By Bruce Mike
I recently went on an off-road riding trip with some friends to Moab Utah. This was our third such trip out there but our first with Urals. We left the Twin Cities with four guys and six bikes, two of the bikes being Urals. My friend and I had them set up for off-road with bash plates and two-into-one high exhaust. Both of us had spent some time riding them off-road when they were stock and decided before we took them to Moab, they needed some changes. Both of our bikes are fuel-injected so we had them mapped for off-road and added tuners when we put the exhaust on. The modifications weren’t extensive but the results sure were. These bikes are now about twice as much fun to ride. They are quicker from gear to gear and even have a better highway cruising speed. If you have a Ural and haven’t done these type of mods, I would highly recommend it.
There are a number of things we learned on this Ural off-road experience. First, riding 130 miles of trail in one day is about 65 too many on Ural suspension. Second, two-wheel drive is only helpful in deep sand and climbing steep hills. Third, and probably most important, Urals are indestructible.
We rode the White Rim trail and it was a teeth rattling ride for about two thirds of the 130 miles. So not only are you getting pounded by the trail but you have to drive a Ural. It was the most exhausting day of off-road riding I think I’ve ever had.
It didn’t take us long to discover the disadvantages of two-wheel drive. We had them locked in as soon as we left the asphalt and found out quickly that the drive wheel on the sidecar, especially in tricky, off-camber trail areas, would push the bike hard to the left. This is not a big deal in deep sand or snow but when there is a 200 foot canyon on the left, it’s a fight you don’t need. I was truly amazed at the terrain we were able to navigate with the Urals. Sometimes it was a fight to get through it but they never failed.
We pounded the crap out of these bikes and they just kept going. Nothing fell off, nothing came loose and the day after we got home I rode mine to work. I love the Ural for rush hour commuting. It’s comfortable and everybody sees me. Especially with all the lights on.
If you’re looking for an all-around bike that can do just about anything, check out a Ural. It’ll give you more smiles per mile than you thought possible.