My experience with a Ural Sidecar Rig — Six Months and 10,000 Kilometers…

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My experience with a Ural Rig — Six Months and 10,000 later

March 16, 2010

emailed me the other day and asked for my on Ural ownership. It seems he was in the stages of the same affliction led to my trading a perfectly well BMW 1150RT with a mere miles on the odometer for my ’96 Sportsman Sidecar Rig!

Not a problem usually on a Ural!

photo was on the way up to Loveland Pass

Six and a bit over 10,000 kilometers on the odometer, I give you the results of my wrenching and exploring experiences for amongst you who wonder about beasts.

One of his questions was on the differences in the and control of two wheels vs three vehicles. Well, that’s a discourse all by itself. They are night and day in terms of handling. time I rode a motorcycle an outrigger wheel (not a I damn near took out a mailbox. Damn thing lean into the turn I was to force it into. ) You have to it into a turn, kind of a car but it just feels wrong the time.

I also had to stop from putting my feet when stopping. Very

If you can get training on a sidecar rig, I recommend you do so. I’ll be writing about the training I am currently through. At the very least, put lbs of ballast (I used sandbags) in the and practice the maneuvers in the Sidecar Manual in following link:

Tight right turns, too fast, will cause sidecar to lift and possibly if you don’t react correctly. is called flying the chair. guys make it look fun and

I briefly flew the chair training and it was interesting.

The days of through tight curvy roads will be replaced by moments of sheer terror that right handed turns out tighter than you Don’t get me wrong, still a lot of fun but you have to slow down for turns. Left turns I are somewhat easier but can be tricky for one drive (1WD) outfits. like mine make turns easier apparently.

is important, you have to shift weight in the direction of the turn! Not shift, as in move your so part of it hangs off the side of the closest to the inside of the turn!

you get used to it though, it’s a to ride! By the way, long touring is possible on a Ural, certain conditions:

Service are short, and you have to like on your bike. Nothing just a willingness to get greasy and a wrench or three (a BFH is a required Its recommended you change out the oil every Km, not miles, kilometers. it’s and you might as well change out the (same as engine oil) and drive fluid (80w90 while you’re at it, it usually me an hour, moving slow.

learned, via Bill Glaser’s how to service wheel bearings, on sidecar drive shafts, wheels, replaced u-joints, fluids, oil filter, air filter and will be servicing my shocks. nothing inherently complex a Ural, really. You have to these were machines designed to be worked on in the middle of with minimal tools, by an Soviet Army private, while under fire!

If you want to get there fast, take the Ural. Even the new are more comfortable at 60-65mph for on end but no faster. Oh, and that 60mph by a bit when climbing hills, get to being on the right hand and being passed by damn everybody. (off pavement you’ll zip by most everyone

Passenger comfort: I’ve ridden very short in the sidecar, it was comfy enough and you can get a to keep the wind off your That windshield though direct rain right your right leg, be prepared. Mileage by the way, with the windshield on in the sidecar.

seen shorter version third party but don’t much more about My wife has gone on short with me, she says she enjoys the She definitely is not up for two-up riding.

I feel better about my two riding with me as well.

Sidecar Weaknesses? Where do I

It’s basically 50 year old I hear the newer models are ahead of mine in terms of and newer non-Russian components, and do look nice, the ones seen and ridden with. My model, required more but now seems to be all sorted out.

The is rough, but they use really steel. The speedometer is not exactly and cold weather tends to it into windshield wiper Running lights are weak, I up replacing mine with LED lights.

Rust is something that you to watch for and treat, especially if you in the winter like I do.

Most on the motorcycle is exposed to the elements, grease will become electrical connections’ friend and

I’ve had the throttle cables at the junction where the one cable the throttle grip splits off to the two resulting in the throttle stuck on very disconcerting. The fix is easy, and/or lubricate that and you’re good to go.

If you keep rig outside in freezing weather, you may get in the carburetor float bowls, drain off the water and ride Good old Ivan provided holes at the bottom of the float on the carburetors that are not too hard to get to.

The seats are flat hunks of I imagine tractor seats to be the Mine came with a Davidson Solo seat, comfy.

Not the smoothest or quietest in the world, but it’s definitely got You will draw attention you go, it’s called the UDF or Ural Factor. If you don’t like strangers walking up to you and asking about the rig, the Ural is not for

Urals are the tractors of the motorcycle slow, gobs of low range go anywhere kind of bikes. is no longer a concern for me, well no deeper than 6 inches Hell, they even with a kick start!

on three wheels, they’re to push as well. Done of that in the beginning of my ownership

When you get stuck on snow you can usually pull them in another direction easily and get unstuck that way.

The air box is a known weakness, basically air into the middle of the donut filter and then out to the plenum box and to the carburetors. It can get wet easy or oily the drain tube from the front cover goes the air box too. Once the filter is the engine starves for air and performance

Some Uralisti have their own air boxes or adapted air from other vehicles differing degrees of success. use oil-impregnated KN filters. I carry a air filter.

They’re cheap, and its me from one incidence of almost stranded by a fouled air filter.

is one thing about replacement for Urals, they’re cheaper Beemer parts! An oil filter is than $7! The manual says to use oil, no synthetic stuff.

So I buy on sale at the local auto store.

The older rigs with cheap pot metal and fasteners, absolute crap. replaced most of mine good steel fasteners use Allen wrenches vice tip screwdrivers for removal! Loctite is friend and you should check fasteners on a regular basis.

I am not here.

The old design also them simple to work on. my rig’s 35amp Russian grenaded itself (they are for that), it took out my timing as well. I was able, with a help from a friend, to things down, and put the new timing in place with no major

The newer ones comes Nippon Denso alternators a cushioned adapter for the gear engages your engine gears. It’s supposed to be but there’s minor issues as well. You have to service it, sure the bearings involved dry out. They cost a bit $500 though and are scarce. Me?

someone comes out with an solution as bulletproof as the Airhead I will run a Total Loss System (TLES). The TLES up a lot of space in the sidecar’s trunk

If you can test ride one before one, that would be the thing. Lots of guys buy find out its not what they and sell them. It’s a they don’t invest the because the Ural is a fun vehicle. Oh, and riding mine all winter, it my 1987 R80 Beemer seem a rocket. )

You know how they say transmissions are klunky. Russian make Beemer transmissions silky smooth. The joke is the final machining of the transmission is done by the owners! There’s a period for new rigs that be strictly followed by the way.

The miles you put on the transmission, the better get but you’ll always be thinking of the Loud Gears Save in the back of your mind.

Oh, and a spare tire can be quite the Get a flat, pull the bike its centerstand or jack it up with a jack (not standard and with a bit of luck you’re on the road in less than 30 Practice swapping a tire in garage, this will pay off in on the side of the road, in the dark a pouring rain.

Trust me.

To sum it all up, a Ural Sidecar Rig make a mechanic out of you or help put local Ural dealer’s kid college, your choice.

rain, mud, deep or loose sand? No problem! it is better to have another along for moral support on the more interesting terrain.

now vehicle enforced cruising will allow you a closer at your surroundings and perhaps not some of those sights you by before. Ever wonder that dirt trail Wonder no more, just on down the trail and see what is to see!

Regrets? Not really, but if I to do it over again, I’d try and get a newer Ural, say 2007 or They’ve really improved a

I hope this posting someone out there thinking getting a Ural Sidecar they really are a lot of fun but you do have to the time to take care of as well.

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