Ural vs BMW trip

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Ural vs BMW trip

Post by Idahomauledriver » Sun May 28, 2023 11:10 am

I am getting ready to take a trip from Idaho to Yellowknife then Dawson in the middle of June . May try to head up to Tuk if time and weather permits. In my garage is a 2018 Ural and a 2018 BMW GSA. The Ural is a superstar if I run into off pavement dirt/mud. The GSA will cruise all day at 85 and eat up the paved miles especially with my 60/40 Dunlops but be challenged on serious gravel or mud. Don’t ask me how I know!

Thoughts on which bike to take?

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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by sagerat » Sun May 28, 2023 12:38 pm

I have a 2012 Gear Up and a 2015 GSA in my garage.

Lots of time and more money for gas: the Ural gets the nod.

Pressed for time: the Beemer.

Staying upright in gravel or mud: my Jeep Wrangler. 🤣
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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by Bilgekeeldave » Sun May 28, 2023 1:09 pm

Don't forget bug repellent.

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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by chaos2 » Sun May 28, 2023 1:43 pm

Whichever one you like!
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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by cookiemech » Sun May 28, 2023 6:27 pm

The BMW won't break. The Ural might. (I own both and so have experience with both.)
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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by S 854 » Mon May 29, 2023 8:01 am

I agree with Bilgekeeldave (and sagerat :shock: )…
cookiemech wrote:
Sun May 28, 2023 6:27 pm
The BMW won't break. The Ural might. (I own both and so have experience with both.)
Anything can break… (especially if you flat-side it enough)…

Which are you most confident you can get going again on the side of the road?
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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by stagewex » Mon May 29, 2023 8:34 am

No-Brainer for that amount of miles and pavement + light off-road... the BMW.
But you already know that. Just trying to have us talk you out of it. Safe Riding whatever you take.

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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by Idahomauledriver » Mon May 29, 2023 8:52 am

Re roadside repairs, it kind of depends on what’s wrong. Rubber ie tires are about the same. Mechanical or engine, Just speculation but the Ural is easier to work on but has more items that may fail. The BMW has been bulletproof but if there is a failure it will probably be fatal with the only treatment through the GS 911. Other stuff cables etc both about the same. I think the variable that is of most concern is the suspension. The BMW is pretty tough and honed over the years to be pretty resilient. Can the Ural take the pounding of the day to day stress of multiple high mileage ie approximately 300 miles and speeds in the 50 - 60 mph ? If the Ural fails it would be hard to fix. May cobble it together but probably a major trip changer. Thoughts?

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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by Idahomauledriver » Mon May 29, 2023 9:10 am

Re “ trying to talk me out of the BMW “ you are probably right. Hard to give up the smile factor of riding the Ural.

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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by Lokiboy » Mon May 29, 2023 9:28 am

There are several people on SS that have ridden their Urals from the lower 48 up to Alaska. None of them experienced anything catastrophic along the way, that I recall.

Some of us have been the length and breadth of this country without any significant issues.

Plan ahead, think about what you want to bring in case something breaks and it’s a part not readily available at a local auto store. Press and enjoy no matter which one you decide.
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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by kodiakfrank » Mon May 29, 2023 5:32 pm

I have both a '21 Ural GU and an '04 R1150 GSA.

I rode the GS all over Alaska (Haul Road, Denali HWY, etc) and some parts of the Yukon Territory (Top of the World HWY and all around the gold mining areas out side of Dawson City). The loaded up GS (camp gear, food, tools, etc) did great until you start to get into the mud and calcium chlorate, then things can literally go sideways in an instant.

On the GS your tire choice is critical in the slime and a 60/40 may just load-up and not be effective at all. I ran Continental TKC-80's with great overall results but there were times when the tires would load up and get squirrely.

Bottom line: If I were to do it the big dirt roads again, I would take the Ural GU without a second thought. If most of the ride was pavement / chip-seal the GS would be my pick.
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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by advdave » Tue May 30, 2023 1:53 pm

Tough choice, either one will be a good ride. I have a 2022 GU and 2017 GSA. I've taken the GSA to Inuvik a couple of times, several trips to Dawson and on a lot of the BC dirt. I'm going to D2D (Dust 2 Dawson) again this year via some BC dirt secondary roads and taking the GSA. Mainly because I know it better and it matches the other riders I'm with. Later in the year, the GU will be taking some longer trips. Check Yukon 511 for road conditions, some flooding some washouts happened over the winter. Maybe see you at D2D? I know there will be Urals there. You can't go wrong with either ride. Wasn't a hard choice for me right now because the Ural shed a tooth off the flywheel and it's in the shop for a few weeks anyway.
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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by RC20 » Tue May 30, 2023 6:54 pm

I have made that exact Whitehorse, Dawson and Tok trip on a BMW R-80GS. What a mixed bag. Pavement was great and if I could find a hard packed lane on the gravel, it soaked up the potholes like the champ it was.

However, the gravel portions that your hard packed lane ended in and the shift across to another one (if there was one) was seriously exciting (or terrifying). I laid my Honda 750 down in that kind of gravel one time. I hated gravel with a passion on any two wheel cycle.

Going up the road you are going to hit areas of road construction, usually 10 to 20 miles long. Then the Ural pays off big time. Lot easier to pack camping gear if you do that or supplies as needed. So yea, I am biassed to the Ural.

Up out of Dawson on that highway can be a nightmare gravel wise. Oddly the Alaska side was better, it was a lot narrower until you get to Chicken, but it had 3 hard packed lanes and you could run the right one and still let traffic by and not get into gravel windrows. Of course that is timing, if a grader has been through all bets are off.

Get a set of Horst CPS shocks if you take the Ural, your body will thank you.
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Re: Ural vs BMW trip

Post by Bigbikerrick » Wed May 31, 2023 3:17 pm

The solution/ compromise would be a BMW GS with a sidecar on it! There.... Solved it for ya! 8) :lol: :lol:

PS; I myself would love to have a GS with a DMC hack on it!
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