Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Selling Natasha, the Ural sidecar, as a project rig.

This past Sunday, I finally had some time to take Natasha, my Ural Sidecar Rig, out for a test ride.  She'd been making some strange noises from the drive train area last time I commuted to work on her week before last.

The arrival of the new sidecar for the V-Strom had taken all my time as you can imagine.

I got her, riding pretty well I would say, to a nearby county road and posed her as follows with a hazy view of the Front Range mountains.


 Looking West to the Rocky Mountains

 Looking East towards the prairies 

As I shot the above pictures, I took off my riding glove and placed my hand on the rear wheel hub, it was way hot to the touch!  Dang near got a burn on my fingers.  Not a good sign.  I took it easy going home, but could see signs of final drive oil spewing onto the wheel's rim.

Got her on the centerstand, and removed the drain plug on the final drive, this is what I found:


The golden colored metal flakes you see were non-magnetic, figure they were the brass spacer ring that was part of the replaced items when I rebuilt the final drive back in February.  So I continued flushing out the unit with new oil, and was gaining some hope as the oil drained went from immediately turning from light brown to black to remaining light brown.

I would put the new oil in, drain plug reinstalled of course, spin the pusher and sidecar wheels several times to work the new oil around within the final drive's casing.  Two flushes, came and went.  On the third flush, I actually turned on the engine and spun the wheels since they were up in the air.  I then went to drain it again and I heard a "clink" noise of something metallic dropping into the catch container.


Yep, that's a ball bearing stuck to the magnetic tip of the drain plug.  That means at least one ball bearing assembly has come apart within the final drive!

As I've a new sidecar rig to break in, and I've not the time or inclination to once again dismount the final drive on the Ural, take it apart and assess the damage, I have placed her on craiglist for sale:

Here's a link to the AD on craigslist if you're curious:  LINK

So far, a couple of nibbles but shipping costs and the older Urals' sterling reputation are not helping things in terms of making a sale as you can imagine.

14 comments:

BlackYJ said...

Ill give you $50 American Dollars ... Sorry to hear about the Demise of the tractor. On the plus side more time to ride the UJM machine

RichardM said...

I was curious whether you would be keeping the Ural for it's 2WD capabilities. After all of the issues you've had with the rig, I guess that it just isn't worth the hassle...

Charlie6 said...

BlackYJ, UJM?

RichardM: yeah, it's just not worth my time anymore I think. Besides, when I go from riding the V-Strom to the Ural, the difference is remarkable....hard to be content now on the Ural.

RichardM said...

UJM = Universal Japanese Motorcycle

Brady said...

Rough luck Dom. I'm sure you're a whole lot better off with the V-Strom, the quality is much better. Still, the Ural has a thing or two going for it. Hope the sale goes well.

Brady
Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

George F said...

Good luck selling it, it's not worth the hassle. The V-Strom is a great bike.

SonjaM said...

I guess that's a good move, although there might be times when you will be missing Natasha. Good luck with the sale!

KEN PHENIX said...

Throw in a case of that Russian cognac?

KEN PHENIX said...

Throw in a case of that Russian cognac?

Charlie6 said...

Brady....it was my karma with this particular Ural I guess.

GeorgeF, I must agree on the V-Strom being better, it is after all newer technology....still, the ural had its good points. Can't really think of any right at this moment though. : )

Thanks Sonja, yes, I am sure I'll miss Natasha everytime having a reverse gear would come in handy....

Ken, I would throw the booze in but it looks like someone's agreed to buy the rig....we'll see if the deal closes.

Chris Luhman said...

Good luck with the sale! I completely understand why you'd sell. The thought has crossed my mind a few times. My fd failed because of the ring too. Still dont have it back yet.

Charlie6 said...

Chris, thanks for the visit and comments...only a fellow Ural rider knows the love/hate relationship we have with these machines.

Charlie6 said...

All,

Natasha has been sold, Michael A. of Michigan is now the owner and will be arranging for her shipment to her new home in Traverse City, Michigan.

Chris Luhman said...

Congrats on the sale! That didn't take long at all.

love/hate is a very polite description of a ural owners relationship with the beast. ;)