Ural-a-ling the USA, Mr. Cob goes on tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Mr. Cob, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Rhodie

    Rhodie Gusset Nuzzler

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    Mr Cob

    Congratulations on achieving your goal :clap:clap:clap
    and far more importantly engaging so many readers & riders of other marques that they have, as a consequence of your trip, given the Ural serious consideration, with a number evidently translating into actual sales.

    IMWA should feel extremely gratified in their "investment".:deal

    Not least, as you have also given the Ural company global reach through these ADV Rider pages and brought the dream of a Ural combination to many of those who may not have known of it, let alone thought of it.

    Were I able to get one here in Thailand, I certainly would - provided there was good dealer backup. Something even BMW are failing to do here. However in such a small and status driven market, let alone emission laws that are now based on the toughest of European standards, the Ural will forever be a pipedream.

    Just to tidy up some outstanding questions in my mind having spent 6-7 hours reading through your tremendous adventure:

    1. Can you post an image of your stickered-up sidecar map showing the states you visited please?
    Was it it your original intent to visit all the lower 48?

    2. Having ridden 15 thousand plus miles, what was your average fuel consumption and final fuel bill?

    3. Did you ever get an explanation or apology from that one Ural dealer who left you in the lurch?

    4. Having been a rider of great Ural adventures & experience with great material & accumulated knowledge, may I suggest you electronically publish in pdf format a "book" along the lines of "Ural Tips & Tales along the Trail" which people can pay to download.
    It could also contain advertising from those who supported you as well as such fine establishments as White Castle you frequented, and maybe even "MR Jack" himself.

    5. How about IMWA offering a “MR Cob prepped Ural” should be for sale through their dealers?
    For those who would like to take their Urals truly off-road.

    If anybody is still unaware of Mr Cob’s piloting abilities or the URAL's potential in capable hands
    just check these vids out from last year’s Black Dog Rally:
    Mr Cob, drives through the SWAMP

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gPNbj08Zcs
    Mr. Cob climbs the steep hill, "Black Dog" rally
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lwp0wKR8x74
    Spot is quite the rally dog!

    I do hope that IMWA continue to support you by their "permanent loan" of the outfit, as you are providing them with an invaluable return of constant bike & component QC as well essential R&D.

    The fact that you did a nationwide post delivery inspection and found many of the outfit set-ups wanting, should save them a bunch of money in warranty claims as well as ensuring customer dealer satisfaction - providing IMWA send out a PDI bulletin and possible remedial training.

    Having read through your report and having been considering a Ural, after seeing it publicised in the Aussie Mag TwoWheels I am left with these thoughts which you may care to comment on.
    For the healthy future of the Ural I also hope that the factory upgrades their manufacturing standards and only use international standard grade materials & construction. To survive against the East they will have to.
    China makes a poor copy of the Ural, but their need to improve their QC is probably as great and better funded than the Ural company.
    IMO it is also important to produce a machine that does not require a service every 2500kms.

    I would like to add my gratitude to all ADV members [& Mr C's other friends] who helped Mr Cobb make his adventure happen - it was an enlightening & engaging window on the true heart of America & Americans.

    Thank you one & all.:freaky

    Rhodie
    Bangkok

    MR & Mrs C, if you are ever in this neck of the woods, you have an open invitation to stay.
  2. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Rhodie,

    Thank you for your kind words, they are most appreciated, I am humbled by them.

    Yours is a post that deserves a full and complete answer, please allow me some time to do it justice, I will respond to it in full soon. :deal
  3. Gary Paul

    Gary Paul Adventurer

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    and the adventure. And all that on a bike with a stock seat. :D
  4. cpres

    cpres Been here awhile

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    My 2007 Retro has the best stock seat I have ridden once I made a few minor adjustments. I too would like to see a good photo of the map with the states you visited.
  5. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Rhodie,

    IMWA has been good to me by supplying what ever it takes to keep my rig running in the past and has done the same for the Tour Rig. They are continuing to support my efforts and will again this year sponsor me to go to Death Valley during the winter and to the Moab area this coming spring, I am sure I'll think of something to talk them into this coming summer other then the dual sport events we are already committed to participating in.
    :evil

    The Ural has already passed the European pollution standards so that is not a problem. I am sure you could buy a Ural from the folks down in Oz, if you were to need parts they should be able to get them too you. The Ural is so simple that anyone with simple tools and basic mechanical knowledge can tune and repair them if needed.

