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Ural question concerning speed . . .
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Posted 9/13/2004 1:10 PM (#4719)
Subject: Ural question concerning speed . . .


Y'all:
In a couple of weeks, I am going to a local Ural dealership to check out rigs. I need something that will run adequately on the interstate, something that will travel consistently at interstate speeds. Would a Ural fit that bill? If not, could I modify such that it would?
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Hack'n
Posted 9/13/2004 2:12 PM (#4720 - in reply to #4719)
Subject: RE: Ural question concerning speed . . .



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Urals are great for the purpose they were designed for (in 1939). With the current upgrades they have come a long way. Still, they would not be my first choice for a superslab rig. I would lean toward the 1100cc or larger range with disc brake performance to match the speeds and traffic situations you will be dealing with. The URAL sidecar itself will be fine, handle and hold up well. The tug, no.

My opinion.
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Huey
Posted 9/14/2004 2:39 AM (#4723 - in reply to #4719)
Subject: RE: Ural question concerning speed . . .


If you go to the Ural website and check out new posts at the pilot's platform section there, you can find any number of references to speed and what to expect with a Ural rig. Most Ural owners and others who actually know about the bike will tell you they have advanced significantly in quality and dependability. US dealerships are their shortfall though, in my humble opinion. Electrical glitches are not uncommon, but easily fixed for the most part in routine maintenance. Alternators are their Achile's heel and they have no real drive to see that change in the models sent to the USA for sale. A weak point that is not saying much for the company and taking care of the consumers. None of the owners will tend to tell you the bike is fitted for modern slab cruzin' on the highways. They will generally agree that 60-65 mph is about right for a Ural for long hours of cruzin', but most tend to take the back roads in life and stay off the highway as the norm. MPG averages in the 40's, but weights and speed effect the hack in different performance levels and that good mpg drops significantly (around 25 mpg avg.) as a result.

If speed is your only need in a rig, then I'd recommend you not even consdier the Ural if you want to be happy with your purchase. Modifications are not worth the effort or cost to consider on a Ural, I believe. However, go check out the web site and read up a bit on it. There are frequent posts by new owners or potential owners who ask the same or similar questions as you. The response from actual Ural owners on that web site says it best.
Urals are not for everyone. They are cute, charming, dependable and easy enough to maintain if you have some routine maintenance skills. But again, they are not for everyone.

Good luck on your choice of rig.
Huey

http://www.imz-ural.com
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Posted 9/15/2004 12:03 PM (#4730 - in reply to #4723)
Subject: RE: Ural question concerning speed . . .


Ok . . .
What about mating a Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD (buttkicking little bike that runs like a fiend . . . ) to a small sidecar? I called Texas Sidecar, and they said a small sidecar would be great as a match and would get me around wherever well. Maybe a Standard or a Velorex.
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Hack'n
Posted 9/15/2004 1:53 PM (#4731 - in reply to #4730)
Subject: RE: Ural question concerning speed . . .



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Did you change your mind regarding freeway driving?
Now you are down to a 500cc tug.
Think Bigger!
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Bandit Bill
Posted 9/15/2004 4:05 PM (#4733 - in reply to #4719)
Subject: RE: Ural question concerning speed . . .


Ok.. I am not entirely unbiased on what i'm going to suggest here, but what i am going to suggest.. works for me.

Find yourself a standard style motorcycle from the late 90's.. a (gasp) 1st generation Bandit 1200 comes to mind.. Doesn't have to be one of the modded ones (not many Bandit's stayed stock.. they are the 2 wheeled equivilant of the 1960's musclecar.. everyone mods them for power and handling beyond factory recognition, it seems). Stock, this bike puts out torque and horsepower that is very respectible, and is very compatable with sidecar duties with a traditional tube frame.

Next, locate a suitable sidecar... middleweight around 210 lbs in that range is ideal. A Ural sidecar falls in that catagory i believe. Get replacement mounts from Dauntless motors that allows you to extend the width of the rig, beef up the suspension of the motorcycle (aftermarket progressive suspension springs, heavier fork oil, and shim spacer in the front tubes) and look into an aftermarket shock for the rear suspension of the bike where you can replace the springs with heavier rated springs.

What you'll end up with is a rig with some pulling power, and capable of extra-legal speeds on the freeway, yet isn't near the bulk nor weight of a Goldwing or other touring based sidecar rig - it'll handle more nimbly.

