Saturday, March 03, 2012

I have the world's best wife...

The best wife indeed, especially in her ability to "enable" my addiction to being able to ride in all sort of weather conditions and to do it safely.

After much talking with her and the realization we're entering into what is usually the snowiest month of the year here in the great state of Colorado; she talked me into getting a "spare" sidecar rig.  Martha just couldn't see me enduring the next few snow storms trapped in a rental cage you see.  Nor did she want me out there on Brigitta, my two-wheeled "spare" motorcycle on days when there might be a chance of snow.

After resisting weakly (OK, not at all), she convinced me and we went up to Fort Collins, CO this morning to take a serious look at their offerings.  They had two Ural sidecars in stock at Unique Rides, a 2011 Orange and Silver Patrol and a 2012 Forest Fog Gear-UP.

Our first inclination had been to look at the green one above though the orange one had a "can you see me now" fascination for yours truly after my recent accident.  A closer look at the Gear-UP with its Forest Fog color scheme, which to us resembled an dark green formica counter top, pretty much eliminated it from the final choice.  Being a 2012 model, it was also a few hundred dollars more in price.

The 2011 Patrol above, looked very nice in her orange color scheme with silver trim.  I knew there were no significant technical/engineering improvements between the 2011 and 2012 models; and that the 2011s were improved quite a lot in many small ways over previous years of Ural Rigs.  Please see here for a listing of changes/improvements between Ural model years:  LINK.

Here's a link to Ural's website with some professional pictures of the Orange Patrol:  LINK

I was also convinced the bench seat on the Patrol would be more comfortable during long hours in the saddle than the single tractor seat on the Gear-UP, this conclusion having come from reading Scooter in the Sticks' wonderful reviews of the Ural Patrol rig he had a chance to ride:  Becoming a Ural Adventurer

These were the only two Urals in stock, it's a small shop after all but Randy the owner runs a tight ship and he was most helpful in answering questions from me and other patrons who were looking at his motorcycle offerings.  Randy and Tammy, his wife, sell Trikes, Royal Enfields, Genuine Scooters and more.  The website for the dealership is here:  Unique Rides.  Randy told me you can order the Ural of your choice, and if they've got it in stock at the warehouse in New Jersey, it can be here in as little as a week!  If they don't have the one you want, the next shipment from Mother Russia comes in Mid-March!

Soon, it was time to test ride the Patrol and Martha took the following picture of me in their practice area and even shot a video of me getting a feel for the rig:

Can you see the big old smile I've got?

After a full up ride on the frontage road, I returned to the dealership.  Surprising I am sure none of my regular readers, I ended up buying the Orange Patrol Rig!   Her name is going to be Valencia!

I got all my riding gear out of Martha's car and she left me behind to handle the paperwork to complete the sale.  What's a little more debt in one's life right?  You can't take it with you and Martha really knows what it takes to keep me happy.  

Here's Randy in front of his office.  Valencia looks pretty good, don't you think?
"Can you see me now?!"

Before you go thinking I bought the orange color one because I think it'll make me more visible, don't worry.  I know that cagers don't look, that one remains invisible while on a motorcycle and to ride as "unhittable" as possible.

Randy did the post-sale prep of the motorcycle, including a fresh oil change!  He walked me through some of the new stuff that my poor Natasha didn't have and I left the dealership shortly after 12:30 PM.

It was very windy today here in Colorado and that made Valencia a bit squirrely sometimes when hitting bumps at speed or when doing sudden decelerations.  I fixed this by letting a bit of air pressure from the front tire and from that point on I was good to go.

The difference in performance between my 1996 Ural Sportsman (Natasha) and this 2011 Ural Patrol are impressive!  Good acceleration, no crashing/crushing gear noises when shifting up on gears, stopping when you want with little effort or concern and the engine is quieter, though one can hear the whining noise coming from the Nippon Denso alternator's location.

This being a new motorcycle, I have to take it easy on the engine for the first 1500 Kilometers.  So the combination of high winds and needing to not run the engine hard led me to take county roads all the way home.  I headed east out of Fort Collins on CO14 until I got to its junction with US85.  The winds were coming out of the West so the occasional gust would try and shove me sideways, but Valencia and I soon adjusted to this and motored along.  We passed through the city of Greeley which had a few interesting sights, I'll have to return one day when I have more time.

I took US85 all the way down to Fort Lupton and from there picked up CO52 eastbound, across the junction with I-76 and soon enough was turning South onto CO79.  The winds buffeted Valencia and I all the way to the farming town of Bennett, CO where I stopped for a break and some pictures.

The smaller grain silo at Bennett, CO

Just to give you an idea of how big the silos are....

As Valencia has no windscreen (yet), I was getting a bit chilled even though the temperatures were in the low 40s.  I continued riding west out of Bennett on US36 and soon neared the Denver Metro Area's easternmost boundaries.  I continued on back roads, which took me through the small town of Watkins and got home a bit shy of 3:30PM.

Here's Valencia in her new home.

Here's hoping to a long and mostly (she is Russian after all) trouble free relationship between Valencia and myself.  I'll bond with her while waiting for Yoshie to be repaired and then there will be two capable sidecar rigs in the stable to ensure I can ride for work and play in any kind of weather!  I am not sure I'll keep two rigs long term, but we shall see.

