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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #16  
Old 24 May 2008
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Cool

OK. Great advice on here so far. Here are a few more points to consider. Firstly, I was of the same opinin as you initially about Urals. In fact I thought sidecars were crap.

However, having followed 2 sidecars in Argentina down some nasty tracks whilst I struggled with a two-fully loaded 1150GS, I saw what they could do. Then I moved to Estonia with more plans to travel. We want to see Kamchatka, but now we have a dog and I still pretty bad off-road!

So, with the dog, bad roads and nasty winter here an outfit seemed a whole lot better.

Initially I thought about sticking a chair on the R1100GS I also had but when I learnt about what needed to be changed I soon scrapped that idea. It would have cost more than a combo out of the showroom!

What do I have? I bought a secondhand 2007 Ural 2WD Sportman. The only thing sporty is the name, but it is great fun.

OK: points why you should not discount a Ural out-right.

They have been built with a sidecar in mind: the frame, all the bearings, spokes etc take the chair effect into account. Solos with a sidecar bolted on are a compromise as neither unit was designed to go with the other. Especially all the bearings in a solo that are chosen to withstand bike stresses, not the lateral stresses of a side car. Can't say if this is the case with Guzzis and their certification.

They are very solid. They are easy to work on. You plan to go to Mongolia and Russia? That is where they are built and spare parts are everywhere. Not so for a GS, Guzzi, Kwakas... Spares are not so easy, nor are tyres for these other bikes. Do-able, but not "walk to the nearest farm and get that gasket" easy...

Urals have, as standard: reverse gear, 2WD on some models (this is a scream in the loose stuff!!), interchangeable wheels (except the 2007 front) and interchangeable tyres: all the same. You get a spare wheel. Leading link forks as standard (the difference between power steering in a car and none). Integral steering damper for bumpy roads. I can get 4 tyres for it for about €220!

The 2007 Ural is an improvement in mechanical terms over the previous ones:
Brembo front brake
Nippon Denso generator
Domino switch gear
Jap electrics
Germany gearbox and pistons
Italian ignition
Keihin carbs
What looks like a K&N filter
Best tool kit I've ever seen OEM

This should address a great many of the problems they faced before.

What ever way you go I say enjoy you trip. However, before deciding check out Urals on Youtube and see what fun they are!!

Also look here:
The Timeless Ride Hubert Kriegel BMW Motorcycle Raid World Travel Sidecar Adventure Gespann
Jack and Luzimar's 2006 Ural Tourist
www.http://myural.com/index.htm
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  #17  
Old 24 May 2008
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I would echo that comment - the Urals are much improved. The new 750 is capable of something approaching European road speeds too. It is very well suited for RTW travel.

I am currently driving a BMW K100 with an EML sidecar, and considering swapping it for a modern Ural.

Simon
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  #18  
Old 24 May 2008
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There have been many conversions of urals to diesel. this makes them a cheap to operate long range vehicle
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  #19  
Old 25 May 2008
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urals

Thanks for all the info guys, great help. I'm Ok with the idea of a side car I just need to get the Mrs into it now.
I like the ural well cool and 2wd is ace, illegal in Australia thou. Least on public roads.
Im sorry thou I cant get past the bonnie, its too nice.
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  #20  
Old 26 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phtest View Post
Side car Info, The Mrs doesnt like the idea of going on the back of the bike for the trip. she wants to know about sidecars, I know nothing about them ! As anyone got any info on the subject? Is it practical off road I still want to go to Mongolia & I don't want a Ural) or on an overland trip. I know they are wierd to ride, so what about the leaning ones? What about the price?
Any info would be good as I know little about them?

Hey mate,I did'nt notice that you were in Sydney.Just in case you did'nt know,there is a sidecar rally on the June long weekend at Strathmerton (90km west of Albury).We're heading down Friday lunchtime.If there's anything you need to know about sidecars or want to check out then this is the place to be.

Cheers
A2
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  #21  
Old 26 May 2008
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  #22  
Old 26 May 2008
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Nice pic Andrew

I like the set up Andrew, what side car 'make' is that? I will try and get down to the event.
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  #23  
Old 26 May 2008
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I'll be there Saturday on one of these two.They'll have Andrew2 stickers on them.


Here's the thread for the outfit above.
Thruxton w/Hack pics - ADVrider

And here's the site
Hacks - ADVrider
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  #24  
Old 26 May 2008
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Originally Posted by phtest View Post
illegal in Australia thou. Least on public roads.
With good reason: if you engage the 2WD on tarmac, given the system relies on low traction to function, you lose all ability to steer once you try it on the road! This, I find, can have a detrimental effect on one's riding enjoyment!
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  #25  
Old 26 May 2008
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Smile Sidecar travels

Just to add one more interesting website I've recently found. Here's an amazing and inspiring story of an armenian - Ara, living in US and now travelling around.

He travels with his dog in sidecar:













His bike has done more than 300,000km now!


