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Old 05-19-2009, 09:06 PM   #1
effceecee OP
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'09 Ural - How Reliable?

Howdy, folks. I'm looking into purchasing my 1st Ural (an '09 Patrol model) and my main concern regards their reliability. I don't know a single thing about wrenching -- though I'm eager and anxious to learn -- and I'm wondering if I'm taking on too much responsibility in the maintenance department.

I've been thinking that my wife and I might do some out-of-state summer traveling. We're major dawdlers, slow 'n' easy is our style, and we'd be taking the scenic route all the way. Is this a realistic expectation?

Also, neither of us are small people. So, by the time we load up our gear, might we expect top traveling speeds of 45-50 mph? Even less, perhaps?

Any input would be greatly appreciated, as I'm ready to purchase any day now. So thanks for your input!
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:32 PM   #2
windmill
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Several of the better Ural dealers will walk you through servicing the rig. My dealer, Ural Northwest spent a whole day walking me through everything including hack alignment.

A new rig comes with, a service manual, instructional CD and all tools needed except a feeler gauge, and carb balancing gauge. Its not any harder to work on than a riding mower, if You want to learn, its the perfect machine.

Reliability isn't a major issue on the new Ural's, Its not a Honda, but much better than a 70's Harley, or 80's Ducati. My 07 Patrol has over 24000km on it, and it hasn't failed me yet, I wouldn't hesitate to take it on a cross country trip tomorrow.

Two up, and loaded down, (2 people + gear @500 lbs) 60 to 65 mph isn't a problem, 50 to 55 mph on the steeper hills.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
effceecee OP
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Smiling, Big Time!

Thanks, Windmill, you just put a HUGE smile on my face! The wife and I have been fantasizing about this in a major fashion, so I've been hoping that I don't end up having to ditch our plans.

Having said all that, if anyone else has words of caution, please, fire away. Optimism is great, but I always appreciate a healthy dose of well founded skepticism, too.

Again, thanks in advance, friends.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:40 PM   #4
Dr Jim
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How reliable?

Pretty damn, IMHO - here's a link to a recent ride we took with three sidecar rigs across Washington state:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=462388

Bozola's Gear-up is an '07 (I think), he rides it HARD, commutes daily, and with no special preparation it covered 600+ tough miles without a peep.

Yes, in stiff headwinds, going uphill, at altitude - he did drop speed - but (vile rumors to the contrary) at no point did he have to get off and push.

Think of the Ural's performance envelope as similar to the original VW Bug - although it's actually slightly better. While they can run the slab, they are far happier (and you will be too) on a decent secondary road.

Ironically, while the freeway 'system' has badly decayed in the last 15 years, and become a viciously crowded nightmare to drive, the network of smaller roads which are far more interesting, seem lees crowded, and in better condition, than ever before. The Ural can be your ticket to some wonderful rides.

Cheers

Jim
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:47 AM   #5
IsAnOzzie
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i have an 08 gear up and find it fantastic, frequent service intervals but very easy to do yourself, Mine was jetted to comply with Australian Regulations which was a simple "fix"
As long as you are not expecting some secret Soviet powerhouse machine you will not be dissapointed.
I was feeling a little Indian about a Ural purchase, that is to say I had reservations, but all is well and I am a happy Ural owner.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:04 AM   #6
Blue Ridge Wheeltor
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Even if you do your own wrenching, which dealer you buy it from can be important. A good dealer can give you phone support, back your warranty claims, and starting out with a properly set up bike makes all the difference. And the "best" shop is not always the "closest".
Most dealers are ok, there are a few who are legendary, and a few who are crap.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:35 AM   #7
Threewheelbonnie
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I had an '99 that was total **** and so in 2006 hacked a 2004 Bonneville. A Ural dealer a zillion percent better than the clowns that sold me the '99 did the chair for me. Looking at 2008-9 Urals I have three issues:

1. The dealer is still important. Good ones find any manufacturing issues because they know where to look, bad ones might let you down.

2. Service intervals: A modern bike goes 6000 miles between oil changes, I can do that in a month when I really try and usually hit the 2-3000 stages well away from home.

3. Price: A one owner second hand bike and a chair costs less than a new Ural in the UK. I wouldn't trust a Ural off E-bay unless I knew the owner, nearly new at the dealers are so rare to be impossible.

#1 you can sort by a visit or two. #3 is OK, you already think the Ural is value for money and as you are new to this won't want the hassle of sourcing two or more parts. #2 as someone said is as simple as a lawnmower you'll pick it up in days. That only leaves doing 6000 miles in one go, which I guess you can plan round and won't worry you at first.

IMHO, look at other alternatives as well, but the Ural really does have a lot going for it and will make a great first outfit.

Andy
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:37 AM   #8
Bozola
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One of the classic complaints about the Ural is the air filter. The other is water in the spark plug caps. The current design of the air filter is a pain in the arse to get at. It's crammed in, and frankly I'm of the opinion that there's not enough surface area of the K&N.

You will read stories about the Ural dying in rain because of these two issues. I've only encountered one of these problems in the 16,000+km of brutal riding. That was perfectly legitimate, and really my own fault. I managed to fill most of my K&N air filter with Oregon dust while on the Black Dog rally. This is an expected challenge for that particular rally, so I was carrying a spare. I've never had problems otherwise with anything else.

