Saturday, May 11, 2013

Uraling in Alaska - Day 33: Checking in with Ural's Anchorage Dealer

May 11, 2013

Woke late.  Checked on Valencia, put the #122 main jets back on instead of the #130 jets as my MPG figures had dropped significantly during the riding back from Seward yesterday.

I rode on down to Anchorage in the afternoon and spoke briefly with Mickey, the URAL dealer there.  He'd wanted me to check in with him upon my return from Homer to decide what to do next about the slight hanging clutch issue when stopped with clutch lever pulled all the way in.

Whereas I had just thought to replace the throw-out bearing on my rig to see if the slight clutch drag would go away, he and the VP of Operations and Product Support: Jason Rae had instead planned to:

a.  Take off the transmission and inspect the clutch installation by Raceway Services, to see if a clutch disk might have been installed backwards by mistake;  this is apparently easy to do and the clutch will still work (sort of).  Mickey highly doubts this happened but wants to make sure.

b.  If nothing wrong with the clutch installation, he'll replace parts 3,4,5 and 6 in the picture below on Valencia and we'll see how she behaves.

source: URAL

Jason had already arranged for all required parts to be shipped to Mickey in Anchorage.

This just goes to show the length that URAL (who is covering the cost of Mickey's labor and the cost of the parts under warranty) is willing to go to ensure happy riders on their rigs!

So, I drop off Valencia with Mickey so he can work on her tomorrow (Sunday) and if he's uninterrupted he should be done that evening, if not, Monday for sure.  I am planning on picking her up Tuesday as Mickey is a one man shop and quite in demand.

Mickey is loaning me his 2012 Forest Fog Patrol while he is working on Valencia, so for the next couple of postings probably, you'll be seeing a different colored rig in the pictures!  The loaner is his demo motorcycle sidecar rig.

How's that for service or backing one's product?

As I rode home, I detoured via the Old Glen Highway and found a suitable spot to pose Valencia against the mountains near Wasilla and Palmer.

Valencia is actually running pretty good otherwise, she made the long ride from Seward back to Wasilla last evening with no issues.  I just had to remember to put her in neutral at stoplights and such to take the strain off the throwout bearing; something you apparently should do anyways as it's not good to stress this bearing too much.


RichardM said...

You may get spoiled with the shiny 2012 rig. There are probably hundreds of improvements ;-)

And with the woodland green color, you won't stand out as much so fewer tourist pictures.

Ural is taking pretty good care of you!

RichardM said...

Just noticed the color. Forest Fog means that you'll just disappear into the clouds and the tourists won't even know you're there...

SonjaM said...

Talk about dedication and customer service. Those URAL guys and their staff are very impressive.

Gary France said...

Spectacular customer service. Well done Ural - both the dealer and the product support people.

GlennandSun said...

Hello Dom. I have your identical problem on my 2013 Forest Fog Gear Up (less than 300 km on new bike)....Ural dealer south of Seattle took all of the clutch adjustment up yesterday yet clutch is still not fully I am really, really interested in your solution and fix. Cannot express how thankful I am for your sharing, particularly on this specific challenge. A few questions.....
Does your clutch dragging occur less when the engine is still cold? Does the problem get worse after the engine gets hot? Does it make it a LOT more difficult to find neutral? Does it make getting into reverse a real, forgive the pun, grind?
Your experience on a Ural is greatly appreciated. As a professional journeyman mechanic, I am really good with mechanical things, but the Ural is new to me, like a new language and presents new mechanical challenges. Also, I am really new to the blog environment world; therefore if I am trespassing on your turf I sincerely apologize in advance. I was hoping you or your readers could post any experienced bits of wisdom on the clutch issue. Thanks, GlennandSun PS...Sun is catching your Blog from the edge of the Northwest Borneo jungle!

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, just picked up the loaner rig and she's sweet! More details in today's posting later. URAL and Mickey, the Anchorage dealer are taking very good care of me indeed.

SonjaM, so rare these days, this type of service eh?

Gary F: truly outstanding isn't it?

redlegsrides said...

Hello Glenn, sorry to hear you're experience the slight clutch drag as well with such a new rig! I hope whatever they find on mine will help with yours. Being so new though, I doubt it's the clutch release rod or associated elements....

As to your questions:

The problem is worse when the engine is hot, especially after a long run or lots of city riding in stop and go traffic.

I've never been able to find neutral using the gear shift pedal, I kick the transmission lever into neutral instead, much easier. Note, you should put the transmission into neutral to ease the strain on the clutch throwout bearing when stopped at lights. This goes against what I was taught to keep the bike in gear in order to be able to scoot out of the way in an emergency, but then again, no a URAL, there's no scooting and its too wide to weave around the car in front of you!

I get a slight grinding noise sometimes when kicking the lever into reverse, but usually because I've revved up the engine thinking I was in reverse but actually was in neutral. If I let the engine idle down, it's fine.

No worries re "intruding on my turf". This ain't about turf, its about relating my experiences with my motorcycles and perhaps helping others avoid the mistakes I make.....