Showing posts with label Natasha Misc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Natasha Misc. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Natasha's new home, both online and in the real world

I think a bit over a week ago, Mash, the "adventurous soul" who bought Natasha the Ural Sportsman Sidecar Rig from me, took receipt of her via the services of haulbikes.com.

Here's the posting I did when I last saw Natasha, as she was packed up to to Michigan by way of Wisconsin.

I got an email from Mash a few days ago with some pictures of Natasha as he took receipt of her in Traverse City, Michigan.  Apparently, its out in the country a ways as he had to wait a couple of weeks at least for them to have a truck bound in his direction!

A seemingly much smaller version of the motorcycle hauler truck that picked her up

I wonder how long it took them to figure out how to put her in neutral and back into gear


 Mash lives in an apartment complex it seems, so this appears to be Natasha's new parking spot



She looks like she fared the travel to Michigan just fine, and I am happy to report that Mash has set up a blog to record his adventures and experiences with Tasha, as he's referring to her.

Here's a link to Mash's blog:  tashaural.blogspot.com, he'll be tearing into the final drive soon and hopefully it won't take much to repair it.  I look forward to seeing his and Tasha's future rides.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Natasha's history with me

As Natasha, my formerly owned Ural Sportsman Sidecar Rig makes her way to Traverse City, Michigan and her new owner Michael A; I figured I'd do a final posting with links and some notes.

I first laid eyes on her in a craigslist ad, and after some emails back and forth, effected a trade with her then owner Phil B.  "The Russians are Coming"

craiglist photo

The day came, September 18, 2009 when she was delivered to me by Phil B, on the back of his trailer.
"From Russia with Love".

First time riding Natasha

My education into the "skills" involved with riding my new Russian tractor-like steed began soon afterwards:  "Shift it like a Man"

One of the main reasons for getting a sidecar rig had been having the option to take on passengers safely and in comfort:  Short rides with the boys and My Loving Wife's first sidecar ride.

Miles

Patrick

Martha

What turned out to be an ongoing education into the service and repair requirements of Ural ownership also began soon after I got to know here.

My first RPOC day where what I found out in the long run were heat-related deficiencies in the design of the Urals' ignition system.

My education into the fuel/air delivery system:  LINK

My first long ride on Natasha and finally crossing over Empire Pass

Empire Pass

The first "major" breakdown, dealing with the Russian "hand grenade" alternator and the subsequent successful repairs thanks to Andrey my Russian friend and fellow members of the sovietsteeds online forum.

Here's some of the more memorable snow rides while I owned Natasha, she did great every time!
Here's a search on examiner.com for rides involving Natasha:  LINK

Some of the more memorable repair episodes:
My thoughts on Ural ownership at the six month mark:  LINK

The last long ride on Natasha:  LINK


Making the decision to sell Natasha: LINK

Some final thoughts:

I am going to miss Natasha, warts and all, she provided so much fun under conditions that two-wheeled motorcycles are pretty much useless under.  

She allowed me to ride an entire year, every day, no matter what the weather, through a combined use of all my motorcycles including her in the nastier weather conditions.

I'll miss her reverse gear and her driven sidecar wheel when on slippery terrain, but believe the V-Strom will do just fine as well with the right tires and some chains perhaps.

I won't miss her struggling to keep up with traffic when going uphill, or her short service intervals, or her sometimes tractor-like riding.  

I will miss her classic looks and attention-getting presence, but believe the V-Strom will contribute her own in these terms.

I won't miss wondering if I'll be able to get home safely when some new noise manifests itself or some new behavior appears.  I won't mind being bored by the often mentioned Suzuki reliability.

I got her with 5125 km on her odometer, she left me 30,586 km later, so about 15,276 miles; this was done from September 18, 2009 to May 16 2011.

I know her new owner will appreciate, as I did, the simplicity of her design even though the execution of which was a bit lacking in terms of tolerances and metallurgical qualities.  I won't miss the issues presented by the Ural parts supply system, they've got a long way to go to match the performance of BMW in this regard.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Natasha has gone to the "Great Lakes State"

Michael A, of Traverse City, Michigan is the soon to be new owner of my Ural Sidecar Rig, Natasha.

He used a shipping outfit called Haulbikes.com, which I'd heard of via the Internet and now I've seen them in action.

It was Monday, 16 May, 2011 when the driver had arranged to be at my home around 10:15 AM so I worked from home during the morning.

I had Natasha all prepped and packed, ready to go before the driver arrived and so was able to take pictures of the entire process.

