Considering a Ural...

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by RatsWife, May 31, 2020.

  1. RatsWife

    RatsWife The Better Half

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    Husband has been riding over 50 years, I have been riding about 15. My current street bike: Royal Enfield Bullet 500 non-uni. Drive a Yamaha TW for dual sport and a Yamaha RD 125 for fun. He drives a MotoGuzzi V7 Classic, Yamaha 250 and RD 400.

    Have crossed the continental divide through Tincup Pass in Colorado (husband did NOT warn me about the snow), down Baja in Mexico and rented bikes to tour Costa Rica a couple times.
    I won't mention the scooter VS FedEx truck episode on St Martaan 25 years ago-as it was not one of my finer moments.

    So-I am thinking about a Ural with a hack. With the world as crazy as it is right now, international travel will be out for a while. Husband just had his right knee replaced, left knee in four weeks and shoulder in October.

    Thinking about a hack to help us ride more these days. Could even train a puppy with Doggles in a couple years!

    Advice? Suggestions? Will we scare each other to death? Would have to be 2wd due to our rural location.
    BIGGEST difference between driving a motorcycle and a hack?
    Opinions?

    Stay safe, and thanks in advance.
    #1
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  2. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    Your 2 wheel expertise is useless on a Ural

    You will need time to unlearn old skills and relearn new skills

    With that said.....

    Go with the 1wd CT....it will do everything you'll need it to do

    Lower...wider...18" wheels...easier to handle

    Patience and practice are key

    You're not in a race so ease into it at your own pace

    Find a large flat field or vacant parking lot and spend all day just poking along in 1st and 2nd

    Don't fly the chair...don't haul ass....don't try to do tricks

    Just putt...take your time in understanding the nuances of the machine

    Pay attention to how the inputs from your body language affect the rig

    Learn to "Feel" the machine...how it brakes...turns...accelerates...wiggles...wonders

    Relax...don't death grip the bars...keep your body fluid....moving and going with the Flow of the rig

    If you start to feel anxious or nervous...stop...take a break

    Avoid using reverse until you've had a few days of practice...then keep the front and rear brake pedal covered at all times when doing so...GO SLOW

    Driving a Ural is one of the most exhilarating experiences one can have between man and machine and sharing that experience with another is magical


    Wear your gear....ATGATT...go slow and have at least one able bodied person standing by while you practice...practice...practice

    In no time your confidence will build and you'll be ready to go explore your new world

    If I can be of any help don't hesitate to holler at me at anytime



    TurTal
    .
    #2
  3. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride Supporter

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    Being able to ride a motorcycle is NOT much help when driving a hack--some say it's a hindrance. They are like apples vs. pineapples. Buy and read the Yellow Book (https://www.amazon.com/Driving-Sidecar-Outfit-Second/dp/B00RD1WZ9S). Read Hal Kendall's Sidecar Operator's Manual (https://www.classiccycles.org/media//DIR_1205589/DIR_1293093/3e8205c5dfb26350ffff8ac5ffffe417.pdf) and take a course if you can.

    If you can't take a course, find a BIG parking lot without light poles and practice, practice, practice.

    TurTal is right (duh!); 1WD is most likely all you'll ever need, especially if you get a Ural. They're beasts.

    Good luck.
    #3
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  4. KLRmit

    KLRmit n00b

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    I recently purchased an Ural Gear up. While I have many decades of two wheel riding, be it Goldwings or a couple of dual sports the Ural is a pure pleasure and I only wish I had gotten one sooner. While my little TW does still get ridden I will use any excuse to go out on the Ural.

    Our little dog just loves going for a ride.
    I did take the three wheeler course recently. Thankfully the folks at Can-am our subsidizing the cost of the course.
    #4
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  5. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    While most of TurTal's advice is right on, I disagree with the 1WD part. Riding the CDT trail, and Baja, would be better with 2WD. Not essential, but definitely better, with better ground clearence and traction. The 1WD cT model DOES drive better on the pavement.

    The thing that concerns me about the OP is mention of shoulder surgery. Driving a sidecar outfit is harder on the shoulders than riding a motorcycle. OTOH, having 2 people means you can trade seats when tired.
    #5
  6. RatsWife

    RatsWife The Better Half

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    Thank you everyone for such wonderful information. When the husband taught me to drive a motorcycle, the first thing he said was "forget anything I taught you about riding the quad"- sounds like the same situation. I have a feeling I COULD learn to drive a Ural with a sidecar, but it might take me some time. Being in rural Georgia, I will have plenty of space and very little traffic to contend with.
    The 2WD feeling I have is due to the mile long private dirt road with lots of grade that we live on. It is generally in good shape. But there are times when it is a bit of a mess. Like currently. Because I had a bird build a nest and lay eggs in the tractor tool box and I didn't realize it right away. So, now I have a bird nest with four adorable baby birds in the tractor (named them Uni, Roy, Al and Junior), so I can't go fix the road. I am such a softie. Just hoping the Ural could be something I could handle on the road in all circumstances without needing help.

