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

  1. #1
    Cowboyatheart
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    What are your thoughts? Ural or build bmw hack?

    I am looking at adding either a Ural or buy a used R1200GS and add a DMC or Hannigan rig.

    Any advice you would like to share to help me with this decision?
    I want to be able to go off-road with it, and highway (okay secondary Hwy if Ural).

    Fire away please.
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  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I think you may find it two different experiences- sorta like riding my F800GS and then the TW200.
    And then you "drive" a sidecar rig and ride a motorcycle.
    I wouldn't mind owning a Ural.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
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    If the SC rig will be an addition to the stable and you will still have a capable road bike in the mix, then living where you do I'd opt for the Ural. Less money up front and more capability in your local terrain. But if this is to be your sole mount then I'd opt for the GS. Just my $0.02.

    Best,

    DG
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST — 1984 R80 G/S-PD — 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C — 2010 K1300GT — 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  4. #4
    Boxers uber alles sagerat's Avatar
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    Ural. The real question for you will be carbed Ural or electronic fuel injection?

    I've had my '04 Ural Tourist since Day One and it has outlasted every other motorcycle I've owned (Honda VFR. R90/6, Guzzi Breva 1100, KLR, and a GS) as it's that much fun. 45,000 kms and counting. Just remember, it's happiest at 50 to 60 mph and going on backroads. I've done some interstate stints (~15 miles or less) when it was unavoidable, but neither I nor my Russian mule were happy.

    Cheaper to buy a Ural than buying a used mc and putting a hack on it. Even cheaper to buy a used Ural. Try and get 2010 or later; last year for carbs was 2013; EFI and disc brakes came out in 2014. Advantage of pre-14 is spare is a real tire and will fit both pusher and hack; post-14 the spare is more a donut and it's not advised to keep it on the pusher any longer than necessary.

    Check out soviet steeds for beaucoup discussion on this topic. Also 1WD vs. 2WD, although concensus at SS is unless you are truly going hardcore offroad, the 1WD is usually just fine.

  5. #5
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Depends on what you intend to do with a rig. Local backroads & off road, the Ural may work out better. Road trip? A gs based machine will do better. If you go for a road based machine, look for completed rigs as opposed to putting one together your self.
    Check out the Hacks Forum on ADVRider.
    Bob Weis
    Bikeless! 2004-bmw-k12rs-hannigan-Sold!

  6. #6
    My wife and I took a test ride on a Ural Gear Up and really had a good time. If I could afford one I would get one tomorrow.

    photo 2.jpg
    ________________________________________
    The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  7. #7
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    You should be able to find a really nice, stock, Ural for less than $8,000US. Much less if you look for a while. But more than likely it will be in the US. The thing about sidecars, Ural in particular, is that folks buy them on a lark, drive them for a while, and then park them. Like any machine, if it sits too long things start to go bad; seals, gaskets, corrosion, etc. And you need to be aware of this; Russian manufacturing technology doesn't compare to BMW. Performance, quality control is a weakness, and defects are common. But unless you have considerable mechanical skill I wouldn't start from scratch, I'd still buy a Ural.

    Sovietsteeds.com has a "Black Market Forum" for sellers. > http://www.sovietsteeds.com/forums/v...1bd15835afe56a
    Join (it's free) if you want to post a WTB (want to buy) I'd mention specifically in Canada.

    CURD (Canadian Ural/Dnepr Riders Group) > http://www.curdforum.net/

    Russian Iron is another > http://www.russianiron.com/

    But first, do your homework and Read before you buy!


    Me... I like to tinker, so I bought '63 Dnepr with '06 Ural drive train.

    Dnepr.jpg
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

  8. #8
    Cowboyatheart
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    Thanks for all the comments from all.

    And thanks for the links.

    And what do you refer to.....Read what? Before I Buy?

    Neil

    Quote Originally Posted by lmo1131 View Post
    Sovietsteeds.com has a "Black Market Forum" for sellers. > http://www.sovietsteeds.com/forums/v...1bd15835afe56a
    Join (it's free) if you want to post a WTB (want to buy) I'd mention specifically in Canada.

    CURD (Canadian Ural/Dnepr Riders Group) > http://www.curdforum.net/

    Russian Iron is another > http://www.russianiron.com/

    But first, do your homework and Read before you buy!
    Moringa, your body & brain will thank you! PM for discounts Smart Mix at TasteMoringa.com
    XM3 Energy, real energy for the body & brain, no sugar high, XM3.Energy

  9. #9
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Just read "in general"... research, for yourself, what Urals are about. Ural has gone through a lot of changes since 2000. All I'm saying is, decide what you want the rig to do, and learn about what you want to buy. Hook up with SS forums, CURD, or Russian Iron, run some searches for discussions like "what should I look for", "problems", etc.

