Sheldon's 1998 Ural Sportsman - Week 10

6/27/98 Saturday Day 64...   I left the trickle charger on all night. This morning Son #1 took the battery out and we discovered that it is an Interstate sealed battery. I had thought that it might be low on electrolyte but that obviously couldn't be the problem.  I then ran to the local service station where they tested the battery and it was putting out 12.8 volts and there was no loss when they put it on the tester, under load. The battery tested good on all their tests.

Then I brought the battery home and re-installed it in the bike then rode it to the service station. He tested again, in the bike, revved a bit and it was putting out about 14.5 volts on the charging system which he said was normal and that seemed to be ok. Then he disconnected the hot lead to the solenoid. Clamping a test light to the end of the removed cable and putting the other end to the muffler it lit the light. Then putting the other end to the terminal on the solenoid there was no light with the switch off, then he tried it again with the switch on but the bike not running, the light did not light so he said it appeared that was not shorted and working.

I had thought that maybe there was a short draining the battery somewhere but I had charged the bike overnight, and removed the charger for four hours before we started to fiddle with it. If there were a short draining the battery, that didn't require the key to be on, it would have drained down during that time, but it tested at 12.8 after sitting for those four hours.

Put about 100 miles on the Ural today in twenty mile spurts. After all the fiddling with the wires things seem to be better. I also bumped up the idle a little bit. It still is starting much harder than it was, but that could just be an adjustment. Each time I take it out I fiddle with something else. Loosening this wire, then re-tightening it, playing with the idle, checking this and hitting things with a sledge hammer. No, I really didn't do that... <grin>

I do have to learn about the carbs though. I have never, ever tried to synch a set of carbs. I am beginning to suspect that I had a combination of problems. Possibly a bad ground somewhere, plus some carb adjustments out, and possibly some more paint in the gas tank. Did I tell you about that one?

There is some paint overspray on the gas filler on the inside of the neck. It appears that because, in Minnesota we are required to have at least 10% Ethanol in our gas, it seems to be dissolving the overspray. Every once in a while the bike just stops running while going down the road. I usually just switch the petcock to reserve, then back on a minute later and it seems to clear itself out. I figure it must be the flakes of paint dropping into the tank kludging things up. That is my guess anyway. You can rub your finger along that paint and easily see it is dissolving and flaking off.

It really felt good to ride tonight.  The weather was perfect, 75 degrees and the bike ran wonderfully.  I just hope it keeps up.

6/28/98 Sunday Day 65...   Another perfect day, 75 degrees and sunny.  Went for a couple of rides today but the bike was back to stumbling at low speeds, and it was down a bit in power.   Played with things a bit more but I am still stumped.  I am told that there is some good information entitled "Carburetor or Ignition" in the discussion forum at the Ural web site at  I will have to drop in there and look for it.  I will be on the road for the next few days and I had planned on bringing the bike with me in the back of the truck to do some running around central Wisconsin roads but the way it is running I sure wouldn't want to be stuck in some strange place with a broken bike.  I think I will stay close to home with it until I can either figure it out or get enough miles on it to hit the next service interval and take it back to Marlow.  I am sure that he will figure it out in no time.

6/29/98  Monday Day 66...   On the road.  Up at 4:00 a.m. and in Marathon Wisconsin by 9:30.  Met with some folks from Michigan that had chartered a jet just to come look at the software and hardware we had set up.  I hope they found it worth their while, it is one of the most advanced systems in the lumber industry.  But then just a few years ago an abacus would have qualified for that distinction.  The hardwood lumber industry has not been the most technologically advanced.  After meeting with them it was off to Shawano Wisconsin thinking all the way that I should have been riding the Ural over this route.

6/30/98 Tuesday Day 67...   Decided to head home after work today instead of Wednesday seeing as it is a "short" week.  Turns out I am off on Friday so I am going to spend it painting.  Got home at about 6:00 p.m. and was on the bike riding by 7:00.  Did a couple of hours of neighborhood riding.

7/01/98 Wednesday Day 68...      I wonder what it would take for me to have a day that I actually relax.  I probably need to leave town.  If I can get the bike running better by the weekend I might throw the tent in the back and head into the backwoods, find a nice clearing in the forest and spend a night watching the stars.  I have a bunch of web sites to update before next week but I do really need at least a day off.  It is going to be a push me/pull you kind of thing until Saturday afternoon.  We shall see if I head out or park myself in front of the computer again.  I was hoping to make the Sidecar rally in Missouri the end of the month but I was told last week that I can't take the time off as that is when we will be having our annual planning meeting.  I haven't had a full week off since 1985 so I was a bit disappointed.  Maybe a Saturday night and Sunday away from things would do me good.  I did manage to get in another hour's ride tonight.  Hit some dirt roads, found some fantastic land.  Now I just have to find out who owns it and if they can be convinced that they need to sell it...

7/02/98 Thursday Day 69...    Couldn't wait to get home and take the bike for a ride.  Ended up just cruising the neighborhood but it felt great.  The bike is running wonderfully once you get it rolling.  Still stumbles at slow RPMs.

7/03/98 Friday Day 70...    Had a day off today for the Fourth Of July (Independence day) holiday.   Decided to try to finish the painting in my kitchen.  Of course I also decided to not ride the bike today and really concentrate on getting the painting done.  That resolution only lasted until about 2:00 when I just HAD to take it out for a ride.   Hit some back roads and ran it up to about 50 mph for the first time since getting the new rear gears.  She sure does seem happy at that speed.  Went home after an hour of riding to finish painting.  That only lasted a couple more hours then I was back on the bike for another ride.  I think I must be addicted.

Week: Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

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Copyright 1989-2010, Sheldon T. Aubut, all rights reserved
Last modified: March 22, 2011

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