Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Ural Has Returned

I dropped my 2009 Ural Patrol off at St. Croix Ural on September 4th. They called me last night to tell me it was ready, and I was able to get it today.

My ural back after taking 26 days to be repaired...

They fixed the loose connections in the speedo that were causing the dash lights not to work. They also repaired the two broken wheels.

The spokes had come loose prematurely (~200 miles) and damaged the hubs. Both the two hubs and all of the spokes were replaced under the warranty.

Initially, St. Croix Ural didn’t want to replace the wheels under the warranty, even though this was the same problem I had experienced earlier this summer (which was covered). After entirely too much arguing, they agreed to call Ural. Ural, of course, covered the repair.

St. Croix Ural said they ordered the parts on 9/9/2010 and that Ural had them in stock. The parts (new hubs and spokes) didn’t arrive until 9/28/2010. The dealer said that Ural didn’t ship the parts when they ordered them and waited an extra week. Weird.

They relaced the two wheels and put them on the bike. They also said they checked the alignment which was “in spec” to them. Riding out of the parking lot it did feel a bit better than before, but it still pulls to the right.

St. Croix Ural still has no explanation for the cause of the problem. I’m tired of dealing with them. I will be visiting Kevin of Scrambler Cycle soon and hopefully get it sorted correctly.

For a Ural dealer, there aren’t many Urals around… not even a sidecar in sight. Just one sitting out front for sale.

Inside of st croix ural (aka st. croix hd)... way too many HDs without a ural in sight. Finally get my ural back tonight!

No Ural sign visible either…

St. Croix HD Sign

I hope today will be my last visit to New Richmond, WI.

We got going a bit late and were stuck in bad traffic, so I was unable to get photos of the beautiful fall colors along the St. Croix River (hopefully this weekend!).

I’m quite glad to have my Ural back. I need to start getting ready for winter!

Monday, September 27, 2010

7th Annual East Central Iowa Sidecar Rally Video

Here is a short video I made of the sidecar rally I attended two weeks ago. I uploaded it in 1080p, so make sure to watch in HD!

The pictures used in the video are here (170+ photos)

YouTube video:


Vimeo video:


Related Posts:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Anamosa to Minneapolis – Exploring Parks

View Larger Google Map

Two weeks ago I rode my SV650 home from the sidecar rally in Anamosa, IA. On the way to Anamosa, I passed through Denver.


I didn’t see any mountains. I suppose Iowa has to have it’s Denver too to go along with it’s Pike’s Peak.

I left Anamosa early in the morning and headed east to Dubuque, IA. I didn’t stop as I’ve been there a few times already this year. I decided to take the the great river road north from Dubuque into Minnesota. This section is one of my favorite parts of the entire route.


It has a lot of gorgeous scenery and the weather was perfect to match.

IMG_7444 IMG_7462

I stopped at Pike’s Peak State Park in Iowa which is named after the same Zebulon Pike as the Colorado one.

I enjoyed the motorcycle parking:


And the many scenic views.


Since I had lots of empty space in my bags, I took off all my gear and put it inside the cases on the bike. I had a nice time hiking around the park. I’ve been here at least five times, but never went more than 100 yards from parking lot. I even camped here two nights in 2009 while riding the fabulous roads nearby. I think i walked about two miles.

IMG_7497 IMG_7505 

The paths were nearly empty and very enjoyable.

IMG_7527 IMG_7498 

My Sidi On-Road motorcycle boots make pretty decent hiking boots!


I found this little waterfall that I think would be a lot more exciting in the spring.

IMG_7523 IMG_7534

I was surprised at how many flowers were still blooming.

IMG_7537 IMG_7540 IMG_7542 IMG_7543 IMG_7546 IMG_7564

Just north of Pike’s Peak is Marquette, IA. I noticed a scenic overlook sign and followed it to this:

IMG_7554 IMG_7558

I’ve been through Marquette at least a dozen times, but never noticed this spot before today.

From Marquette, I continued to head north along the Great River Road to the Effigy Mounds National Monument. I spent some time looking around, but the park wasn’t suited to my plans for the day. The first group of mounds was a few minutes from the parking lot, but the second was a 45 minute hike!

IMG_7568 IMG_7571

It seemed a bit strange to be touring an ancient burial ground. I looked around the museum learning about the artifacts and history of the site.

IMG_7559 IMG_7560

I continued on the GRR into Minnesota and stopped for a quick bite to eat in La Crescent, MN. While eating, I was browsing around on Google maps trying to find a suitable road. When I saw N Ridge Rd, I knew it was the road for me. I was quickly rewarded with twists and turns and a great view:


From there I stopped for another short hike in Great River Bluffs State Park, MN.

IMG_7582 IMG_7593

More amazing scenery. I will have to try camping here next time.

