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Discussion Starter #1
So, the better 3/4 has expressed a sentiment that I plan to interpret as "yes dear, get one, it'll be fun!", in regards to bikes with a sidecar. Its primary use will likely be just me screwing around on it, but romanticized visions of fun carefree date nights and the occasional family outing with our son have danced through her head, and I'm totally ok with that.

A bike with a sidecar has been on my want list for ages, and I'm looking at used Ural money. I dig the retro look, not expecting stellar performance (c'mon, I ride a TW), but I do question the reliability and maintenance aspect, and a bit of highway would be nice. Any current or ex Ural owners here? Thoughts on them in general? Second or third hand speculative rumors that you heard from your cousins best friends uncle whose buddy test-rode one that one time?
 

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There’s a company somewhere that converts Urals, primarily the electrics I think. There’s also another company that buys up Urals from China, strips them completely, and rebuilds them properly

Do your research well, and they are fun – get it wrong, and they can be a pain in the butt …..

(check the similar thread links at the bottom of the page)
 

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Welcome. If you are running/riding a TW then your mind-set is absolutely perfect for 3-wheels and especially a Ural.

I just attended 4 days of The Jersey Devil Hunt, an annual Ural/Sidecar off-road rally. I rode one of my dual-sports instead of my 2007 Patrol. But had an excellent time mixing it up with the 3-wheeled beasts.

List your location in your signature-line. And go over/join the Soviet Steeds Forum. "Used" by members with a history come up here from time-to-time. Also folks that all of a sudden join to sell their sidecars and the peanut-gallery there will certainly always critique.

I'll post some video after I finish editing in a few minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Found an `08 Tourist with ~800mi on it about 1.5hrs from me. Pics look clean. Unsure about the price. Anything in particular I should look for? What would be a fair offer on it?

Despite many miles on 2/4/6 and sometimes 1 wheels, I've never ridden(driven?) a sidecar before, so if a deal is made that will be an interesting ride home.
 

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'08 has the right gears (Hertzog/German) in the final drive, a known Achilles Heel with Urals. And it is a carburetor model. I own a 2007 and it has been as reliable as any Honda or Harley I've ever owned. Doesn't mean they all are. They drink a lot of Vodka over at the factory in Siberia for lunch. Mine might have been made before lunch? You will absolutely have to tinker from time-to-time but it is very easy to work on. Like an old Chevy or Ford with a twist.

A "Tourist" is a 1-wheel drive low to the ground model. Very pretty. If you are planning on using your rig off-road at all I'd suggest you look for a Patrol or Gear-Up model. Not so much for the 2-WD as that will usually get you "into trouble" (use for snow and "out-of-trouble" off-road). More so because those models just sit much higher off the ground than the Tourist, Bavarian Classic's and other 1-WD models. Those ride smooth like slot-cars. The Patrols & Gear-ups are a stiffer & higher ride. Think about what you are primarily going to use it for.

If you are just planning on just regular riding around town, short trips and smell-the-roses rides a Tourist is fine.

Again my advice is to go over to the Soviet Steeds website, introduce yourself and then post the potential ad of the rig (it's not a bike anymore and your don't "ride it"... you "pilot it") you are considering. Where it is, how many miles/kilometers/condition/original owner). Ya know... all the stuff you would do buying an old car or motorcycle. North east and/or by the shore there could be rust issues. Most of us ride year-round so snow brings "salt". You will get the absolute best advice and recommendations there. Chances are the person selling the bike is already a member there too which would be a big plus.

And if you would list your "location" here and also over at SS you might find that someone that owns one lives right by you. I can't think of any motorcycle website that has more information, comradery and cult-like status than Soviet Steeds. Very similar to TW Forum but with an absolute niche market. A Ural ain't no Yamaha!


Go here to Terry Crawfords excellent website:

http://www.crawfordsales.info


... and to the drop-down menu on the left side to: "Ural Changes: 2003 – 2019"

You can also just call Terry as he has the proverbial gift of gab and loves to talk Urals. Don't jump at the first bike to come along and you may have to travel to get a good deal. Take your time and be patient. Don't want to end up with a disaster.
 

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Not mine, just happened to come across this one.

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/mcy/d/ben-lomond-2000-ural-tourist/6896082127.html

Posted about an hour ago
2000 URAL TOURIST - $3700 (boulder creek)

i














2000 Ural Tourist

condition: good
engine displacement (CC): 650
fuel: gas
title status: clean
transmission: manual


2000 URAL TOURIST WITH SIDECAR. We love this motorcycle but don't ride it enough to justify keeping it. Motorcycle is in better than average condition with 21718 km (13495 miles) on it. Speedomoter flaky above 50 mph and blinkers require extensive annual maintenance to work, i.e. typical Ural. However, it runs great and starts every time, i.e. typical Ural. It is not dual wheel drive so you can fly the chair. Guaranteed to have lots of fun and a real head turner. Everyone loves to ride in the sidecar. Have title in hand and even a book on riding with a sidecar (which is not trivial).
 

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Nothing older than 2006 unless there have been a bunch of modification and upgrades.
They may all look the same... they are not.
 

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I've owned four Urals since 2008 or so. My thoughts as to why get a Ural or why not....


Well, it's a love/hate thing with URAL sidecars....when it's working it's always the ride I take out, and I have another motorcycle as you probably know, a '87 BMW R80 Beemer which is sweet and reliable. I have to actually force myself to take out the R80 once in a while to exercise her, riding the URAL is that much more fun you see. Now that I have a 2006 TW200, the Beemer sees even less road time....

