Monday, July 5, 2010

People Magnet

Before I purchased my Ural, I read stories about owners being besieged at gas stations by people with questions. One owner I heard about had two ten gallon gas cans he filled up with his truck rather than taking the Ural to the gas station. I wouldn’t do that, but I can relate.

This past weekend, I spent some quality time with the Ural getting it ready for the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail. I hasn’t been running 100% the last couple weeks, and I wanted to address it before riding 1000 miles starting Friday.

I started by adjusting the valves. I was a bit intimidated. After watching the video from Ural five times, I felt like I was ready to start. It was much easier than I anticipated. The left side that is.

The right was a bit tricky with the sidecar firmly in the way! Lots of wrench dropping later, I had them adjusted to 0.003 (manual says between .002 and .004). I was shocked to see the intakes at .007 and .006 and the exhaust at .018 and .017! It runs smoother now.

I replaced the spark plugs as they were a bit corroded from winter. I reset the air/fuel mix to 1.5 turns and then synced the carbs with my twinmax. It was much easier than I expected. Again, I watched the Ural video a number of times. I can’t believe I paid someone to do it for me before. Checked the tire pressures and tightened up all the spokes.

On the test ride, it seemed to be lacking power. I set the air/fuel mix to 2.0 turns and re-synced the carbs. Dom, thanks for your guide! It was very helpful! The Ural is running great now.

The Ural is a unique machine. While riding it, I have witnessed more rubber-necking than a five car pile-up. Most people smile and wave. I wave back. Some even come over to ask what it is, how old is it, etc. The first time it happened was when I was unloading it from a truck taking delivery from the dealer.

Until yesterday, the most bizarre encounter was a guy following me from a gas station to a store a few miles down the road. He wanted to tell me he had a Moto Guzzi side car. I asked why he was driving instead of riding it. He said he didn’t want to get it dirty. 

Second place went to a guy pulling up next to us at a stop light. He was in the right turn lane. He wasn’t turning. He just wanted to talk or something? It’s very hard to hear with ear plugs and helmets. Especially when the light turns green and you’re roaring away. :) He followed for a while, but all the lights were green.

Last night, as we were leaving the gas station a blue ford entering, slowed down, smiled and waved. My wife waved back.  The same blue ford pulled into my driveway a few minutes later. They followed us home?! I closed the garage door. My wife was a bit freaked out, so we let them pound on the door for a minute until they left. They really did pound too. This guy now holds the prize as the most bizarre “fan”.

I love talking about motorcycles. Probably too much for some people. The Ural gets attention, but I normally don’t mind the UDF. Following me (us) home crosses the line. 

I’m looking forward to winter. I can just be another crazy guy on a bike. The cold keeps the curious in their cages cars. :)


  1. chris

    glad the "guide" helped, all credit goes to my friend Andrey though....along with the folks at Wagner's Cycles.

    I just checked my valves also and had to adjust them in from .005 and .006, left to right, exhaust to intake valve. Balanced with the manometer, it's all good.

    as to the guy who followed you all home, that was kind of freaky....


    Redleg's Rides

  2. Dom: Thanks them too, but you took the time to write it all down. :) After spending some time working on the Ural valves and carbs, I'm really wishing the rest of my bikes were so easy. Then again, they don't require as much fiddling as the Ural. :)

    Yea... that guy was an experience I don't want to repeat any time soon. I really wonder how he thought that was normal behavior.

  3. My favorite UDF experience was when we went to see a car show, and were looking for a parking spot. A gentleman waved us in, and suddenly, we were part of the car show! It wasn't what we'd intended, but we did get a lot of attention, in among all the antique and muscle cars....

  4. rpUral: That is a great experience! I'll have to take the Ural to the carshow next year :)

  5. I am not surprised your wife was freaked out, but you really should have let Dom in - he had come a long way to see your Ural.... ! I am getting worried about you Chris - "I spent some quality time with the Ural" cracked me up!

  6. Gary: LOL! I think I would recognize Dom! Yea... the Ural gets jealous I think. It needs way more hand holding than my other bikes.