    Here is the completed trip map, it was never my intent to cover all of the lower 48 while on this tour. I covered as many States as I could and stayed with as many folks as I could and still be able to make it home by the appointed time that I had agreed too with Mrs. Cob.
    [​IMG]

    The rig averaged 27 mpg, the total cost for fuel was $2,399.09


    No, this dealer never offered any explanation other then he didn't have the time to honor his agreement.

    I do not have the computer skills to accomplish such a task. There are many folks who have more knowledge then I when it comes to offering tips on Ural ownership, I am not an accomplished author just a fairly good bullshitter so a book is something that I don't feel qualified to do. I honestly can't see folks paying to read my drivel but it would be nice to have a few extra bucks to start the next crazy trip. Again I am just a guy who rides a Ural, I highly doubt any business that I patronized would be interested in being associated with something so trivial.

    One thing I do take great pride in is that I have had an influence on IMWA when it comes to building the bikes stronger and better. I am not right now at liberty to discuss it but if all goes according to plan the Tour Rig will be outfitted with a high exhaust pipe system and a good skid plate built and supplied by the folks at "Raceway" the Ural dealer located in Salem Oregon. Jim and his shop supplied the twin stick shifter that is now on the rig and he is working hard to get IMWA to market many of his products that will make the Ural more off road worthy.

    I have been authorized by IMWA to install on the Tour Rig, products that are available to the general public, Jim's pipe and skid plate will be a great addition to the rig and make it more suitable for the up-coming Death Valley ADV-ride. Jim has not yet come up with a off road type air filter so I'll be stuck with the stock air box and filter. As the K&N filter is available to the public I will be using the K&N filter.


    Spot, is my best buddy, he has accompanied me on many a ride and will do so in the future. Here's a photo of him in his "Command Capsule"
    [​IMG]

    The final details have not yet been worked out, but the Tour Rig, will end up as a permanent part of my stable; it will continue its role of "test mule" for any new factory parts or readily available after market accessories.

    This has already been discussed, at this years dealers meeting which took place a short time ago these short-comings were talked about. I have talked to IMWA about having some sort of ready made form that would be given to customers which they could fill out and send directly back to IMWA; doing a form this way allows the customer to communicate with IMWA without the dealer getting in the middle. This has not happened yet, I don't know if it will but it would give direct feed back to IMWA and put the dealers on notice that if they didn't do a good job they would be subject to being called on it.

    Since late 2006 all the seals and bearings used have been of very high quality. Starting in 2007 many of the gears have been made in Austria by a firm named Herzog. In 2008 new cyclinder heads have been used, the bikes are constanly being up-graded when ever it is possiable to find a source of better componets at an affordable price, this will continue into the future. The service intervail may seem short but please bear in mind how little is needed. The engine only holds two quarts of oil, the transmission just one quart. The final drive uses 4 ounces of gear oil. Using such small quantites of lube requires that they be changed at a shorter intervial. The cost of maintance on a Ural is very cheap compared to most other machines.

    I could never have taken on or completed such a sojourn if it had not been for the kindness and generosity of all who contributed to this trip of a life time, I am and always will be extremely gratefully to them all.



    Rhodie, if I should ever be fortunate enough to make it to your part of the world I will gladly take you up on your kind offer of hospitably. Please be aware that I extend the same offer of hospitality to you if you come to the Great Nor-Wet.:deal
  6. Rhodie

    Rhodie Gusset Nuzzler

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    Mr C

    Thank you for your time & courtesy in answering most fully my questions and posting the map image,
    which initself is an impressive visual testament of your journey.:freaky

    Your trip provided all of us many hours of vicarious pleasure following along with your adventure.

    Therefore it is gratifying to hear of your ongoing association with IMWA,
    as your RRs & videos most assuredly prove what these machines can do
    in experienced & determined hands.

    Similarly it is good to read that Ural are improving their rigs evidently learning from your input & advice.

    I only wish that you could moneterize such - for your ongoing travels & further adventures,
    in a format others would care to purchase for their enjoyment
    as well as benefiting from your various customisation & tricks for the road..

    On a personal front, sadly the Ural in Thailand will remain a dream.
    Unless they gain a Thai importer.
    As the hassle & expense makes individual homologation approval
    for a Ural rig a mindtwisting undertaking.

