Another day, another misadventure. But it ended up alright. And it wasn't the Ural's fault in the first place.
I was going to ride about 200 miles from my home in New Braunfels, TX to the Ural dealership in Houston for a Ural Day they were hosting. I must admit that yesterday I noted that something was off in the shifting of my bike. I checked the transmission oil level and it was good to go and didn't have that much mileage. So this morning, I headed out. Good thing I needed gas early. I stopped at a gas station 7 miles from home. I realized when pulling in the clutch, the engine wasn't fully disengaging. I noticed this as I was pulling back out of the gas station. So, I decided to stop at the intersection up ahead and take a look at the clutch cable. I did that, about 10 miles from home. I saw that the cable was all frayed at the handlebar end. I decided to head back home. I start the bike back up, hop on, and pull the clutch to put it in first gear and
*SNAP* goes the clutch cable.
I thought maybe if I could get the rpms just right, maybe I could just drop it into gear without the clutch and then try to do clutchless shifting home, being extra careful at the couple stop signs I'd have to deal with. No dice. All I managed to do was move a few feet and leave some skid marks on the ground.
When my wife came on over to pick me up, I took a gamble and drove to Martindale, TX, which is close by, because I know there's a guy who owns a shop for old BMWs who just did a Ural/BMW conversion. I thought he might either have what I needed or be able to make something that would work to get the bike home. I was in luck. He bought a bunch of inventory from an old Ural dealership when it closed down years ago. He had a brand new clutch cable he was willing to sell to me for $15 and several old used clutch cables which he was willing to part with for free. I bought the new one.
In addition to selling me the cable, he let me ride on his creation. It's an old (1996 I think) Ural Italia with a BMW R75 motor and a CJ gear box. It was an interesting ride. The front drum brake seems no better than Fred Flintstone brakes. The bike stopped okay with use of the rear and sidecar brake too. The power delivery is different from the Ural, at least the 2014 Ural I'm used to. I'd say it felt smoother than my Ural. I did get a few false neutrals with the CJ gearbox but I'd say it had a smoother feel than the clunky feel of my Ural's gearbox. The owner is getting a new seat for the bike, so he may part with the red bench seat on his FrankenUral. If so, I want it. I liked the way it feels over the stock Patrol seat. And a red bench seat would probably look pretty good on my red Patrol. We'll see. Any way, here are some pics.
That's a classy looking bike, if you ask me.