FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

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FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby JustKip » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:55 pm

I've been getting conflicting reports about this. Is there ONE gear ratio for ALL final drives? I've heard some say that sustaining 65 mph on a Patrol or GU is hard on the FD, and my vintage Jeep experience supports this :-(
I've heard others saying that the Retro, with it's smaller 18" wheels, can sustain 70mph
Different gearing, or burn out your Retro's FD sustaining highway speeds, just like the 2WD ones?
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby biggziff » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:58 pm

I don't know if it's true for all model years, but the newer Retros have a 3.89 final which is higher (taller) than the 2WD models.
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby rivers » Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:34 pm

The Retros are geared higher so 70 is easier obtained. But if you're looking to regularly sustain 70 mph be it for commuting daily or a x-country trip you're looking at the wrong bike. Sustained high speed running is not what these rigs were designed for. Use them within their design parameters they hold together fine, run them constantly maxed out you're asking for maintenance grief. Just cause it'll do 70 doesn't mean it's a good idea to sustain 70 as normal driving. If freeway flying is your thing I'd consider hacking a late oilhead BMW, V-strom or similar.
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby JustKip » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:53 pm

Not really looking for sustained touring at that speed, but here in CA the truck speed limit is 55. I'd like to be able to sustain close to 70 long enough to get passed a big rig traveling at 58 and continue on at 62. It really is a big difference, being able to pass or not.
If I'm in a hurry, my '07 GS will sustain "go-direcly-to-jail" speeds, but I'm lookin to take a dog and camping gear and don't need any more performance awards :wink:

Interstate travel is a fact of life for me at times, but I'm not in any great hurry. Just want to be able to deal with traffic on the highway when I need to.
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby BigJames » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:25 pm

Well, my Retro came stock with the 4.62 FD, 3.89 cost me something like $329 (Remember where I got her from, Ural NE). Live in the flat areas, like me, works great. Buzzing up the slab to Atlanta from Macon, she loves it. Take her to the mountains of West Virginia, like I did this summer and a 77 year old man and his stock Retro repeatedly spanked us in the hilly sections, and laughs as he passes... was a real PITA when he missed turns and I had to catch him...always got him down hill and where it was flat...
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby rivers » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:29 pm

Passing with a Ural. :) Novel idea, can't say I've had the experience. I've had mine up to 65 and pretty sure in time may have gotten to 70 w/o blowing up. I've gotten used to staying off roads that require 70 to survive. With my limited experience 50-60 is the bikes and my comfort level. It really likes 45-55 backroads. Forget your previous GS speeds and handling characteristics. Ive got an 05 GS and it took awhile to plan extra time to get there but the transition was worth it.
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby on2wheels52 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:12 pm

"I'd like to be able to sustain close to 70 long enough to get passed (I think you meant 'past') a big rig traveling at 58 and continue on at 62."

For myself, if I'm unfortunate enough to find myself on the interstate behind someone going 58 mph, I'm going to stay behind them until the next exit.

Hi rivers, I have an '05 GS also. Kind of a yin and yang affair.
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby biggziff » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:10 pm

BigJames wrote:Well, my Retro came stock with the 4.62 FD, 3.89 cost me something like $329 (Remember where I got her from, Ural NE). Live in the flat areas, like me, works great. Buzzing up the slab to Atlanta from Macon, she loves it. Take her to the mountains of West Virginia, like I did this summer and a 77 year old man and his stock Retro repeatedly spanked us in the hilly sections, and laughs as he passes... was a real PITA when he missed turns and I had to catch him...always got him down hill and where it was flat...

No kidding...maybe it's stock in the 12 and newer? I found references to it online, but maybe it was only on the 12.

Is it a lot of effort to change the diff? Maybe have both and switch depending on where you're riding?
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby JustKip » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:23 pm

biggziff wrote:Is it a lot of effort to change the diff? Maybe have both and switch depending on where you're riding?

Having never done it before, I'm betting it would take me at least 10 minutes the first time. I'm sure it would be easier to change out the whole thing, rather than the ring and pinion
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby Lee Pape » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:10 am

Please take this from someone who has been there and done that. If you have 19" wheels you do not want 3.89 gears. Also I know that my current Ural really gained in it's passing abbility (farm tractors, horse and buggy, and blue haired old ladies :sarcasm: ) once I got over 10,000 kilometers on it and the engine finally got it's self in it's happy spot (broke in).
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby JustKip » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:46 am

Lee Pape wrote:Please take this from someone who has been there and done that. If you have 19" wheels you do not want 3.89 gears.

