Sunday, August 24, 2014

Messing With the Ural & 20,000 km Service

This was a slow, relaxing afternoon and after getting some tasks taken care of in town, I messed around with the Ural some more. The first task was removing the castellated nut on the sidecar wheel (again) and rearrange the order of the washers to match the parts book. The last person who changed the tire put them on in a slightly different order. Thank you Dom for sending the drawing of the assembly. I also replaced the cotter pin and picked up several spares for future wheel removals. Then I removed the front wheel again to recheck the balance since there is still a vibration at 55mph. I added another ¼oz weight but it wouldn't be significant enough to make a difference. Yesterday, I had removed and balanced the rear wheel and it required removing the existing weights and installing ¾oz in a different location.

I had decided to move the tachometer shortly after picking up the bike. It was mounted to a clamp on the handlebar but there was, to me, a slightly better place. I removed the fork nut using the wrench provided in the Ural tool roll and drilled and bottom tapped it for an M6x1 screw. The cap is around 1" thick so I only drilled about ¾ of the way through. After cleaning up the metal shavings and oil, I put on a little anti-seize and reinstalled it on the fork. The nut appears to be made some sort of aluminum alloy and the button head screw was stainless steel. Anti-seize is required to prevent galling.

When I tried to bend the tachometer bracket slightly to get a little more clearance, the bracket snapped. I thought that it was stainless but it turned out to be something more brittle. I made a copy of the bracket with some ⅛" aluminum stock we had lying around and installed the tach on the bracket. I think that this location looks cleaner than a clamp on the handlebar. I will probably be drilling and tapping the other fork cap for another gauge (CHT) sometime as this seemed to work out pretty well.

The dial to the right of the tachometer is the thermometer that the previous owner installed into the windshield. Instead of a simple thermometer, he used an outside air temperature unit from a light aircraft.

I started the 20,000 km maintenance as I need to get it finished before next weekend. I checked the air cleaner. There is some oil in the housing but the air cleaner itself is still fairly clean. The rubber fitting on the right carb was loose and getting all of the pieces to fit properly and tightening the four hose clamps was a real pain. I need to pick up some 20W50 oil for the engine and transmission. The U-joints are greased as well as the splines on both the driveshaft and the sidecar driveshaft. Head Checked cylinder head torque and adjusted the valves.

Monday Evening Update - I changed all the fluids. The engine and transmission oil were still amber and clear. Hardly any swarf on any of the magnets except the final drive drain. But that oil has over 10,000 km. The oil filter change is significantly easier than it is on the Beemer. The engine seems to run a little quieter after the valve adjustment. Both exhaust valves were on the tight side and both intake valves were loose. I set them all to 0.003" (the specs say 0.002" to 0.004"). I checked the timing using my old Sun timing light and it was right on at idle. I don't have the setup to balance the carbs so I will defer that for now.

I moved the RAM mount for the handheld Garmin but I still need to install an SAE plug for the power cable.

Tuesday Morning Update - Inserting the info below my own information. Only a couple more items left. I'm not sure what "Hinges of the foot brake pedal" item 12.2 below, is referring to...

(To be performed between 19,900 to 20,100 km)

Odometer reading km. 19,895
  1. Change engine oil and filter. (See Lubrication List, chapter 11)     ✔
  2. Change transmission oil. (See Lubrication List, chapter 11)     ✔ 
  3. Change final drive oil. (See Lubrication List, chapter 11)     ✔ 
  4. Inspect air filter element.     ✔
  5. Torque cylinder head stud nuts.     ✔
  6. Adjust valve tappet clearance.     ✔
  7. Change oil in front fork shock absorbers (on telescopic fork models) (NA)
  8. Replace the spark plugs and inspect ignition leads. (Replaced at 18,000km))     ✔
  9. Replace in-line fuel filters. (Replaced at 18,000km))     ✔
  10. Check:
    1. Carburetors while idling for synchronous operation
    2. Check steering column bearings and adjust if required. (Just checked for play)     ✔
    3. The condition and action of the brakes, lubricate the brake shoe fulcrum pins and cams. (Removed the axle grease and replace it with white lithium grease)     ✔
    4. The tension of wheel spokes. Adjust if necessary.     ✔
    5. The toe-in and camber angle of the motorcycle and sidecar.     ✔
    6. Electric wiring. Tighten connections if required.     ✔
    7. Fasteners for proper tightening.     ✔
  11. Repack the grease in wheel bearings, adjust the bearings. (Sealed bearings)
  12. Lubricate:
    1. Foot brake pedal
    2. Hinges of the foot brake pedal
    3. Lever pins and thimbles of clutch and front wheel brake control cables.      ✔
    4. Drive shaft splines     ✔
  13. Check battery electrolyte level (Sealed battery)
  14. Check tires, tread (tires ordered)     ✔ 
  15. Check the timing     ✔ 


  1. I'm totally impressed with your thermometer and glad you tach modifications worked in the end.

    1. The OAT (outside air temperature) was a surprise when I first saw it. But it was instantly identifiable from when I flew small planes.

  2. I think the Bonneville would bore you rigid. Still on its original bearing grease in the head and swinging arm at 80,000 miles....zerk nipples? Huh..? Start and go!

    1. I think you are absolutely right. I don't think I'd enjoy owning a bike that I don't get to work on. Start and go? What a concept.

    2. I kind of like start and go ... maybe that's just me!

    3. I think you and Michael are the norm and I'm the oddball that likes to tinker with the bike, deal with carburetors, and mess with bikes needing frequent maintenance.

  3. I'm solidly in the start and go camp myself. That's why I enjoy your wrenching instalments so much.

    How many vehicles can boast of two drive shafts?

    1. Maybe a better question would be how many motorcycles have two driveshafts. All FWD vehicles have two (half shafts) as do older 4WD vehicles (drive shafts). Many of the newer AWD vehicles can have as many as six (half shafts and drive shafts) depending on their design.

  4. Nice and thorough job on the service RichardM! You checked spoke tightness on the wheels as well? Take care on the cylinder head stud nuts, no more than 36 nm! Some manuals are wrong.

    I tend to go for .004 on my valve clearances....trying to go with the "loud valves are happy valves" saying.....

    spline lubing is key....oh and now URAL is saying to lube the transmission input splines as well whenever you've access to them. I am planning on doing mine at the 10K km service soon, same process basically as on our airheads but no need to remove the swingarm! :) (I think)

    1. Since I had pulled all of the wheels, while I had them on the balance jig, I checked the tension on all of the spokes and the side to side straightness of the wheel. The sidecar wheel needed a couple of spokes adjusted to straighten it. Fortunately, I have a lot of wheel building experience with bicycles and the concepts are the same.

      I was pretty careful with the head bolts though they really probably didn't need to be done. The exhaust were pretty tight at <0.002" but the intake were really loose at around 0.008". Maybe they were going on some other measurement. Maybe I'll loosen them up a bit the next time I check. I haven't done the intake splines and probably will wait and do the input spline 'til later.

      When I checked the alignment, lean was 2° and toe was negative (toe out!). That would explain the sidecar tire wear. I set toe to +¼" and lean out is 1°

  5. Sounds like fun times in the garage. I am in a testing cycle for the school District right now and hope to be back in the garage this weekend to finish up installing the sidecar.

    1. Great! I was wondering how your project was going...

  6. Add me to the start and go camp as well, I am afraid if I start messing around with Scarlet I will get in well and truly over my head. I don't think Kirk would like to fix my attempts at pottering around in the garage either ;) So the goop that collects is called swarf? Kind of like that.