Yes, Urals are a different beast

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by RetiredandRiding, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    912
    Location:
    Da Lat, Vietnam or Olympia, WA when stationary
    and in my FOUR whole days of riding my late '70s Vietnamese Army Ural purchased 2 months ago, I've needed:
    1) A sense of humor
    2) A sense of the absurd
    3) Some wrenching abilities
    4) A LOT of additional time added to my ride "schedule"
    5) Cash
    6) More humor
    7) My tent, sleeping bag, and cot
    8) A strong stomach
    9) The word "F*CK!" (more than a few times)
    10) Laughter

    Day 1 was a great ride through the countryside of Vietnam (see here and here) that ended in a collision (see here).

    Day 2 (last Thursday) was about 2 weeks after Day 1--the first ride after the collision damage was repaired. It was a nice relaxing ride that included a broken weld that dropped my left mirror and a flat tire repair that included the purchased-the-previous-day (Chinese-made) scissors jack collapsing. I left the jack as a gift for the guys who helped me lift the bike to get the pusher wheel back on.
    IMG_3960.JPG

    Day 3 (last Friday), the beautiful ride ended prematurely with a fried ignition coil and a Vietnamese tow (click here for video) to the nearest hotel where I waited almost 24 hours for a replacement coil, drill and bits (to remove the rivets) and rivet gun (to install fresh rivets).
    IMG_3989.JPG

    Day 4 (last Saturday), the parts arrived, the repair is done, and once again I'm on the road. After hours of riding through small villages, down alleys barely wide enough for the rig, and a fair amount of off-roading, today's ride also ended prematurely. You guessed it--ANOTHER fried ignition coil. This time it happened right in front of a restaurant and truck tire repair shop (two separate businesses). I pitched my tent behind the repair shop and used the showers at the restaurant that was really more like a truck stop. The people were quite friendly and a little too helpful. The restaurant served me two of the worst meals I've ever had in my life, but the waitresses were cute and it's the only place for 10 km.

    Sunday I blew off the rest of my planned trip and got a truck to haul the bike (and me) home. The winch you see was brought out, I think, for show.
    IMG_4065.JPG
    Five of us man-handled the rig up a 20+% incline into the bed--with less than 2 inches of clearance on each side. I wish I had a video of that...
    IMG_4066.JPG

    It's now at a different mechanic's getting an electronic ignition and a complete check of the electrical system. The prognosis is that I'll have it back in a week with a one-year warranty on the work done.

    Looking forward to Day 5...

    The actual Ride Report with a route map and more photos is coming soon; link will be posted here when it's written.
    #1
  2. TurTal

    TurTal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    292
    In just 4 days

    You already have enough materiel for a really great adventure story

    The kind you can tell your grandkids around the campfire


    Only Urals can do that


    .
    #2
  3. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    912
    Location:
    Da Lat, Vietnam or Olympia, WA when stationary
    Yup! Did you watch the video of the tow? It was my favorite non-powered part of the trip.
    #3
    TurTal likes this.
  4. bad luck

    bad luck Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Moab, Utah
    Note to self, do not I repeat do not buy a Ural, even though I still want one.
    #4
  5. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    912
    Location:
    Da Lat, Vietnam or Olympia, WA when stationary
    It definitely takes a sense of adventure.

    Maybe it helps to know that mine has spent its entire 40 years in Vietnam?
    #5
    Unstable Rider and bad luck like this.
  6. out rider

    out rider You Go First

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,170
    Location:
    IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY
    Yeah, go ahead and miss out on a good time.
    #6
    Bar None, NxtGoRnd and TurTal like this.
  7. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,004
    Location:
    Fancy Gap VA (milemarker 199 BRP)
    They all do that!
    #7
  8. gobium

    gobium Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    387
    Location:
    south of south pole
    650 ural is crap, you want a good Ural? You got to build it from square 1
    #8
    Bobmws likes this.
  9. RomaDakota

    RomaDakota Nixie Me

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,171
    Location:
    Goldilocks Zone
    Awfully shiny for a 40 year old Ural living life in Nam. :augie
    #9
    gspell68 likes this.
  10. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    912
    Location:
    Da Lat, Vietnam or Olympia, WA when stationary
    Easy to say from somewhere where you have 100's to choose from and they're legal--to say nothing of parts availability.

