On the Fence - Philadelphia

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Benkomf
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On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by Benkomf » Thu May 18, 2023 12:23 am

Hey all!

First post. Happy to be here! Hoping to stay involved, but seeking advice as a pending owner. I'm in the nail biting 'should I get one or not' phase. there's a killer deal on what seems to be a well maintained 2014 Ural T in San Francisco.

The dream is to fly over there, pick it up, and ride it back to Philadelphia in a two phase trip (long pit stop in Denver). the S.O. is not "into" bikes but I think getting her in the side car would be awesome. We've been car-less for the past ten years or so (barring one cross country move) and this seems like a great way to get back into motorized transport.

I personally have been through a '76 Yamaha xs400 and a '89 Honda Hawk and done 2 SW tours on those bikes. Crashed both, walked both times and learned a few things. I like to wrench and learn- the Ural seems like a good bike to keep walking down that path. I'd be fearful of impending clutch replacements but oil and valve adjustments are easy peasy especially with the resources available.

So anyways I've got two questions:
1. What are important things to look for in a used Ural? The above seems to have been maintained by TriQuest until 2020 or so (they're gone now). That inspires confidence. But other than maintenance history are there gotcha's? Ex: Does the bike track straight when hands are off the bars? I hear the speedo/clutch cables can be finicky so examining those somehow seems important? Bits of rubber or metal flakes in the various fluids? Would want the thing to be close to tour-ready with fluid changes and simple maintenance walk through.
2. Are there any Phila or nearby riders who would be willing to meet and talk?

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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by wooden nickel » Thu May 18, 2023 4:43 am

Welcome to our forum
I had a 2014 and loved the bike for 8 years.
Do you know how many kilometers the bike has? Speedo reads MPH, Odo reads KM. Too few and early gremlins don't materialize.
Mine dropped a main bearing at about 11,000 km but it was in a batch of bad bearings. Also look for cracks in the rims around the spokes. If you have to do all 3 wheels, that is expensive. The fuel injection tends to be unsteady at low speed but I just got in a habit of varying the throttle a little.
The speedo/ clutch cable just require normal lubing. The rear brake pedal shaft needs lube occasionally so check that it doesn't drag or hang and the rear disc doesn't overheat.
If I were going to ride that far on an unknown Ural, I would at least have 2 fuel line clamps and a fuel filter, in case I had to remove the tank.
Rear tires wear faster than you think and flats happen when tires are thin so I would carry a scissor jack, spare tube, rim liner and 3 tire spoons.
If you do buy it, I wish you the best fortune.
I may not be good, but I'm slow.
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by Tomcatfixer » Thu May 18, 2023 5:09 am

A fly-and-ride of that distance sounds exciting, but if the alignment is off on that bike, you're gonna be wrestling it the whole way, which will make you miserable - particularly your shoulders. It would be ideal if you could find a forum member or someone experienced with Urals to test ride it before you fly.
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by ReCycled » Thu May 18, 2023 7:44 am

The 14's also were part of the failed powder coating attempt, expect chunks of "paint" to be missing of fall off. Also the first year of disc brakes and proper set up can finicky, plus known to eat pads. Bring spare brake pads.

My bike is an '07 so no fuel injection or rear discs but if you want to head out to the burbs on the R5 I'd be happy to discuss some generalities. PM for my phone number if interested.
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by Benkomf » Thu May 18, 2023 7:59 am

Thanks for your replies and advice - I've done some searching regarding parts to carry and expected failures and this seems right on target (tube, tire, knowing how to change it, fuel clamps etc.). Really good to hear from a 2014 owner! Obviously there's been a lot of changes between the years on the bikes and that rabbit hole gets confusing. The paint is advertised as 'showing its age'. Part of me likes the fact that it'll look like a beat up pickup truck, but when comparing that asking price to other bikes I could get for half as much that look better.... well it's a bit of a bummer.

Here's the link to the bike:https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/mcy/d/ ... 76825.html

Hopefully the link works.

