To me it's the ultimate adventure bike. Two-wheeled drive, go anywhere, year round, kick ass, take your kids, wife, dog(s), and look really cool while doing it, machine. Plus, it's such a basic machine, with 1930's technology, that it's easy to wrench on. Which is important for someone with limited mechanical skills, like myself.
I have read all the horror stories in ADVRider.com on how unreliable they are, however almost every bike on ADVRider has horror stories. I'm surprised anyone buys BMW 1200's for fear of final-drive failure. The true Uralist's rave about them, and yes they do require more routine maintenance than say a Honda, with shorter oil-change and valve check intervals, but that's not the end of the world. I would also like to become more mechanically savvy, so having to work on a bike a little more is something I look forward to. Plus if I really mess up I have a friend who owns a bike shop with real mechanics to bail me out. More on that later.
I am looking at a Ural Patrol, most likely a 2013 model, as they are a little cheaper in price, unless I can come across a well priced 2014. Ural updated the whole line this year, and came out with fuel-injection, triple disc brakes (rear drums on the previous models) and an upgraded steering damper. All the things I would like to have, but the price tag is over $20K with tax. A new 2013 can be had for $17K tax in.
It's a lot of money for a bike designed by BMW in the 1930's, however it's the only one designed to be used with a sidecar, and the only one with two-wheeled drive. I'd also ride it all year round. They go great through the snow. What about the dreaded salt covered roads? I'd have it undercoated, and use liberal amounts of rust inhibitor spray throughout the winter. Plus my garage is not heated.
There's a group of Uralists in Maine and New Hampshire that ride all year with no issue and they deal with road salt all the time.
Anyone interested in 2006 Vstrom 1000 with 26000 miles on it?
I was supposed to be reporting to you from the Orange County Convention Center in sunny Orlando again this year, however work plans changed.
Last year I was in Orlando for my yearly flight simulator training, and was able to take in the Expo compliments of CMG and their press passes for the show. I was once again sked for training at the same time, and was going to go early and take in the show before it opened to the public, do the real Joe Reporter thing. I was pretty stoked, Ducati and Kawasaki where attending this year too.
About a month ago the boss changed my sked. They needed one of the senior guys for a week long overseas trip, so it was given to yours truly. Nice to be needed. Now a week in Europe is not a bad thing either, but no demo rides or shiny new bikes to lust after for Terry.
Remember that friend of mine with a bike shop? If you are familiar with Saint John, New Brunswick, you'll know that Maclean's Powersport has been a fixture on Rothesay Avenue for a lot of years. It was by no means the best bike shop around. It was a dark, bland, I'd almost say junky kind of spot where the employees were unmotivated. The had a great location and building, but it was lifeless.
Well that's all changed, thanks to new owner Tim Hovey who bought Maclean's and has renamed it Motosport Plus. Tim was with another dealer selling Harley Davidson's for years, and was most recently sales manager for one of the big car dealers in town before making his dream of owning a bike shop a reality. You will not find a nicer guy wanting to sell you the latest recreational toy.
Tim has since hired some new, very experienced staff, and is in the middle of remodelling the shop. The place looks a lot brighter and more organized, and the staff seem stoked about the new changes.
They are currently a dealer for Yamaha, Suzuki, and Arctic Cat, but there are hints of some possible additional brands. Hint, hint, maybe Ural Tim? I'll help you sell them.
Of course their grand opening is next week, while I am overseas. If you are in the area stop in say hi, and checkout what they have to offer. I will be doing a more thorough write-up and interview with Tim later on.
I wish Tim, his family and all the staff the best of luck with Motosport Plus. I'm sure it will become one of Saint John's top recreational motorsports retailers.