USCA Sidecar Forum

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new ural or new hack?

2 days ago in Hotchkiss I had conversation with 2 people who like Ural.
One told me he took Ural from Texas to Florida and then to Alaska 10k miles. And then need to replace engine.
2nd replace 7 final drives and at least 2 engines in 30k miles.
Both of them like there Ural.
I say if you want to have conversation piece and spend time repairing it go ahead and buy it.
If your plan to ride - do not buy Ural.

slapping_rabbits - 7/11/2016 7:45 AM

Big Tom - 7/10/2016 1:07 PM

Here's an option..... Don't let the miles scare you.

WHOA! Just under a 100k miles...on a motorcycle!!! That's impressive, but I don't think bikes have the kind of longevity cars do right?

I currently have 81K on a 1999 Valkyrie that I bought new.. The last time I looked the current Valkyrie record holder was zeroing in on 450K on the same motor. I'm sure that their are Gold Wings with as many or more miles on them.

Goldwings can see half a million miles with proper maintenance.

That is amazing! Now I'm wondering if other monster sized engine bikes like the concours and rocket and vtx1800, etc have that kind of longevity? This is seriously making me consider something like the valkeryie (its got a goldwing engine right?) for my next bike with a sidecar. I also heard one of the goldwings has an airbag. That is quiet the safety feature.

ncdave - 7/12/2016 9:08 AM

the twins don't get quite as much longevity as the 4s and 6s, but they are far better than they used to be.

Dave, have you ever heard of BMW's? The "old ones" have a horizontally opposed two cylinder engine and are known to run for hundreds of thousands of miles. I rode my own 1963 rig this morning out to get a haircut and I not only got there but I also made it home. Or are you just talking about Asian bikes? 🙂 🙂 🙂

Here is a Champion for sale on C/L in Arizona. He just dropped the price by $500.

I just want to add my thoughts, I have owned 14 motorcycles, started out on BMWs, changed to Gold Wings when my local BMW dealer retired, and left me without a dealer within reasonable distance, tried a couple of other bikes that seemed to fit my needs at the time. My last four have been Gold Wings with sidecars, 3 1500s and a 1800. Now I have my first Ural rig. A Ural is not a good choice for everyone, it depends on riding style and desire. For instance, I lived in the Texas Hill Country for 15 years with 2 lane rural road speed limits of up to 75 MPH, and would have been run over. If I needed a reliable bike to ride to work every day, I wouldn't want to depend on a Ural. If I had a two week vacation and wanted to ride 500 mile days and see as much country as possible and had to be back to work at the end of the two weeks, Ural wouldn't be my choice. All that said, for my riding style now my 2013 Ural Patrol is perfect. I am 74 years old, retired and don't need to be anywhere in a hurry, live in Michigan with the 55 MPH speed limit and stay off the freeways, when I want to ride the Black Hills, or Blueridge Parkway, I trailer the rig and do day rides where I want to. As far as durability is concerned the guys on the Ural forum, say getting a used Ural that has been "well sorted" is the way to go. With mine the previous owner, had the engine rebuilt when the oil pump shaft broke, and the entire valve train components replaced when some part of it failed due to not being properly heat treated. They say that when the importer in Washington state, takes care of the problems covered by warrantee, the engine will be better than new, better bearings, better components, and better balance. Ural does need more maintenance than most modern bikes, carbs need to be balanced, valves adjusted, fluids in engine, trans, and final drive need to be changed, ujoints, and splines need to be greased. Wheels have spokes and need to be trued once in a while. On my 13 the front brake is a disk, rear bike and sidecar brakes are mechanical drum brakes and need adjustment. Up to 2014 when they went to fuel injection, and disk brakes all the way around, you won't find any computers, and all of the repair and maintenance was basic stuff, and fun to do, if you are into getting your hands dirty. To sum it up, for me, my Ural is the most "fun" bike I have ever had, it always draws questions and a crowd, most think that it is some antique bike. It helps that I have a great dealer close to me and that is a important part of your decision, unless you are capable of doing your own work on it. Parts always seem to be available, advice and help, and repair videos are on the Soviet Steeds forum, by the way it is a great forum for information you need to make your decision, lots of pro and con info. Good luck.

Some riders hate a particular brand of rig and never have a good word to say about them. Have heard negative words about ---------- (insert any brand you can think of here).

Then there are riders who love the brand that another hates. Life is too short to be bad mouthing a particular brand that others love. Just ride what you like, enjoy your experience and let others enjoy theirs.

At the national rally in Colorado there were rigs of all types, brands and configurations. But not one rig there could do everything great. Some excelled at interstate cruising, others for off-road exploring, still others for taking man's best friend for a ride in the country. Most important to me was, every rider there loved their rig and what it could do. Their rig did what they asked it to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

The USCA's strength is our helping and supporting each other, no matter what brand they ride.

I am a sidecar owner - have had both a Ural and "other". In 2011 we bought a 2006 Tourist that only had 4210 km on the odometer. From 2011 to 2016 we ran the odometer up to 15K km - other than regular maintenance the only things that needed fixing were a flat pusher tire, and an intermittent ignition wire under the gas tank. My wife and I rode it in parades, on PGR missions, and other fun stuff. Being an older model the top speed was listed as 65 mph - although I did have it up to 73 mph (per the GPS) once. It would happily run at 55 mph all day long, but at 60 or more it was pretty much maxed out and it was a handful to drive. But it was a fun ride - pull in to a parking lot filled with millions of dollars worth of Harleys and EVERYBODY wants to see the lowly Ural - it's a crowd gatherer! The only reason we don't still have it is the speed limitation - we wanted to be able to keep up with our riding friends and be more comfortable on the freeway so we sold the Ural and bought an older Goldwing - a 1994 GL1500SE with a California Sidecar, with 65K miles on the odometer. Now we can cruise down the interstate at a comfortable 70 mph with enough engine left for evasive action if needed - but with the sidecar we still draw a crowd in parking lots!

So on my way back from a work meeting in DC, I stopped by a bmw place. They put hannigan sidecars on their bmws and they finance them. Of course, these bmws are rather expensive. The 1200 gs feels like the right size and the upright position with the ability to stand does feel good. I tried the r nine t and that felt a bit small. It is nice that they are only an hour away from where I live. Any thoughts on the hannigan sidecars? The dual sport one looks okay, but not like one of the ural or dmc ones that look more rugged. I'm also very concerned with a bike that costs more than my car.