Is It Possible To Make A Ural Reliable?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by nicholastanguma, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. MotoJ

    MotoJ Mobtown Hacker

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    So you WERE just trolling.
    #21
  2. BWeber

    BWeber Been here awhile

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    Best advise don't buy a Ural and try to make it into something else.
    Enjoy it for what it is and does.
    #22
  3. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    #23
  4. drbike

    drbike Been here awhile

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    I think most things have been covered regarding the Ural. That said I have both a Ural 2007 and a BMW/DMC hack 2011. The ural has about 50,000 km on the speedo the BMW about 70,000 km.

    The Ural did indeed need a lot of routine maintenance but its easy and not all that time consuming. It never once left me stranded at the side of the road. I really had a lot of issues from clutches to final drives to hubs and wheels, at one time or another most major parts failed often due to Russian bearings. I think I would have had a lot less issues with the Ural if I had kept the speed reasonable or avoided high speed completely.

    The BMW is way easier on fuel than the Ural and the same goes for tires. The clutch lasted nearly the same in both but the Ural failed due to a bearing and the BMW just plain ole wore out. The tub on the ural is strong.

    My take may be different than most : I really think they are both pretty equal one is just faster than the other. If you can live with low speeds I think the Ural will be fine.

    I suspect the Ural is getting better and better each year if you maintain it and ride it in a sane manner I suspect you will be fine with the Ural.
    #24
  5. lytle1gw

    lytle1gw oldguy

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    I have had less trouble with my Ural than I had with the Harley that I traded for it.
    #25
  6. KawiVA76

    KawiVA76 Been here awhile

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    In the middle of a 4 day trip on my 2010 gear up right now. I have no trepidation about doing multi-state trips on the Ural. I do carry some spares with me like throttle/clutch cables, drive shaft donut, u-joints and a spare coil/wires. I carry some spares with my BMW as well though.

    I don't see it as expecting failure. It just makes sense to me to be prepared for the possibility of needing repair on the road. So far my Ural has not failed me. I stick to secondary roads and cruise mostly at 50-55 mph. If I need to be somewhere fast I take the BMW. A picture from the Cape May-Lewes Ferry yesterday. At the front of the pack!

    Mike

    [​IMG]

    Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk
    #26
  7. warkshop

    warkshop uncbob Supporter

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    If you are a mechanically inclined person and can live with a very 'interactive' motorcycle you may enjoy a Ural,,,,beyond all realms of logic and reason there seem to be many who fall in love with them,,,not i. You could make dramatically better choices if reliability truly is a goal,,,,get over the pretty face thing,,,,,,you could build an outfit around a variety of cool, older bikes and get the same eye candy and funk appeal and i'd argue money better spent.
    I would guess (because you asked the question) that you are not a good wrench twirler,,,,,if so ( be honest with yourself) do yourself a big favor and stay well away for Urals.
    #27
  8. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    They are as reliable as your wallet.
    #28
  9. markdam

    markdam n00b

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    Find a good solid used uRal with a blown engine and do like I did....put in BMW a
    r90 or R100 engine and it mate it to the uRal transmission......bada bing 60+ horsepower 40+ MPG and reliability and parts availability like no other
    Do a search for BMW conversion and ural
    #29
  10. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    Sounds a great idea. But I don't have either the time or inclination to perform such an engine swap. Know of any people or shops that have the experience to source a rebuilt R engine and do the conversion?
    #30
  11. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass Hippie Ki Yay! Humboldt changed my life.

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    Still waiting for a failure on mine. It's gone from a heavily loaded down cross country rig to being ridden to the edge on back roads and keeping my friend on a WR250R astonished. Tons of fun with no more maintenance than any other bike I've owned. Oil changes and plenty of tire changes as the kilometers pile up. I did replace a seal in the final drive that was weeping after plenty of sand riding out west. Ural mailed me the seal, gasket, and threw in a new set of brake shoes just in case the old ones had oil on them. Would I buy another? Yes, but I think this one will last forever.
    #31
  12. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) Long timer Supporter

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    :clap
    #32
  13. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    Holy moly. Best Ural anecdote I've ever heard. So Ivan def wasn't drunk or disgruntled on the day he assembled your rig.
    #33
  14. BWeber

