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Old 10-13-2008, 06:30 PM   #1
CharlesRC OP
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Ural Performance Enhancements?

If I have one concern about buying a Ural (I really like the Gear Up), it is the top speed. On the Ural website the recommended top speed is 62 mph, though I've seen references to 65 mph elsewhere, Then again, I've also seen posts saying that the top speed drops if you do something as dramatic and challenging as... drive up hill.

What I haven't seen, and I'm more than a bit surprised, is any discussion of performance enhancements for the Ural, and particularly regarding the speed and acceleration issue. When I visit forums for other "classic" designs that use arguably antiquated, or at least "old," technology, such as Harley Davidson or the Triumph "classic" line (Bonneville, Thruxton, Scrambler) there are plenty of posts and a lot of information about increasing performance. It sometimes seems that everyone who buys a Harley eventually does the "Stage 1" kit. (Why they aren't sold that way I don't know.) 883 Sportster owners can bore out to 1200. Bonneville, Thruxton and Scrambler owners talk at length about removing the "snorkle," putting on a new, less restrictive exaust, or perhaps boring out from 865 to 904 or more, to get more performance.

And Ural owners? Apparently nothing. Is that right? Is it correct to say nothing can be done to realistically enhance engine power, accelaration and speed? Or does no one care?

I understand that increased speed may result in stability and safety issues. (Which, on the other hand, might be addressed through suspension improvements just as Harley and Triumph classic owners do.) But at least on the sometimes unavoidable, but basically straight and well-maintained slab, the difference between being able to cruise at 65 and being able to do so at 75 -- up hill -- (and perhaps accelerate to 80, 85, 90?) might make all the difference in the world.

Can nothing be done? Any suggestions?

Note: I tried to post this on Soviet Steeds, but my request for membership there hasn't been approved yet.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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That's about all. But if you check Mr. Cob's ride report, you'll see the 2008 heads add a lot to top end. Mr. Cob's bike ran at highway speeds, and he recorded a top speed of 80+.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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While the Harley and the Triumph evoke older designs, the Ural engine aside from an alternator and electric start is 1938 technology with Eastern European metallurgy. I wouldn't try to make more power, just improve the quality of the existing power. Make sure it's jetted right and the carbs are balanced.

The Triumph twin is overbuilt. I don't know what they were trying to achieve aside from a very heavy reliable engine.
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Old 10-13-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesRC
If I have one concern about buying a Ural (I really like the Gear Up), it is the top speed. On the Ural website the recommended top speed is 62 mph, though I've seen references to 65 mph elsewhere, Then again, I've also seen posts saying that the top speed drops if you do something as dramatic and challenging as... drive up hill.

What I haven't seen, and I'm more than a bit surprised, is any discussion of performance enhancements for the Ural, and particularly regarding the speed and acceleration issue. When I visit forums for other "classic" designs that use arguably antiquated, or at least "old," technology, such as Harley Davidson or the Triumph "classic" line (Bonneville, Thruxton, Scrambler) there are plenty of posts and a lot of information about increasing performance. It sometimes seems that everyone who buys a Harley eventually does the "Stage 1" kit. (Why they aren't sold that way I don't know.) 883 Sportster owners can bore out to 1200. Bonneville, Thruxton and Scrambler owners talk at length about removing the "snorkle," putting on a new, less restrictive exaust, or perhaps boring out from 865 to 904 or more, to get more performance.

And Ural owners? Apparently nothing. Is that right? Is it correct to say nothing can be done to realistically enhance engine power, accelaration and speed? Or does no one care?

I understand that increased speed may result in stability and safety issues. (Which, on the other hand, might be addressed through suspension improvements just as Harley and Triumph classic owners do.) But at least on the sometimes unavoidable, but basically straight and well-maintained slab, the difference between being able to cruise at 65 and being able to do so at 75 -- up hill -- (and perhaps accelerate to 80, 85, 90?) might make all the difference in the world.