All recals were done so I'm assuming the wheels were replaced as well. If anyone in SF want's to check it out let me know! @ReCycled I will dm.

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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by stagewex » Thu May 18, 2023 8:15 am

Nice looking rig but that does not seem like an extraordinary deal without deep face-to-face inspection and owner maint history.
First year EFI that IMZ has essentially abandoned.
Wait for something closer and a safer "adventure".
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by daveswanson » Thu May 18, 2023 8:25 am

My Urals track as well as any sidecar I have driven, but they are not hands off machines, even for a moment. Unlike 2 wheelers which can be ridden for miles without having your hands on the bars a sidecar needs constant input. 2 wheelers need constant input also but that can be accomplished by shifting your butt around while hands off, not so with a sidecar. :D

This being your first sidecar experience be prepared to be scared witless on a regular basis until you are about a 1000 miles down the road. It takes a while to learn the proper techniques of piloting a sidecar and to become comfortable. I would probably bide my time and look for something to pop up closer to you. There have been some killer deals on late model Urals lately, even a 2022 for $11,500!

The pictures show a rig in an advanced stage of powdercoat deterioration.
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by treebone » Thu May 18, 2023 12:23 pm

Sound advice so far.
Keep in mind a few more things,
This is only one wheel drive, it is not a GearUp.
It has no spare wheel/tire. That alone would make me think twice, especially for cross country touring. Yes, it is possible to fix a flat on the road, but it will never happen in a good spot.
It has no fluid can, something that will be needed on the trip.

Your first experience piloting would be getting out of the Bay Area, bad enough in a car. Then you would have a 50 mile climb to get to the top of the Sierra pass (take your pick, there are several), and down the other side, that is 300 miles from SF. By then you will be pretty well worn out.
But the real trial has only begun, crossing Nevada/Utah without spare fuel is not possible, and lots of grades to climb

By the time you get to Colorado, you will be an experienced pilot, or have thrown in the towel somewhere along the line and taken the train home.
That trip would be jumping into the deep end of the pool, like others have advised, buy something closer to home.
But if you do make it, it will be a heck of an experience. Bring money and lots of time.
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by daveswanson » Thu May 18, 2023 4:51 pm

I just saw a very nice 2017 CT for sale on the Midwest Ural Riders FB page. It looks very nice with 7000 miles in northern Michigan. The price $7500!!!. Hopefully it's not a fake sale.
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by TVER » Sun May 21, 2023 8:07 am

Hello:

I owned a 2012 gear up, and just recently traded it in on a 2023 gear up; I had about 56k on my 2012. Before that I had a hd sporster that I added a velorex side car and drove that for many years; 36k miles. I would advise against a trip from San Francisco to Philadelphia on a used bike , even a new Ural. My 2012 was fairly reliable , had a few malfunctions. I purchased it new . I wouldn't drive the hd rig that far either. I haven't travelled beyond a 90 mile radius on any of my rigs ever. These rigs are not meant for cross country touring, just puttering around on local roads 45-50 mph. I live in the New England, especially if you have never driven a side car rig. They take some time getting used to them on country roads, but in a large city would be treacherous. Just one example, the dealer where I purchased my new rig had a customer who purchased a new 2023 rig; had about 97 miles on it, and flipped it, and brought it in to get repair. The guy had broken bones, survived , but was injured . I would advise on getting something local. There are too many variables for that long distance purchase. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by Benkomf » Mon May 22, 2023 9:55 pm

Hey all-
Really appreciate the advice and links. Looks like I'm putting this dream down... mostly due to the advice on reliability. It seems the true way is to buy a local (ish) Ural and get to know it good and well before doing anything too treacherous. Makes sense to me! I'll have to save some cents up to make a more informed decision in the future.

@TVER it seems the lore is that the pre 2014's were less reliable overall... hows the 2023? Brand new but maybe you've had some of the dreaded initial break in issues that seem common on older models. What were the malfunctions on the 2012? Feel free to DM. Would you trust a well known Ural between Phila and Burlington? That's a route that I make all the time on the Amtrak and I'd love to make it more adventurous with the SO via ural and camping.

