Sheldon's 1998 Ural Sportsman - Weeks 15
8/1/98 Saturday Day 99... At the Wisconsin Moto Guzzi Rally...
8/2/98 Sunday Day 100... Another milestone, 100 days with the Ural. Got home from the Wisconsin Guzzi Rally today. I have 350 e-mails waiting to be sorted through and answered so I probably won't post today but by tomorrow I should be able to find some time to catch up.
8/3/98 Monday Day 101... I'm back at work, typing this during lunch hour and wishing I were still camping. That was the most relaxation I have had in about 15 years. It was wonderful to be with a bunch of Guzzisti nutcases who have the same disease that I have. I wish I were able to make it to the "Ural Homecoming" this year. I am sure that it would be just as much fun.
I parked the Ural next to the road so that it would be highly visible. I would say that over the course of the weekend it had more interest shown it than any ten other bikes together. There was almost always groups of people around it asking questions. I did the big promotion thing again. I even was interviewed by some local TV station wherein I described the bike and its history. It was great fun.
This is the first vacation of more than two days that I have taken since 1985 and I did lots of relaxing. Couldn't ride much though. The Guzzi hasn't been running since I bought it four years ago and some of the pro mechanics at the rally had it running in 1.5 hours of work. It sounded wonderful to hear it again and now I just have to replace a rear drive seal and I can ride it again. (see photo at right of Cheesehead, Jack and Paul with Guzzi)
We finally figured out the problem with the backfiring on the Ural. There was a guy there who is an expert on carburetors. He rebuilds motorcycle carbs for a living and he heard the bike run and came right over. Said I had a real problem with it running way too lean. He said, "get out your tools", and of course I did. It was wonderful watching a pro at work. He disassembled both carbs and cleaned them up. They were quite full of green gunk from the dissolved overspray from the gas tank, and some of the passages were completely blocked. He cleaned them out, adjusted everything and put it all back together. It was better but it still backfired, stumbled, and was very low on power. He is a hack rider also, so I trusted him to take it out for a test ride. When he came back he said that he found the problem. He put a little pressure on the left carb and right where the bolt is on the plastic flange that attaches to the head, a large crack opened up. Whenever you turn the throttle it opens and sucks air into the cylinder. I asked him how he found that, because it was very hidden. He said, "look at the other side." I looked and that one was cracked all the way across. It backfired on him and the thing cracked further while he was riding.
Soooooooo...... I need a couple of flanges before I can ride the bike but it is hardly worth a 220 mile round trip to Northern Sports, so I have asked Ural America to send me some post haste. I'm wondering if this is a common problem? Maybe I should carry a spare because the bike is down again until I get them. I did ask a friend of mine that has a tourister and he said he had the same problem so I would suspect it is fairly common. In Minnesota we have to use a high concentrate of ethanol in our gas all year round and I also wonder if that wouldn't contribute to the rapid deterioration of these items.
8/4/98 Tuesday Day 102... Bike down
8/5/98 Wednesday Day 103... Bike down
8/6/98 Thursday Day 104... Bike down
8/7/98 Friday Day 105... Bike down
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Copyright 1989-2010, Sheldon T. Aubut, all rights
Last modified: March 22, 2011