 Here's Natasha, ready for the truck....I had to remove the clear portion of
the windshield due to height limitations, it could not be over 58 inches.  I packed
the windshield in cardboard and secured it in the hack.

 One of the larger semi-trailer trucks I've seen, 
it took up most of the length of the culdesac!

 Mike, the driver/operator was very professional and friendly,
here he is lowering the rear ramp

 As big as the cargo area was, it was packed with motorcycles!

 The two closest motorcycles would end up being moved to make room for Natasha

 The ramp system allows the operator to move bikes to the upper level with relative ease
though I imagine there's not much headroom in the upper story.

 Mike then just pushed Natasha onto the ramp, and then lifted her to the main storage level

Here Mike works to secure Natasha to the multiple anchor points, 
a relatively easy operation to my untrained eye.

I left Mike at this point as I had to get into work.  I'll miss Natasha I think, especially every time when having reverse gear would be a good thing, or when I'm fighting inertia due to the sidecar wheel not being driven.

I am sure that Michael A., who used to own an Indian made Royal Enfield will get the final drive fixed soon enough and have her running the wooded roads and trails of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.  Turns out, he knows a guy with a '97 version of the same model, so he's got a local reference for comparison and advice.

Oh, so you don't think this was all a tearful goodbye session, as a goodbye gesture from Natasha, her front brake cable broke at the brake handle as the truck operator was moving her to the truck!  Luckily, I believe there's a spare cable in the trunk.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

One Year Anniversary with Natasha

A year ago today, I took receipt of Natasha: my '96 Ural Sportsman Sidecar motorcycle from Phil B, in exchange for my giving him Maria, my 2004 BMW R1150RT motorcycle.  I think both of us got a good deal in this swap, and hopefully Maria is getting ridden far and often by her new owner.

Phil B. and I, one year ago, with my new to me Natasha

In this last year of Ural ownership, there have been quite a few bumps in the road but in the end it's made me a better wrench turner.  The Ural design is clean and simple if a bit rough around the edges, seams, welds and performance!  : )

I got Natasha with 5125 Kilometers on her odometer, today she reads 25,602 Kilometers.  Not bad considering some of the issues that had to be overcome along the way to making her a reliable companion on the road:

The Russian Hand Grenade Episode, the sheared apart propeller shaft for the sidecar, assorted minor electrical gotchas, broken brackets, going Total Loss on the electricals due to the failed alternator, learning about loose spokes the hard way, the importance of a spare tire, re-learning how to tune/troubleshoot and live with carburetor technology aka dark magic, dealing with recalcitrant ignition systems/coils on hot and/or rainy days and just the day and night difference when riding on three wheels vice two.

On the other hand, Natasha allows me to ride in Winter weather with no major issues.  Snow is a welcome sight and not a soul-crushing event to me now.  It's really amusing the looks I get when riding by on snow-covered streets.

Natasha's "batwing" fairing enable me to ride in temperatures below zero with only the electric grips being needed; though it does get a bit "nippy" at times.  Windy days?  No problem and no heart-stopping moments leaning into 20-30 mph gusts when on two wheels and the wind stops.  Rain?  Bring it on, last time it rained so hard that intersections in my neighborhood were flooding, I had a great time doing "river crossings" on Natasha.

Sure, her max speed is 65 mph, on a good day, going downhill, with a following wind, so not the speediest vehicle on the slabs.  Off-road though, there's very few trails now that will stop me, and if in the company of fellow Uralisti, I'd be willing to try the tough "trails" as well!  Speaking of the Uralisti, their support and companionship on rides and wrenching is another of the benefits of owning Natasha.

I've learned a lot while riding/wrenching on Natasha, the main thing I've learned is that I like the simpler designs and motorcycles of yesteryear.  Both my motorcycles are from designs predating their manufacture dates, in the case of Natasha, by several decades!  It allows me to work on them with my ham-fisted skills and they damn near always bring me home.  What more could I ask?

Natasha and I, during a recent ride through the Rocky Mountain National Park

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Popular Mechanics review of the 2010 Ural Patrol T

I saw a posting on sovietsteeds.com providing a link to a Popular Mechanics Magazine online article on the 2010 Ural Patrol T Sidecar Rig.


The 2010 Patrol T
source: Popular Mechanics

The Popular Mechanics writeup was pretty good though I could tell it was written by someone who'd never been on a sidecar rig.  He got his story wrong when he mentions Hubert Kriegel's epic and ongoing journey around the world, as Hubert started off with a R100 Beemer tug sidecar rig. 