The Oasis Of My Soul » Ara and Spirit: Life Under the Stars
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  #26  
Old 26 May 2008
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Thumbs up

The photos you post and the person (and dog) you mention are inspiring. These guys are really doing it, and good luck to them!!!! ....bring on those starry nights -which I last got bivouac camping in Belgium, on the way to Germany and then to France.
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  #27  
Old 21 Jun 2008
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Thumbs up Sidecars are fun

When I was a young ploiceman 34 years ago I rode all year long for the first two years on Harley Davidsons and in winter they were equipped with sidecars.
One has to be carefull while making right hand turns until one gets the hang of it. However we never had seats in our sidecars but put a bit of road salt in to get stability.
I can remember doing many funeral escorts and leapfrogging my buddy ripping down the curb lane with the side car high in the air to avoid hitting snow banks. The look on peoples faces was quite amusing.
Tha Harley would not tip over to the left if the sidecar came up because the fame and primary case would hit the ground first. And making left turns away from intersections was fun because you could open the throttle to the stop and rip around the corner smoking the rear tire. We had suicide shifters in those days. a lever on the left side of the tank and a foot clutch near the left foot rest.
Just yesterday I instructed a friend to drive his Ural with a side car.
Pieces of Russian crap though.

Get a German bike or Japanese bike with at least 750 cc engine. Afix a sidecar frame to it and get a sidecar box from Ural or Harley and attach it to the frame.
The Old style Harley sidecars were suspended with a leaf spring and they tended to rock longitudinally too much, but they are long with lots of leg room.
The Ural sidecar is roomier, more comfortable and has a trunk.
Put a second light on the sidecar. very helpfull.
Ok That's all I can think of for now except make sure that whatever you attach the sidecar to, there is a steering damper. You can not stop a speed wobble once it is started at highway speed.
And make sure the geometry is set up right.
You will have to play with the rig till it is right. Just like front end allignment on a car.

Good Hunting. Dig deep into those pockets.

Bunky
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  #28  
Old 21 Jun 2008
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Angry Urals are crap

I would agree that Urals have beeen built by the Hundreds of thousands in russia for years however when one takes 1940 BMW technology and tries to duplicate it with a hammer and sicle ther is a big difference.
The 2006 bike that I was driving yesterday has just had a new engine installed under warranty because all the main bearings were spun at 6000 kms. The bike never went over 100 K and the oil was changed every 1000 k and checked every day.
Yes some of the components have been upgraded but if the motor, the heart of the beast is sub-par then one has to wonder.
The sidecar wheel rim has a huge runout right from the factory and the bearings were found to be very loose as well. In attempting to install the spare onto the sidecar we discovered that the splines on the driveshaft do not mesh with the spare wheel hub. CRAP.
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  #29  
Old 27 Jun 2008
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Thumbs up

Ain't nothing wrong with a Ural...!!!

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  #30  
Old 9 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
The photos you post and the person (and dog) you mention are inspiring. These guys are really doing it, and good luck to them!!!! ....bring on those starry nights -which I last got bivouac camping in Belgium, on the way to Germany and then to France.
Thanks Caminando.
Much to say about BMW versus the Ural...
Suspension is one which is always my first mod. Keep in mind that 60% of the car's weight is on the bike (tongue weight) and 60% of that is on the rear. I know one can change the shocks on the Ural, there is someone in Oregon that replaces them with aviation shocks, has not told me what they are. So I have Ohlins for a about 500lb riders. There is no great for the road or great for dirt. It has to be a compromise. I can cruise at 70 very well on black top and do dirt easily with the "freedom" wheel in the rear which is a VW wheels with tire. Cheap to replace also and with a tube in it can change it with two butter knies. It almost does the job of two wheel drive when pressure is dropped to about 25. Almost... I wish the GS was softer in the dirt, I wish it was a bit harder on black top... but this is good, as well as it is going to be safe and me happy.
Come the reliablity... with 222,000 miles, a clutch at 180K, a U joint at 150K, a clutch cables every year and only misc items, who can complain? The cost to put a car on is not that much, considering the GS has no frame forward.
But of course I am opinionated... this is a GS 1100, the best BMW ever made... (). I think... proven... so far.
I use synthetic oil (Red Line) all around... change it all every 5 to 6000 miles... an alternator that will power up 7 headlight and heated liner and gloves...
Ural has a way to go yet to catch up... great for weekend warriors (no offense) but, unless wanting to wrench often, the GS is and has been agreat way to go...
So it was 4 degrees this morning... lets go see if she will start!!! Odyssee battery by the way... the best!
Hope to see you down the road sometimes...
No, we don't do around the World... Lived in Europe for 28 years, that was the time for Africa, Middle East, you name it... Today I explore this gem of a country that is under my feet... Too hard to take Spirit overseas anyhow...
Be well... and don't forget to turn your SPOT on!!!
Ara & Spirit

The Oasis of my Soul

Spirit's new crash bar!!!

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