Thanks're the best!


Steve Williams said...

Congratulations on the new URAL. And on Martha's vision to see what it would mean to have you in a cage for a number of weeks. You're a fortunate fellow. You must live right.

The orange URAL looks vaguely familiar. Sounds as if you easily see the difference between the 95 version and the new one. Nice to have brakes isn't it!

Good luck and ride safe. And let's hope drivers will see that orange rig a little more than not.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

RichardM said...

Wow, a very nice looking rig. (I'm jealous!)

You're going to need a bigger garage pretty soon. Will it cruise at highway speeds?

Trobairitz said...

Awesome! Congrats on the new ride. Love the color and the name is so fitting.

Martha sure takes good care of you. Me thinks she's a keeper.

spat said...

Well go figure!
Good looking rig. One of the reasons I like my white Patrol is people DO see it.
The best of luck and tons of fun getting the tires on that one dirty.I'll salute to Martha tonite with Vadka shots till I drop.

Greg Poole said...

Dom, I am as happy to see you on that rig as you are to have it! Congratulations buddy!

Unknown said...


Martha's the BEST. She knows you can't be 'caged'. The orange looks good with the silver trim. sounds like they have made many improvements in the power and braking department.

Happy riding . . .

Riding the Wet Coast

redlegsrides said...

Steve, it was your pictures that planted the seed of a Ural back into my's your fault really.

redlegsrides said...


Am good in garage space right now but yeah, once Yoshie returns, things will get a bit "snug". As to her speed, dude she's a Ural....the manual says don't run her faster than 65MPH and that's AFTER her first 1500KM of "break in" period. :)

redlegsrides said...

Trobaritz, she's definitely a keeper...who else would put up with me and encourage me to add rigs to the stable?

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Spat, though Martha is disavowing all damage that vodka may do to your liver! She's a nurse after all. :P

Tell Cookie she was right, I missed my Ural....

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Greg, you know Ural makes a blue/white version of the Patrol as well...Beemer colors, it'd go well with your nice GS Rig!

cpa3485 said...

Well, I might have argue with you about the best wife. About a year ago mine did a small favor by performing CPR on me when I needed it. But I do admit that Martha ranks right up there. Let's call it a toss up.
Congrats on a pretty cool looking machine!

redlegsrides said...

Bobskoot, they truly have improved the Urals a lot....still not the greatest brakes but damn they do work without too much planning or crossing of one's fingers.

redlegsrides said...

Cpa3485, Jim....OK, we'll call it a toss-up! We're both very fortunate men.

Alan P. LaRue said...

Made for the snow! Congrats. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Roger said...

we have a lot to thank our partners for, if Terry was anti bikes I doubt we would be together. Well done.

Martha said...

After 16+ years of married life, I have come to realize a few truths about my hubby. He's a good provider and rarely spends anything on himself. He likes riding the Yoshi, but he never quite had that same twinkle in his eye like I saw today as he was "flying the chair".

As Dom and I have unfortunately seen this past year, life throws you some curve balls with some not-so happy endings. It is important that one find balance: save for the future, but also take time to enjoy the hear and now for we never know if there is a tomorrow. Today, was one of those days where we said "Let's do it".

I really am the lucky one in this equation!
Now, ride safe...

Bluekat said...

Valencia is gorgeous. I love the color, and somehow she looks like the right one for you!

redlegsrides said...

Alan, it sure is made for the snow, looking forward once again to the next snow fall.

redlegsrides said...

Raftnn....isn't it great when things work out that way?

SonjaM said...

You must have done something right in your life ;-)

Martha rocks! And that orange rig is simply beautiful. Good luck, ride safe and lots of fun.

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, not only did I do something right, but am sure I've incurred more karma debt for the next round...but Martha's worth it. Thanks for the comments and kind words.

Dar said...

Valencia is beautiful! I really like the Urals, I've seen a few here. They are intriguing and someday I think if I could try one I would love it. Just the look of them conjures up images from old movies. I think they would be so all purpose and very practical. Somehow though I don't think my hubs would let me add one of these to our riding family, he would tell me to get saddle bags or a topcase.

Valencia is beautiful and I am glad you picked her over the drab green.

Gary France said...

A few things struck me here as I read your post. One, no, you certainly cannot take it with you. Two, yes, we can all see you now! Three, Martha sure is a terrific wife. Four, Valencia is a really good name. Five, 1500 kms won’t take you long. Six, I am amazed that your wife doesn’t get jealous of the bonding time you spend with your new Russian girlfriend, while your previous Japanese girlfriend is still in the clinic.

Enjoy the new bike – from the video, it certainly sounds a lot smoother than Natasha did.

FATTKAW said...

NICE!! I did mention something about Russian, right??

Steve Williams said...

Dom: I hope you have as much fun with the Valencia orange as I did. It's a cool machine.

And I think Martha's comments here were spot on. Best wishes to you both.

In closing, my pictures were merely a rationalization for something you already desired!

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Allen Madding said...

Glad to see you back in the saddle. The smile was glaring! Congrats!