I damn near froze my butt off and had to stop about 30 minutes south of Fort Collins (where it was 13°F, for about 45 minutes, to thaw out inside a "Loaf n Jug" gas station/convenience store. It was scary how cold I got, I've not been that cold in decades!
Still, I managed to get Yoshie to Unique Rides, the URAL dealer and delivered her to Randy for eventual sale. As I approached the dealer, I saw in the distance a URAL sidecar rig headed in my direction. It was my friend Darrell S. astride his brand spanking new 2014 Ural Patrol!
Darrell, and his 2014 Patrol, to be named: Babe, as in Paul Bunyan's Blue Ox of Legend
After a brief conversation with Darrell, he headed back to Northglenn via frontage roads as he's got 1000 kilometers to go to break the engine in before trying highway speeds. I continued onto the dealer as I mentioned before.
Had some conversations with Randy, saw that poor Valencia was sitting engine-less under a tarp near the garage where Randy does his repair work. She looked sad, and no, no pictures.
I spent a good hour there, talking about things with Randy and didn't leave his place till around 2:00PM or so. By 3:30, I'd driven Darrell's pickup truck (which he'd used to get to the dealer earlier this morning) to his home in Northglenn. The logistics worked out pretty good for both of us in terms of getting vehicles back and forth.
Here's part of the email Darrell sent off to URAL HQ upon arriving back at his home:
I set the steering damper to 12 and rode off. The experience was nothing short of amazing! The bike ran straight and true....no yawing when adding or reducing throttle. Taking off from a stop is a whole new experience for older timers. A bike really going straight without fighting the sidecar drag....now that's amazing!!!
Another improvement that I really appreciate is the updated clutch pack. The shifting is so much smoother and clutch engagement is more positive, more direct! Kudos!!!!
The three-wheel disc brakes are nothing short of fantastic! Being able to feel the rear/sidecar braking and knowing it's having a positive effect on slowing the bike down is great! It really reduces the amount of wear on the front disc brake and adds a level of controllability to the bike.
The only down side to my whole initial adventure was that I didn't have enough money to buy a second 2014 Ural for my wife. She loves to drive the bike as much as I do and I'm afraid my time behind the handlebars will be limited.
I really think Ural hit a homerun with all the upgrades and have truly listened to and responded to their customers.....their fans!
I arrived around 3:30 PM to Darrell's place and admired his new rig. We spent much time closely examining the rig, noting the improvements, the new additions, and both of us were very impressed. The engine sound is completely different from the usual URAL engine noise. The closest example I can think of is the putt putt sound of a boat engine at idle.
Darrell then let me take his new rig out for a short spin around the block. I must echo his enthusiastic commentary about the power, the lack of yaw/pull when starting off from a stop, the smoothness of the engine and the smooth yet powerful disc brakes. Outstanding!
Today's experiences with Darrell's rig is going to make the next three weeks or more before my own rig is available seem to drag I'm afraid.
As a bonus, it appears that Darrell is the first guy in the US to take receipt of a 2014 Sidecar Rig! His place in URAL history is secured.