Saturday, January 26, 2013

Subzero Uraling to Scrambler Cycle

Subzero Uraling

It seems I have a knack for picking one of the coldest days of the year to get my Ural work done at Scrambler Cycle. Today, it was –5F when I woke up. I waited for it to get to 0F before I left, but as I rode north the temp kept dropping. I rode most of the 100 miles in subzero temps. I stopped about half way to warm up my feet. My toes were like ice cubes wiggling around in my boots.


Kevin at Scrambler Cycle has several projects going for various customers. A couple nice looking old bikes in the works. Kevin has upgraded his facilities, so I enjoyed his wi-fi while he wrenched.

Scrambler Cycle

He quickly got to work on my Ural replacing the rear brake switch. It died for the fourth time in three year, and finally we could upgrade the rear brake pedal to the new model and use the new style (for Ural) brake switch common on Japanese bikes.

Old vs New Ural Rear Brake Pedal

The pedals look almost identical. The old on the left and new on the right.


From this angle you can see the difference. New on the left, old on the right. The new one has a tab and a hole for the spring to attach.

New Pedal Installed

Here it is installed. Kevin adjusted the brake lever travel and the sidecar brake. It is very comfortable to use now. I was impressed with the stopping power with properly adjusted brakes. I didn’t know what I was missing.

He also fixed a few other things that needed attention. I spent most of the day there, so it was up to 18F by the time I left. The 100 mile ride home was much warmer. My feet were not frozen. The sunset wasn’t as nice as the sunrise though, and I made it home just before it became completely dark.

When I got home, I ordered a set of heated socks from Gerbing. Four winters of cold feet is enough. I’m ready for my feet to be as warm as my hands.

A good days riding and wrenching.


ps: more Malaysia photos soon.


  1. Wow, you are adventurous. My feet would have been frozen before I'd gone 5 miles i think.

    I'll be interested to read your review on the heated socks. Those stick on (one use) heated insoles will hold you over until they come in. Well worth the $3 a pair.

    1. Nah, you would have made it at least seven miles before your feet froze. lol.

      I've tried those insoles and several other warm feat technologies over the years. They can't keep up with the heat loss from the wind created by the motorcycle moving.

  2. St. Paul, MN to Cameron, WI, then back again, in 0° temps, on a motorcycle.... Chis, you are way more hardcore than me! Outstanding!

    I think the white 'Guzzi was there the last time I visited the place.

    1. lol. hardcore or crazy, the line is very thin. ;)

      yea, the white guzzi is one of Kevin's personal bikes.

  3. Chris, my toes get cold as well but tucking them under the rig's jugs helps a bit. I've never tried heated socks, hmmmm....looking forward to your review. I only have a heated vest, and the wiring involve is cumbersome at best since I tend to get off and on the rig a lot to take pictures.

    1. Your boots must be thinner than mine. They are already tucked under the jugs since there is no where else to put them especially on the right side. it's quite cramped down there. one wire from the controller to the bike doesn't seem cumbersome to me. I used it a lot on my alaska trip and i took tons of pics getting on and off. the socks would hook into the coat and the coat into the controller which is the only thing hooked to the bike. I don't like all the wires inside my gear, but am beyond tired of cold feat and have exhausted the passive heat/cheap options.

  4. Really enjoy your postings, Chris. Looking at a heated liner myself to extend the riding season here (56456). Have you ever compared the Gerbring to FirstGear or TourMaster? Is your unit 90W, and does the Ural alternator seem to keep up ok?

    Keep up the great work...I'll be at ZARS-DTCT on 5/5 - hope to see you there!

    1. I had a tourmaster vest first; it is now my spare. Gerbing is much nicer. Heats up faster and hotter. Not even fair to compare them really. The warranty on Gerbing blows tourmaster out of the water as well. I had to warranty both the tourmaster and gerbing; Gerbing's customer service is substantially better.

      Ural alternator is 770W. It keeps up just fine. It's aircooled with carbs. I have almost 500W to play with.

      ZARS sounds fun right now :)