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Thread: What are your thoughts? Ural or build bmw hack?

  1. #16
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    "Big Bend" TX
    I do not own a sidecar. I have never owned a sidecar. I have however considered buying a rig to run around the desert roads here in the Texas Big Bend. As such, what I would want is the two-wheel drive Ural. Other than two wheel drive virtually any BMW since 1969 would make a better bike for the rig than a Ural. Even a /5 would pull better. My opinion again only.

    That said, if you, like me, would want two-wheel drive then Ural seems like the only way to go.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Craftsbury, Vermont
    I considered a Ural as they are just cute as can be...but I like riding more than tinkering and I really don't like being the slowest vehicle on the road, especially on hills. So I drive a GSA/modified Hannigan rig and have been very happy with it for the past 85,000 miles. The caveat is that the sidecar is my long distance rig; if I was looking for something just to have fun on the backroads here in northern Vermont (90% of them are unpaved), I would probably have gone with a Ural. The improvements in the last several years have been much needed, and those in the 2019/2020 model years have been truly impressive.

    With the exception of the Ural, every sidecar rig on the road today is a custom or semi-custom job and some home built rigs were done by people with questionable levels of expertise. What I always advise prospective sidecarists is to visit their local Ural dealer and take one for a test drive. That way they know what a properly setup rig feels like. It's not for everyone.

    2WD is a mixed bag. I've heard it lets you get 100 yards further than 1WD before you get stuck. Those who think it will let them rock crawl like some of the Jeep videos on YouTube are always disappointed. Those who remain in 1WD till they get stuck, then use 2WD to back out, seem very happy with it.

    '18 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '12 R1200GSA with Hannigan sidecar for rides with Glenlivet

  3. #18
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Nibley, UT USA
    The Ural QC testers would disagree with your assessment of two-wheel drive:

    1983 R80ST 1984 R80 G/S-PD 2010 K1300GT 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  4. #19
    jdubeemer jdubick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Boaz Alabama
    Back in the early 2000s I had a R75/6 and bought a Sputnic sidecar and the hardware from DMC and loved it. The instructions for the installation were easy to deal with and I sent pictures to them and I believe his name is Jay was very helpful in having me tune the alignment for the road. It cruised effortless at 55 to 65 hands off with two grandkids in the car and one behind me. I didn't have more than $5000.00 invested in bike and sidecar. Just another one of those things I wish I never sold. And of course since Ural reliability was in question back then a Ural was not a choice I wanted to deal with.
    Jim Dubick
    Boaz, Alabama

  5. #20
    Registered User BBrowning's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Canoe BC
    Several years ago I got this idea. Shoulda had the wife just shoot me. Soon after I had a new Ural Tub with nothing to pull it with. I had looked at Ural but passed as I had trips in mind. Well not long after and about 30K loonies I had a rig, 2008 GS/Ural that could do those trips. Now I have no regrets but now have the knowledge that to build a quality machine that just works, you have to invest time, (learning) and Money (building) If you are not prepared for this then walk away. Not saying don't, as some of the best trips I have taken have been on my rig and I plan many more.
    The new Ural's are really good from what I hear, so if you want a ready built rig with out all the effort of sorting it out then this is what I would buy. Not sure they would take the beating or the distance that mine does. Still good machines and a good place to start I suppose.
    Also something to remember, Canada is a hard place to acquire knowledge or parts. Our best fabricator has gotten out of the business for now. Most of the builders are in the US or Europe. Do your research before you start. That's the other thing I learned

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