Sheldon's 1998 Ural Sportsman - Week 12

7/11/98 Saturday Day 78...   fos11.gif (13075 bytes)     The Duluth News Tribune wrote a nice article about me this morning.   It was full of lies.  They said way too many nice things.  Check it out at: .   Bike ran better than it has ever run since I got it.  Ran in on the freeway and home again the same way.  Kept it at about 57 mph and it was oh so smooth.  And I had so much fun.  The looks I get when I am riding it in costume are kind of strange though.  People must think I am some kind of weird Amish person who is not orthodox and rides weird bikes.  Maybe they think it is some kind of farm implement?  It is 94 degrees F. here today and much hotter than usURAL here so I am going to have to go for a ride.

A friend of mine stopped by on her Harley and wanted to go for a ride.  It didn't take a lot of talking to get me to go.  The bike ran perfectly, for about 20 miles!!!   Then there was a grinding noise from the starter/generator so I pulled over, shut it off, and we chatted for a few minutes trying to figure what to do.  I hit the starter to see what the thing sounded like but it was dead.  Nothing happened.   I then tried kicking it and it started right up.  Sounded ok, with no grinding so I decided I should be able to make it the three mile home.  Just before I pulled in the driveway it again made the grinding noise.  I shut it off, then hit the starter again.  Nothing.  The funny thing is that yesterday, when I left Northern Sports, Marlow's last words to me were, "I think that I will take the front end apart on your next trip down here.  I think I should check those gears, they just don't sound quite right."  Argh...

7/12/98 Sunday Day 79...   Tonight I was supposed to take the bike over to the Wolf's Head Rally to put it on display but I certainly couldn't ride it like that.  I went over to the rally location and checked in.  We finally decided that I would go get the bike in the truck and we could put it on display for a few days.  Marlow is supposed to be bringing down some more bikes for display on Friday.  Maybe he can bring mine back with him and fix that darn thing.  I had one day of riding when the bike was in its top form.  I would have hoped that by now I would have had many days.   I knew I shouldn't have been so persistent about getting the electric start.   Sometimes we get what we want, but it turns out to not be what we want.

It looks like I will be working registration or some other job at the rally so I may not miss the bike too much.  The Wolf's Head Rally is a week long extravaganza with AMA sponsored races, rides, a Lake Superior Circle Tour ride, dances, bike shows and general madness.  They are expecting about 5,000 bikes.  The rally doesn't even start until tomorrow but the bikes are already showing up and I even met a bunch that had come all the way from fiery Florida.  They are raffling off a 1998 Ural Deco Classic in blue and cream.  It is a gorgeous bike and I even bought two chances on it.   Wouldn't it be a hoot if I won another Ural...

7/13/98 Monday Day 80...    Went by the show and spent the night talking to bikers about the Ural.   Gave away my 25 flyers in about an hour.  Everyone that walks by the bike NEEDS to stop and chat about it.  And of course, even though I am such a shy person (He, he, he) I do chat up a storm.  Even though I have had some problems with the bike, it is still the most exciting motorcycle I have ever owned.  I even bought two more chances on the Deco Classic...  Couldn't help myself...

7/14/98 Tuesday Day 81...    It has been in the 90's the last five days here.  That is more hot weather than we usually get in a whole summer and perfect for the rally.  I wish my Ural were with me on the road instead of on display in an arena but hopefully I will be up on it again soon.  Today was hot but loaded with thunderstorms so it didn't hurt quite as much to be without the bike.

Had a conversation with Ural Tech Support today and they think there might be three gears that need to be replaced.  As soon as Marlow can take it apart we will know for sure.  They said they will ship the parts as soon as Marlow can get the order in to them.  They have been more than accommodating and helpful.  And they and I agree that once we get through this I should be all sorted out, broken in, and running smoothly.  In two weeks I will be taking it along on a trailer to the Wisconsin Moto Guzzi Rally in Southern Wisconsin.  I'm planning on having the Ambassador in the bed and the Ural trailered.  By the end of that weekend I should have two running bikes.  And I have just heard that the Harley might come in in August or September.  I haven't a clue how I am going to pay for it but I could possibly have three running bikes by the end of the summer.  That will be the first time I have had three bikes at a time in almost 20 years.  The collection is starting to grow...

7/15/98 Wednesday Day 82...   Stopped by the Wolf's Head Rally site again this evening.  Spent a few hours talking with folks about Urals and being sort of an unofficial ambassador for Russian motorcycles.  The Russian government should put me on their payroll.  I'm still a flag-waver for Urals even though I have had my share of troubles.  The fun I have had riding my Sportsman has outweighed even the problems I have encountered.  It was interesting that at the rally there are usually more people standing around the Ural than there are around any of the other bikes.  The only other machine that is garnering as much attention, or maybe just a little more is the Excelsior that was on display today and Thursday.  It is just there for two days, and it was a special favor for Ray of RJ's Sports, who will be the new Excelsior dealer in this area.  I had the chance to talk to Ray and the factory rep from Excelsior and I am quite enthused about their ability to sell a magnificent machine.  I'd sure like to own one of them, but of course they are quite a few thousands of dollars more than my Ural.

7/16/98 Thursday Day 83...   Bike was at show...  I've been there every evening handing out flyers and chatting.  I had a bunch of them but they are now gone.  I saved one for myself.

7/17/98 Friday Day 84...  Bike at show...  Same stuff, lots of attention.

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

You can e-mail Sheldon at

Check out the "European Motorcycle Universe" at

And Sheldon's Deco Diary at:

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

Hit Counter