Judging from what BigJames has said (quoted below) the 3.89 gears are almost too high for the 18" wheels as well - for anything but highway at least.
Maybe having a complete FD for each gear ratio IS the answer! That way I could slab it the 150-250 miles to the coast, then switch ratios to ride HWY 1
BigJames wrote:Well, my Retro came stock with the 4.62 FD, 3.89 cost me something like $329. Live in the flat areas, like me, works great. Buzzing up the slab to Atlanta from Macon, she loves it. Take her to the mountains of West Virginia, like I did this summer and a 77 year old man and his stock Retro repeatedly spanked us in the hilly sections, and laughs as he passes...
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby rivers » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:57 pm

JustKip wrote:Maybe having a complete FD for each gear ratio IS the answer! That way I could slab it the 150-250 miles to the coast, then switch ratios to ride HWY 1

Yeah you could buy a spare FD and keep swapping back and forth. You're more ambitious than this lazy old fart is. Since you want to go fast, don't want 2WD and already have a 1200 GS why not just hack the GS? DMC up in WA will do it for you for about 10 grand which is cheaper than a new Ural and spare FD's. Or for the 150-200 mile run and you get behind a 58 mph truck drop back out of his blind sport and settle in at 55 mph, relax and enjoy the ride. Most of us accept these for what they are and use accordingly, but it's your money and time.
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby JustKip » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:45 pm

rivers wrote:Since you want to go fast, don't want 2WD and already have a 1200 GS why not just hack the GS? DMC up in WA will do it for you for about 10 grand which is cheaper than a new Ural and spare FD's. Or for the 150-200 mile run and you get behind a 58 mph truck drop back out of his blind sport and settle in at 55 mph, relax and enjoy the ride. Most of us accept these for what they are and use accordingly, but it's your money and time.

Very good point and questions. As you can see from my "joined date", I've been looking at Urals for at least 1 1/2 years.(actually closer to 3) Hacking the GS has also been a consideration, but it's been kept off the table (mostly) for a couple of reasons.

I Love riding the GS, and with steering mods, Un-hacking it would be an all-day job and therefore pointless

Another reason; I was having a discussion with Roger (AceRph at Advrider) about the differences between his hacked GSA and Ural. Although the GSA easily cruises at 80, the Ural actually handles better and is faster on tight roads.

Then there's price. There are a couple of hack builders around, and Jay at DMC built Roger's rig. The best ones I've seen came from Claude at C Stanley Motorsports. Either way, prices Start near the cost of a Patrol T and quickly approach $20k. For the price of hacking the GS, more or less, I could keep the GS as-is AND have a Ural...and niether one would be perfect as an only ride nor the "ideal" hack.

I need to get off the fence, before I get splinters in my bum.
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Re: FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby BillyG » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:24 pm

Take this for what it's worth.

The Ural is a 50 mph cruiser all day, give or take 5 mph on flat, headwind less ground. Yeah, you can push it up to 75 mph. But it does not get there fast. And it comes to a stop even slower. If you start flogging it at 60+, you are going to start beating the hell out of the power train. Take it from a guy who has spent the last 200K km's pushing the limits of Russian metallurgy.

It's a 700-800 lb (dry weight), 40 hp, low geared (relatively) aerodynamic slug. It is already over taxed. If you have dreams of passing vehicles on any highway...just get that idea out of your p*&^$#@( head unless you want to end up a hood ornament. Maybe if you live near some Amish...you might get an opportunity to overtake something other than a bicycle.

<55 mph roads goooood. Interstate baaaad. It is that simple. The rig ain't a JEEP...and it ain't a super slab bike. The only thing it does well is move a sh!t load of stuff at moderate speeds over terrain that is less than smooth. Stay away from each end of the spectrum and it will serve you long and well.
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FD ratios - Retro vs 2WD?

Postby Dachary » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:07 pm

FWIW, in July/August, we took our Ural from Boston to CO and back and spent way more time than we wanted cruising at highway speeds. Some days we spent all day, 8+ hours, on the interstate. We had some performance issues which now appear to be ironed out... our 2WD will reach 70+ on a flat, and from what folks say here, we've ridden it harder than these bikes are meant to be ridden. That being said, we now have about 12,000km on and have had no serious issues. Will we have problems down the road from riding the interstate too much? Maybe. But if you stick around the forums, you'll see that plenty of ppl have problems even riding them within parameters.

All that being said, we got a lot more strategic about our passing when we were having performance issues with the Ural. We'd wait until it was clear behind us or we had a big opening to pass at 65MPH when folks were going under 60. And we're more likely to sit behind ppl going 60-62 on the Ural than we are on our other bikes.

If you're just looking for a rig that will occasionally see highway use and you want to be able to pass a truck going under 60, you can do it with the 2WD. But if you're looking for an all-day interstate commuter, popular wisdom would say it ain't the Ural.
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