Monday, February 03, 2014

SITREP: Valencia's status and current action plan.

The dealer is closed today but last update from Randy is that Valencia's engine was to be shipped to the mothership in Redmond, WA to be taken apart and analyzed.  At that point (which according to Randy, wouldn't take long for URAL's Sergey to analyze), a decision would be made to either rebuild the engine again or ship a replacement engine back to Unique Rides, my dealer.

Note: The 2014 models are now shipping, which makes me wonder if they've stopped making 2013 model engines with carburetors and the "old" design for weeks if not months now.  Which would kind of make me wonder re existing stockage levels of engines suitable for Valencia.  The new engines are NOT retrofittable (to my knowledge).

Note: I don't know where the engine is now, I hope to get more info from Randy tomorrow.  The assumption is that he's already shipped it to the mothership.

So, what to I do now you ask.

Well, some may think me callous, but I have decided that I am done with Valencia.

Yoshie, my Suzuki V-Strom Sidecar Rig, though running fine, is not as good or safe on snow as Valencia was.

So, emails were exchanged between Tammy, the co-owner and sales person of Unique Rides.  It all happened over the course of last week and the result is this:

1.  They will take both Valencia and Yoshie in as trade-in rigs for a new 2014 Red and White Patrol.

2.  I signed the invoice this morning and sent it back to Tammy via email.

3.  The value offered for the trade-ins will result in a no cost upgrade to me.

4.  Unique Rides will take on ownership and eventual sale of both Valencia (once she's repaired of course) and Yoshie.

5.  I need to deliver Yoshie to Unique Rides, so no more riding on her except to get her to Fort Collins where Unique Rides is located.  Yoshie is too wide for my trailer so she must be ridden to Unique Rides.

6.  My new rig, is scheduled to ship out of New Jersey on 24FEB13.  Yep, that's the earliest they could do it, there's apparently a big demand for the new rigs and its not like they make thousands of them each month.  (Total URAL rigs produced last year was under 1300 units).  About a week to transport it to Colorado, figure I take ownership end of February if no delays occur.

So that's the plan.  I will still keep trying to find out the final resolution of the engine issue of course and update you all when I have something.

This is why I will be not riding on three wheels for the month of February.  Where the weather and road conditions permit, Brigitta, my '87 R80 Airhead Beemer will provide for my two-wheeled riding "fixes".

How am I going to get to work you ask?  Well, recent events involving Martha's car highlighted the fact that perhaps being a one car family isn't "optimal".  That and the fact I will soon only have one sidecar rig drove the need for a backup car.

I now introduce you to Milli, the URV:

2006 PT Cruiser

Yep, I am back to having a cage, after almost 6 years of doing without one.  She's got a tow hitch and just enough tow capability to function as the URV or Ural Recovery Vehicle.  When my new rig is down for whatever reason, she'll get me to work.  She can pull the trailer to pick up my rig if needed though I'll probably use Martha's X5 to take my new rig to/from the dealer as needed.  I bought the car from Oscar so I know it's been well-maintained and he sold it to me at a fair price.

Odometer reading: 90,068

Note: One good point about having Milli, the boys can learn to drive on her, not Martha's X5.

I drove Milli to work today, just another lemming in a cage.  :(

Hopefully by the end of this month, I hope to introduce you to my new Ural Sidecar Rig.

Update: 04FEB14: Got email from URAL's VP of Operations & Product Support: Jason:  The engine is being picked up by URAL's trucking company today, they expect it to be in Redmond, WA this coming Monday.

Update:05FEB14: Engine picked up today by URAL, same truck that delivered two new 2014 rigs, took the Valencia's engine.

Update 11FEB14: URAL's VP of Operations and Product Support, Jason wrote me today:  The engine arrived yesterday (late due to weather) and Sergey has already dis-assembled and inspected it for defects. We have found the crankshaft shows signs of wear or damage on the connecting rod main bearings and will need to be replaced. Sergey will complete the repair and your engine will be shipped back to Unique Rides by Friday.

So, URAL once again has stepped up and honored their warranty without questions.  I dare say there's not many companies out there who are this fully behind their product.

If the engine ships Friday as planned, it should be back at Fort Collins by the latter half of next week.

Update: 19FEB14:  Valencia's engine has been repaired, was picked up for shipment on 14FEB (Friday) and should be at Fort Collins either today or tomorrow depending on weather conditions.

Updated: 20FEB14: Valencia's engine arrived yesterday, that's the good news.  The bad news is all the winter weather hitting the East Coast and specifically New Jersey has delayed the shipment of the 2014 Red/White Patrol to March 4!  :(


BMW HACKER said...

Two engine failures? How many years old was the bike? I hope your new one holds up.

redlegsrides said...

BMW Hacker, sadly it was a 2011 model. Current mileage on it is almost 49000 km. I hope the new one is better too.

RichardM said...

Looks like an old person's car...

Just kidding. Well, at least that takes care of the non-sale of the V-Strom and you now get to be beta testing of the new EFI. I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes and how it compares to the older model.

I hope they do report back on what the problem turned out to be.

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, you're the second person to call Milli an "old person's car"...but then again, I am.

I am looking forward to seeing what all the hoopla is about on the 2014 model. Hubert of The Timeless Ride and others who know URAL sidecar rigs have commented on the changes, all in a very favorable manner. As to the determination of cause, yes, I am most interested.

SonjaM said...

