Why did I get rid of the URAL?

I am betting anyone how follows motorcycles knows how this one is going to end and its exactly as you expected.

Background: In 2018 after having a horrible year that ended with a shattered ankle, I bought a brand-New 2018 Ural Gear Up.  A large part of the purchase was the shattered ankle and some of it was the fun a sidecar is.  However, after 2 years and 2,200 miles I could not stand it any longer. A lot of it could be my dealer, they could never get the oil to stop leaking. I would take it in for one leak just to arrive home with a different one (not even joking about this).

I have had air cooled bikes before and I know to let them warm up and cool down, but this bike was just always leaving oil trails no matter what I did. I read the entire owner’s manual and knew not to run it at high revs for a long time or to ride it at high speeds for over 20 minutes.

It got to the point where I would manically and chronically check the torque specs like a crazed scientist thinking “I have it this time” and check the levels before every trip.   I would then constantly worry about any trip lasting longer than an hour, fretting if I had lost enough fluids to cause additional harm to the motor and if I would even make it back home.

The weekly oil level and torque checks

Eventually agonizing over oil loss during a trip was more stress than I wanted, as riding the bike was supposed to be tension relieving not adding to it. Maybe it was the fact that the 2014 BMW has over 45,000 miles and has never leaked a single time and I never worry about the fact of getting home on the GS. I found myself with a proper working ankle riding the BMW more and more while riding the URAL less and less.

  • How Bad could it actually be?
    • Most Amazon boxes were regulated to the Ural parking space to keep the oil off the garage floor. 
  • What parts leaked? 
    • It rotated from place to place like there was a gremlin taunting me with that bike.  It eventually started leaking from a place I could not detect and that is when I could not tolerate the torment any longer.
  • Some things I discovered with the bike:
    • Atlas throttle locks are very good.
    • Jerry cans are cool looking but a bit of a hassle.
    • I never actually needed the 2-wheel drive.
    • The reverse always worked and worked well.

What did I get after dumping the Ural 2018 Gear Up?

I bought my older son a 2020 Honda CB500Xa to get his learners permit with and my youngest son a 2020 Yamaha TTR110em to get him started. That’s right having a Russian bike will make you jump to a set of Japanese bikes so fast it will make your head spin.

I really wanted the Ural to work I was pulling for it to be a winner.  I knew they had a bad reputation, but I thought the company had made improvements and the bikes where now stable.

  • Was the paint already starting to come off in places after just 2 years?
    • Yes
  • Were many of the “chromed” bolts already rusting?
    • Yes
  • Was it a lot of fun when it ran?
    • Yes
  • Was it a crazy expensive lesson to learn?
    • Yes
  • Would you ever consider buying another one?
    • No.  My hobby is riding bikes not fixing them.
Even with this HUGE tool roll its not enough