Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

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Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by nicholastanguma » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:24 am

I do actually like the new Ural hydraulic damper, but I'm wanting to put custom triple trees w/ Yamaha forks, a 19" wheel (stock is 18"), and a high dirtbike fender on a 2014 M70, rendering the factory damper attachment point useless.

Can I safely learn to ride without the unit, or do I really need it--perhaps I should have the custom triple trees raked a few degrees?

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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by Lee Pape » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:28 am

The damper help to slow down a tank slapper giving you a chance to regain control of your bike. I will not comment on you idea of changing the front end.
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by BigJames » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:36 am

As a very long time sidecarist all I can say is a very emphatic YES the bike needs it! Unless you like tank slappers, losing control and such.
and Lee, i will...
I would rethink trying to change the M70 into something that it is not! It is a street bike, not an off road bike!
Regardless of its heritage! Plus, that Marzocchi unit is a very, very good front end! You will be heading to the land of unintended consequences, and voiding the very good warranty that you in all likelihood will be wanting to use at some point.
Ural makes a lot of models that are better suited for off road, like all the rest. The Retro line is meant for the street. For instance, after I shot this video, I got to spend about $300 on repairs caused by trying to treat her like a dirt bike, and I was not even beating on her that hard! None of the work concerned the front end...



And did I complain? Nope, not one bit, not about that repair! That is what happens when you play dual sport rider on a street bike! And yes, I was still able to ride her home (300 miles) carefully, very carefully...the other guys is nightblues59, his bike didn't have any issues with it...
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by oldbiker » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:33 pm

WHOA!!! I don't know how to start, but I am going to give it a try. With all due respect, and seeing as how you are a new member here (as I am, too), I am going to venture a guess that you are a) new to the Ural world, b) new to the sidecar world, or both. While I won't presume to know your background in the motorcycling world, I have to BEG you to please re-consider your thoughts on changing your triple trees, and front end in general. While I will admit that it is readily done frequently on 2-WHEEL motorcycles, and on many trikes, this ABSOLUTELY is NOT something you want to try on a hack! When you change the rake and trail on the front end of ANY motorcycle, it changes the way it handles, for a lot of different reasons, but for the sake of this discussion, I will try to limit it to the idea of how it changes the center of gravity of that particular bike. With two-wheel bikes, it usually amounts to moving it rearward, and possibly up or down, depending on length of fork tubes used. However, this becomes upsetting on a bike with a sidecar attached, because you cannot compensate for the weight or position of sidecar attachment, thus throwing balance out the window! I don't know your reason for wanting the front-end change, but warranty issues and off-roading have already been addressed on here, so let's go with the idea that you would just like to change the APPEARANCE of the bike. If that's the case, you could always consider the possibility of using an earlier Earle's fork (leading link) type front end off of an earlier model Ural. That would accomplish two of your goals (19" wheel, and high-rise front fender) without jeapordizing your safety, and probably cheaper, to boot. At my age, and as old, beat-up, stiff and sore as I am, I STILL prefer to keep my skin on my a$$, where it belongs, rather than scraped off up and down the highway somewhere! Please be cautious, and consider ALL the choices, and at least contemplate the advice of fellow members chiming in on this subject, as they have much more experience than I do, and possibly more than you, also. None of us are the least bit concerned about how you choose to spend your money, but I believe the vast majority on here DO care about your safety in these matters.
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by Scott » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:41 pm

You could just swap the upper and lower triple-tree clamps and use the older friction damper that was used for the first 72 years...
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by rivers » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:38 pm

Once you start doing things like swapping non-stock forks, trees, wheels you're into the uncharted experiment zone and you'll have to keep at till you get it right. I would think "if" the Yami forks are tough enough for sidecar loads/duty and if set up correctly you won't need a dampener. The dampener isn't power steering it just tames feedback coming up from the wheel. Steering and learning difficulty is relative to how well it's set up not by the amount farkles bolted to it. If you find on rough roads where the front wheel is subject to shock impact from rocks etc and you find it's too much to deal with at the handle bar end you might consider scabbing on a dampener. My014 has the hyd gizmo but one day I'll remove it and see what it's like. On my older Urals and a couple BMW's with the mech knob dampeners, I never needed or used them on any road surface. If your bike is in good condition and set up correctly be it a 2 or 3 wheeler and you're experiencing tank slappers... fix the problem.
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by siberman1 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:38 pm

What is a "tank slapper"? I don't know.
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by nicholastanguma » Thu Nov 13, 2014 6:52 pm

BigJames wrote: I would rethink trying to change the M70 into something that it is not! It is a street bike, not an off road bike!
Regardless of its heritage!

The Retro line is meant for the street. For instance, after I shot this video, I got to spend about $300 on repairs caused by trying to treat her like a dirt bike, and I was not even beating on her that hard! None of the work concerned the front end...



Please elaborate on why the M70 isn't good for gravel? I'm not a fast rider myself, and certainly don't try doing Mr. Cob level offroading, but I do enjoy some dirt and gravel tracks in addition to the pavement.

And, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on one's point of view, I simply like the aesthetics of the M70 over the rest of the Ural lineup. So switching over to a Gear Up or something similar isn't really an option.

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Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by 4Paws » Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:09 pm

Can I have first dibs on the parts you take off?