Oh, poor lemming. Now you are stuck in a cage like the rest of us…
I didn't know that Milli is an old person's car, my friend has one and she is a youngish 40+. NOT old, if you ask me.
I am with you on the exchange. Looks like you've got quite the deal. Here's to the new one. I wonder what you will name it...

Unknown said...


The best thing about your URV is that it comes with a lifetime guarantee. I am happy to be the third person to mention an "old person's car" even though you are NOT that old.

You're going to be living "on the edge" now with NO spare Hack. I think you made the right decision. This way you get all new improved parts with FI

Riding the Wet Coast

redlegsrides said...

SonjaM, yes, the deal wasn't bad at all....though I am holding off on crunching the "real numbers" .... still I think its a win, win for everyone.

NO names yet for the new one.

redlegsrides said...

Bobskoot....there's been great reports on the EFI rigs from testers and dealers who sampled them during a recent dealers meeting in WA. And yes, already I am impatient to try ....there might be chance to test ride a fellow Uralista's rig, he's getting it this Thursday.

GlennandSun said...

Sun and I wondered mid-week if you might spring for a 2014. I have been wrestling with the very same feelings for a month now. We are very happy for you and believe you are in a Win-Win situation.
You know I lost an engine with less than 1200 miles on it (1964 km) and we too have since been considering an upgrade to the 2014. In fact we will be at Raceway before they open on Saturday to check personally on the deal. We are very eager to see how your new Ural makes you feel about it.
Sun and I have a good feeling about your new adventure, and are excited for the new love coming in your three wheeled life. Thanks for sharing Dom, we are really appreciative! GlennandSun

redlegsrides said...

GlennandSun, you're's hoping that Raceway Services can offer you a good deal on your rig.

VStar Lady said...

Good luck with the new rig, and at least you have two and four wheeled back up.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks VStar Lady, now if only the weather would cooperate a bit for two-wheeled riding....alas, more snow forecasted for tonight.

Learning to Golf said...

Red and white doesn't look bad. Hopefully the EFI being new won't be to troublesome. You surely have given Valencia every chance to behave and become reliable, so don't feel bad putting her out in the cold.

redlegsrides said...

AZ Harley Dude, there was much "discussion" when EFI was announced for Urals...main points I derived from the debates:

1. EFI is not new tech, its proven and the manufacturer of the ones for URAL have been at it for a while.

2. On the 2014s, its two controllers, one per cylinder...supposedly, one can fail and you can still get home on the other.

Diagnostics? Most likely requires dealer tool.

URAL has reworked the owner's manual and it's much better now. Apparently, the onboard computer(on a ural, who would have thunk it)will provide onboard codes to give the rider a hint of what might be issue with engine/fuel, that'll be interesting to see. Though most of the codes say: "See Dealer", some the rider can check...

redlegsrides said...

Update from URAL added at bottom of posting.

Lucky said...

I'm sure you've got mixed feelings about the whole thing, but I'm happy for you that you've got a fancy new rig on the way.

And the URV looks workable. Sometimes a rider has to temporarily cage it. I had a similar predicament when I moved from Phoenix to the middle coast: this is the first time I've owned a car in five years or so.

Looking forward to hearing about your experiences with the new Ural!

redlegsrides said...

Hi Lucky and yes, plenty of mixed feelings.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

I'm thinking you're managing to make a happy ending out of this...again. I'm excited for you. Fuel injection is a big upgrade. Hopefully quality continues to improve and you'll be riding the wave.

Best of luck and welcome back to the world of having a cage to really let you know just how much you miss the bike.

spat said...

I guess I should have checked this report out earlier when I recieved the notification. I did not because I figured you were about to buy an old guy cage. Wow a 2014 too cool. One blue one red in the group, way cool. Congrats and good for you. I'd say break a leg, you know for good luck BUT I know that phrase and sidecars don't go together well.

redlegsrides said...

Keith, thanks...second day in a cage now, and while its nice to not have to gear up, be able to sip coffee at stops, and generally just hop in and go....I'd still rather be riding.

redlegsrides said...

SPAT, yeah "break a leg" and sidecars really don't go together as you well know. At least three weeks or more before the new rig gets here....have fun at the Elephant Ride!

redlegsrides said...

posting updated with email update from URAL.

RichardM said...

Hmmm. Could the lighter weight oil or resulting lower oil pressure at warmer temperatures caused premature wear? I assume that there is an oil pressure idiot light, but do you know what it's set to? I think airheads are 6 psi, pretty low.

I'm assuming that the connecting rod bearings on the crank are lubricated with oil pressure and not just splash lubricated.

Thanks for the update.

redlegsrides said...

RichardM, actually the 5W30 I was running is now in the manual as the oil to use in lower than 40F temperatures. I asked the dealer specifically about using 5W30 and he said no, it wouldn't have done anything.

There's no oil idiot light. It's an oil splash system for the URAL engine. I don't believe there's any real pressure to move the oil around? There's a pickup in the oil sump which draws oil up to top of engine, from there its gravity doing the job via provided channels I believe.

Our beemer airheads on the other hand, actually have enough pressure that a sensor is part of the engine monitoring system, which is basically the idiot light you mentioned.

redlegsrides said...

main post updated, Valencia's engine enroute back to Fort Collins URAL dealer.

redlegsrides said...

Main post updated. Valencia's engine is back, the new Patrol is delayed almost two weeks.

RichardM said...

Well, you could check out the off road capabilities of a certain BMW X5…

Or maybe not. Why tempt fate.