Stuff related to my 2000 Ural 650 Patrol 2WD sidecar rig

I traded a 1970 Honda CB350K2 for this in September 2019. This is the last year for the 650cc engines, but maybe the first for the electric start. It also came with Keihin CV carbs which is a big improvement over the old Russian ones. It ran but I did not trust the old Russian alternator (G-424) that was on it. Fortunately there is a great upgrade possible by fitting a Nippon Denso alternator with a special adaptor and I sourced one from Terry at Crawford Sales , one of perhaps two shops that still support the 650s in the U.S. I put in a fresh battery at the same time and that combo has been running reliably for 2 years now, driven frequently at fairly short distances, often in cold weather, and I’ve never had to put a battery charger on it. The other upgrade I did was to fit a Pingel petcock to replace the leaky original. I required an adapter that my machinist turned for me. I think the petcock is probably now the most highly engineered thing on the rig!

It took me 2-3 days of practice to get the hang of driving the sidecar. Not full days, just a couple short runs around the neighborhood each day. At first it was terrifying. Since then I’ve had no issues. I whacked my truck with the sidecar fender once, before I got used to the spatial extent of the rig. I “flew” the sidecar inadvertently a couple times. I do not do that for fun; I don’t trust the chassis that much.

I use the Ural for running errands around town and occasionally for performing an “attitude adjustment” on Ella, my granddaughter. I wouldn’t trust it for a long trip yet since I’ve never done anything in the engine or chassis except change the oil and adjust the front brake so the stopping power went from “nonexistent” to “detectable”. I’ve had it up to 55 mph but 45 is a more realistic cruising speed on the flat. Don’t ask about hills.

I use the Ural all year round here in Colorado. It is an excellent winter hack with great weather protection and heated grips. It goes very well in moderate amount of snow even with the sidecar drive engaged. I’ve tried the 2WD a few times and it definitely makes it even harder to stop the Ural but I need to investigate why it is extremely difficult to get it OUT of 2WD. You can’t leave it engaged on dry pavement because there’s no differential.

The Ural starts easily with 1-3 kicks most of the time and the e-start is almost instantaneous. In warm weather it doesn’t really need the enricheners. I haven’t measured carefully but it seems to get 30-35 mpg.

No motorcycle I have ever owned gets the positive attention the Ural does, especially from women. If you’re a lonely old guy and want to meet fun-loving women, this is the ticket. I’m happily married but I’ve had a number of pleasant conversations with ladies who come up and strike up a conversation about the sidecar. Most of them would hop in right then and there if invited.

Delivering Thanksgiving goodies with Susie and Bibi