Personally, I think you ought to put about 5-6,000km on it before you go bat poop crazy swapping out parts; it's a Ural - if that's not what you want don't buy one.

KLR with a sidecar? Just a suggestion.
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by nicholastanguma » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:32 pm

4Paws wrote: KLR with a sidecar? Just a suggestion.

So wonderfully capable. But so awfully ugly.

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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by Trevorski » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:48 am

nicholastanguma wrote:I do actually like the new Ural hydraulic damper, but I'm wanting to put custom triple trees w/ Yamaha forks, a 19" wheel (stock is 18"), and a high dirtbike fender on a 2014 M70, rendering the factory damper attachment point useless.

Can I safely learn to ride without the unit, or do I really need it--perhaps I should have the custom triple trees raked a few degrees?
If you have not driven a sidecar rig before, proceed with major caution. You will have enough of a learning curve with a rig that is dialed in with the proper geometry, because a rig handles nothing like either a bike or a car/truck, and needs geometry different from the average bike. Severely lopsided snowmobile is the best analogy I've heard; once you learn its characteristics it is not only safe but agile, but your usual automatic/panic reflexes will produce very undesirable responses from the rig. The job of the damper is to arrest oscillations that can be set off by random unevenness in the road surfaces, with no apparent warning, and that can snowball into increasing severity. If you are already unfamiliar with the handling of a rig and you run into that, and make a split second blunder, especially with large heavy &/or fast-moving objects in close proximity, the prognosis is not good.

Appreciate a Ural for what it is, rather than fretting over what it is not. Once you really learn your way into it and around it, then you can mod to your heart's content, but I'll bet that you will come to largely enjoy it for what it is. Unless, that is, you go BOKAD or turn into an Xradrider (or was that Xtradiaper since he was such a crybaby?) (they were infamous whiners, departed from the Ural fold and not missed)
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by n3303j » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:46 am

On my Ural I ride Hands On. I also spent a lot of time riding damper OFF. The bike tracks as it should without uncontrolled oscillations. On rough roads the damper took away some of the shock that would hit the wrists when the front wheel struck an irregularity. I recently installed the '14 hydraulic damper. It removes more of the shocks transmitted from wheel to wrist.

Wait one year or 15,000 miles (whichever is longer) before you start re designing your machine. It will take you all of that to become well enough acquainted with her and her plain and simple good manners.
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by mr. cob » Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:36 pm

nicholastanguma wrote:I do actually like the new Ural hydraulic damper, but I'm wanting to put custom triple trees w/ Yamaha forks, a 19" wheel (stock is 18"), and a high dirtbike fender on a 2014 M70, rendering the factory damper attachment point useless.

Can I safely learn to ride without the unit, or do I really need it--perhaps I should have the custom triple trees raked a few degrees?
Howdy nicholastanguma,

WHY would you want to change the front fork assembly on a rig that has been specifically built from the factory to perform safely for its intended use?

I know a couple of folks who have ridden M70's on gravel roads and NOT needed to swap front forks to do it. Because of its LACK of ground clearance your NOT going to be doing any off pavement riding with a Retro or an M70 unless its on decent gravel roads unless you want to spend a lot of time and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ repairing it due to OWNER ABUSE forget about warranty covering your broken or bent frame and front forks.

Ride your M70, on decent gravel roads, CAREFULLY and enjoy it, in my opinion your wasting your time and money installing a front fork assembly that WAS NEVER DESIGNED to used in your application.
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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by nicholastanguma » Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:50 am

mr. cob wrote:
nicholastanguma wrote:I do actually like the new Ural hydraulic damper, but I'm wanting to put custom triple trees w/ Yamaha forks, a 19" wheel (stock is 18"), and a high dirtbike fender on a 2014 M70, rendering the factory damper attachment point useless.

Can I safely learn to ride without the unit, or do I really need it--perhaps I should have the custom triple trees raked a few degrees?
Howdy nicholastanguma,

WHY would you want to change the front fork assembly on a rig that has been specifically built from the factory to perform safely for its intended use?

I know a couple of folks who have ridden M70's on gravel roads and NOT needed to swap front forks to do it. Because of its LACK of ground clearance your NOT going to be doing any off pavement riding with a Retro or an M70 unless its on decent gravel roads unless you want to spend a lot of time and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ repairing it due to OWNER ABUSE forget about warranty covering your broken or bent frame and front forks.

Ride your M70, on decent gravel roads, CAREFULLY and enjoy it, in my opinion your wasting your time and money installing a front fork assembly that WAS NEVER DESIGNED to used in your application.

Hub and dual rotors from a Yamaha XVS 1100, calipers from a Yamaha R1, custom 41mm forks from Franks, custom triple trees from Claude Stanley. I'm seriously into custom motos, don't mind spending ridiculous money in pursuit of a specific look. In this particular case, the front end mods wouldn't be for performance above the stock parts, just for achieving a certain aesthetic.

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Re: Is a Ural M70 Steering Damper Really That Necessary?

Post by thumper05flstsc » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:17 am

Just to be clear. The most basic rule of the forum is......"pics or it didn't happen". Once you have finished, or even better while the mods are in progress, please post some pics here so all of us can see how it looks.
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