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Old 09-03-2009, 06:41 PM   #61
mightymatt43 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastercylinder
Thanks for the trip report so far. Nice pics.
Thanks - my wife knows what to do with a camera in hand...
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:43 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by koifarm
Hello there,
I just subscribed after getting a note from Elmer and Sharon about your trip....
Finished reading the posts today and am glad to meet you both, looking forward to your posts about the trip....
Sounds like you were off to a rough start but you're headed down the road now....sounds like a Ural....

The pictures are wonderful, America is a beautiful place and being in Florida, we don't get too many mountains to gaze at so I love those expansive vistas of the country.....
Good luck on your journey, godspeed and don't forget the pictures of all the great food you run into, Elmer and Sharon have me spoiled on that account

Koifarm
that is definitely a great thing about this trip - the community you can build is pretty amazing. and yes, we had a rough start but this Ural has really been a beast ever since.
thanks for the well wishes and I'll have to do more food shots as they come!
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:44 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by XPatriot
Breathtaking photos!

Good luck and safe travels.
Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:45 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Beater
When you come back down through the Yellowstone area, you must do the 'Beartooth Highway'. It's really from Red Lodge, MT to Cook City, WY. 110% beautiful, and full of vistas, animals, winding roads, and motorcyclists.

Me and the bride did it this year, and I cannot speak highly enough about it.

Love the trip, and keep it coming!

sigh... you know, we were going to do that but bypassed it for some stupid reason. we'll have to try and hit it on the way back because everyone has told us that it's a ride that's not to be missed. thanks for the advice!
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:10 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Strong Bad
Thanks for posting about your adventure I've subscribed to this thread so I can follow your trip.

I've been thinking seriously about buying an Ural for the wife and I for a while and am learning more about them daily. I understand that these Urals can be a bit parsnikity in the daily operation and they have unique tendencies. Many of which have prolly been discussed some where around these boards and I'm sure I've missed many of them. If I'm off base here I hope that someone would chime in to set things straight. I would like to think that I've been around the block a few times mechanically and with bikes in general. So allow me the make the following observations and ask the following questions:

You've been fouling a lot of spark plugs and from the pics they look very black and sooty.

Black in spark plug language means cold, perhaps you should go a step or two hotter the next time you by a set? Additionally, you can increase the gap which will cause the plug to run slightly hotter, but it may cause the ignition to work harder too.


The sheer volume of soot on the plugs doesn't look good either. How much oil is it burning? Any? Have you noticed any real significant change in how it runs at altitude? How sensitive are Urals' carbs? Would a change in jetting even be recommended?

I was hoping someone would comment on the tire wear as shown in the pic, it looks pretty extreme to me. What could be the cause and how could it be cured?
Let me say first that it's exciting you're considering a Ural. I, personally, think they're a great bike with an even better community of people surrounding them. Everybody really seems to take care of each other and the company has certainly taken care of me in the form of their dealers. I do have to say that you have to want to tinker with these bikes. Not a ton, but you have to either know about bikes or want to learn. Now let me answer your questions:

1. yes, my spark plugs were extremely fouled when I first started running the bike through higher elevations. I don't know, for sure, what the cause was but it's obvious that the bike was running too rich. My hometown of San Antonio is only at 700 ft and much of this trip has been between 6,000 and 10,000 ft. I do have to say that by keeping my air filter very clean and by brushing the plugs off every once and awhile the problem seems to have been fixed.

2. The sheer volume of the soot was pretty incredible but that's what happens with neglect. I wasn't running much oil but I've heard that without a rejet, most people lose quite a bit of power in the mountains. My bike definitely bogged down a bit more but was easily capable of keeping up the needed speeds.

3. The wear to the hack tire is simply from too much weight. The bag on the rack is pretty heavy and there are a ton of tools and misc stuff in the trunk. At home, I had never noticed any wear and many people have told me that the front and hack tire tend to rot before they wear down. The pusher is another story...

Take the plunge!
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:11 PM   #66
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Matt/Kristen - I've just today stumbled on your RR. Great narrative and super pics. Being a new Ural owner myself and ripe for some travel I'll be following you closely.

If you get anywhere near the Liard Hot Springs I can't recommend them strongly enough. Natural springs that will certainly cure whatever ails ya after making it that far. Someone made this recommendation to me on my recent Alaska trip on my KLR and what started as a one night layover turned into three days of self indulgence.