    ADV Rider Hack forum is probably a better place to research "all" rigs, certainly more diverse than the "russian oriented" sidecar sites. If you're not a member join. Again, it's free.

    http://advrider.com/index.php?forums/hacks.56/

    Another "general" sidecar source would be The United Sidecar Association > http://sidecar.com/mbbs22/category-view.asp

    Foremost, keep in mind what was mentioned above, Urals are essentially unchanged since the 1940s (better brakes, electronics, etc) they were never intended to maintain modern highway speeds of 60mph; they were war machines intended for undeveloped roads. They can carry a load and will run 50-55 all day (65 in a pinch and for short distances). They operate best when driven in a "deliberate" fashion, much like old airhead BMWs.

    edit -

    Also 1WD vs. 2WD, although concensus at SS is unless you are truly going hardcore offroad, the 1WD is usually just fine.
    It was been quipped that 2WD will get you about fifty feet further, where you shouldn't have tried to go anyway, than 1WD...
    Last edited by lmo1131; 11-06-2016 at 05:10 PM. Reason: add comment
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

  10. #10
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmo1131 View Post
    edit -



    It was been quipped that 2WD will get you about fifty feet further, where you shouldn't have tried to go anyway, than 1WD...
    "that right there is funny"
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmo1131 View Post
    Just read "in general"... research, for yourself, what Urals are about. Ural has gone through a lot of changes since 2000. All I'm saying is, decide what you want the rig to do, and learn about what you want to buy. Hook up with SS forums, CURD, or Russian Iron, run some searches for discussions like "what should I look for", "problems", etc.

    ADV Rider Hack forum is probably a better place to research "all" rigs, certainly more diverse than the "russian oriented" sidecar sites. If you're not a member join. Again, it's free.

    http://advrider.com/index.php?forums/hacks.56/

    Another "general" sidecar source would be The United Sidecar Association > http://sidecar.com/mbbs22/category-view.asp

    Foremost, keep in mind what was mentioned above, Urals are essentially unchanged since the 1940s (better brakes, electronics, etc) they were never intended to maintain modern highway speeds of 60mph; they were war machines intended for undeveloped roads. They can carry a load and will run 50-55 all day (65 in a pinch and for short distances). They operate best when driven in a "deliberate" fashion, much like old airhead BMWs.

    edit -



    It was been quipped that 2WD will get you about fifty feet further, where you shouldn't have tried to go anyway, than 1WD...
    The link to the United Sidecar Association was dead. Here's an updated link.
    https://sidecar.com/

  12. #12
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    It is inaccurate to say that "Urals are essentially unchanged since the 1940s". They have made tremendous strides over the past 10-15 years. The list at this link shows the changes made in 2003-2020. I have a 2018 Gear Up and Annie has a 2019. They are our first foray into sidecars and we are having a blast on them. There are things you have to accept as a Ural owner. They do not like to cruise at more than about 60 MPH and are significantly impacted by wind and slope. I rode mine to the National Sidecar rally this year which entails crossing the Rockies. I was able sustain 45 MPH climbing Lookout and 4th of July passes and even passed two semi-trucks. Passing another vehicle is a noteworthy event when you ride a Ural. They are easy to maintain and much like an Airhead when it comes to maintenance. They come standard with a two year warranty and Ural sometimes throws in a free third year when closing out a model year. I have 3,000 miles on mine and have had two warranty issues. My parking brake cable broke and the ignition switch failed. My dealer is 720 miles away and mailed me the parts within 24 hours of my emailing him about the issue (would any BMW dealer do that?). Annie has about 400 miles on hers and other than making some adjustments to the set-up she has had no problems.

    We like the Urals because we can now explore the many backcountry roads we have in Montana with much less stress than we could on two wheels. Not needing to focus as intently on the road/trail surface, no worries about finding a place where we can stop without fear of the bike being unstable, a reverse gear as needed and tons of storage space. It also extends our riding season. We've been riding all year which is not common in Montana. (See picture) I also find that taking the Ural into town to run errands is much easier on a Ural. Places to store my gear and purchases, no low speed maneuvering issues in parking lots and everyone wants to ask you about the antique BMW. If you pursue a Ural, then newer is better. Annie's 19 saw major changes in the bike. A bit more torque, runs cooler and the spare tire can now be used on any of the three wheel positions (in prior years the spare can only be used on the rear of the bike).

    In my opinion the Ural is a great adjunct to our other bikes. I would not want it as my only ride but there are times it can't be beat.