They really have come a long way in terms of quality but if you're looking for a gas and go, look elsewhere. If you don't mind turning a wrench (and all of the tasks required are doable by most anyone), then sure, go for it!

It's got a decent service interval now, every 5000 km or 3000 miles. Short by the standards of other brands, but it used to be 2500km! Just did my 20K Km service, two days, taking it slow, in between other chores around the house.

If buying new, dealer setup is KEY. A badly aligned rig will disappoint and can be dangerous to the driver. Do your research, the known good dealers are out there.

Know that anything made by Man, breaks, but URAL stands by their warranty like no other brand I've known! Speaking of Russian quality, the new models are leaps and bounds ahead of the stuff from the 90s and early 2000s. I know, my first Ural was a '96 and it truly was a RPOC and yet I loved it, never should have sold it.

The stuff that's broken on my 2014 so far, and all replaced under warranty, have been parts that URAL doesn't make but outsources! Well, not sure on the clutch plates, but then again, it's a wear item. Oh, and as damaged as the clutch plates were, it got me home!

EFI is great but I wonder what will be my opinion when it fails? Then again, how often do you hear of car EFI modules failing? It's proven technology, and URAL is using a US company to make the system. Theoretically, you can limp home on one ECU, but I don't want to be the guy who does it first.

If you don't like talking to complete strangers at gas stops, spending time talking about your rig, then this ain't the rig for you.

If you want to ride, no matter what the weather or temperature or traction conditions, year-round, then look at a URAL sidecar rig. Snow, up to about 8-12 inches depending on consistency, won't stop me anymore but life does get a bit too interesting.

If you want to be able to carry much more than the average motorcyclist, AND a passenger in comfort, look at a Ural. In fact, you can carry so much, you risk breaking things but she'll sure try.

Sure, you can make a lot of other motorcycles into sidecar rigs but URAL is the only one that comes out of the factory designed to be with a sidecar. 2WD is really nice in the RARE occasions you need it. The joke here is that 2WD will get you 100 meters further into trouble, before you get stuck, I've found it wonderful in the slick stuff. And yet, I carry recovery gear, just in case.

Reverse? Lovely. No worries about parking angles or finding yourself at the end of a narrow trail with no place to turn. Finally, it's not a simple matter of bolting a sidecar to a motorcycle, you have to also account for steering changes, subframes to hold everything together, and after all that, still no reverse or 2WD unless you spend really big bucks.

Battery problems? It has a kickstart lever and you can actually start the engine with it. Want to make a bunch of HD riders twitchy? Kick start your rig to life in front of them.

In a hurry, want to rack up miles fast? This ain't the motorcycle for you. 55mph on the highways is about all I'll ride it at, with occasional bursts to 70 mph, it's max speed. The URAL sidewar wasn't designed for US super highways, accept the fact you'll be the slowest guy on the road, embrace it. Wave hello at the peering faces in the monster RV that is passing you on a hill, so what if its also towing a car on a trailer while passing you. You'll see more of life at the slower pace, trust me. Since you're a TW200 rider, you already know all this.

Want to be part of a community of like-minded sidecarists who usually go out of their way to help out and enjoy these rigs? A URAL might be for you.

Driving a sidecar rig is NOTHING like a two-wheeled motorcycle. Get some formal training if at all possible, read and follow the exercises in the available manuals if not. Practice and learn what happens when the sidecar lifts on you while turning right, then train to deal with it. It's not rocket science.

Finally, why be just one more motorcycle rider? Folks smile and wave at sidecar riders, we're not trying to be tough-looking and scary. Be uncommon. It is about the ride. Be the hero who shows up at a campsite with the case or two of beer in the sidecar, with ice. Ride down that sketchy looking trail, see where it leads and what you discover.
 

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Occasionally I'll commute into NYC on weekends. But this is Peppermints (the Beagle) rig on the street and my rig for going off-road:

IMG_1613.JPG
 

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I don't know if you took my advice about joining Soviet Steeds to see what they have over there in the Marketplace so not sure if you can view this link:

https://sovietsteeds.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=53942&sid=d63a820945fca07c5129917c47303e19


This is a 2011 Retro, NOT for using off-road. It is a Gentleman's sidecar and kinda rare with a white frame and bodywork. Street use only. The seller just dropped the asking price to $7000.00 which is an absolute steal. Located in Boston. If I had the room I'd take the train up there myself and ride it home (4 hours). Still not sure where you are located but this is one of those fly-drive or pay for shipping deals if you are really serious and like this type of model... worth the extra cost. At this price whether you are in Nebraska or Texas it a real "get the fence out of your ass" and go get it deal.
They stopped making Retros last year I think so it will be a rare one. A "Carbie" and looks in pristine condition. The seller was not a longtime SS member but a lot of folks weighed in on it and could go check it out for you.

Really is breathtaking:
00d0d_9uhfsEQykNx_1200x900.jpg


BTW, with a telescopic front-end like that as opposed to the usual leading-link or "Earles" front-end... you can use this as a solo bike as well. Can't do that with my rig.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks all for the input, and yes I did indeed sign up on SS. I tend to lurk for a bit on forums before speaking up. The `08 I was looking at appears to have been sold, so back to the long game I guess. I still see a sidecar in my future, but I should probably get rid of some other vehicles first anyway.

This guy certainly seems to enjoy his:
https://streamable.com/vcf2b
 

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Great. See ya over there sometime.
 
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