Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Ural Delay Factor (UDF)

Tuesday as another sunny day. It seemed like a good day to wash off all of the winter grime as well as all of the bug carcasses from the Talkeetna trip. I didn't try to get all of the grease grime off as you never know whether that's all that's holding things together.

What's more logical after washing the rig then to haul trash to the transfer site. Unless you are in the city there is no home trash pickup. Everyone has to haul their own trash to one of the transfer sites around town. This is the third trip when Bridget came out wondering what was taking me so long. After all, why use the truck when the Ural takes three trips instead of one. Made sense to me...

While at the transfer site, a gentleman from the Ukraine came by and wanted to take a picture. He owned Urals before and was asking about reliability. He said that if you had a Ural in Russia it was "ride two days, fix one day. Then ride one day and fix two days". He had run into Mickey in Delta and was told that they were $20k for a new one in AK and he was flabbergasted that anyone would pay that much for a Ural. Just about every time you ride anywhere, people want to talk. 

11 comments:

redlegsrides said...

I've had the same reaction from former Russian citizens about our willingness to put up with the tribulations that come with Ural ownership. So far, in 100% of such encounters, they've said they would have bought a Harley. I just smile and wave....smile and wave.

Canajun said...

Perhaps they know something you don't. :)

RichardM said...

He mentioned that he would like to get a Beemer sometime. He said those Germans know how to build things to be reliable...

RichardM said...

I am hoping that the newer, US spec Urals are a little more reliable. He was amazed when I told him that I had almost 50k KM on the rig.

Unknown said...

It must be a relief to know that the Russians aren't keeping the more reliable rigs for themselves: "Boris says reliable motorrrcycles make comrades weeaaak, and it is not Rrrussian to be weak."

One of my dad's friends used to say that Volkswagens were Hitler's revenge (this made little sense to me when I was a kid). Maybe URALs are the Soviet Union's revenge.

Trobairitz said...

Trash day is just a good excuse to make multiple trips on the Ural.

Funny that the gentleman from the Ukraine mentioned how often they need fixing. You and Dom wouldn't agree with that, would you?

SonjaM said...

In Germany people believe the ride-one-day-fix-two-days-cycle goes for Harleys... Oh, and Urals are better because they often use (old) Beemer technology...

There is logic behind your multiple trips to the dump that only a rider will understand ;-)

RichardM said...

I don't think that anyone really considers Ural to be a reliable brand. Someone said "Ural, making motorcyle mechanics out of ordinary people for 75 years".

RichardM said...

Yep! More trips are better...

I think that the modern day Urals are much more reliable than they used to be but like anything, it depends what you're comparing them to. He had a diesel Ford 4WD van and said that it had almost half a million miles without major repair. Ural could be just as reliable if they wanted to...

RichardM said...

And that was probably true for the old Harleys (and the old BMWs!). The problem with Ural is that they didn't continue the progression. Some things like a real pressurized oil system would go a long way to making it more reliable. BMW moved in that direction some 50 years ago.

And yes, multiple trips are better with a motorcycle...

Unknown said...

I don't think they could even if they wanted to :)

New Urals have little original parts left: brakes, forks, ignition, etc are made in Europe, US and Japan. And these parts are reliable. Yet, what they really do themselves are the gearboxes (with German-made gears, btw) and engines. And these are probably the worst parts of the Urals. If you compare their gearbox with the one from a Dnipro MT, which was developed in 70's if I'm not mistaken, you'll see that the Dnipro gearbox is MUCH better. As for the engines, they are far from being reliable and having good performance. Again, when comparing to Dnipro engines (not standard ones, which were awful, but improved ones), Dnipro engines are more reliable and can provide better performance if tuned right (new special pistons, fixed oil system, CV carbs, etc.)

IMHO Urals will become 100% reliable only if they start producing all the parts abroad. Unfortunately, they are more concerned with building the brand name rather than improving their motorcycles.