    Again I much appreciate your time & effort you have taken keeping us enthralled,
    in between riding & snagging beds along with plateloads of bacon as you rolled across the United States!
    Your invite is similarly appreciated and is reciprically open.

    Trust you are making progress with the "Honey Do's" list & Spot is still riding shotgun! :D

    Keep the riding karma Bro'.

    Rhodie
    Bangkok
  7. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

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    this is my first post on adv and i don't know that any other ride report i've read deserves my attention more. certainly a great adventure - makes me want to leave the house right now and never look back...
  8. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy mightymatt43,

    I am indeed honored that my ride report has pleased you, thank you for your post. Perhaps when you have the time you may be interested in more reading, if that is the case please go to the search function of ride report forum, type in the word "Ural-a-ling" that will bring up days worth of Ural ride reports that may be of interest to you. Be well, ride often.
  9. mightymatt43

    mightymatt43 URALiNEED

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    Texas, USA
    i've actually already spent quite a bit of time reading through some of your trips - it always makes me long for the road (especially when i see pics of your rig in the snow - it just looks so natural there). i've only got 7500 km on my ural but i plan on spending a good chunk of time this summer on the bike - i'm taking a month and a half off and my wife and I are going to try for deadhorse, alaska (all the way from san antonio, tx).

    anyway - thanks again for your contribution to the site and know that you've got a place to stay if you're ever through san antonio...
  10. nomadicbear

    nomadicbear Vagabond

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
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    Location:
    Clinton, Oklahoma - USA
    Hello Mr. Cob

    I have sent you an e-mail today about your trip it's now May of 09. I have read everything here, SS, RI, Ural and U-tube. Thanks for sharing with us I for one have got to get me a a Gear-up my concern has been how much it can carry and how it does at high altitude. I see that you don't seem to have a problem loading it down, so at the most what kind of weight have you put on the bike and what would be the highest altitude you have made with a load?

    :bow :bow:bow:bow:bow:bow All HAIL THE MIGHTY COB for HE RULES THE GEAR-UP!!! :wings:wings:wings:wings:wings:wings
  11. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy nomadicbear,

    Thank you very much for your kind words, its cool that this ride report is still getting attention almost a year after it was written. The most weight that I have had on the rig was 1,420 pounds that included my fat arse, the highest pass that I rode over at that weight was almost 12,000 feet someplace in Colorado. There is a photo on the IMWA home page that shows a rig loaded at over 2,000 pounds :eek1 headed to Alaska, Dana one of the fellows who I rode with in Moab just a few days ago lives at over 10,000 feet in Colorado, he rides all year and has crossed many passes in excess of 12,000 feet while heavily loaded.

    Two things to keep in mind, weight costs you in bike performance and operating costs, riding at high altitudes with jetting better suited to lower altitudes will really kill the performance of the machine and eat gas. If you plan to spend time at high altitudes carry the necessary jets with you so that you can swap them out. While on the USA Tour, I didn't swap jets as I didn't spend that much time over 4,500 feet. I had the rig jetted to run from sea level to around 4,500 feet that worked well for 90% of the trip.

    If you do end up buying a Ural and your decision to buy one has been positively influenced by my ride reports, photos or videos please send me an email or PM stating this, it will help me keep the small sponsorship that IMWA provides to me. Thanks. Be well, ride hard, ride often. :evil
  12. MMMOTORCYCLE

    MMMOTORCYCLE Been here awhile

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    Jun 4, 2006
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    Preskit
    If the folks from Ural are still reading these posts....

    I purchased a 2008 Patrol from Terry Crawford (Crawford Sales Co) as a result of Mr. Cob's adventure. I pick it up Saturday and feel like a kid the night before Christmas.

    I have been admiring the Ural for quite some time but was hesitant about reliability. This ride report was the push I needed to make the purchase.

    For those still on the fence about a Ural, Terry has been very accommodating during this purchase. So far his knowledge and attention to detail with all my questions have been great.

    I will post some pics on the Hacks link later next week.