Can nothing be done? Any suggestions?

Note: I tried to post this on Soviet Steeds, but my request for membership there hasn't been approved yet.
Howdy CharlesRC,

I say this in all honesty, not trying in any way to be a smart ass, if you want a Ural to go up hill at 75 mph and accelerate to 90, please don't buy a Ural. You will be disappointed and bad mouth a machine which was NEVER built to do such things. A Ural is a darned good machine built to do what it does best travel on bad roads, secondary roads, in all weather conditions at speeds up to 65mph when wind, load and road conditions permit it.

There is nothing you can do to the stock Ural drive train that will accomplish what you want to do short of welding a JATO rocket into the hack.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:35 PM   #5
Sidecardoug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Cob
Howdy CharlesRC,

I say this in all honesty, not trying in any way to be a smart ass, if you want a Ural to go up hill at 75 mph and accelerate to 90, please don't buy a Ural. You will be disappointed and bad mouth a machine which was NEVER built to do such things. A Ural is a darned good machine built to do what it does best travel on bad roads, secondary roads, in all weather conditions at speeds up to 65mph when wind, load and road conditions permit it.

There is nothing you can do to the stock Ural drive train that will accomplish what you want to do short of welding a JATO rocket into the hack.

Well said. A Ural is what it is and it won't ever be a freeway flyer. People graft different engines and trannies and final drives on them, but you're better off just putting a Ural hack on a different bike.

Bitching about a Ural not running 80 mph is like buying a Goldwing and complaining that it sucks offroad.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:03 PM   #6
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More german steel now

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluorescentbrown
the Ural engine aside from an alternator and electric start is 1938 technology with Eastern European metallurgy.
Well, actually, the '08 Urals have Herzog gears in the tranny and the '09s will run Herzog timing gears. If you know steel, you'll know Herzog. The '38 crankshaft was a multi-piece press-fit item, the 2004(?) crankshaft is only three piece press fit and is much more robust. Most of the other metal doesn't matter too much, just has to hold the pressure of the burning fuel in place and the Ural seem pretty competent at that!

Brakes are by Brembo, ignition is a racing unit from Ducati, 2009 (2008?) valve train is Italian. Carburetors are Japanese. A lot of the key components are way upgraded now, so it's not so really '38 tech and not so Eastern European metallurgy (where it counts)

I can run 55 up just about any freeway hill. I've been able to run 42mph (GPS) going head-in to a 35 mile head wind up hill! And that's with a 2005 bike, not an '08 or an '09 (Italian valve train).

Like Mr. Cob said, the beast is one of my favorite bikes for secondary roads. This is 900+ pounds of steel that makes a brick look aerodynamic, really, a brick would be better! All of the edges, struts, cylinders, etc. - air resistance is the enemy. The weak spot is the rear end still, that type of design can never take the high pressures of the high speeds, that's why BMW started developing new rear ends in the 60's (70's?). (If I believe the internet rumours, the new GS may still have some issues with over-powering the rear end).

But look at the flexibility of the drive line and robustness of the frame for going airborne over jump!!

Hard to match that frame design by bolting in some after-market kit to try and hold all that Ural steel on while going off road. Add a reverse gear in the tranny because sometimes there are some dead-ends when off-roading. Add two wheel drive that is a true locker! Those two wheels will go the same speed - this is a good thing off-roading!

Stone
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:24 PM   #7
cpres
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354338 good Ural road trip.

Like Mr. Cob stated they are what they are. I love my Retro and have done 300 - 400 mile days with the wife in the hack. I run between 50 an 70 indicated on the speedo and winds hills etc. If you are not willing to run slow then you will not like these cool little bikes. As for hop ups all you can do is ensure that it is well tuned and running right. I was very concerned about the top speeed but I have found that I still am very very happy at Ural speeds. The wife is not a fan of 120 plus as a pillion anyways.
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:54 AM   #8
CharlesRC OP
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Thanks.

