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Thread: New Ural or Upgrade my F700GS to Side Car Capability?

  1. #1
    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    New Ural or Upgrade my F700GS to Side Car Capability?

    So, I'm thinking of moving to a side car rig, and wonder if I should invest in something like a Ural (2015 with efi) or have one made up for my current F700 GS bike. I contacted DMC (I think that's right) and they stated that they could add one to my bike but it would be the heaver duty side car due to the type of bike. My question is, is it better to buy a unit that is made specifically for that type of riding? My research shows the Ural to be of somewhat questionable quality, (although that may not be the case) or keeping my current bike that is (IMO) a great bike (both experience wise and maintenance wise) probably a keeper either way. Is the two wheel drive on the Ural worth the money? Not sure which way to go forward.....i would like to ride the unit in snow in the event that I find myself in that type of weather.....

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    www.thetimelessride.com

    The 2014 or newer Ural with driven sidecare wheel and EFI and more torque (redesigned crank) and hydraulic steering damper will most likely be my next MC purchase. Check out Hubert and where he's currently at.
    Virginia Beach
    current:14 R1200RT 75 R60/6
    past: 11 R1200RT 10 R1200RT 03 R1200CLC

  3. #3
    Mongrel Owner
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    You're looking at two completely different experiences

    I have a 2012 Ural Patrol and a 2002 R1150R by way of background.
    While the Ural is definitely not made by Honda or BMW, I'm quite happy with the quality and would not hesitate to drive it across the continent.
    However:
    The Ural is an old design with old design limitations. It doesn't have a lot of power and its comfort zone is secondary roads at 80 to 100 kph which, in Missouri, is 50 to 60 mph. Your F800 can probably do better. If you like power and speed a Ural is probably not your best choice. Having said that, your F800 is not going to give you lots of power and speed either once it's dragging that chair around, at least that would be my guess.
    What the Ural is is an experience. They know what they're doing and the bike and chair work very well together. People love them because of their antique look and with a wicker picnic basket on the carrier you are the essence of stylish cool (retro division).
    If you want to attract the fair sex, put a golden retriever in the chair.
    Is that what you want, or do you prefer more modern engineering, less routine maintenance and a more up to date appearance? What kind of riding are you expecting to use a rig for?
    I've only used two-wheel drive once, in a dirt parking lot just to make sure it works. It's only for pulling you out of mud or deep sand really. On the other hand, the Ural's reverse gear is very useful, which the F800 can't give you.
    Hope this helps, just recognize that a F800/DMC rig is pointing you in a somewhat different direction from a Ural outfit, but either would be a load of fun.
    Cheers,
    Tony

  4. #4
    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonysR100 View Post
    I have a 2012 Ural Patrol and a 2002 R1150R by way of background.
    While the Ural is definitely not made by Honda or BMW, I'm quite happy with the quality and would not hesitate to drive it across the continent.
    People love them because of their antique look and with a wicker picnic basket on the carrier you are the essence of stylish cool (retro division).

    Cheers,
    Tony
    After I posted my question, I took a hard look at what I hope to accomplish, and I think you hit it on the nail about the allure of the Ural. I think they are just plain cool, and actually, I do value the ability to have a reverse. I'm not the most accomplished mechanic, but with the advent of EFI, I think I can handle the functions of valve adjustment, fluids change etc. So, I guess it's a trip to the Ural dealer in Eureka Missouri for some more investigation....

    Thanks for the information and I'll post back once I purchase one. Probably be a little in the future until I figure out how to stuff all this equipment into too small a garage....:-)

  5. #5
    Mongrel Owner
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    Urals are designed to be serviced easily in the back end of beyond. All drain plugs and crush washers are the same size, the carbs are identical, not LH and RH, on the Ural you get two LHs (don't know about the EFI units). Makes stocking parts easier, I guess. I don't know if they have shade trees in Siberia, but that's the environment they're designed for.
    If you can do simple maintenance, a Ural isn't going to frighten you.
    Cheers,
    Tony

  6. #6
    Registered User gfspencer's Avatar
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    Too bad BMW doesn't make a sidecar or partner with someone who does.
    2015 R nineT
    2014 Triumph Scrambler
    2014 Porsche Cayman S

  7. #7
    Registered User
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    On the new Urals, supposedly, if one efi unit goes bad the bike will run on the other. Time will tell about the newfangled quality. I'm willing to be a guinea pig.
    Virginia Beach
    current:14 R1200RT 75 R60/6
    past: 11 R1200RT 10 R1200RT 03 R1200CLC

  8. #8
    Marine By Choice #188306
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    I had a 2006 Patrol and loved it. As mentioned they are "unique" machines, have speed limitations, need service sooner than other bikes, but are reliable if you check all the maintenance boxes when scheduled. The reverse is very nice. Two wheel drive, when needed, is nice, but I never actually needed it.

    I now have a BMW R1200GS with a DMC Expedition sidecar. I love it as well. Great highway bike! Being geared quite high in 1st gear makes it less desirable than the Patrol when off road in the rougher stuff. Being a BMW gives a lot of comfort and security in it's reliability.

    These are two very different bikes. Kind of like a 1949 VW Bug and a 2015 VW Bug. Both VW Bugs - but not comparable.

    Good luck with your decision.
    "Dad, can I get a motorcycle when I grow up?"
    "Son, you can't do both."

