Showing posts with label Site Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Site Review. Show all posts

Friday, July 23, 2010

Autoblog's review of the 2010 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig

Autoblog.com has posted a very positive review of their experience with riding the 2010 Ural Patrol Sidecar Rig in the wilds of Northwest Washington State.  I invite you to their posting to get a non-sidecar rider's perspective on what its like to ride these beasts.

source: autoblog.com
click the above for the full review 


The review is couched within the context of the reviewer nearly plumetting off the side of a mountain road while following an experienced sidecar rider.  His experience and the lack of experience with sidecars that is mentioned by the author should be read and believed.  Sidecars are truly worlds apart from two wheeled motorcycles and care and training should be taken with them.

So, go read the full review, lots of good pictures there on autoblog.com, they did a nice job of reviewing the newest version of my own Ural Sidecar Rig: Natasha.  I will throw in this though, the reviewer from autoblog really was impressed with the 2WD functions of the 2010 Ural.  My Natasha has FULLTIME 2WD as it comes with a differential!

 My Natasha, 1996 Ural Sportsman, here on Fall River Road, in the RMNP

I've never been able to find out why Ural quit making the model with fulltime 2WD, go figure!

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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A travelogue blog, with a different view of life....

I'd read Oisin Hughes', yes that's his real name....he jokes that his mother was dropping LSD when she thought of it....travelogue before and now he's on the road again, this time apparently going round the world instead of just riding the American continent.

His first blogging adventure: 30,000 Miles on 2 Wheels where he rides from Nova Scotia down to the tip of Argentina was quite the read and I really liked the "colorful" descriptions he used to describe the experiences he encounters while riding from one country to the next.

Now, he's at at month four or so of a planned trip around the world, lucky bastard. He last posted an entry from Columbia and he is apparently doing well in spite of some colorfully detailed events.

Highly recommended reading for riders who someday dream of riding further than their own's country's borders. Specially on those snowy/icy days when you don't have a working Ural sidecar rig in your garage.....

Here's some excerpts I found amusing and which in a way reminded me somewhat of Mr Riepe's storytelling abilities:

On his trying to wash his underwear and get it dried out by draping it on a lamp:

I tried to wash at least a pair of cacks and socks and dry them on the lights but the lights were all energy saver type, more heat in a mouse fart.

What happened after eating what the locals ate in Mexico:

The grub pretty much made like a bobsleigh as it cascaded from one orifice to the other.... Neither of us slept very well and both pretty much blew out an O-Ring this morning.

He is traveling with no tools and unable to find some once he realizes they might come in handy:

I checked my Spanish phrase book and not unsurprisingly any words to do with tools; adjustable spanner, screwdriver, leatherman were all in short supply. I went around and asked a few locals where I could buy some tools, describing tools by making a screwdriver action with my hands, or a spanner action. They kept saying to me this place called Romero. It was a clothing store, I couldn’t figure out what about the actions I was doing led people to believe I wanted to get some clothes.

So, you get the idea, check out his current travels at: BacktoBroke, it'll be worth your time I think. I've added him to the list of bloggers I track.

He shoots some marvelous photography as well:

Source: Oisin's posting of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

Source: Posting while in Montana

Here's Oisin, while at Chichen Itza, Mexico

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My new Hero: Hubert Kriegel

I'd never heard of the man till this month's edition of the BMW Motorcycle Owner's Association publication of Owner's News. I am very glad that they did a write up on this guy, nay on this adventurer!

Hubert Kriegel is his name, a sidecar rig rider, in his early 60's, and criss-crossing his way around the world on a ten year adventure! He basically sold everything he had, equipped himself at first with a R100GSPD Tug mated to Ural Sidecar and off he went.

He's now on his fifth year of traveling the world and apparently has switched to using a Ural Sidecar rig; at least while he's in Russia....which is his current location apparently.

I got the following photos from the BMWMOA online version of the magazine article: The Timeless Ride.



As you can see, neither heat nor cold stop this guy from exploring the remote corners of our planet while on his sidecar rig. This guy is my new Hero!

Here's Mr Kriegel's website: The Timeless Ride , there's tons of pictures there, of which I've seen just a small amount during my lunchtime break.

As I mentioned before, the pictures and initial info are from the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association's website: LINK

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Site Review: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Now Online

If you've ever read Robert M. Pirsig's book, it probably took you a few times and some effort to read it all the way through; to grasp the many concepts, characters and finally the author's pursuit of the definition of "Quality". The book, loosely uses motorcycle maintenance as analogies and metaphors to allow Pirsig the convoluted tail of a ride with his son. At least, that's how the book drew me in, as I suspect many other motorcyclists were attracted to the title as well.

Photo courtesy of The new Cafe (racer) Society where I found out about the online version of the book

Click on the photo above to go to the online version of Pirsigs book.

This book has had a profound effect on many people. Some of these have tried to follow and replicate the motorcycle ride that Robert Pirsig and his son did. The ride is the vehicle by which the author communicates the mental struggles and questions he was dealing with during the trip and afterwards.