Deep mud? No problem. Snow and Ice? Give me more. Torrential downpours for 100 miles? My rain gear quit but the bike didn't.

I've got a bunch of minor issues with the beast but I knew that going in. It's not a Honda. There's a bunch of things I'm going to "upgrade"...but for me, that's the joy of the Ural. I can work on it and use it as a testbed for all manner of wacky ideas.
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Old 05-20-2009, 10:55 AM   #9
RedMenace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozola
One of the classic complaints about the Ural is the air filter. The other is water in the spark plug caps. The current design of the air filter is a pain in the arse to get at. It's crammed in, and frankly I'm of the opinion that there's not enough surface area of the K&N.

You will read stories about the Ural dying in rain because of these two issues. I've only encountered one of these problems in the 16,000+km of brutal riding. That was perfectly legitimate, and really my own fault. I managed to fill most of my K&N air filter with Oregon dust while on the Black Dog rally. This is an expected challenge for that particular rally, so I was carrying a spare. I've never had problems otherwise with anything else.

Deep mud? No problem. Snow and Ice? Give me more. Torrential downpours for 100 miles? My rain gear quit but the bike didn't.

I've got a bunch of minor issues with the beast but I knew that going in. It's not a Honda. There's a bunch of things I'm going to "upgrade"...but for me, that's the joy of the Ural. I can work on it and use it as a testbed for all manner of wacky ideas.


Actually the water problem was with the old paper filter. The gauze K&N doesn't clog with water, but it is a bear to get to. If I owned a Ural, I'd probably slot the airbox mounts so I could slide it out without completely removing the fasteners. It would still be more of a chore than it should be, but it would make it easier to do on the trail.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:53 AM   #10
heindlengineeringura
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Pick out a bike off the showroom floor, buy me a gas card, and I will go wherever, whenever you want me to.......well within reason of course.
The new bikes (2007 and later) are very reliable. Most things that you might come across can be talked through on the phone......
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Old 05-20-2009, 12:36 PM   #11
windmill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMenace
Actually the water problem was with the old paper filter. The gauze K&N doesn't clog with water, but it is a bear to get to. If I owned a Ural, I'd probably slot the airbox mounts so I could slide it out without completely removing the fasteners. It would still be more of a chore than it should be, but it would make it easier to do on the trail.
I solved the access problem, using 2 spring latchces for the lid, and a foam rubber spacer in place of the internal hardware. i can swap filters in about 30 seconds.

http://www.sovietsteeds.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7315
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:28 PM   #12
Bozola
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMenace
Actually the water problem was with the old paper filter. The gauze K&N doesn't clog with water, but it is a bear to get to. If I owned a Ural, I'd probably slot the airbox mounts so I could slide it out without completely removing the fasteners. It would still be more of a chore than it should be, but it would make it easier to do on the trail.
There be some who claimed the problem even with the K&N. Not me.

I like ModTop's air box. Gotta get that one of these days.

The point with the Ural is that it's good at doing a lot of strange things and making strange acquaintances. There's not a single thing that can't be done better by another rig, especially if that bike is a GS.

I didn't get a Ural because of it's great abilities; I got it because of some perverse defect in my soul. Sometimes weird and stupid works. Just don't delude yourself that it's something other than it is.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:45 PM   #13
DirtyDR
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I don't think reliability is an issue any more but you still have that pesky 60mph ride speed. I regularly run two and three hundred mile trips with no qualms at all on my 2006 and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have other bikes for other things but I do love the Ural.

Shouldn't take you 5 minutes to change the air filter on anything 2006 and newer. 1/4 inch ratchet with a 10mm socket, two bolts and two nuts and it slides right out. That is once you get rid of that vestigial top hat.

And as for the service video that is a dealer included item, not all dealers give you the CDs with your purchase.
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Old 05-20-2009, 11:36 PM   #14
nomadicbear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by effceecee
Howdy, folks. I'm looking into purchasing my 1st Ural (an '09 Patrol model) and my main concern regards their reliability. I don't know a single thing about wrenching -- though I'm eager and anxious to learn -- and I'm wondering if I'm taking on too much responsibility in the maintenance department.

I've been thinking that my wife and I might do some out-of-state summer traveling. We're major dawdlers, slow 'n' easy is our style, and we'd be taking the scenic route all the way. Is this a realistic expectation?

Also, neither of us are small people. So, by the time we load up our gear, might we expect top traveling speeds of 45-50 mph? Even less, perhaps?

Any input would be greatly appreciated, as I'm ready to purchase any day now. So thanks for your input!

Hi, Effceecee Go here and read Mr. Cob's RR : http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=354338

and Stitchergary's RR:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=454177

I wasn't sure about getting a URAL myself but after reading these two RR I went to the dealer 90miles from me and put down a Deposit to order me a "09" Gear-Up. There not the fastest but I'm not into fast anymore it's about what I can see and making friends along the way.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:49 AM   #15
Ace_Cafe_Rat
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Ridge Wheeltor
Even if you do your own wrenching, which dealer you buy it from can be important. A good dealer can give you phone support, back your warranty claims, and starting out with a properly set up bike makes all the difference. And the "best" shop is not always the "closest".
Most dealers are ok, there are a few who are legendary, and a few who are crap.
So which Ural dealers are the legendary ones?
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