Still, a pretty good read if you want to learn a bit about the history behind Ural's Sidecar rigs and how they've been improved in recent years.  There's also a nice slideshow of them playing, I mean road-testing, the new Patrol T rig in the snow. 

Here's a link to the full article on Popular Mechanics website:  LINK

Here's some excerpts from the Popular Mechanic's article with my own commentary:

Attacking moonscapes like Death Valley, Moab and Copper Canyon, these hearty enthusiasts revel in the simple pleasures of loading up their hacks with ballast, clicking their two wheel-drive into gear, and hopping, rocking and grinding their way through topography that would make a traditional two-wheeler skulk home.   Why yes, yes we do.....


But without the Darwinist benefits of capitalism in place, build integrity (and subsequently reliability) went unchecked.  This is a nice way of saying crappy production and no quality control was the norm during that time period.


The boxer-style engine starts up with an innocuous exhaust note and a metallic timbre that has inspired some riders to slap on a cheeky sticker that reads "Loud Valves Save Lives."  Oh yes, I must get one of these stickers!  The other variant of course is "Loud Gears Save Lives" since the saying goes that Ural owners are expected to do the "final machining" of the transmission gears through actual use.

Go read the article.....these rigs are a lot of fun and while they do require maintenance at shorter intervals, they're very easy to work on.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Riding for the Republic

A new joint experience for my loving wife and I today.   Today was the Republican Arapahoe County Assembly at Englewood High School and both she and I were duly elected county delegates for Precinct 319.  We'd both volunteered and been elected among others at last month's Republican Caucus in our neighborhood.

Like most Americans, we were pretty uneducated as to the the process of how a party selects the candidates that end up on the ballot on Election Day.   Our education started at the precinct caucus and today we got the lesson on how a party selects the candidates at the county level.  These choices then move onto the state level primary and eventually represent the party at the elections.

Martha and I rode on Natasha, my Ural Sidecar Rig, starting off from the house very early in the morning in 31°F temperatures and clear skies.  Martha was quite the trooper, having waived the need for a windshield on the sidecar and hunkered down the whole way there.  Though it was only a 45 minute ride to the city of Englewood's high school, it was brisk in terms of temperatures!

We had us only one anxious period, around the beginning of the proceedings, Martha discovers the diamond in her engagement ring missing!  We quickly looked around our seating area but nothing.  We thought perhaps her gloves had snagged the rock when she removed the gloves after we'd arrived at the high school.  We were going to wait for a break in the proceedings and go look.  I wasn't too worried since I keep a high value items rider on our household insurance but still didn't really want to lose it due to the sentimental value.

A couple of speeches later, Martha finds the diamond at the bottom of her purse!  Pheeew!  It must have gotten knocked loose of the mounting when she was looking for a pen to fill out paperwork.  Both of us were quite relieved and it freed our minds to really listen to the candidate speeches and such.

Many speeches later, carried out well in spite of a malfunctioning microphone, we went through the district voting and confirmed our candidates for next month's final approvals at the state level assembly.   There is more work ahead and more efforts by like-minded citizens hoping for a better future for our children.

Having now been a small part of the process, I personally think of myself as a better citizen; doing more than just voting at the State and Federal levels on Election Day.  Being able to do so with my wife's support and riding there to carry out our duties was icing on the cake.

The sun had come out in force and temperatures had soared into the high 50s as we left the county assembly.  The ride home was nice and warm, in fact, Martha told me at times she'd been so warm and cozy in the sidecar she'd nearly dozed off!   

A good day of riding for our Country, sorry no pictures, but if you just picture the typical crowd at a BMW Motorcycle Club gathering, you'll get the idea....they just had more of the ladies with them than at the club gatherings!  We were about a thousand strong at this one assembly today, the process is going on at all 64 of Colorado's counties and I am sure nationwide as well.   Given the participation I saw today, November 2010 could be a major turning point.


I've always tried to avoid politics on this blog.  So, if you're opposed to my party, good for you, and thank your lucky stars you live in such a great country where one can think and say pretty much as one wishes.  I will not demean your party or your beliefs in this forum and I hope for the same courtesy from you.

One final note, a tip of our helmets to the Patriot Guard Rider who rode to the assembly on his Harley Davidson motorcycle!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter


Happy Easter greetings to all, Natasha and I started the day by meeting the sunrise on this Easter Sunday.