    BWeber Been here awhile

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    I hired my 2006 Patrol converted to a R90.
    I strongly would recommend Forever Endevor Cycles the St Louis Ural Dealer
    Owner Dave Clark. 636-938-7336.
    He has done mine and another Tourist here in Kansas City along with several others around the mid west
    This solves the engine problems and makes it a really capable off road rig but you still have the rest of the rig requiring maintenance.
    #34
  15. nicholastanguma

    nicholastanguma nicholastanguma Supporter

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    Outstanding. Thanks so much for the contact info! I'm going to look into this.
    #35
  16. Ivan Rider

    Ivan Rider Been here awhile

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    Well I've owned 16 Urals in the past 15 yrs. Along with a half dozen BMW rigs. Out of all those Urals I only needed to call a tow truck 3 times for something I couldn't fix along the road. As for the newer BMW's they usually have to be taken to the Dealer so the computer can decide what's wrong. People say the newer the better but one of my Best Urals was a 2002 with a 2012 engine. I rode it everywhere and didn't carry anything more the a spare spark plug.
    #36
  17. Steppy

    Steppy Been here awhile

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    I picked up my 2010 UralT and rode it from Armidale in NSW 6,462km back to Western Australia :D and the only issue I had was the flexible u-joint coupling failed. This year after 6 months preparation I set off for Tasmania on my 1200 Sporty only to have it shit itself 20 minutes out of town :cry. I pulled the Ural out of the garage and with no prep was in Melbourne 4.5 days later:clap. Total trip distance 8,798km and the only problem was a flat tyre on the sidecar. I'm now planning a "lap" :norton of Oz with a total distance of 17,00km. I couldn't ask for better reliability from the Ural. Remember to take it easy, 90kmh (55mph) and it will run all day.
    #37
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  18. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    I have owned 2004, 2006 2007 and now a 2020 Gear Up. Regarding the 2004 thru 2007 carbureted versions, my best friend and savior was my AAA RV Plus membership, as on more than one occasion, I had to call for a rollback tow truck to get me home. Though I can yet give a "long term/mileage" report on the 2020, it has not only performed flawlessly, but unlike any of my previous GU's, can actually run at 65MPH on freeways with my wife navigating in the tub. Off-pavement performance has been "as advertised"!:

    20200830_ural_test_ride_07.jpg

    20200830_ural_test_ride_12.jpg


    As the old adage goes, "The most expensive vehicle/plane/boat you can buy is a free one". Certainly, buying older/cheap/used, then spending the money to upgrade/refit can work, but unless you have the skills and tools to perform the work yourself and thus save the cost of paying a shop for their labor, at the end of the day, if you're serious about an URAL, I would be patient and keep up a steady search for a 2019 or newer model. The 2nd Gen, Keihin throttle body/A Racer engine management system, closed-loop fuel injection system is a significant improvement over the 1st Gen open loop system.

    And, if you go to the Yearly Model Year Changes webpage on the URAL site:


    . . . there are other updates from the 2019 model year on that would be costly to do as "upgrades", and these are improvements that should result in increased reliability.

    Regardless, best of luck in your research!
    #38
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  19. arbalest

    arbalest Been here awhile

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    Really, if one were to purchase a later year carbed Ural and take it to Raceway Services or Holopaw or someone else equally revered within the community for pre-emptive fixes of all the known problems, and throw a wad of cash at it, could it be done?

    If you are willing to throw a wad of cash at it, do a BMW conversion. A great choice if it is an older Ural. I had a Dnepr that had a motor that just inhaled money trying to keep it running. I had very few problems with the drivetrain or the cycle parts. After I put the BMW motor in it, I just rode the wheels off it. Some Urals have had final drive issues. A friend has a very well sorted BMW R100/Ural conversion with Herzog transmission, hydraulic front DRUM brake, Motoren Israel spin on oil filter conversion, among other farkles. He would sell it for $6500. It has been for sale for some time. I can't believe no one has snatched it up.
    #39
  20. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    It's really very simple

    If you're the type of individual who goes through life asking everybody what you should do when the majority of those asked don't have the first damn clue what they're talking about....especially when it comes to owning a Ural....then don't buy one





    If you really want a Ural then go out and buy one

    Ride it...learn its quirks...adapt to it and you'll be rewarded with endless grins on your new Adventures

    If you discover it's not your thing then sell it and move on

    You can't experience anything by asking about other people's experiences....you'll have to do it on your own to truly understand


    Urals are unique and offer an amazing experience between Man and Machine

    Ural is still around and more successful than ever

    If the people didn't love them they wouldn't be

    The only way you're going to find out why....is to own one

    .
    #40
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