One of these Pirsig fans has a site to help you discover more about Quality, the book and here's the best part, a guide to the route taken by Pirsig as documented by other riders.

ZMM Quality's host, Professor Henry Gurr does an outstanding job of providing information for riders who wish to ride the route taken by Pirsig. He also offers links and information to help a reader to perhaps understand more fully the work of Pirsig. It's well worth your visit if concepts written about in Pirsig's "culture-bearing" book have so far escaped you in terms of understanding them. I know I sure have questions about some of the stuff Pirsig wrote!

Robert M. Pirsig and his son Chris, during that famous ride. Photo courtesy of ZMMQ

Link to the ZMMQ or Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance Quality.

So, click on the first photo, there's the book for you to read online.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Named as Blog of the Week by Motoblogz.com

Motoblogz.com is a site new to me which selected this meandering blog of mine as their Blog of the Week.

Click on the pic above to go to motoblogz.com

Brett of Motoblogz.com states:

One of my "hobbies" has been reading motorcycle ride reports on the various motorcycle forums. I then discovered how many riders were blogging and started to add some of them to my browsers favorites menu. That list of blogs quickly got pretty long, so I decided to start a website to list and categorize all the motorcycle blogs I've found, which is what you see today with MotoBlogz.com.

This is my personal website. I do it all by myself. I'm just a guy with a computer who eats, sleeps, and drinks motorcycles. Whether it's a sport motorcycle, super motard, or dual sport bike, I'll ride it and tinker with it.

I've not explored Brett's site fully yet but it lists, as of today, 247 separate blog sites related to motorcycling in some way or fashion! Might be worth taking a look on your part. It's good to see some competition to alltop.com's motorcycling blog listing.

If you ride and have a blog, he's got a link on his site to get yours added....if you wish to possibly add to your readership, you may want to check it out.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Review: Jeff Munn's Motorcycling Journals

I stumbled upon Jeff Munn's great collection of ride stories detailing his journeys through Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world while searching for something else.

Highly recommended reading, even though I am biased as a fellow beemer rider. Jeff writes in a colorful and detailed manner that makes his stories easy and entertaining to read. He also uses phrasings and vocabulary that betray him as a former army guy, this I found to give his writing the welcome feel of happy days past when I wore camouflage.

I've added his website to the links section on the right hand side of this blog.

For you unfortunate riders who are stuck not being able to ride during this winter, I point you in Jeff's direction for a few hours solace in reading of his adventures. His stories of riding in Europe made me regret not having discovered motorcycling while I myself was stationed there while on active duty. Someday, I'll ride Europe.

He's also working on restoring old beemers, he sent me this picture of his present project, a gorgeous 1958 R50 Beemer with a Steib Sidecar.

Did I mention it was gorgeous?

Go see his stuff! Jeff's BMW Travel Page

He's also done a RTW (Ride around The World): From Hadrians Wall to The Great Wall

Jeff's Central America ride: LINK

I am hoping he'll continue writing about his motorcycling journeys but in blog format so that one is notified when new stuff comes in. Hint, Hint, Nudge, Nudge there Jeff.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Discovering a New Motorcycling Blog

Today I was reading through the AUG 08 edition of the BMW Owner's News magazine. I read with much delight a trip report by Jack Riepe on his riding group's recent trip in New Jersey to seek a meal of that uniquely Scottish dish: Haggis.

Jack Riepe is a professional writer and quite entertaining in the way he comments on life in general but with a motorcycling influence. I highly recommend you check out his blog: LINK.

The article in the BMW Owner's News magazine had me laughing out loud in his vivid description of a bump-starting of a GS situation they encountered while on the road trip. My kids ran over and asked me why I was laughing in such a loud and maniacal fashion, very unusual for me I assure you. I read the article to them and it was so well written that even they got the humor of the situation and laughed at the appropriate times. This is unusual for them when it comes to my kind of humor!

His review of the movie "The Long Way Down" was outstanding, much better than mine. Read his to see what you really missed and some amusing commentary of his own thrown in.

Again, go read the man's blog, I know you'll find it a good use of your time, unless of course you were going to be riding your motorcycle instead. Jack Riepe would understand, and so would I.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Long Distance Touring - 1924

Phil Gooding Jr, on his Indian Scout motorcycle, made quite the long distance riding tour back in 1924. This may be a book I buy to read all the details of motorcycle touring "back in the day".

Based on the excerpts in the website hawking the book, the roads were quite primitive back then across the US and more an adventure than today's modern super slabs.

LINK to website.

From the website:

Phil didn't have a lot of time for writing, riding his Indian 9,427 miles in just about 60 days. But he did manage to make an entry just about every day he was on the road. It's not a story, and there's no soul searching hoo-hah in the pages he wrote at the end of long days on his motorcycle. He was twenty, and out for a ride all the way across the country.
The journal entries on the website are short, sweet and to the point as alluded to above. I was very interested in the entries for when he was transiting Colorado, my home state, to read his descriptions of familiar locations and how they looked 84 years ago!

Here's some pics from the website:


Gooding's Indian Scout, before the trip

Gooding's Route, quite a trip even with today's motorcycles!