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Old 07-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
mark1976 OP
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1997 Ural - Worth Looking at???

Hello All - I am getting bitten by the Ural bug and found a 1997 Tourist that looks decent (6K miles) for about $3K. I am aware of the downsides to this year, i.e. kick only, 650 motor, drum front brake, etc. But this would be a way to get my feet wet without spending $13k for a new one or $8-9K for a late model used.

Any advice from those more worldly than I is appreciated!
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
AlanCT
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Sure, it's worth looking at. However I'd be a bit leery about such low mileage for a bike that old - it is 6k miles or 6k kilometers?. I'd want to whittle the price down a bit too.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:52 PM   #3
windmill
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If it's running, and Your ok with the price, go for it. No better way to find out if You will like sidecars or not. Personally, I would not pay over $3k for a 650 Ural

If You decide sidecars are not your thing, it isn't a major commitment, and it wont be hard to recoup all, or most your money.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:15 PM   #4
mark1976 OP
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Thanks for the replies. Yes, its 6100 miles, not km, original owner. I just want to avoid having a reliability nightmare, as from what I understand the later year Urals are improved. I thought if the sidecar thing was not my deal, I could get out without too much pain. If it is my deal, well, maybe I get a newer one.

Anything specific to check out on the older ones? Known problems?
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
windmill
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark1976
Thanks for the replies. Yes, its 6100 miles, not km, original owner. I just want to avoid having a reliability nightmare, as from what I understand the later year Urals are improved. I thought if the sidecar thing was not my deal, I could get out without too much pain. If it is my deal, well, maybe I get a newer one.

Anything specific to check out on the older ones? Known problems?
New Ural's are much better than the old ones to say the least, really totally different machines.

A 650 with 6100 miles has probably had the bugs worked out, so if it runs good, it should be ok. Judging a Ural by engine sounds can be tricky, a solid, well sorted engine will sound like a coffee can full of hardware. The main "issue" is broken cranks, which should be easy to detect.

Many folks have gotten good service out of Ural 650's but it needs to be strictly on their terms. Don't lug the engine, keep it under 55mph, avoid prolonged higher speeds, and service it properly.

The 650's are primitive, cantankerous, slow, under powered, and have marginal brakes, by contemporary standards, but are rugged, stone simple, easy and inexpensive to maintain and repair.

Worst case, the bike blows up, You could still get $2k for the hack, put a old BMW engine in it, a new Ural engine, or use it to build another rig.
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:27 AM   #6
jeep44
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I have a '97 Ural, and I agree with everything Windmill says. It is a good "entry-level" Ural. If it still has the original tires, get those crummy russian tubes and rim tapes out of there as soon as possible (I found the rim tapes broken in my tires as I changed them for new)
I had a crankshaft break on mine, but I have no idea how the previous owner ran it (it was very neglected when I got it), and I probably lugged it too much myself-now I keep the revs up at all times. I put the original russian Pekar K68 carbs on it, which I like much better-solidly mounted without the airleak-prone rubber "compliance fittings" used with the mikunis intended for US sales (you might think about changing these right away, even if you keep the mikunis- they can crack,and lead to holed pistons).

There is a grease fitting on the universal joint that is hard to lube (takes a sharply pointed fitting that is sold in car parts places), but you want to make sure you service it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:50 PM   #7
mark1976 OP
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Thank you for the info - much appreciated!
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:20 PM   #8
Sidecardoug
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I had a '97. Never had any problems with the engine. It did eat driveshafts tho and had some electrical issue. The only real downside was the 650 engine and the 4.62 rear end: 50 mph cruising was too slow for me
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