Sheldon's second 1998 Ural Sportsman
Saturday, October 6, 2007...
A lot has changed since my last posting. Check out my other
http://www.sheldonaubut.com to see just what has been going on in my life since then. But one thing is for sure: "The more things change the more they stay the same", or another cliche, "things go full circle."
Those who have known me for awhile know that my first Ural was a
1998 Ural Sportsman two-wheel-drive, O.D. Green, my second was a 1998 Deco
Classic and my third one was a 2003.5 Patrol two-wheel-drive which look almost
exactly like my original Sportsman, well except for the machine-gun mount and
replica Russian Machine-gun. I had sold first my Patrol, and then my beloved
Guzzi rig with Sputnik sidecar frame and Chinese police sidecar, (all highly
customized) because I now have Post Polio Syndrome and riding more than about
twenty miles at a time causes massive pain and the "catch 22" is that if I take
the pain meds I can't ride or drive. I could no longer justify having $30,000
tied up in motorcycles just to be able to go to the grocery store as I'm now
living on Social Security Disability. Such is life.
At 6:00 p.m. last evening a 1998 Ural Sportsman, almost exactly like my first one, with only 4,800 miles on it showed up in my driveway. Really a bit of a miracle. Turns out that Dell at St. Croix Harley/Ural in New Richmond WI couldn't stand the idea of my not having a bike and took pity on me. He'd picked this '98 up at a very good price and made it available to me in a deal that was so, so very low that I just could not pass it up. Practically gave it to me, and that IS in the literal sense. He certainly is one of the "good guys" in my book. For being almost ten years old the darn thing is almost like new. He even threw a set of the tractor seats in the trunk. To me the bench seat never looks quite right on a Ural so I'll be swapping it out right away. Dell sent someone all the way to Detroit to pick it up, then had to re-wire part of it, put on new carburetors as the original ones had been swapped for the Russian Federation ones, and he replaced the generator with the 35amp alternator and electronic ignition. He did a bunch of work to get it running, but the thing runs like a sewing machine and everything feels tight. When I went out to start it awhile ago it started on the first kick.
I won't be able to ride long distances like I could before, but for taking Nakia http://www.sheldonaubut.com/dog.htm for rides around Stillwater, going to the grocery store, and just general winter goofing off it is going to be a blast.
One can't even imagine how, after 42 years of riding, not having a bike for a whole summer tore at me. Seeing my friends at rallies was wonderful, but not being able to go riding with them really hurt, and seeing the thousands of bikes that pass my house any weekend day actually brought tears to my eyes a few times. The doctor bills have completely depleted my retirement funds and having a fun car was a little bit of a relief but I really didn't think that I'd be up on a bike again. But... Life is good.
Probably isn't the best to be bopping around on ten year old tires so I'll swap them out in the spring, although before then I will probably put a set of knobbies on for winter. I've got a pair of leg protectors but don't have the brackets but it shouldn't be too hard to work some of them up. Also I'll have to look around to see if I can find a pair of hand protectors. I had an extra set but gave them to the new owners when I sold my Patrol. It is also missing the gas can from the side of the sidecar so I'll have to snag one of them to have the right look. We are in for fun now!!!
Oh, and it needs to be cleaned. Looks like it has been sitting for awhile and it is covered with dust and some Michigan soil on the tires. Cleaning bikes hasn't been something I do without a good reason, as I used to have show bike and cars and I've had my fill of cleaning with tooth brushes, which is just one of the many reasons I was drawn to the Urals. A certain amount of "patina" on them just seems to make them look better. This bike even came with the "optional cylinder head rust" and I didn't have to pay extra for it.
Photos at: http://www.sheldonaubut.com/bikes/sportsman2
I'm glad to be back in the Foil-Head fold. Gotta run... I need to line my hat with foil before going riding.
Sheldon with his Second 1998 Ural Sportsman, October 7, 2007
Sheldon with his First 1998 Ural Sportsman (fall 1998)
1998 Ural Sportsman
1998 Ural Sportsman #2
1998 Ural Deco Classic
2001 PT Cruiser
1979 Vette Wagon
2001 Moto Guzzi Jackal
2002 Moto Guzzi Stone Metal
2003.5 Ural Patrol
1983 AMC Eagle SX/4 Sport
2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Sport
2006 Chrysler Crossfire
Sheldon's main site: http://www.sheldonaubut.com
Sheldon T. Aubut, all rights
revised July 17, 2010