The Ural has low compression (like 8.6 to 1) compared to more modern bikes having at least 11 to 1 compression ratios. Engine braking is less effective in low compression engines. That said, I would use my brakes more that my engine for braking. Brake pads are cheap, clutches aren't. I would use it some but sparingly. My Ural had wiring issues, but that was due to age and the previous owners tinkering. The only brake failure I have ever experienced was on a Sportster and I was running it too fast down a mountain road. The brakes just went soft and then it felt like they were greased. I was able to slow it down and change my pace. Riding a sidecar is a thinking persons game. You have to plan ahead for turns , hills and stops.