Here's hoping you got some riding in on this weekend.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Published in "Sidecar Riders" Magazine

Yet another step towards becoming a more widely known motorcycling content author, I was recently tapped to write about riding my Ural Sidecar Rig, Natasha, around the beautiful mountain countryside of the nearby Rocky Mountains.

Click HERE to see the magazine online

Saturday, March 27, 2010

All about Natasha and her kin

 This post will list the information I've gathered on my 1996 Ural Sportsman, Natasha, to answer the typical questions I get when UDF'ed (Ural Delay Factor) while riding this sidecar rig.

It's a Russian motorcycle, made in Irbit at the foot of the Ural Mountains, initially a copy of a German BMW motorcycle sidecar rig.

source: imz-ural.com

Ural is pronounced "ooral" by the Russians.

Manufacturer's website: www.imz-ural.com

History, according to IMZ: LINK

Highlights:

  • Five R-71 BMW motorcycles covertly bought through Sweden by Russians, taken apart, copied down to last bolt and approved as M-72 motorcycle for Soviet military starting early 1941.
  • October 25, 1942, first M-72s sent into battle with Soviet Army, with almost ten thousand produced during the course of the war.
  • 1950, the 30,000th motorcycle was produced.
  • Late 1950s, the factory in the Ukraine dedicated for military production, the one in Irbitz for civilian consumption.
  • 1998, the factory is fully privatized.
Design really has not changed much since the 1940s.  More recent models have outsourced components such as Hertzog Timing Gears, Ducati Ignitions, Italian handlebar controls, Brembo Front Disc Brakes.

Over 3.2 million copies have been delivered world-wide.

Natasha was made in 1996 and originally had a 650cc engine. The previous owner had it replaced with a 750cc engine, a deep oil sump, a Harley Davidson solo seat which replaced the hard rubber "tractor" seats.

Max speed is 65 mph but these rigs prefer to run at 55 mph when run for extended periods of time.

Transmission: Four forward and one reverse gear.  "Loud Gears Save Lives".

Natasha has fulltime 2 wheel drive, in that both the motorcycle's rear tire and the sidecar's wheel are driven. Newer models don't have this, instead their 2Wd is manually engaged by the rider when in difficult terrain to get the rig unstuck, then disengaged once free of the obstacle as its difficult to steer with 2WD engaged.

5 Gallon capacity tank, about 35 MPG depending on whether or not the sidecar's windshield is mounted or not.

Natasha came with a Russian 35 amp alternator, which imploded, now using Total Loss Electrical System.

These motorcycles require regular maintenance, with service cycles every 2500-3000 kilometers.  Seem short to you?  Well, if you were a 40 HP engine, powering a drive train designed for 19HP, and pushing along about 1000 lbs of weight....you'd require short maintenance cycles too!  : )

While you can't neglect their maintenance they are also very simple in design and easy to work on for the most part.  I can usually, working slowly at that, swap out the engine, transmission and final drive fluids in less than one hour.

Rides pretty good on snow, and it traverses stuff which my car has gotten stuck in.
Read about the adventure of 4 Ural Riders in the 2010 Elephant Ride.

Training in sidecar rig riding is a must.  These beasts are night and day when compared to their two-wheeled counterparts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My experience with riding a Ural - much better now....

Someone emailed me the other day and asked for my thoughts on Ural ownership.  It seems he was in the initial stages of the same affliction which led to my trading a perfectly well running BMW 1150RT with a mere 80,000+ miles on the odometer for my '96 Ural Sportsman Sidecar Rig!

Snow?  Not a problem usually on a Ural!
This photo was on the way up to Loveland Pass

Six months and a bit over 10,000 kilometers on the Ural's odometer, I give you the results of my riding, wrenching and exploring experiences for those amongst you who wonder about these beasts.

One of his questions was on the differences in the handling and control of two wheels vs three wheeled vehicles.  Well, that's a lengthy discourse all by itself.  They are basically night and day in terms of handling.  First time I rode a motorcycle with an outrigger wheel (not a sidecar), I damn near took out a neighbor's mailbox.  Damn thing wouldn't lean into the turn I was trying to force it into!  : )  You have to steer it into a turn, kind of like a car but it just feels wrong the first time.  I also had to stop myself from putting my feet down when stopping.  Very weird.