@Daveswanson quick pop quiz what's the difference between a CT and a T and a retro!?

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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by stagewex » Mon May 22, 2023 11:12 pm

Actually I have found my 2007 (bought new in 2007) being more reliable than I ever could have imagined. But... it is not exactly an over-the-road designed motorcycle. Have some done that and gone cross-country and around-the-world, yes. But a big difference between your initial description of "adventure" and planning an Expedition. No sense leaning about these on the side of the road. If it was a Honda you could just have it flat-bedded to the nearest Honda dealer.

Take your time looking and be picky. And if far but not that far away trailer it home, learn to ride at whatever your comfort level is.
They are loads of fun!
Stagewex

2023 Kawasaki KLX300
1981 Suzuki GS850G
2008 Vespa 150S
2007 Ural Patrol
1991 Honda XR250L
2019 Honda CRF450L GONE
1995 BMW K75 GONE
1969 BMW r60/2US Model GONE
2006 Yamaha TW200 GONE
1986 Yamaha BW200ES GONE
2005 Honda Big Ruckus 250 GONE
1999 Harley Heritage Softail GONE
1996 BMW r1100rt GONE
2005 Kawasaki KLR650 GONE
1966 Honda CA95 Benly 150 GONE
1983 Honda 750 Intercepter GONE
1984 BMW r80 GONE
1974 Kawasaki Z1 900 GONE
1974 Honda CL450 GONE
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by RC20 » Fri May 26, 2023 7:38 pm

The first caution is have you ever been on a side car cycle of any type?

The handling is unlike anything on wheels (and many things off wheels). It takes some getting used to and a trip with the SO in the side car is not a good time to learn. I read volumes on it and it was total sensory overload the first two days. I stopped at 50 miles the first day and spent two days looking at a museum but also mental recovery (I quit work shortly before and packing for the trip and I needed some down time).

More or less the first two days were, oh $#!+ and damn this is cool.

Alignment is really important. I figured out mine was off about the 3rd day (I got it in Portland and drove to Bellingham Washington, then ferry up to Haines and road on into Anchorage). Mine had a severe right pull.

It took me two years to get a direction on correcting it and I am still working on it though its a matter of fine tuning now (more in what Windmill writes as to on road, off road, slow or higher speeds etc).

The Pass over the Sierras is some pretty wild downhill and stage corners (just made the trip on both routes between Sacramento and Reno with my step son). It had me handing hard onto the handle over the door! California drivers are nuts and they will run you over, I was stunned at the maneuvers he was doing to just stay in some flow of traffic.

If no side car experience I would get some and then decide as well as once up to speed test runs with the SO. My wife happened to like it but that was not a given (I only took her for a ride once I had a decent handle on my machine after I got back to Anchorage)

The best learning was actually shorter trips where I could adsorb the lessons and then repeat. While I do not regret the trip and what I did, there were moments of sheer terror and I managed it until I could get home and learn how to drive it.
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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by Benkomf » Fri Jun 09, 2023 4:29 pm

RC20 - Thanks for your story and insight. I've ridden monkey; only novel side car specific experience. I think the plan would be: land, buy, spend about 8 days practicing and wondering what I got myself into and picking a relatively easy route, then take off. Fortunately it will be a good buddy in the hack and not the SO! You're adjustment period sounds exactly right; lots of 'Oh S@!T' followed up by 'this is so cool'. Understanding alignment is absolutely a concern of mine, as well as subframe design/implementation. What do you mean it took two years to get a direction on correcting yours?? that sounds way too long to be dealing with severe right pull!

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Re: On the Fence - Philadelphia

Post by Bar None » Sat Jun 10, 2023 10:50 am

I recommend not to fly and buy a sidecar to ride across the country without a lot of Ural riding and maintenance experiences. Wait and buy a newer Ural close to you in Philadelphia. I have owned a 2012 Yamal, a 2015 cT and now a 2021 cT and would recommend a 2019 to 2021 Ural.
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