IMG_7585 IMG_7587

It was getting late and I was getting tired from all the walking around and riding. I decided to take the fast way home and headed east on I-90 to US-52N.

I ended the day after 351 miles of great riding. I left the hotel at 8am and arrived home at 7pm.


Full Flickr Album here (129 photos)


Related Posts:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sidecar Rally and National Motorcycle Museum

I left the Twin Cities today at 5am because I wanted to get to the 7th annual east central Iowa sidecar rally in Anamosa, IA before noon.

CI-173497787230102056 CI-214742787230102056

The rally was hosted by the National Motorcycle Museum. This was the first time I’ve left for a long ride before dawn. It was nice! I enjoyed the traffic free roads, and the sunrise over the corn fields outside of Rochester, MN.

 CI-95960787230102056 CI-6707787230102056 

It was also the first time I’ve ever put in over 200 miles before 9am! The first two hours of the ride were a bit chilly since it was 50F outside of the cities. I wish I would have put on my electric coat. I was very happy to see the sun and with it some warmth.

CI-30328787230102056 chasing my shadow

I took the most direct route possible which meant taking 52 to 63 to I380 to 151. I made a brief stop in Cedar Rapids, IA to look around.

IMG_6914 IMG_6916

Then, I headed East to Anamosa. I arrived before noon, so I was happy. 296 easy miles today on the SV650. The Ural is still waiting for the new wheels.

IMG_7080 IMG_6931 IMG_7016

I really enjoyed looking at all the different kinds and styles of sidecars.

IMG_7000 IMG_7001 IMG_7024

I enjoyed looking at the different options like gas tanks in the sidecar and mirrors for the passenger.

IMG_6979 IMG_6960

I also enjoyed the early BMWs that the Ural was based off.


This Flexi sidecar allows the motorcycle to lean, and the sidecar as well! It has a pivot mount. This one was on a ST1100 and was for sale for $5300 including sidecar. I wonder how it would do in the winter…

IMG_6996 IMG_6993

I’ve never seen so many in one place before – more than 42! Apparently, they do a big rally every year with hundreds of sidecars. I will have to think about that for 2011. There were only two Urals

IMG_6962 IMG_6964

, and the most common sidecar seemed to be a Harley hack


with the Gold Wing hacks second.


During the rally, I attended a talk called “The Golden Hour” by Slider ‘Dick’ Gilmore.

Golden hour safety talk at sidecar rally

He talked about the first hour after a crash being the golden hour, the most important hour to save a persons life. He gave us some tools to help save some of that hour and hopefully lives. The two main things were staying calm and thinking. I won’t try to go into more detail; he is a great speaker. You should try to attend one of his talks.


While the sidecars were out on their ride,

IMG_7076 IMG_7073

I took the chance to enjoy the museum while it was virtually empty.

IMG_7082 IMG_7081

I took TONs of photos and a lot of video. After talking with another guy from Minneapolis on the way out, he mentioned there was an unofficial contest for photos. I talked to the front desk, and the current record was 380 something. I didn’t think I had beat that, but I checked anyways. She let me count the photos from the sidecar rally in the parking lot, so I ended up with over 500 before counting the videos! The new record!! I got a free sticker as a reward (the stickers are free for everyone :) ). The video will have to wait a few days since my netbook can’t edit HD video.

I really enjoyed the museum. They just moved into their new building, and have over 225 bikes.


They are still putting things together in some places.

new display

The exhibits were great. They have so many different kind of bikes. I found the National Motorcycle Museum much more interesting than the AMA Museum in Pickerington I visited last month. They have a bigger variety, and the displays are bigger. I really liked the board track racing display, and the wall of death

IMG_7201 IMG_7357

It really made the bikes come alive. Here are some of my favorite shots. Enjoy!

IMG_7413 IMG_7344 

IMG_7329 IMG_7289 

IMG_7271 IMG_7254


IMG_7184 IMG_7144 

IMG_7143 IMG_7139

They also had a lot of motorcycle signs, art, and extra stuff that filled in all the extra spaces. I found it really made the trip, and I will be coming back soon (with my wife next time!). I just love that it is closer to Minneapolis than the AMA one too. They had dedicated motorcycle parking too! Which should be a requirement for any decent motorcycle museum.


A K75 for Jack with his favorite fairing.


I stayed the night at the AmericInn in Anamosa. They have motorcycle parking! They give a coupon for the museum, so check-in before you go not the reverse like I did.

Motorcycle Parking outside!

The entire place, including the room, is decorated with motorcycle art.

Motorcycle Art inside the room Motorcycle Art inside the room

Full Flickr album for the museum here (380+ photos)

Full flickr album for the rally here (170+ photos)

I hope to have the videos posted in a few days. Tomorrow, I will likely take the slow scenic route back along the river. We’ll have to see.


Related Posts: