Acquiring our Russian Bride… er Bike

Today we drove out to Ural of New England to turn over our cashier’s check for the bike (yikes! Neither of us has ever paid cash for something that expensive before!) and fill out the paperwork. We had a last minute snafu as we were gearing up and doing our normal pre-ride check before getting out on the bikes… Kay’s valve stem on the rear tire started spurting air, and he couldn’t get it to stop. It’s stuck in the open position. We grabbed the Cycle Pump, and our valve stem tool, but were unable to tighten it. With time a-wasting (as Kay was on the clock and taking a “long lunch” from work) we opted to deal with the tire later and rent a Zipcar to drive out to Ural NE to do our paperwork.

After a delayed departure, we arrived around 1:30PM to start signing things. Everything went very smoothly – they had the paperwork all ready and it was fast and easy. (I did notice a typo – thankfully before we started signing the Title – but it didn’t take long to correct.) Turned over our check with surprisingly little fanfare, and that was that.

Only one small hitch… when we would pick it up. They were saying the bike would be ready for Friday, and we asked if we could pick it up on Sunday, as we had a friend who was willing to give us a ride out to the dealer (thanks, Diane!) so we could ride back together in the Ural. Unfortunately, we would have to do a “training” checklist to make sure we understand how to operate the bike properly before driving off in it, and the guy who does the training wouldn’t be able to be there on Sunday. But! The accommodating people at Ural NE said that if we could stick around for 15-20 minutes, Dmitry himself would run us through the training today and then we’d be all clear to pick up our bike on Sunday!

Didn’t have to ask us twice. While we were waiting for Dmitry, we went back and got a look at our rig being assembled. It was AWESOME.

We chose this paint color scheme from a picture on the Ural of NE website – they didn’t have it on the floor but we thought it looked a bit cheerful, and with a woman riding it, would get a pretty positive reception. (Many of the other color schemes are camouflage color schemes, which we thought might not be well received in some of the countries we intend to travel through. And while we appreciate everything the boys in the military do for us, the last thing we want to do is have some crazy in some other country targeting us because we’re in military camo, not understanding that we’re just tourists. So we decided to pick a color scheme that said “Tourist!” to be perceived in a relatively harmless manner. We also think this will help if we have any run-ins when we’re hidey-camping… if we were in a camo motorcycle in a stealth-colored tent, people would be much more likely to perceive us as up to something… whereas if we’re in a brightly colored bike and a brightly colored tent, the worst we’re likely to get is “dumb tourists.” And that can be valuable.)

But I digress. We hadn’t actually seen this color scheme in person… and I was really impressed with how beautiful it is. It’s a deep, rich blue and it just looks GREAT up close and personal. I couldn’t be happier. Although it’s so pretty I might be inclined to wash it more often than I otherwise would…

After a few minutes of staring at our bike being assembled, and meeting the technician, Chip, we went back to the showroom to poke the other bikes and wait for Dmitry. We stared at another Ural Patrol and pondered the convertible top that we want to rig up for the dogs, and before we knew it, Dmitry was there to give us our “training.”

I’m actually really pleased by how they do this. They have a checklist that they go through to make sure you understand how the bike operates. He showed us some useful stuff (including a couple of common problems that people sometimes call for service on, but are easily remedied by the rider) and familiarized us with the bike controls. We had a chance to ask questions. Then we took it outside so he could show us how things operate, how to turn on and off the 2WD, how to engage reverse gear (YES! This bike has reverse!) and the proper starting procedure – including choke, if necessary. And then off we went on a couple of laps around the building!

We had told Dmitry a little about our motorcycling background, and the fact that we’d taken the sidecar class a couple of weeks earlier, and he commented that it was obvious that we both knew our way around bikes. He seemed pleased with how we handled it, and frankly – I was quite pleased with how it handled! It was SO MUCH BETTER in EVERY way than the crappy little Honda Nighthawk bikes we rode in sidecar class. The throttle has a smooth response and plenty of power, it doesn’t require NEARLY as much fighting through the turns, and it had brakes! Woot! I was very, very pleased with how it felt and now am SUPER PSYCHED about picking up ours on Sunday!

After Ural training, we signed off on the checklist, asked if we could take home our owner’s manual so we could familiarize ourselves with the break-in procedures and just review it, and bought the service manual and repair manual. We asked if we could stick around and watch the 500KM service when we do it (probably in a couple of weeks) and were told that they’d be happy to show us some stuff while they do the service, and to just scheduled it with the service manager when we’re ready.

Couldn’t be happier. Dmitry was fantastic, and took as much time with us as we wanted. It’s obvious that he’s quite knowledgeable about these bikes and his customers, and he easily answered some of our questions about prepping for our trip to Colorado in July. He made it easy to part from our money, and now I’m uber excited about picking up our bike. I think we’re gonna love it.

2 Comments

  1. I saw you guys at twisted thottle but we were late going to see the stunt show and did not see you after that. I really enjoyed following your corporate runaways thread on ADV. I hope you get everything squared away with your Ural. If you ever find your self needing a place to stay on Long Island just shoot me an email, my wife and I would be happy to host you.

    1. Hey, thanks Dirk! Sorry we missed you at Twisted Throttle – we ended up being there all day, but we attended several of the workshops in the “classroom” area so that may be where we vanished to.

      Thanks for the well-wishes re: the Ural, and I’m glad you enjoyed the CR thread on ADV! Rest assured, we’ll start a new thread on ADV for our next RR (we may do one for the trip we have planned out to Colorado in July). And thanks for your kind offer of hosting – we don’t get down that way very often, but if we do, I’ll keep you in mind!

      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Twisted Throttle, and have a great summer :)

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