The reason why i recommend the Bandit (beyond the fact that i am a rabid Bandit owner!) is that the first generation Bandit is an undervalued, overlooked, and under-estimated bike. It's styling is somewhat 1980's dated, and it is based on a motor that first saw the light of day in 1986.. as such, it isn't a real popular 'flashy' bike that is much sought after by the "keeping up with the Jone's" bike riding public. Lots were sold (being the first of a now popular and crowded new naked-bike trend) and as such plenty are available on the used market to a relatively small buyers market desiring the bike. Look around, and you should be able to pick up a 1997-2000 model in good nick for 1/3 to 1/2 (or less) the price of the bike, new. If a Bandit isn't your cup of tea, look into a ZRX1100, an FZ1, or similar styled bike.. these are newer, and more popular though, so it'd be harder to come away with a good deal on one.

Thats my suggestion, anyway.


Edited by Bandit Bill 9/15/2004 4:08 PM
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Posted 9/15/2004 6:20 PM (#4734 - in reply to #4719)
Subject: RE: Ural question concerning speed . . .


Y'all:
The reasons I am thinking the Vulcan 500 are because I am woefully broke, have heard that they will hit 100mph fairly easily solo having much the same powerplant as a 500 Ninja. And I am a small guy that likes smaller bikes. I've heard good things about the Vulcan 500 as tug online and in verbal conversation:
"After owning a 1987 Kawasaki EX-500 for ten years, I was thrilled with the engine. That engine has more horsepower straight from the factory than most 750, and some 800-850cc cruisers out there. Believe it or not, I built a sidecar for it, and even with a 180lb. man in the sidecar, it would still do 90mph!!" from www.eopinions.com.
And from powersportsnetwork.com, I found "We have a 2001 500 Vulcan with a Velorex side car which we carry our dog Sadie(85 lb lab). We have frequently run 75mph without any trouble, with the exception that the hack rig adds significantly more wind resistance and this makes the little 500 work hard and use more fuel. However, at speeds around 60 fuel economy improves. As far as top speed, prior to putting on the hack, I rode the bike in excess of 90mph, and I weigh in at 210. The bike has plenty of low-end torque and enough top speed to keep you attentive. . . This bike is happiest cruising at 60-65mph; you are not overstressing the bike or yourself trying to manage it at higher speeds."
I've heard from a local sidecar dealer that a Velorex or a sidecar of some such weight would work fine anywhere with any decent sized bike; some I've talked to have said they mounted lighter sidecars on Silver Wings and Burgmans that would run at interstate speeds. And the Vulcan 500, I would think, would run as well as these. Top speed on all these are around 100mph reportedly. I think the 500 would be a little bike like I want with a good motor like I want. I know the sidecar would wear and strain any bike I got. My biggest question would be about rpm's and low end and how small of a sidecar to get. More thoughts? Comments? I appreciate your advice, !
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Hack'n
Posted 9/15/2004 7:01 PM (#4735 - in reply to #4734)
Subject: RE: 500cc Tug



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
If you are going with the 500 LTD, Your best buy is a Velorex 562 Standard.
At 154# with all the trimmings, It's ideal weightwise.
At $1,849.00 (our price) plus shipping, it comes with everything but the bike and you can install it yourself in a day and be out riding.
It will hit freeway speeds but won't be real comfortable with them for sustained periods. You would end up with a fun backroad rig though.
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Posted 9/16/2004 11:33 AM (#4740 - in reply to #4719)
Subject: RE: Ural question concerning speed . . .


Would this bike (or other ones for that matter) require a sidecar brake? Can anyone tell me more about how to create one? That is, if I'd need it?
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Hack'n
Posted 9/16/2004 7:36 PM (#4748 - in reply to #4740)
Subject: RE: Ural question concerning speed . . .



Expert

Posts: 4833
2000200050010010010025
Location: Boise, Idaho
I prefer either an independent sidecar brake or none at all. I find that linked brakes act differently with different road surfaces, different sidecar loading and whether turning or traveling straight ahead.
Most OEM mechanical sidecar brakes are designed to work in conjunction with the rear wheel of the bike and have a brake with the same type and size of shoes and a drum with the same swept volume as that of the motorcycle. A matched set, so to speak. When they are linked to a different brake system they may give less than pleasing results. Much less.
Sometimes the mechanical sidecar brake is used as a drag brake, or adjusted to follow the bike brake on heavier rigs, but it is hard to coordinate the braking efficiency of a hydraulic disc brake linked to a mechanical drum brake.
The independent brake is handy off road and in right turn situations after a little practice and if a pedal is set close to the bike where both can be reached with one foot, will help stopping the rig in a straight line with a little finesse.
Most braking can be accomplished by shifting down a gear or two and using the engine as a brake.
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