    Mike (Michael, Michael Motorcycle)



  13. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Mike,

    Thanks for your kind words. Welcome to the world of three wheels and in particular Ural's. Terry is a great dealer who will treat you right. Be sure to post some photos and tell us of your rides. :deal
  14. LngRidr

    LngRidr Been here awhile

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    great ride report!
  15. gobi1kenobi

    gobi1kenobi Adventurer

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    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Hi Mr. Cob,

    I just wanted to say what a great ride report that was of you going around the USA. As I said in my last email, your report is one of the biggest reasons that I finally pulled the trigger and bought a Ural. I can’t wait to get it. Jim at Raceway said that it would be here 2 weeks ago but we are still waiting. Last time I heard he said I should get it this week.:freaky

    I have a few questions for you regarding your trip.


    • What did you think of that rear rack bag? Was it good quality? Where would someone go to get one of those? How much did it cost?


    • Do you recommend oil changes every 2500km, 1800 miles or did you just do that since the bike was being run so hard on your cross country trip?
      • What kind of oil is recommended in a ural? Can or should you use fully synthetic?


    • When the motor had the issue on your cross country trip and those rods pulled out the threading, did Ural (IMWA) ever make the long term fix to the motor? The bike you were riding was a 2008, we just bought a 2011, is the problem fixed on my bike or should I be constantly monitoring this?


    • Do you recommend getting a windshield for the rider? If so is there a style that you think works and looks the best on the bikes? I saw that you had a very small one that was given to you for your cross country ride, but several of the urals (specifically gear up) owners had very big ones with the bottom painted in camo to match their bikes. Are these good windshields to get? They look very cool with the matching camo, but I wonder if it reduces your visibility when looking down and slightly to the front/side of the bike as the painted part wouldn’t be able to be seen through? Also is it possible to get one of these camo windshields in the Gobi color? Lastly, does the windshield help or hurt your fuel consumption?


    • Do you recommend getting those black wind breakers that mount in front of your legs?


    • Have you ever put Monster tubes (4mm thick) into a ural tire? Do you recommend doing this?


    • Do the 2011 gear ups have the same problem with the needing to have the u-joints phased in the drive shafts?
  16. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Gobi1,

    I am in the UK right now and VERY busy having a GREAT time, I don't have the time right now to give you proper answers to your questions but will address them on my return home in early June. :deal
  17. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    .
  18. Erik500

    Erik500 Been here awhile

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    I've spend the last few days drawn to the PC screen reading this fine RR.

    The heartwarming way you've been telling us about those brave man & woman who gave there lives for their country, the great hospitality and friendships you've encountered along the way, and of course the rig itself : I've enjoyed it all,tremendously.

    Idea !! .....Wouldn't it be cool if the IWMA where to sponsor/persuade you to take the rig from and through Europe (as a starting point) all the way to Irbit, Russia ? And you of course sharing such a trip with the rest of us :clap....
    If...and when....I live up north in the Netherlands and you can bunk at my place. We don't generally eat bacon for breakfast but I'm more then willing to accomodate you in that department:D

    Thanks for sharing this great RR with us out here, keep riding safe !!!

    Cheers,

    Erik
    The Netherlands.
    [​IMG]

    [ PS. : English is not my native language, so excuses upfront for any misspelling and/or 'odd'- appearing sentences ]
  19. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

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    Howdy Erik,

    As to your PS, English is also not my native language, I speak American. :lol3

    Seriously I try to write in a coherent manner but often times fail to articulate what I am trying to get across.

    Thanks so much for your kind words concerning this ride report, it was a GREAT trip, I met so many wonderful people and had the chance to visit parts of my country that I had never seen before. This trip was only possible because of the generosity of those who hosted me and the support of IMWA in supplying the rig.

    I just returned from a two week trip to the UK, northwestern France and southern Belgium, some Internet friends who I had never met invited me to come over for a visit. I'll be posting a ride report on that trip in the near future. I didn't get a chance to ride while in Europe the insurance issues were just to much of a hassle and expense but I was a passenger in the sidecar of my main host for over 2,000 miles. I would love to visit in Europe again and if that ever happens it would be great to meet you and perhaps share a few miles together. :deal
  20. Borderhooner

    Borderhooner Captain Phaëton

    Joined:
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    I've recently finished reading your relay ride report in the side car. Awesome!

    I'm now on page 38 of this, your USA ride report.

    I just wanted to add that your essay on page 36 has moved me considerable today and I thank you for sharing such personal sentiments, memories and experiences.

    The world aint so big.

    :clap