Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ural First 4K km

I just filled up the Ural and noticed that I passed 4,000 km of ownership. And thought that an update may be appropriate. Gas mileage has been worse than expected. The really low point of 20.38mpg on Dec-1 is an anomaly since I added the contents of one of the gas cans and guessed at the amount it contained. I am changing the pilot jets (low speed) in the carb to something a little smaller, maybe 42 from 45 as the enricheners only need to be "on" for starting and maybe 5 sec when cold. Even after sitting outside at -12°F only a few sec longer. It may be running a bit too rich most of the time.

Maintenance to this point has been fairly minimal:
  • Changed the oil twice and the oil filter once
  • Rear drive oil once
  • Transmission oil once
  • All tires at least once
  • Adjusted the drum brakes twice
  • Greased pusher hub splines
  • Greased sidecar hub splines
  • Changed carb jetting
  • Valve adjustment
  • Adjusted wheel bearing
  • Repaired instrument lighting
  • Replaced tail light bulb
  • Reduced toe-in and lean

Added a few accessories:
  • hydraulic steering damper
  • Headlight on/off switch
  • LED voltmeter
  • Heated gear outlet
  • Heated handlebar grips
  • Arctic Cat grip covers
  • Grip-Studs and Heidenau K37 tires
  • Piaa 530 LED fog lights
  • Fog light handlebar switch
  • RAM mount for gps
  • Relay to provide switched accessory power 
  • H4 headlight
  • Air intake tubes
  • Re-routed crankcase ventilation 
  • Sidecar "door"
  • Gas tank crossover quick disconnect
  • 50w engine silicone heat pad
  • 25w battery silicone heat pad
  • Tail bag

A few more time intensive maintenance items are being saved for the upcoming holiday break:
  • Transmission input spline lube
  • Drive shaft grease fitting install
  • Sidecar drive shaft grease fitting install
  • Rear brake lever grease fitting install
  • 22,500 km service

The only driveability issue at this time is the air filter plugging up when it gets wet. One possible suggestion is covering the air intake with silk to keep the snow out of the air cleaner housing. This has solved the problem on snow machines. Most snow machines don't have air cleaners either as they really aren't needed in the winter (no dust). That may be another solution.

The engine oil needs to be changed a lot more often due to moisture building up in the crankcase. This may be less of a problem if I kept the rig outside instead of the garage. Otherwise, no problems, no complaints. I've only needed 2WD a handful of times.

Tuesday Evening Update - Changed the pilot jets from 45 to 42. We'll see it that has any impact on the gas mileage.


  1. have you considered reversing the air scoop on the airbox to face backwards?

    1. I tried it once but it didn't seem to sit right. Maybe I'll try it again.

      I don't think I'll try the "no air cleaner" option due since the rig is still under warranty.

  2. Gee, you're a handy guy. Did you grow up learning all this about mechanics?

    1. Remember that saying "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"

      I went to a really good Kindergarten.

      Seriously, I always had an interest in cars, worked on them a lot during my teens including rebuilding carbs and rewiring. And my first real job before college was as a mechanic at a new car dealer.

    2. That explains it! All good skills and important to hand down.

  3. You're so diligent in your maintenance.

    I cleaned my chain once.......once. It only has 10k miles on it...... probably due again.

    1. I think that I get these kind of bikes since I like to dink around with them. If it's something "current", I can't do much...

      Plus with the nearest dealer 370 miles away, if I don't fix it who will?

  4. Richard that was some kindergarten you attended. Should I add motorcycle mechanics to the curriculum; should I be bringing the Star into the class come spring? Honestly, just walking in with the helmet causes enough commotion! Think I will stick to playdough!

    1. School was simpler back then so they needed to add other topics to fill the day. I'm told that when I went to school, numbers only went up to 2 so you didn't even need more than one hand to count. And stone tablets were too expensive so reading was out as well....

  5. Richard, you've got skills...valuable ones and you're obviously better at them and more disciplined than I. Hats off to you sir!

    1. No, I just have way fewer bikes than you so it's easier to focus... ;-)