Poor Performance Issues Solved
Totally forgot to update you guys, because we took our sweet time dealing with it...
The main problem we had with performance with the Ural was it loosing oomph out of nowhere. Some days our top speed would be 65-70MPH, and others it would be as slow as 52MPH with the throttle full out, no change in altitude, etc.
Before contacting the mothership for a warranty repair, we completed the 10,000km service (upon returning home from the trip). One of the things called for in this service is to check the timing. We bought a fancy timing light, and it turns out - our timing was off! We adjusted the timing, which was very easy to do, and it's been running great since then. No more power issues - our top speed is consistently 65-70MPH and it doesn't feel "off" like it lacks torque anymore.
We're still getting very crappy gas mileage - averaging around 21MPG - but at least the performance issue is solved. And even with this performance issue on our cross-country trip, it's been more reliable than our BMWs. It never stopped running. Both of our BMW F650GSs have since had some issues - Kay's battery died, and my front tire has an unexplainable flat problem that we can't seem to diagnose. But the Ural is still running strong!
(Also, we had the Ural out in the snow for the first time a few weeks ago and it was a total blast! We'd never dream of riding our two-wheelers in the snow, but the Ural does just great... this is really a year-round vehicle. We're expecting to have a lot of fun this winter!)