If you can get training on a sidecar rig, I highly recommend you do so.  I'll be writing soon about the training I am currently going through.  At the very least, put 80-100 lbs of ballast (I used sandbags) in the sidecar and practice the maneuvers in the Sidecar Owner's Manual in following link:  LINK


Tight right turns, done too fast, will cause your sidecar to lift and possibly overturn if you don't react correctly.  This is called "flying the chair".  Some guys make it look fun and easy.  I briefly "flew the chair" during training and it was "interesting".

The days of zipping through tight curvy mountain roads will be replaced by occasional moments of sheer terror when that right handed curve turns out tighter than you thought.  Don't get me wrong, still a lot of fun but you really have to slow down for right turns.  Left turns I hear are somewhat easier but can be tricky for one wheel drive (1WD) outfits.  2WDs like mine make left turns easier apparently.  This is important, you have to shift your weight in the direction of the turn!  Not lean, shift, as in move your butt so part of it hangs off the side of the seat closest to the inside of the turn!

Once you get used to it though, it's a blast to ride!  By the way, long distance touring is possible on a Ural, given certain conditions:

Service intervals are short, and you have to like working on your motorcycle.  Nothing mysterious, just a willingness to get greasy and turn a wrench or three (a BFH is a required tool).  Its recommended you change out the oil every 3000 Km, not miles, kilometers......it's easy, and you might as well change out the transmission (same as engine oil) and final drive fluid (80w90 oil) while you're at it, it usually takes me an hour, moving slow.

I've learned, via Bill Glaser's myural.com, how to service wheel bearings, work on sidecar drive shafts, replace wheels, replaced u-joints, changed fluids, oil filter, air filter and soon will be servicing my shocks.  There's nothing inherently complex about a Ural, really.  You have to consider, these were machines originally designed to be worked on in the middle of nowhere, with minimal tools, by an uneducated Soviet Army private, probably while under fire!

If you want to get there fast, don't take the Ural.  Even the new ones are more comfortable at 60-65mph for hours on end but no faster. Oh, and that 60mph drops by a bit when climbing hills, get used to being on the right hand lane and being passed by damn near everybody.  (off pavement though, you'll zip by most everyone else).

Passenger comfort:  I've only ridden very short distances in the sidecar, it was comfy enough and you can get a windshield to keep the wind off your passenger.  That windshield though will direct rain right into your right leg, just be prepared.  Mileage by the way, suffers with the windshield on in the sidecar.  I've seen shorter version from third party but don't know much more about them.  My wife has gone on short rides with me, she says she enjoys the riding.  She definitely is not up for two-up riding.  I also feel better about my two sons riding with me as well.

Ural Sidecar Weaknesses?  Where do I start?

It's basically 50 year old design,  I hear the newer models are leagues ahead of mine in terms of quality and newer non-Russian components, and they do look nice, the ones I've seen and ridden with.  My 1996 model, required more "attention", but now seems to be all sorted out.

The welding is rough, but they use really thick steel.  The speedometer is not exactly accurate and cold weather tends to send it into "windshield wiper" mode.  Running lights are "weak", I ended up replacing mine with brighter LED lights.  Rust is something that you have to watch for and treat, especially if you ride in the winter like I do.

Most everything on the motorcycle is exposed to the elements, dielectric grease will become your electrical connections' friend and protector.  

I've had the throttle cables freeze at the junction where the one cable from the throttle grip splits off to the two carburetors, resulting in the throttle stuck on high....very disconcerting.  The fix is easy, deice and/or lubricate that split and you're good to go.

If you keep your rig outside in freezing weather, you may get water in the carburetor float bowls, simply drain off the water and ride off.  Good old Ivan provided drain holes at the bottom of the float bowls on the carburetors that are not too hard to get to.

The stock seats are flat hunks of rubber, I imagine tractor seats to be the same.  Mine came with a Harley Davidson Solo seat, very comfy.

Not the smoothest or quietest ride in the world, but it's definitely got character!  You will draw attention wherever you go, it's called the UDF or Ural Delay Factor.  If you don't like complete strangers walking up to you and asking questions about the rig, the Ural is not for you.

Urals are the tractors of the motorcycle world, slow, gobs of low range torque, go anywhere kind of motorcycles.  Snow is no longer a concern for me, well snow no deeper than 6 inches anyways!  Hell, they even come with a kick start!  Being on three wheels, they're easier to push as well.  Done plenty of that in the beginning of my ownership period.

When you get stuck on snow though, you can usually pull them around in another direction easily enough and get unstuck that way. 

