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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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  #31  
Old 10 Jan 2010
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I had a Ural back in 2000 when they were really rubbish. In 6 months it ran correctly for about a week and destroyed it's own gearbox. I had a chat with the dealer about his show window and got most of my cash back. Looking at 750's I really do think they are an absolutely massive improvement, the quality and reliability is easily comparable with 20 year old BM airheads and Guzzi's you see on the market and Ural parts are a lot easier to get than Guzzi bits (My dad's Guzzi was off the road for three months over the summer while we found out it was one of a batch of eight that used different parts to the early and late models the dealers knew about, we had to have a brake disk and axle spacers shipped from Italy, so no Guzzi's for me, Guzzi themselves just make it up as they go along so the owner has no chance).

What Ural havn't fixed is the service interval and cruising speed. My Triumph and beemerchef's GS (love the pictures BTW) will cruise at (or above) the legal limit and need oil every 6000 miles. At 10 hours riding a day you'd need oil every two weeks, or once a month on more normal use on a tour. A Ural still isn't happy at speeds trucks do in some places and you'd change the oil every five days at a heavy pace, certainly once in a normal two week trip. Not a great problem if you are happy to ride the back roads and can talk to the place that sells you the oil about legal disposal, not so great if you get two weeks off work and don't speak the langauge and don't want to waste a day doing mechanical stuff.

Nothing against Urals per se, they just don't fit how I use my bike. At the minute I'm using the outfit for work due to snow, in three weeks it's off to the Elefant rally. All it'll get before heading for the ferry is a wash and check of the basics Chain-oil-tyres. When it's back it'll get the same and an oil change in mid Feb. I still don't think a Ural could do that, so lets hope their development continues and the next one can do it (I'm not confident mind, Ural marketing have discovered guys who like playing soldiers on sunny Sundays).

Ural for me would be placed with Enfields in bikes you really have to have a good think about before you buy and there is no point hiding the bad bits of the simple technology just because you like the look of other bits.

Andy
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  #32  
Old 10 Jan 2010
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"I'm not confident mind, Ural marketing have discovered guys who like playing soldiers on sunny Sundays".

Well said Andy. The concept is so awesome, but, you said it all...
Thanks and be well...
Ara & Spirit
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  #33  
Old 10 Jan 2010
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I rode outfits for over 30 years, from an A10 Gold Flash BSA with Steib to a Pan European ST100/RX4 with full EZS kit, great fun, but expensive to run and all the disavantages of a bike coupled with all the disadvantages of a car, but fun. I now ride a trike (for the last 6 years), good (but not so much) fun, with all the disadvanteges of a bike coupled with all the disadvantegs of a car. The biggest thing a trike has over a sidecar is that the passenger on the back of the trike sees the same as the rider, the sidecar passenger see NOTHING to the side of the sidecar ('cos the passenger is lower and the bikes in the way). If you can do it on a solo, do it, if not and you are taking a passenger on what is after all a sightseeing trip, go for a trike. Trikes are also far easier to ride because they have a differential, sidecar outfits do not, therfore you have to 'learn' how to ride a sidecar, trikes are much easier and can have good luggage capacity, depends what you get. Whatever you do, enjoy.
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  #34  
Old 10 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texastrike View Post
If you can do it on a solo, do it, if not and you are taking a passenger on what is after all a sightseeing trip, go for a trike. Trikes are also far easier to ride because they have a differential, sidecar outfits do not, therfore you have to 'learn' how to ride a sidecar, trikes are much easier and can have good luggage capacity, depends what you get. Whatever you do, enjoy.
Except, as I understand it, an outfit you can either buy ready made (ural, Chiang Jing) or build yourself at relatively low cost (mounted to a suitable standard bike with a Ural sidecar and mounting kit). A trike needs to be built from scratch: suitable bike, motor, suitable car, transmission etc... It then needs to be registered and found suitable for road use (at least in the UK) by taking it for inspection. All this is very expensive by comparison to buying a secondhand Ural chair and chassis and paying a workshop perhaps £3-500 to mount it.

A sidecar, in the UK, is an accessory, like a topbox!!

Another consideration, is if you go off-road and follow any sort of dirt track, your steering wheel on a trike will always be in the crappy middle section , even if your driven wheels are in the tracks.

As for the view, I got my Ural to allow my girlfriend and I to travel with our dogs. They sit in the chair, modded to suit them, and my girlfriend sits on the pillion seat, so her view of the journey is no worse than mine: other than my lid filling the horizon ahead!!

I agree that the oil change interval on the Ural is prohibitive, but not so bad: I feel that 200 miles a day is as much as I'd like to travel, having learnt that there is a lot to be said for taking one's time on a trip.