  9. #9
    Boxers uber alles
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    Once you go hack you'll never go back

    I've got an '04 Ural Tourist (they don't make that model any more, alas) which is a 1WD with 19" wheels. The outfit has about 40,000 kilometers on it. My other bike is an '09 R1200GSA with about 36,000 miles. I and my buddy on his '05 Tourist and a third buddy on an '02 Bavarian Classic (1WD and 18" wheels) have gone about everywhere our other buddy has gone on his '06 Gear Up, which is 2WD. Our consensus and the general thought over at Soviet Steeds is unless you are really going to go hardcore offroading, the 2WD option isn't worth the extra price, increased maintenance, and less range as the fuel tank is about a half-gallon smaller.

    The hack sits up a bit higher on the 2WD models so the Gear Up and the Patrol handle slightly differently and the chair is easier to fly. Still, the Gear Up just looks so cool, the heart often wins the debate with the brain.

    Urals are happiest at 55-60 mph, although the EFI models of 2014 and later do have slightly higher cruising speeds. Still the most recent models are happiest on the back roads and those roads whose names are either alphabet letters, two numbers, or names like Old Ridgeline Road, River Road, farm to market, etc. You get the picture.

    Service intervals are shorter than modern machines; oil changes for engine and tranny at every 3,000 kilometers; valve checks at about the same when the engine is first settling in; but my Ural in its decade of ownership has cost me less in total maintenance than three R1200GSA services at $85 to $95 an hour. (That's not a knock on the my BMW dealer or the independent shop I sometimes use; that's just the going rate for pro wrenchers.)

    The Ural expanded my riding season to year-round as snow and ice become fun instead of treacherous. When new I got about 25-28 mpg, but as the Ural broke in the mileage improved so I now I get about 28-31 and have done as well as 36 mpg. Given the 5-gallon tank which really acts more like it holds 4.7 or 4.8 gallons, the bike has an effective range of around 120 miles before beads of worry sweat will pop out on your forehead. (A Ural will soon have you easily doing kilometer to mile and mile to kilometer conversions in your head as the trip meter and the odometer are metric; the speedo is both.) I fill up at about 180-190 klicks, others go to 200-210.

    Final parting words: Out of all the bikes I've owned ('82 Honda CB 750F Supersport; '02 Honda Interceptor; '04 GS 1150; '06 Moto Guzzi Breva (pos); '05 KLR 650; and now my '09 GSA, the Ural's keys were the ones I've always reached for first. Yeah, the Ural ain't fast, but it is that fun.

  10. #10
    Adventurist nakwakto00's Avatar
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    I recently went to DMC Sidecars and got a tour of the place - Wow! Great quality and they definitely know sidecars. My fortune is that I live about 60-70 miles away from DMC and can easily tour the place. When there I saw sidecars being fitted to a great variety of bikes - from 650s to K bikes and other brands. The owner said that each bike has certain riding characteristics that need to be considered. In addition you need to consider your riding and what you want to do. After about 30 minutes I realized getting a sidecar is not just a buy it and go, but a customization of what you want to do. The owner recommended that I next take a sidecar class (to get riding experience and how handling changes) and speak to a sidecar owner/rider before committing to buying a sidecar.

    I know one Ural owner who loves the sidecar experience but the bike needs repair constantly.

    Good luck on your search and sidecar.
    -don
    #161988
    "If you don't treat yourself right, no one else will."
    '06 R1200RT, '13 F800GS, '10 G650GS (wife's), and '04 R1150RT (wife's)

  11. #11
    Registered User vetsurginc's Avatar
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    Sagerat says it well. I've a 2011 GearUp with 28,000 km on it, carburated. I've only needed the two wheel drive twice, and find I do most of my riding on road or dirt road. Not so adventurous as I once was. The new cT is a one wheel drive, 18" wheel size bike with EFI. It is a bare bones bike so you can customize to fit. Based on my experience wiht a 1968 R60 rig in Illinois winters, I think I will go without two wheel drive on a new bike. I am debating putting a car on my 2010 RT, or going new Ural.

    While I have ridden on the Interstates, my Ural is much happier on surface streets. You just have to be happy going a bit slower. The only thing I do on mine is change the oil and filters (two quarts every 2500 km and a filter every other). Tranny (2 qt) and final drive (130ml) every 5k. Grease the fittings, do your splines every 10,000k and Bob's your uncle Mpg 29-30. Urals break in like airhead beemers - around 20,000 miles they are fully settled in, and significanty stronger than at the start.

    I really have fun with the Ural and have done trips from south florida to biltmore length with no problems.

    Check out www.sovietsteeds.com for lots of information.

    PS - standard tool kit good for taking apart and re-assembling almost the whole damn thing

  12. #12
    Kawa Afterthought weschmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vetsurginc View Post
    Check out www.sovietsteeds.com for lots of information.

    PS - standard tool kit good for taking apart and re-assembling almost the whole damn thing
    Thanks for the sovietsteeds website. Just finished looking through the site briefly, and it looks like a great place to find information. Anyone know if Ural sponsors any test rides at events like bike week in Florida?

  13. #13
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    IMZ-Ural lists a demo tour, http://www.imz-ural.com/, nothing yet for 2015. Ural's are far from perfect but I pick it for 98% of my riding now. Enjoying life in the slow lane!
    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

  14. #14
    Boxers uber alles
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    There are a bunch of Uralistas aka Foilheads going to Daytona for Bike Week. See the thread over at Soviet Steeds; I'm sure they'd be happy to talk about their Russian mules and give you a ride in the chair.

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