The stock air box is a known weakness, basically air flows into the middle of the donut shaped filter and then out to the plenum box and thence to the carburetors.  It can get wet easy or oily since the drain tube from the engine's front cover goes into the air box too.  Once the filter is compromised, the engine starves for air and performance suffers.    Some Uralisti have crafted their own air boxes or "adapted" air boxes from other vehicles with differing degrees of success.  Others use oil-impregnated K&N filters.  I carry a spare air filter.  They're cheap, and its saved me from one incidence of almost being stranded by a fouled air filter.

That is one thing about replacement parts for Urals, they're cheaper than Beemer parts!  An oil filter is less than $7!  The manual says to use 20w50 oil, no synthetic stuff.  So I buy whats on sale at the local auto parts store.

The older rigs came with cheap pot metal screws and fasteners, absolute crap.  I've replaced most of mine with good steel fasteners that use Allen wrenches vice flat tip screwdrivers for removal!  Loctite is your friend and you should check your fasteners on a regular basis.  I am not kidding here.

The old design also makes them simple to work on.  When my rig's 35amp Russian alternator "grenaded itself" (they are known for that), it took out my timing gears as well.  I was able, with a little help from a friend, to tear things down, and put the new timing gears in place with no major travails. 

The newer ones comes with Nippon Denso alternators with a cushioned adapter for the gear that engages your engine timing gears.  It's supposed to be better but there's minor issues there as well.  You have to service it, make sure the bearings involved don't dry out.    They cost a bit over $500 though and are scarce.  Me?  Until someone comes out with an alternator solution as bulletproof as the Airhead Beemers, I will run a Total Loss Electrical System(TLES).  The TLES takes up a lot of space in the sidecar's trunk though. 

If you can test ride one before buying one, that would be the best thing.   Lots of guys buy one, find out its not what they thought and sell them.  It's a shame they don't invest the time, because the Ural is a fun vehicle.  Oh, and after riding mine all winter, it makes my 1987 R80 Beemer seem like a rocket!  : )

You know how they say Beemer transmissions are "klunky".  Russian transmissions make Beemer transmissions seem silky smooth.  The joke is that the final machining of the transmission gears is done by the owners!  There's a break-in period for new rigs that must be strictly followed by the way.  The more miles you put on the transmission, the better it'll get but you'll always be thinking of the phrase: "Loud Gears Save Lives" in the back of your mind.

Oh, and having a spare tire can be quite the Godsend.  Get a flat, pull the motorcycle onto its centerstand or jack it up with a small jack (not standard equipment) and with a bit of luck you're back on the road in less than 30 minutes.  Practice swapping a tire in your garage, this will pay off in dividends on the side of the road, in the dark under a pouring rain.  Trust me.

To sum it all up, a Ural Sidecar Rig will make a mechanic out of you or help put your local Ural dealer's kid through college, your choice.

Snow, rain, mud, deep gravel or loose sand?  No problem!  Though it is better to have another Uralista along for "moral support" sometimes on the more "interesting" terrain.

Your now vehicle enforced cruising speeds will allow you a closer look at your surroundings and perhaps not miss some of those sights you blew by before.  Ever wonder where that dirt trail went?  Wonder no more, just ride on down the trail and see what there is to see!

Regrets?  Not really, but if I were to do it over again, I'd probably try and get a newer Ural, say 2007 or newer.  They've really improved a lot.  I hope this posting helps someone out there thinking about getting a Ural Sidecar Rig, they really are a lot of fun but you do have to spend the time to take care of them as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Interviewed for RumBum

So the other week I was interviewed by Ken B. whom I sort of inherited the Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner gig from on examiner.com. (See top item on right side of this blog page).

The focus was my experiences so far with Natasha, my 1996 Ural Sportsman. I invite you to read what he wrote, pretty much sums up things in a general way as to the ownership "experience" when riding an old technology vehicle.

Click here to go to the article

note: yes Dave, I do know what rumbum means in the UK, I didn't pick the name of this outfit.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Natasha before her winter gear goes back on....

I am beginning to think that if I want cold weather, all I have to do is take the fairing off Natasha and the weather turns cold! We're now experiencing a cold spell here in Colorado and most of the nation this week. So the fairing and windshields are going to have to go back on.

Before I did that though, I took some pictures of Natasha as she sat prettily in the driveway and cul-de-sac. I prefer her looks without the fairing but being able to stay warm while riding is kind of key.






Yep, I understand it'd be better to pose her in a field with wide open spaces and skies in the background. But it was in the mid-30s when I took these pictures on Friday.....a bit too brisk for me when there's no wind protection.