Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ural 25k Service

To simplify keeping track of the maintenance intervals, I decided to do the 25k km service a bit early. Plus, I wanted to switch out the winter weight oil now that our daily temperatures higher. The thin oil flowed out the engine like water so maybe I should have done it a bit sooner. Very little swarf on the engine drain plug magnet but the sliver of steel from the lifter was there. I'm glad that it finally showed up and wasn't sitting near a bearing or something waiting to cause problems.

Just because I'm a little paranoid (plus it's easy to do), I checked the valve clearances yet again. All were as I had set them earlier (lower limit) and I readjusted them to the middle of the adjustment range (0.003" for both intake and exhaust). The gas mileage has been dismal since I put in the Napa filter so I'm assuming that it has a lot more resistance than the stock filter. I cleaned the original filter and put it back in place of the NAPA filter. I also re-installed the crankcase vapor recovery tank from Raceway. It's an 8 month item and will be removed once temperatures drop to be consistently below 0°F again.

Here is the list of tasks to be done as part of the 25k service.
  1. Change engine oil and filter. (Used 20w50 non-synthetic as that's all that was available)
  2. Change transmission oil. (Last change was with full synthetic. Mickey said that I can double the change interval)
  3. Inspect air filter element (Cleaned the original element with soap and water)
  4. Check carburetors while idling for synchronous operation (not done)
  5. Check:
    1. Adjustment of steering column bearings (checked, no issues)
    2. Tension of wheel spokes (checked, no issues)
    3. Toe-in and camber of the motorcycle and sidecar (checked in February)
  6. Lubricate:
    1. Lever pins (clutch lever was dry)
    2. Foot brake pedal shaft (I'm planning to install a grease fitting on the shaft so not done)
    3. Hinges of the foot brake pedal shaft and linkage. (done)
  7. Check condition and action of brakes (sidecar fine, rear break needed adjustment)
  8. Check tires for tread depth greater than 3/32" (no problem. Almost no measureable wear over the winter)
  9. Check fasteners for proper tightening. (checked the sidecar attachment bolts)


  1. may I suggest, the lubing all wheel and drive splines every 5K. not the input spline on the transmission, though if you're feeling bored....

    1. Good idea. Are the sidecar driveshaft bearings sealed bearings? Unlike the tug wheel bearings, the sidecar wheel bearings are mounted to the driveshaft not the wheel. (The ones on the wheel don't rotate).

  2. Your mechanical skills are impressive. Mine are dismal. Maybe one day I'll take a baby step and check the oil.

    1. No exceptional skill needed with a Ural. Pretty basic design plus they provide you with all of the tools needed to do just about anything.

      I thought that checking the oil was a daily task...

  3. I'm thinking that Richard's bikes are just about the best maintained most anywhere....he certainly puts me to shame.

    Can you tell I'm envious?

    1. It's easier when you only have one daily driver and not one for each day of the week (month?).

  4. Am envious of both your temperature and your mechanical talents. Highest temp today +1C with a wind chill still in the negative numbers and bike maintenance still dependent on my mechanic.

    1. This is pretty typical for March. It is my favorite month of the year for weather. Plenty of sunshine, incredible visibility and no tourists…

      The closest Ural dealer is 360 road miles away. Though he's moving and will only be 100 miles away. :-)

  5. Why had you set your valve clearances to the lower limit last time? Inquiring minds want to know... :)

    Looks like you only have a couple of tasks left!

    1. I had a problem with a defective lifter and at one point, the clearance on one valve would open up by 0.005" in only 100 miles.The defective lifter was replaced but there was still the question on whether the cam was damaged by the defective lifter. So I adjusted the valve to the lower limit of the spec.