Safe riding.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:11 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by snoid
great ride report!

i see you got the proper seat for touring. my butt is cussing me out for not ordering one sooner.

you two be careful...

me
yes, that seat is a life-saver for me with my long legs. i could use something to make a little more cushy but that's something i'll deal with next time.

thanks!
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:11 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by NikonVT
This is fantastic. Can't wait to see the pics when you get a little further north.
i'm excited to see what's ahead of us also... bit nervous too.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:16 PM   #69
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Day 14

We woke up feeling moderately rested at the classy Sharf’s Motor Inn and headed down for our breakfast. This is worth mentioning because while Kristen had a nice, healthy meal of eggs and toast, I had a cinnamon roll that had been sliced like bread, fried and served like pancakes with syrup and powdered sugar. I could actually hear myself getting fatter. With a belly full of goodness, we walked across the street to take a tour of Old Montana Prison. The woman in charge of the hotel told us to get there early so that we wouldn’t, “get caught up in the crowds”. The crowds? Really? How many people stop in this town, anyway?





It turns out that we were put in our place after being extremely skeptical because there were quite a few people touring the prison. Enough people, in fact, that at several point we actually had to hang back so that we could eventually see the “attraction” after the crowds thinned.



“Why would you ever go to something like this?” you might ask. We honestly went to poke fun at such an odd tourist trap and left feeling completely creeped out. This place was straight out of The Shawshank Redemption! The cells were tiny, there were bars everywhere, the air was thick with a bad history, and the ‘hole’ was horrid (not big enough to stand or lay down).




The creepiest part, however, were the gallows. In a Hitchcockesque setting, they stood in a building where pigeons had taken up residence. The birds cooed in a horribly haunting way. It was just wrong.





Our payment also got us into a car museum, which was actually very impressive…











…and a place called Yesterday’s Playthings. Inside were hundreds of toys, train sets, and dolls. Did I mention that I hate dolls? They are sinister creations and I cannot stand to be around them.



We then packed up and jumped on Elga to drive a beautiful 200 miles to our Aunt and Uncle’s house in Bigfork, Montana.







So, today we did a bit of shopping in town (Kristen found a ring that she adores), cooked lunch and I did Elga’s 10,000 km service. I actually enjoy working on the bike, but today I woke up with the worst back and neck pain I’ve ever had. I'm hunched over like I'm from Notre Dame and doing the service was a bit of chore. Hopefully some rest will do me good.



Tomorrow we leave for Glacier National Park and, finally, CANADA!

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Old 09-03-2009, 07:20 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintST955
Matt/Kristen - I've just today stumbled on your RR. Great narrative and super pics. Being a new Ural owner myself and ripe for some travel I'll be following you closely.

If you get anywhere near the Liard Hot Springs I can't recommend them strongly enough. Natural springs that will certainly cure whatever ails ya after making it that far. Someone made this recommendation to me on my recent Alaska trip on my KLR and what started as a one night layover turned into three days of self indulgence.

Safe riding.
liard hot springs sounds awesome... thanks for the heads up. we'll definitely be checking it out - here's to hoping that we make it that far north.

thanks for the info and good luck with your own Ural travels.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:10 PM   #71
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I just found your RR. Good stuff!

The weird thing is I'm now reading a book about a guy from Winnipeg that kayaked from Churchill to Tuk. "Paddle to the Arctic", by Don Starkell.

Hopefully the gremlins have been appeased and the rest of the ride goes smoothly. Eat lots of the cinnamon pancake things along the way. Calories keep ya warm.

Thanks for sharing the adventure!
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:23 AM   #72
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Nice report!

I too am looking at getting a Ural for domestic duties. Right now the KLR works fine but baby wont be on that for quite awhile. I figure a Gear up should grace my garage by next year.. Ill be living and learning through you guys for the next little while (and I know what you mean by Ural support. The community that surrounds itself with these bikes are fantastic people from what Ive heard and seen)
Keep it coming and enjoy!!
Cheers
Glen
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:26 AM   #73
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I know that feeling.

Wonderful report, great pictures, and the chemistry 'tween you really comes out. Congratulations on finding happiness. I hope it's a constant companion.

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Old 09-04-2009, 09:24 AM   #74
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Great story. I have never looked at the "hack" section, so would have might have missed your report had I not found it in new posts. Really enjoy the story and your lovely wife is providing us with some wonderful photographs.

Wish you both all the luck. This trip will be one for you both to remember forever. Thanks for sharing it with us.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:32 AM   #75
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Man, keep those pics coming!
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