    How bad is the maintenance? Have heard stories about the older Urals, but doubt this would be anything the husband can't handle. After all, he does take care of my Royal. Plus the RDs...

    Are the side cars comfortable? I have a feeling he would be riding and I would be driving most of the time.
    #6
  7. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    You have a Royal Enfield. You'll be fine.

    Driving a sidecar is similar to riding a quad
    #7
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  8. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Oh, and the 1WD will be fine for your dirt driveway
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  9. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    As a long time hard-core off road driver of the mighty Gear Up I have to respectfully disagree

    The GUP is heavier...higher and can be quite the handful off road especially in 2wd mode

    The new Urals can easily throttle out of your grip and are very unforgiving once out of control


    I'm not saying that a person can't learn to drive a GUP as well as a CT....I have both and find the little CT is a friendlier and much more forgiving machine....especially off road as its lower and you can recover quicker and more confidently than you can with the GUP

    I wouldn't tell a rookie not to buy a GUP...that's ultimately their decision....but if they were asking me which would be easier to handle and control on and off road it would be the CT

    In a nutshell the CT does double duty a wee bit better than the GUP can


    .
    #9
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  10. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Yes/no on the part about bike experience helping.
    Your time on bikes has made you think and be more aware of what you are doing and what's going on around you.
    Plus the basic controls are similar.
    Not putting your feet down is just the start of things to learn to become automatic behaviour.
    Good thing you don't have to rush anything.
    The shoulder surgery maybe an issue or not. Perhaps after rehab it will be a matter of building strength.
    Hope you can do it.
    :lurk

    Edit
    Oh and be sure to keep hollering @Turtle.
    The pup needs it still.
    #10
  11. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    Since you own a tractor you're already qualified to maintain a Ural




    My little red head says the tub is super comfy...I've never been in it so I wouldn't know

    I do know she can hang out in it all day drinking margaritas or wine and chomping on snacks while I break my back driving her around sightseeing

    .
    #11
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  12. DanOGrande

    DanOGrande vorn and confused

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    Buy one and don’t look back. Maybe try buying a used one? See if you guys like it? Don’t be afraid of a carbed bike. If you can keep an RD running, you have the skills. These bikes are a blast!
    #12
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  13. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    I would hope there might be a ''working Ural'' in your area.
    Hopefully the owner would take a bit of time to introduce you first hand, to some of the characteristics of the Ural.

    Attitude in your post speaks a lot about your commitment to both your husband & continuing to ride together.
    Your husband sounds like a very fortunate rider to have you at the controls of whatever you decide on.

    You'll do fine on a newer Ural. Like any new riding experience...take it easy. Stick w/ it & you'll improve your fun level, together.
    #13
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  14. Rakthi

    Rakthi insufficient privileges

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    Having a similar experience health wise (having rotator cuff operation tomorrow) ... Just sold my FXFBs Fat Bob and contemplating a Ural.
    Had rotator cuff operation on the right side already and never got the shoulder back 100%. Almost dropped the Bob a couple of times so was thinking of a lighter bike and ended up at Ural. Will be a good workout for the shoulders and won't have to worry about holding up the bike.

    My guess is the current Urals are reliable enough and simple enough to work on should something go awry.

    Have a browse of the https://www.sovietsteeds.com/forums/ plenty of good stuff in there!
    #14
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  15. mampula

    mampula Adventurer

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    I've got a 2005 GS with a Hannigan Adventure I'll make you a deal on. Comfy. My son (18) would sleep for hours in the tub.

    And I bought the GS after spending three years helping my neighbor with his Ural. Every time he wanted to go for a ride.
    #15
  16. Corkster

    Corkster Adventurer

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    My cT is for sale in the fleamarket...
    #16
  17. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Your quad experience will help you a lot. I often try to explain to my motorcycle friends that a sidecar is more like riding a quad on the street than a motorcycle.
    #17
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  18. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    Yep, that's the basic concept, now just factor in a 2-300 lb. pendulum on the side.
    Some operating info here: https://sidecar.com/tech-reference/
    #18
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  19. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    The first 5 miles were the hardest, then it got a lot easier.
    And have a Patrol for sale btw.
    #19
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  20. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Over the years, Urals have gotten better. I used to sell them back in the '70's. Back then, you were lucky if they would run right out of the crate! Some didn't. Urals have started to hold their own but still require a bit more maintenance than other modern motorcycles. There aren't many bikes on the market that are built for use with a sidecar, out of those, I think the Ural is a pretty good choice.

    If you approach driving a bike with a sidecar cautiously, I think you'll do fine. There's a lot of good suggestions here about learning to ride with a sidecar. Like has been suggested, find a large parking lot to get used to riding with a sidecar, with a lot of schools out, that might be a good choice. The biggest thing you need to get used to is steering, with a sidecar you need to be more aggressive with steering. On a solo bike you suggest where you want to go, on a sidecar rig you make it go where you want it to go.
    #20
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