Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The first 2014 is received by fellow Uralista: Darrell S.

I rode up to Fort Collins this past Friday morning to deliver Yoshie, the 2006 Suzuki V-Strom/Dauntless Sidecar Rig.  I must confess I totally underestimated the cold temperatures and the wind chill factor.  It was a balmy 27°F in Centennial so I didn't don my rain gear.  This was a mistake.

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:

First, the EFI.  The bike ran smoothly on the way home.  Idled perfectly at every stop.  The low end torque and pick up blew me away!  I am really looking forward to riding this new rig in the mountains in the summer.

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.

10 comments:

SonjaM said...

First recipient of a 2014 Ural in the US? How cool is that. Darrell is one lucky guy. I hope that the wait won't be too hard on you. I am very excited for you, and can't wait to hear of your new experience.

Charlie6 said...

URAL is the one who's lucky he's the first rider to get one, he knows sidecars and URALs and will give it a great examination and trial run for the rest of us.

Richard M said...

First one, eh! Is that good or bad…

The sound description is interesting. No more whining from the alternator or mechanical noise from the valves?

Is the cold ride from the lack of accessories like the Hippo Hands? I thought that you've ridden in much colder weather than that before. Did the heated gloves help?

Charlie6 said...

RichardM, yeah...he and I are on the bleeding edge....and that cuts both ways.

As to the cold ride, the heated grips were the only accessory on Yoshie. Had I thought to bring along and wear my raingear, I believe that would have been enough. Yoshie can go much faster than Valencia and so wind chill factor is greater. It was all fine once I thawed out and stuck to frontage roads where the speed limit was 45mph or lower, then again, it could have warmed up to the high teens by then too.

Charlie6 said...

Forgot to answer your question re the whining. It's not completely gone but its not a major component now of a URAL's engine sound. As to valve clicking...jury is out. I'd like to hear it once the engine is fully warmed up.

bob skoot said...

Dom:

The new 2014 Ural sounds like a great improvement. I'm sure you will be very happy.

In 3 weeks when your Hack is ready you can get a ride from Darrell when he goes in for his 1,000. service. What luck to have a truck available to take you home.

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

Charlie6 said...

Bobskoot, Darrell will probably do his own services as the dealer is not close to him either.

GlennandSun said...

Very mixed feelings....Stormin' Norman is 2013, lost engine at 1200 miles.....has the 2014 upgraded the engine? You say the sound is different....do I dump $18K to start over with the 2014 for a more reliable engine? Power does NOT matter, reliability matters...it is everything. Did Ural do something to the engine I am unaware of? EFI makes no difference to me; however, if EFI makes the 750 CC engine reliable in some way, that does make a difference. With six motorcycles in my stable, and being a professional mechanic there are questions I eagerly look to your experiences so I can make the decisions I need to make.
As a brother in Arms, your opinion about the 2014 has great influence. Your future posts about your new EFI bike are anticipated with great excitement. We count the days until you get your own new 2014 and name him...or her and tell us what your experiences are. GlennandSun

Charlie6 said...

GlennandSun, I truly empathize re those mixed feelings. I don't believe the 2014's engines contain radical/major improvements. EFI is the big deal and really its just for what believe is some performance improvement per URAL. I will report experiences as they happen of course.

I will be updating the posting re sitrep about Valencia after posting this reply. Got an answer from URAL today re Valencia's engine.

Trobairitz said...

Cool post all around - Seeing and riding the new Ural and weather!

Glad you managed to get warm after that ride.