The Russians have been making versions of the Ural for 70 years now. They have had the opportunity to make it right now that they've shed the yoke of communism. How is that working out?
The Russian Federation's (as opposed to the old USSR) entry into the motorcycle market has come with the export Ural.
Log Item: A friend of mine made a decision to buy a Ural outside of my advice to the contrary. His came with a sidecar. I like sidecars, but they make a motorcycle drive like one of those CanAm spiders...more of a small convertible car than a motorcycle. In the case of the Ural, it's an underpowered motorcycle (at 41 horsepower) that is way under powered when you add a side car.
From the ugly tractor seat to the 1950's design, the Ural does have a nostalgic twinge. I remember riding in Muskovitch and Lada automobiles back when and they all performed in much the same way that the Ural does. Sort of like riding on a tractor. Naturally it incorporates a tractor seat for the driver to complete the vibe.
|Ural Motorcycle with Sidecar|
He and a Uralista friend called and came by first thing in the morning to extoll their bikes over the competition. I realize that you may find that incredible, but anyone dumb enough to buy a Ural is dumb enough to drive to my house and talk about how much cooler it is than my Ducati.
It's like buying and old Muskovitch, then comparing your old Muskovitch to a Ferrari and --- making fun of a guy who bought a Ferrari who paid less for his Ferrari in the process (more on that later). They argued that the 162 horsepower of the Ducati Diavel was just overkill. The same is true of the digital instrument cluster, which is emblematic of unnecessary expense. Maybe so, but it is the devil...
As a professional investigator and observer, I probed gently. Within the first few months and thousands of miles, both of them have had serious issues with their Urals:
- Final Drive Failure
- Broken Front Shock Absorber
- Mirrors don't stay in place and pivot when the vehicle is in motion.
- Broken Swing Arm
- Worn out and leaking brake lines
- Speedometer Failure (bouncing across the analog dial)
- Broken Steering Dampener
In fairness, these were covered by a "generous" three-year warranty as both riders explained. But one fuel tank had to be replaced at about the 500 mile mark due to a break in a weld and the replacement tank turned out to have grit and debris in it that fouled the carb (no fuel injection). With warranty work like that, what good is it really?
What about the cost of the Ural vs the Ducati Diavel?
I paid $400 less for the Diavel than the guy with the sidecar paid for his 2015 Ural Patrol 750. He boasted of his sidecar, which is cool up to a point. I think that P. T. Barnham was correct when he said that a sucker is born every minute. I seriously thought that he'd have paid somewhere around $5K for a new one until they started 'measuring dicks' and wanted to tell me what great deals they got.