with Urals, etc. I guess my point is the modern Ural has a certain design envelope and a certain price tag. Modern use seems to me to be very close the limitation (speed and load); hence issues. There are QC problems. Add that to the price tag and it is just not worth it to me; I get my sidecar fix at a much better cost point.

    Ha, one of my new favorite quotes :d
    #96
  17. planzman

    planzman commie bike rider

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    I bought my rig used. The PO (previous owner) had some issues with the bike in the fist 80 miles.
    The final drive failed and this bike either had a rocker arm fail, or was one of the ones with the bad rockers.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=552662&highlight=gaelicdog

    I knew this guy had this problem with the bike when new, and still bought it after he abused it on the TAT.

    However, the PO rode the bike from Atlanta to OK via the trans am trail ( which I am sure was an arduous journey).


    I ain't no mechanic, i am a retired zipper suit sungod, but yet, i feel comfortable working on this bike.
    She now has reached 17500 klicks, so far with only these additional mechanical failures:

    rear brake switch
    faulty break light socket on sidecar.

    i have abused the bike by riding her in the woods last year deer hunting and carrying the harvest to the deer processors.

    I think everyone should beware of the limits of their equipment and the potential for break downs and any critical opinion is appreciated ( as long as it is not mean spirited).:freaky

    to each his own.
    now lets ride:ricky
    #97
  18. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    You probably got the only Honda in the world with an accurate speedo from the factory then. I've never seen one.
    #98
  19. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    Our free falling dollar has also got something to do with Urals (and almost everything else) being priced higher.

    As for this constant talk of wrenching or tinkering, I've had a 650 and now 750 Ural. The only odd job to either was to have the gas tank tab rewelded on the 650. The previous owner had gooped it up but ethanol gas ate through it. Zero issues other than that and one broken spoke that I may have contributed to. V :D

    [​IMG]
    #99
  20. AeroEngineer

    AeroEngineer Been here awhile

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    I'll be happy to take your broken Ural off your hands for 1000 bucks.

    Seeing how non-user friendly it is, it's probably gonna take someone several years to get it running again, so I think that's a fair price.


    :D