    Here, we take what we can get and make it work.
    #10
    bad luck, eastbloc, Bar None and 9 others like this.
  11. TurTal

    TurTal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    292
    Just keep doing what you're doing

    It takes some serious commitment and a real passion to keep an old 70s model Ural alive

    You have and are accomplishing something that very few if any would be willing or able to do

    I've been riding Urals going on 15 years now and have done everything you can imagine to them

    I know how patience trying the 650 can be and how rewarding it can be when their sorted

    I'm impressed with your tenacity and patience to tolerate the quirks of the little 650


    Your willingness to go forward and stay the course while being mocked and everyone around you thinks your nuts for doing so is a testimony to your true nature as an adventurous soul

    Keep it up buddy

    You're an excellent example of what it means to be a real Uralista




    .
    #11
  12. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    912
    Location:
    Da Lat, Vietnam or Olympia, WA when stationary
    Thanks, TurTal! I'm having a good time and looking forward to the next ride.
    #12
    brstar likes this.
  13. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    912
    Location:
    Da Lat, Vietnam or Olympia, WA when stationary
    Even here we have the ability to repaint a vehicle--I'm sure it's been done to this one at least once. The rains keep the dirt off the painted parts, but the underside is still quite mottled and blotchy.
    #13
    brstar and Unstable Rider like this.
  14. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,147
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    Great tales of adventure!
    #14
    bad luck, TurTal and RetiredandRiding like this.
  15. pagomichaelh

    pagomichaelh Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    306
    Location:
    Tafuna, American Samoa
    People living in 1st world countries have no idea what living in a 3rd world country entails.

    It can be frustrating, but the satisfaction of challenges overcome often (but not always! :) ) outweigh the frustrations. Besides, if it was easy, everyone would do it, and then what fun would that be?
    #15
  16. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,163
    Location:
    WNC SWFL
    That is a 40 year old Ural that had a hard life. Get a newer one and get it out of your system or learn to love it.
    #16
  17. krampus von der fan

    krampus von der fan This one time at bant camp.....

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,904
    Location:
    over the rainbow
    Once you get it "sorted out" it will be awesome....until it's not....thats when you get to "sort it out" again.
    #17
    cateyetech likes this.
  18. rg sw wa.

    rg sw wa. Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,077
    Location:
    Southwest Washington
    Can’t wait to read about the next ride and see the pics !!
    #18
    RetiredandRiding and FR700 like this.
  19. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    912
    Location:
    Da Lat, Vietnam or Olympia, WA when stationary
    I got the rig back Sunday afternoon, electronic ignition installed.
    fullsizeoutput_1c24.jpeg

    It starts first time, every time, though for some reason it's more difficult to kick-start.

    In typical Vietnamese fashion, when I asked him to install a gasket in the trunk, he ground off the lip that kept water from coming in at the top--completely screwing up the paint in the process.
    IMG_4137.JPG IMG_4138.JPG IMG_4139.JPG

    Cheap and dirty is very common here; clean and efficient is much harder to find. So far the gasketing is doing it's job, so there's that.

    In the next few days I'll take it out for a 50-100km "check ride" to see if I can get anything else to fail so I can fix it before my next intentional adventure.

    Stay tuned...
    #19
    bad luck, Bar None and rg sw wa. like this.
  20. cide1

    cide1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Fishers, IN
    Love it! I've got a 650 Ural I'm trying to get back on the road, so watching with interest.
    #20
    RetiredandRiding likes this.