2003 Ural Tourist Questions

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2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby will0967 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:58 am

Hi everyone - I've been looking for years for a decent deal on a Ural and all the relatively cheap ones in my area quickly disappear. I've stumbled across this 2003, which i believe is a Tourist.
The good
- New alternator to replace the original generator
- New (or at least newer) Mikuni carbs
- Electronic ignition
- New tires
- He'd painted the wheels red - in the pictures, it didn't look that great, but in person, it's really sharp.
- Has both the rear seat rack and the passenger seat

Things I'm uncertain about
- Previous owner left the gas on and had leaky carbs....and from my research on this site, everyone knows what happens when you do that. The engine was replaced with a Dnepr engine, but he had no info on age/model/anything regarding the engine
- Kick start only engine - it took maybe 10 kicks to get it started from cold, then after it was warmed up, it started right up first kick
- Original air box was replaced with K&N's directly on the carbs
- Original speedometer was broken, so he replaced it with a (really nice) GPS driven speedometer. It's a dial driven one, not digital, so it fits the bike well. But he doesn't remember what the original had - he's had the bike for a couple years and based on the the GPS speedometer, had only put on about ~200 miles.
- Body/paint is decent, I'd rate at it 80% or so. There's a handful of half dollar size spots of paint that are cracked/missing, but nothing structural. There's a bigger area of the sidecar that looks like it was repaired, but it was on the bottom/back area and not noticeable.

He was asking $3900, he agreed to do $3300. If it wasn't for the engine and mileage uncertainty, I'd think it's a good price based on my research on this site and browsing Craigslist. What's the opinion of the experts on here? Is this the one for me after wanting one for the past 10 years?

Couple pictures below, thanks in advance for any feedback/advice. I checked the classifieds and didn't notice any, but if anyone has a $3k or so one in the Colorado area that they're on the fence about getting rid of, I'd consider that as well.

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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby isldtime » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:10 am

It's not a Tourist with that front end. should be leading link. Paint doesn't stick to chrome well. And the price is too high for a mutt. Read mouka's thread first.

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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby mouka » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:37 am

I will chime in and give you my experience with a 2003 rig.
I bought mine in non running condition for $2900. It had the original engine and low mileage. I came to realize that the odometer was replaced, so I am uncertain about real mileage. So far, I have spent around $150 on it. That includes new compliance fittings and battery. The rest is just stuff I bought from my local WalMart.
2003 Urals are really 2002 that were sold in 2003. If you read the serial number on the engine, one of them starts with a 2. That's for 2002.
One big issue is that you can never know what kind of torture the bike was subjected to until you take it home and start working on it. Depending on the condition and what you need to do to it, I would say that you could talk him into lowering that price at least a few hundreds of dollars. You should not pay more than $3000 for it. It's your decision at the end of the day.
Take it for a spin and see how it behaves. If everything is fine and you feel it is a solid bike, then you can go ahead and buy it, but be prepared to find a lot of nasty surprises. On my rig, there were so many hacks and so much stuff messed up that it was almost criminal. I am fixing the crap that the previous owners did to this almost every week. I finally got it to a decent running condition but I am still finding all kinds of nasty things.
A Ural requires a lot of maintenance. If you don't mind wrenching a little bit, then go for it. If you are expecting Honda reliability, then you are in for a big surprise.
If I were you and I can afford it, I would go for it and you probably will never look back. I find my Ural the most fun bike I have ever had. And believe me, I have had a ton of bikes over the years, I still have 6 bikes in my garage. Somehow, because of all the time and efforts I have spent on the Ural, I like it more than the others. I am always afraid I will return to my house on a tow truck when I take it for a ride, but it doesn't take away a bit from the fun I am having with it. I inflicted myself a nasty wound while fixing the carbs for my rig. I will have a scar for life, but I still like my ride.
I think the Urals are an addiction more than anything.
Happy Uraling and welcome to the club. You will find all the help you need in here. Plenty of Ural gurus here with plenty of extremely good advice.
One small detail, your bike is a Ural Retro, not a tourist. It's a bit rare to find those compared to the other models. I don't know how you should take this detail. In my opinion it looks great with the regular forks.
I also have noticed that it has the modified exhaust. I think it has the 2-in-1 type of exhaust, but I am not 100% sure. At least that's what it looks like from the left side.
Can you post more detailed pictures? It would help if we could see high resolution pictures of the rig.
Good luck!
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby eastbloc » Sun Feb 14, 2016 12:33 pm

Price is too high for a basket of unknowns. The Denso alternator is about the only good bit of news in this rolling parts bin.

Dnepr engines of good provenance aren't that common in the states and quality parts are hard to find.

The tires don't look like they're sidecar tires.

If the fork is original, the bike is probably a Deco, not a Tourist, but this is a minor point.

I wouldn't touch that for more than $2k and set aside some money to replace the motor in the likely event it craps the bed. You can do a lot better with a little more money and patience.

It also depends on whether you want a full-blown project or something that you can reliably get around on more than half the time.
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby TerryG » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:03 pm

I agee with eastbloc, only I think even $2k may be a bit high. Too many alarms going off - particularly the engine swap. If you can, find someone on this list near the bike and have them check it out for you. Who knows, it may be a very well sorted rig but you really need someone who knows the older models well to look at it before going to $3k. It was a Bavarian Classic, Deco, or Night Rider(?). Nicer road handling than the leading link models, but a little lacking off-road.
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby ReCycled » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:06 pm

Eastbloc has summed it up nicely, maybe even a little generous on the price... :wink:
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby will0967 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:51 pm

mouka - just got through your thread, sounds like you've had quiet the adventure with yours so far! Sounds fun, in some sick, painful sort of way that I'd also enjoy!