I want to thank everyone for the good, and realistic, advice. Don't get me wrong, I didn't mean to disrespect the bike. I'm still attracted to the Ural and think it would be a blast. (Especially the Gear Up; love the 2 wheel drive option.)

Just have to give it some thought. There are times when I feel the need to do "slab time" to get somewhere.

Also, I was curious regarding why there seemed to be so many ways to enhance the performance of other "classic" designs (Harleys, the Triumph classic line), but nothing for Urals. I now understand.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:01 AM   #9
PaulRS
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If you want more and reliable power, put a BMW engine in.

Paul.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:11 AM   #10
ickie
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Slow Down, LOL,
A Ural is a 1939 copy of a Dirt Bike with a Sidecar, I live in a busy big city and almost never drive in the hi way, with or without the Ural, I love going 45 MPH, (50-55 MPH is all I can get out of my 650 2000 Ural Patrol) the Ural gets more lookers than any other bike I have ever owned, Everywhere I stop I have to give a history lesson, I never had anyone ever ask me about that Harley, Honda or them British Bikes, I use to own.
A Ural is a street legal ATV.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:46 AM   #11
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Try youtube search for High speed Dnepr and Ural 1000...
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:24 AM   #12
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My '08 just clicked over 1300 miles on the way to work this morning- I've owned it for exactly a month.

Being my first hack I've been sticking to mainly back roads but have done a couple of highway runs on it.

With the hack windshield down the bike happily hums along at 55 with a 60lb bag of paver base and probably 40+ lbs of tools, clothes and assorted other crap in the sidecar. Up hills, down hills, head wind, tail wind it's perfectly capable of doing 55+....I'm not pushing it at all right now. There's a lot more throttle there, I'm guessing she'd be just as happy at 60-65 once I feel comfortable the bike is truely broken in. I can't say I've ridden any other year, but to second what some other people have said, the '08's seem fine with higher speeds.

I think the goal of most Ural owners, once they get used to what the bike can do it to have it running 'right' rather than faster. Running 'right' it'll do anything you ask of it within certain parameters.

I've also found some great roads I never knew existed. Google maps allows you to 'avoid highways' for route searches and this has opened my eyes to different ways of getting to some spots. I used to concider my one day 'range' to be 700 miles at least (1150GS), now it's a couple hundred miles less, but that's just a trade off.

Although many concider it dangerous or irresponsible tooling along at 60 while traffic is for the most part going faster, for short runs of lesser travelled highways I don't think it's an issue- you are way more visable and hold a bigger presence on the road...I wouldn't go down 95 at rush hour, but I've run a highway section of Route 1 and felt comfortable doing so.

The advantage of the rig to me is the load carrying- 40lb bags of cat food, cases of beer, gym bag, briefcase, extra layers of clothes.....I've had to reprogram myself that I can carry many things I didn't used to carry on my other bikes.

Oh, and yes, you do get a taste of what it's like to be a movie star on this thing...people wave, point, smile, chat at the gas station, grocery store etc. I love tinkering- if the bike needs it or not, so if I'm not riding it, there's always something I'm upgrading, redoing, putzing with....there's a ton of things you can do to these bikes if you want to go beyond regular maintenance.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:00 AM   #13
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Laugh

Best way to enhance a Ural's performance is to sell it and buy a Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, BMW...
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spicy McHaggis
Best way to enhance a Ural's performance is to sell it and buy a Kawasaki, Suzuki, Honda, BMW...
But not always the funniest one...
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:53 PM   #15
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....

wrung out mine will do 75mph on a flat road.... wicking off at 75mph...

and once a biggish hill hits... she's back down in the 50mph range pretty quickly.

you learn quickly to pick up all the speed you can on the downslope, so you don't piss off cars behind you going up.



me

p.s. i do think the 06s got a beefier final drive... how much more it could take, i dunno.
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