    8155F586-2705-48E7-B62B-BABBBFAE8E81.jpg
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  13. #13
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Nice write up Kevin
    om
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  14. #14
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Ural Steps-Up

    Email I received from Ural:

    Dear Friends,

    We'd like to extend our wishes to all of you and your loved ones to be healthy and remain strong during these trying times. Our staff at Ural in Redmond, WA, at the factory in Irbit, and all other distributors are all healthy and well! We've put in a lot of effort to keep the employees and their environment as safe as possible and continue to do so. We have also put processes in place to continue business activities that keep the support for our dealers and customers uninterrupted. Our dealers have great inventory of standard and custom 2020 models. Please check with us or with the dealers directly if you are looking for a specific model, color or configuration. Email our sales hotline sidecarsmakeyouhappy@ural.com - we'll help you find your dream Ural.

    US Parts Warehouse & Tech Support

    Our Parts Department in Redmond, WA continues to operate and ship parts to our domestic and international dealers and distributors. We are providing technical support to our dealers uninterrupted. It's all hands on deck to keep Urals on the road.

    Direct to Retail Parts Drop Shipment Service

    As the situation from state to state changes by the hour, some dealerships are and may be closing and/or operating at a partial capacity. To address parts needs of our customers, we have implemented direct to retail Parts Drop Shipment Service. It works as simple as this: you order parts from your local or (if it's closed) any open Ural dealership and the parts are drop shipped directly to your home. And (!), we've made a decision to waive parts drop shipping fees for the time being to help us all get through this. If you can go out and ride, we are here to help you do it.

    List of Ural Dealers and Service Centers can be found here: https://www.imz-ural.com/dealer-locator. We can assist you in finding the closest open dealer to provide you with parts and service advice. Please call (425) 702-8484 x 100 or send us an email at sidecarsmakeyouhappy@ural.com.

    Production Update

    We are experiencing interruptions with suppliers of components from Europe, particularly in Italy and Spain. The situation is being monitored very closely and we are adjusting our planning accordingly. In anticipation of further supply interruption and a slowing retail demand, we have decided to halt production at the factory in Irbit, Russia as of March 30th until further notice. Factory workers will be sent on paid leave.

    90 Days Warranty Extension

    Effective immediately, all Ural motorcycles currently under warranty will automatically have three months (90 days) factory warranty extension. All new motorcycle sales registered during the period between now and June 30, 2020 will also have automatic 90-day warranty extension on top of standard 2 year manufacturer warranty.

    The last but not the least.....

    Our dealers are adjusting to the new reality on a daily and hourly basis. Many are rearranging sales process to limit physical contact while still creating good sales and service experience; deliveries and service by appointment, deliveries directly to the customers' homes, etc. Certain States have implemented temporary changes in regulations that simplify registration process for new vehicle sales. Please contact your dealer and see what special arrangements are available. Some dealers might already be offering virtual showroom experience through Skype, Facetime, etc. We are working on this as well and soon will be offering ways to learn about the new Urals using video streaming tools. Stay tuned for that!

    Please keep up with the latest updates via our social media channels – find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We’d also love to see some good vibes photos and/or videos of how Ural is keeping your spirits up, please share this on social @uralmotorcycles and/or drop us a line at sidecarsmakeyouhappy@ural.com.


    Ride safe and stay healthy!

    The Team at Ural Motorcycles
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  15. #15
    '14 R1200 GS Adv bigjohnsd's Avatar
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    I was a Ural {also Honda/Yamaha) dealer from 2000-2004 when I sold my share of the business to my partner.

    We sold a lot of Urals over that period, a lot is not really a lot as Ural sold only about 1,000 per year in the US back then.

    I owned two, a 2000 650cc and a 2004 750cc, both 1WD units.

    If you are looking at a Used Ural stay away from the 650's, the brakes were as effective as a concrete block on a rope and they were truly a 45mph machine. The Generators were prone to frequent failure. Still they were a lot of fun.

    My 2004 had both disc brakes and a Denso Alternator, both were significant upgrades, for these two reasons I wouldn't consider purchasing a used bike earlier than a 2004.

    These bikes require constant fiddling with. If you don't feel comfortable fiddling with mechanical and Electrical things don't buy one as you won't be happy.

    EDIT: My first Ural was a Leading Link Front End. my second had the traditional Forks. The Leading Link works much better with the sidecar. One of the scariest rides I've ever taken on a Motorcycle was the day I took the sidecar off the Leading Link Ural and tried to ride it like a Motorcycle.

    I thoroughly enjoyed both the Urals I owned and would consider one again.

    You can save "Mucho Dinero" purchasing used.
    Last edited by bigjohnsd; 03-26-2020 at 09:35 PM.
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