Thanks for the summary Eastbloc - I'd been getting excited and trying to talk myself into the fact that it's a good deal. Being kickstart only, I'm thinking the Dnepr engine must be even older than 2003?

I met up with him and he took me for a ride in it - it starts/runs/does max of 50 or so and everything sounded good during the 2 mile or so ride. It's in the Nashville area. I'm in Denver, but have been traveling down to that area frequently this year and will be back in a couple of weeks. Any suggestions for who I may be able to contact and convince into coming out and taking a look at it? I doubt that he'd drop down to $2K, but may drop a little more. I can also drive out rather than flying for work and get reimbursed some for mileage, so would make ~$500 in the process of driving the 2,500 mile round trip.

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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby eastbloc » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:04 pm

$2k might still be high.

That Dnepr engine is really is a big liability in my book. Most of the Dneprs in the US were imported as parts in the early '00's and sold on eBay as both kit bikes and parts by a gentleman by the name of Yuri. They were sold dirt cheap and many people bought them, but few if any got usable machines and knew what they were getting into. The best parts of these bikes were the frame and sheet metal. The drivetrains were junk. Many of these ended up with Ural engines because Urals were more reliable. I've seen them needing rebuilds with less than 100km on the odometer.

Your engine was likely made or at least assembled in the 1990's as this is when most of these bikes were brought into the states. Odds are good a PO may have blown their Ural motor and bought one of Yuri's Dnepr engines on eBay to swap it out. There's no real way to know and the odds are against you so I'd say you're playing Ukrainian roulette with that thing :lol:

BUT if you love it and you just have to have it I think there's no one here that will judge you for that :boogie: and we'd be looking forward to your adventures with it :lurker:
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby will0967 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:14 pm

Yeah, thinking I'll pass. I'd probably risk it for $2K or so, but don't think that'd be doable with him. They go quickly in Denver, with very few of them ever showing up for under $6K, and at that price, they're typically gone in a couple days. Currently, the cheapest one in the Denver area is $16K:
http://cosprings.craigslist.org/mcy/5417157944.html

I recently found searchtempest, which makes it a little easier to broadly search CL. Expanded my search area some, there's a couple that may not be the sub $3k range, look to be in much better condition if I save a little longer and sweet talk the wife some more!

07, 2WD for $6,500
http://greatfalls.craigslist.org/mcy/5422472270.html

Or a 2012 Tourist for $6,500
http://rapidcity.craigslist.org/mcy/5419665860.html

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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby rivers » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:21 pm

Too many unknown variables for 3 grand. Sounds like the seller bought a cheap project, got it running with whatever was available cheap and only put a couple hundred kms on it and got tired of trying to get it sorted. Not saying you couldn't get it sorted to reliable status but it likely won't be over a couple weekends. $3,000 would be fair for a good running condition stock 03 but that's just an old scabbed together Ural. Projects that people give up on are common for sale, but pay accordingly if projects are your thing. The cheapest bikes can easily turn into the most expensive. If you're looking for a project to work on and have the time and budget to do what's needed offer him $1,500 max "if" it has a current valid title "in his name". If you're looking to do reliable trips in the spring... walk away now. Unless you've got the time, money commitment I see that 03 as future garage art. :(
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby will0967 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:47 pm

Yeah, definitely agree with the project bike comments and have learned in the past multiple times (I'm a slow learner) relative to that! But in all fairness to what he's done, I don't think that's the case with this one. Sounds like he bought it as a mostly completed project bike and has been sorting out the little details over that past couple years. Main reason he's selling it is due to not being able to kick it over anymore. He's a retired tobacco farmer and hurt his knee last year trying to kick it over. I stopped by to look at it and spent an hour and a half BS'ing with him - he'd built 3 choppers with his sons and they'd been featured in a handful of magazine. Choppers aren't really my thing, but they were nice and very good quality. He does have title and everything's legit, sounds like the engines the biggest risk on it.

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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby eastbloc » Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:04 pm

Even at $2,000 vs $6,500 the price difference for either of those other bikes would be well deserved. You'd spend $4500 easily in parts and labor to bring that bike up to the reliability and performance of the 2012 Tourist.

Most Ural sales are pretty negotiable :lol:

Also, with you being in Denver, I'd be looking for a 2WD. These bikes are too much fun in the snow and off the road to forego that feature in the great state of Colorado.
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby Lee Pape » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:06 am

Myself I would RUN away. It looks like more time wrenching then riding. Ural or Dnepr tranny and FD? It is not a Tourist for sure. Maybe a repainted Deco but more then likely a BC with the pin stripes removed. If it is a BC or Deco it should have 18" tires on it which I'm guessing by looking at the tires on it now. If I did buy it cheap enough I would think about a (I'm having a herd time now saying this) BMW transplant. Also in the air filters Ural engines usually don't like that set up to run right.
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby markhas » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:07 pm

The general idea that mukunis are better is wrong for the Ural 750 engine. It might work on other engines butt extensive testing both on the road and by dynamo have shown them to be second rate on the 750.
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Re: 2003 Ural Tourist Questions

Postby INSUBORDINATOR » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:51 am

markhas wrote:The general idea that mukunis are better is wrong for the Ural 750 engine. It might work on other engines butt extensive testing both on the road and by dynamo have shown them to be second rate on the 750.


I'd trade my Keihins for a NICE pair of Mikuni VM round slides I have never been crazy about Keihins. My 650 Ural had Mikunis from new, & it did great.
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