Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ameliorated Ural

Picking up my ural after six weeks of waiting on the final drive repair.

Four wheels + Wisconsin = three? The ameliorated Ural returns. Monday, both my wife and I took the afternoon off work, and she generously drove me (Thanks!) the 100 miles to Scrambler Cycle (SC) to get my repaired 2009 Ural Patrol. I spent the entire drive studying for my RCPC.

Back in March, my Ural’s final drive (FD) failed with a large hole in the case: Ural Final Drive Fail. I had it trailered to service to be repaired under the warranty.

Initially, Ural didn’t have any final drives in stock, and it was on back order waiting for the unit to come from the factory in Russia. After waiting a number of weeks, Kevin had them repair my FD unit instead.

The lead mechanic at Ural completed the repair himself and built it to the 2011 FD spec which fixes the condition that caused the failure in the first place. There is a service bulletin about the failure on models 2007-2010, but no recall. Sad.

Apparently, some bolts, even with retainers, managed to back themselves loose and fall off.

Failed ural fd

This causes massive damage inside the FD unit destroying everything including the bearings and housing.

Failed ural final drive

Here is a photo of another stricken Ural (2007 Patrol) at Kevin’s shop while I was picking up mine. The photos above are its failed FD.

2007 ural patrol at scrambler cycle with a fd fail

He was replacing the rear wheel and noticed a small hole in the FD case. Mine probably started like that and quickly ripped apart. (see above pics)

Failed ural final drive. Notice the hole in the case. Similar to my fd fail

This Ural (2004 Tourist) was also at Scrambler Cycle. Kevin replaced the alternator with the upgraded model (same I have) and cleaned the carbs. It’d been sitting for the last few years. The rig only has 2400km since 2004! Original owner too. I wish mine was so clean.

2004 ural tourist at scrambler cycle

Ural has some good language in their warranty:

“In cases when warranty repair takes longer than 14 days, the warranty time period (see Warranty Time Period) is extended for the time period of repair, during which the motorcycle could not been ridden due to failures.”

In my case, it was an additional six weeks added to the warranty. A nice touch that sort of makes up for their utter incompetence with inventory tracking and parts shipping.

IMZ Ural had no idea who they had sold FDs to in the USA or where they might be, and they couldn’t give a straight answer if the FDs were on the boat from Russia or not. No date on when they might arrive either. This parts “issue” is my biggest gripe with owning a Ural.

I also bought some consumables (oil filters, spark plugs) while I was at SC in addition to adding an extra year of warranty. I am covered now until January 2013. I am still waiting for a new rear brake switch (failed again) and the left mirror that died (again!). I should get those when I see Kevin again at the SKUNK rally in two weeks.

It was a bit strange to be on three wheels again, but very familiar. It’s good to have the beast back. Next up will be to address the minor rust that formed from this past winter, change the tires and the oil, and remove the fairing.


  1. Great to see you and your Ural reunited! Yes, their parts/supply system sucks incredibly. I've heard of dealers buying extra new rigs and parting them up for parts....sad, very sad.

    Good idea extending the warranty, am sure it'll come in handy unfortunately.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  2. Dom: Buying extra rigs for parts? Crazy. especially since they seem to update major things each year. Now the rear brake switch has been over-hauled to a normal one for 2011 instead of the goofy russian version.

    Yea, the extra warranty seemed like a prudent thing to do.

    How has your new sidecar rig been working?

  3. An extended warranty, seems to be a great idea given your recent experience.

    Is there much flooding in your area? I just got back from a meeting with folks from a bunch of northern states and flooding seemed to be pretty common.

  4. Chris...yes, very crazy but apparently, necessary....

    as to the V-Strom rig, she's running great...doesn't leak or burn oil, pulls strong on the inclines, in fifth gear!

  5. RichardM: Yes, hopefully now that I have it, I won't need to use it.

    Yes, the last weekend brought a ton of water. There was also a lot of spring flooding from the near record snow we had this past winter in march/april.

    Dom: My ural doesn't leak or burn oil yet which is nice. the bmw burns a little bit :(

    the pulling up inclines and a fifth gear would be awesome! I am curious to see how it will do in the snow. Do you plan to convert the rear tire to a car tire, so you can use a proper winter tire like a blizzak?

  6. Chris, the pusher wheel supposedly can fit a specific car tire size....dunno if Blizzaks come in that size though. I'll be switching to said car tire for extended wear reasons and since no drive shaft on the v-strom, chains become an option!

  7. Dom: As you can imagine, I am very envious of the car tire option. The tires that fit the Ural don't seem to last at all (as you already know). Chains could be nice in the snow too!