The Ural has limitations and I have spent a lot of time and a reasonable sum of money modding mine to suit, but I have no regrets buying it and the 2WD is brilliant!! When we go to Kamchatka, I think it'll be fine!!
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  #35  
Old 24 Jul 2012
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Well... I am going to eat my words today!
"Old Faithful" still remains yet we have a new Hack... The #1 of a Special Edition "Gear Up" we are calling "Terra Explorer".
Much research, many add ons all done in House by Raceway Services in Salem. All to make this machine an off road worthy Hack.
The main reason? Reverse and 2 wheel drive (when needed).
My apprehension with the GS (finally actually blew up at 280.000 miles, now has a 30.000 miles RT engine and runs great) has been the U Turn when faced with that aspect.
We have been riding it for a couple days now, today was the 500km service, and I must say I have already taken it on roads I would have never ridden the GS.
The mechanical aspect? Of course it is a reminder of the Air Heads with an incredible simplicity. Much has changed in the 2012 and I have a positive confidence this will serve us well in Europe and more next year.
Never thought this would happen but it has!
If you need more details let me know, from bearings to tires, shifters, high 2 into 1 exhaust, arc ignition... and much more!
I must say it is a blast!!!
Stay well... Ara and Spirit
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  #36  
Old 25 Jul 2012
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I have done camping trips solo on my bike for many years. Last year however my wife wanted to accompany me to see the Rhine falls. So we took the car. Also a bigger tent (4 midgets or two normal sized people). Taking the car had many advantages to the extent I am seriously considering buying a small hatchback such as a diesel Fiat Panda. They easily do 70MPG and allow me to operate my normal car mode travel. Namely set up the boot as a kitchen and put all the luggage behind the two front seats.

No more expensive than a sidecar rig. You might want to install a sunroof
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  #37  
Old 25 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerchef View Post
Well... I am going to eat my words today!
....
My apprehension with the GS (finally actually blew up at 280.000 miles, now has a 30.000 miles RT engine and runs great) has been the U Turn when faced with that aspect.
We have been riding it for a couple days now, today was the 500km service, and I must say I have already taken it on roads I would have never ridden the GS.
The mechanical aspect? ......
Hope it works. There is no reason for it not to so long as you stick to the speeds and oil changes.

I've gone the same way as OldBMW for now. The brick outfit was simply getting too old to have that 99% confidence I need and spending hours on a restoration isn't me. UK legal conditions are becoming a nightmare, my MOT station (annual inspection) as good as told me they'd fail it and keep failing it if I brought it back next year, they are terrified of all the new EU electrical and modification rules costing them their license. You can't apply rules meant to stop people chipping and removing the catastrophic perverter and ABS on a 2009 VW Golf to a 1984 K100 and win. The insurance was likewise getting silly as the government database now lets them search and anomalies like the registration papers not listing the sidecar (the government don't have a category, it's like fitting a pannier) sends their call centre staff stupid.

A Ural being bought as a whole cures all this, so there might be one in my future (after they've had FI for three years), but for now a Nissan Micra uses less petrol.

Andy
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  #38  
Old 25 Jul 2012
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Anyone interested in the Watsonian centenary rally? Centenary
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  #39  
Old 25 Jul 2012
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[QUOTE

-- UK legal conditions are becoming a nightmare, my MOT station (annual inspection) as good as told me they'd fail it and keep failing it if I brought it back next year, they are terrified of all the new EU electrical and modification rules costing them their license. You can't apply rules meant to stop people chipping and removing the catastrophic perverter and ABS on a 2009 VW Golf to a 1984 K100 and win. The insurance was likewise getting silly as the government database now lets them search and anomalies like the registration papers not listing the sidecar (the government don't have a category, it's like fitting a pannier) sends their call centre staff stupid---

Andy[/QUOTE]

I can understand the frustration , the mind numbing state control of just about everything and the willingness of the population to put up with it , are a major part of what drove me away from the UK some years ago .
Canada [ or at least BC] doesn't care what you bolt onto your bike and there's plenty of space to ride and fewer moron car drivers trying to kill you .
So ,thus far, I have been able to avoid having to buy a nice sensible little car and intend ride my sidecar outfit untill I fall off it into my grave . Cars are incredibly ordinary and boring , I figure I'll be in a box soon enough ,so I might as well enjoy the wind and the weather on my face ,plus the dog likes it and that's good enough reason for me .
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  #40  
Old 27 Jul 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
Cars are incredibly ordinary and boring , I figure I'll be in a box soon enough ,so I might as well enjoy the wind and the weather on my face ,plus the dog likes it and that's good enough reason for me .
Heroic reasoning. Can't argue with a word of it.
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