Ural's, I think

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sledgegreen
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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by sledgegreen » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:49 pm

I have a Dnepr sidecar on an R1150GS (currently off the road).

I bought it about 2 years ago. I was looking to get back on two wheels and had always been curious about sidecars. This combination came up on ebay, and emphasised how easily the sidecar could be detached from the bike, so I thought I would give it a try. My first ride had me on the wrong side of the road many times and in a ditch once. Riding a combination is completely different to riding a bike. First couple of weeks were scary. After that, great fun.

If you are really interested in importing one yourself, check the rules carefully before going ahead. I believe that you can only register combinations with the sidecar on the left. That is a pity - Ural make two wheel drive combinations, but only with the sidecar on the right. There may be some exceptions to the left-only rule. I think I have seen UK registered wartime BMW combinations at military vehicle shows, but can't be certain.

If you want more information, try the Soviet Steeds forum. ADV rider also has a number of active three wheeler riders. There are some really impressive DIY sidecar builders on there, if that takes your fancy. Also a couple of professional sidecar builders who are generous with advice.

To distinguish Dnepr and Ural sidecars, look at the boot. Dnepr boots are accessed by folding the seat back forwards. Ural boots have an access hatch.

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HoboBeemer
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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by HoboBeemer » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:56 am

Must be something in the water as the last few months I have also been looking at Urals, I think Fortnine on YT did a video on them?..

Love the idea but in the crazy idea of ownership vs sensible head sadly sensible head wins by a decent amount. I would like to have one for a extended trip through to see what they are all about, only time I rode a sidecar was a tinpot 125 custom brew that you see everywhere in Asia and it scared the living piss out of me, possibly as the owner was using it as a Taxi carrying upto 5 people with only about 12 PSI in the sidecar tyre, I found I was constanly being pulled to one side whenever I open the throttle, not to mention engaging my brain with a rotary style gearbox (C90 stylee)... Thinking now I was wired with fear and would most certainly do it again!!!!!!...

Speaking of older Russsian vehicle I still have a yearning for a Lada Niva, esp the new Bronco model I think it is, if I could get one new in the UK for a resonable price I think actually would, a 2020 vehicle that you do not need a laptop to service, now that is a novelty.

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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by daveuprite » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:14 am

HoboBeemer wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:56 am
Speaking of older Russsian vehicle I still have a yearning for a Lada Niva, esp the new Bronco model I think it is, if I could get one new in the UK for a resonable price I think actually would, a 2020 vehicle that you do not need a laptop to service, now that is a novelty.
Maybe also take a look at an early Fiat Panda 4x4, Hobo. They're excellent, nice simple light cars and tougher than you might think. Good fun to drive actually and they can get almost anywhere. Sometimes we've been riding enduro bikes pretty high up in the Pyrennees (2500 metres) with nothing but rocky/gravel tracks for miles around and suddenly you come across a farmer in a Panda 4x4 doing just fine!

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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by DanielS » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:38 am

I'm having great fun choosing taxis. Normally travel in the buses but being a bit more careful due to covid. So far I've had a few Ladas. Sadly no Nivas, I suspect because a lot of them (all of them?) appear to be two door versions.

As for the bike, just trying to get the whole importing and registration process understood. The Gov www makes it sound like it needs a Motorcycle IVA (MSTA I think they call it) but other sources say that as long as it's over 40 years old it doesn't need that nor an initial MOT inspection to say it's safe.

Then there's the issue of VAT. Once again, some sources say 20% and others say not if it's over 40 years.

I'll have a proper read when I get home next week unless anyone has any info?

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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by Tonibe63 » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:45 am

The guy in our village used to run MPC and was known for his Ural sidecar display antics aswell as importing them, his unit is about 5 miles away in South Leicestershire. Looking on Facebook he features on a page called Sidecar Emporium and looks to be building left hand chair conversions of modern bikes. For me he would be the first guy to contact about all things sidecar and Urals/Dniepers. More of a 'Fred in a shed' type of setup rather than a dealership but I see that as a positive.
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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by DanielS » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:14 am

East Mids, south of Leicester ..... That's where I live :). Shall look him up. Thanks!

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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by fatowl » Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:03 pm

i had a solo ural 650 back in about 1979 or 1980. It was ok to ride, but rather slow. Gearchange was very ponderous. It had a rubber bung as a universal joint in the shaft drive which disintegrated on the M1. The shaft was also destroyed, but, at the time, spares were cheaply available, and also 2nd hand bits.

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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by sledgegreen » Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:46 pm

HoboBeemer wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:56 am
I found I was constanly being pulled to one side whenever I open the throttle,
That is what put me in the ditch.

More precisely, it was the opposite effect - the side car wheel is not powered and not braked, so when you accelerate the side car drags the bike towards it. When you brake, the sidecar wants to carry on and pushes the bike away from the sidecar.

To travel straight, you need to steer towards the car when braking and away from the car when accelerating. That takes a bit of learning. Until you get the hang of it, it can be scary. Touching the brakes can have you in oncoming traffic very quickly.

The other scary thing which happened to me a couple of times was unintentionally "flying the chair" on left hand bends. Bikes are meant to lean into corners. When the car comes off the ground, the bike is leaning outwards.

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Re: Ural's, I think

Post by Snaf MKII » Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:16 pm

sledgegreen wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:46 pm
HoboBeemer wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:56 am
I found I was constanly being pulled to one side whenever I open the throttle,
That is what put me in the ditch.

More precisely, it was the opposite effect - the side car wheel is not powered and not braked, so when you accelerate the side car drags the bike towards it. When you brake, the sidecar wants to carry on and pushes the bike away from the sidecar.

To travel straight, you need to steer towards the car when braking and away from the car when accelerating. That takes a bit of learning. Until you get the hang of it, it can be scary. Touching the brakes can have you in oncoming traffic very quickly.

The other scary thing which happened to me a couple of times was unintentionally "flying the chair" on left hand bends. Bikes are meant to lean into corners. When the car comes off the ground, the bike is leaning outwards.
I guess you didn't have a passenger to help out, it's all about body positioning :-)
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