Back in 2014 I purchased a Russian made Ural Gear Up Sidecar Motorcycle.
My wife Ronda and I flew to Southern California and picked up the motorcycle in Los Angeles then rode it up the coast to our home in Folsom in Northern California with many stops along the way. It was one heckuva fun adventure ride!
Here’s the story and photos….
Day 1 – Taming the Beast
Day one is now in the books, we are the proud owners of a 2014 Ural Gear Up 2WD Red October Custom Motorcycle/Sidecar.
Our morning started at 3:30am, getting up and getting ready to head out to acquire our new bike. We got a ride from our daughter to the Sacramento airport at 4am (bless her heart), caught our Southwest flight to Los Angeles and even arrived 30 minutes early – wait? What? Arriving earlier then scheduled almost never happens… this was a good start to our trip!
After we arrived at LAX, we picked up our bags and then tried something new (for us). We ordered an Uber cab/car ride and were pleasantly surprised how very well that ride worked out, and best of all it was ½ the price of a regular cab ride. I’d recommend using Uber based on this great first experience alone and plan to use them again in the future.
Don took care of our Ural from the day it was delivered from Ural of New England via truck until the day we picked it up. He did a great job, we were very happy with how everything worked out. The guys and gals at Ural of New England and Boss Hoss are top notch.
If you are ever in or near Harbor City, check them out, they have some really cool collector bikes (not for sale) on display on the showroom floor. From 1920’s vintage Harley’s, to vintage Indian’s, Enfield’s, Cushman carts, Big Dog customs and much more. This shop is worth visiting. Their Boss Hoss monster motorcycles have full size V8 Motors in them! Biggest motor of any bike I’ve ever seen – really cool stuff!
After being shown the basics of the Ural controls by Don, we loaded up all our gear onto the sidecar rack and tied everything down. We were off! Boy howdy….. This was like no other ride I’ve ever experienced before.
If you’re curious about how to ride a Ural, here’s the detailed book online -> Click HERE
The first thing I noticed (everyone had been warning me about this for weeks) was to watch out for the right turns, they are indeed a doozy as you first get used to them on a Ural.
It is like wrestling a bear getting used to the way the rig rides when giving it gas – it pulls very hard to the right. I thought holy hanna what have I gotten into – but after riding it for a few hours it became like second nature and I didn’t even notice the effect anymore after becoming used to it. I had tamed the beast!
The bike looks beautiful and runs great. After several hours of riding it a little over a hundred miles I related it to a combination of riding a dirt bike, with the “smoothness” of a rigid Harley and steering control like a tractor in heavy dirt.
I’ll be honest, it isn’t easy at first but after a while learning how it rides and figuring out how to control the beast, it became one helluva really fun ride!
For this first day out on the bike we headed north on PCH and stopped for lunch at a restaurant I had read about in Redondo Beach called Rock and Brews, which is owned, by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock band KISS.
The place was nice, the service great. The beers were tasty but honestly the food was just ok. But it went well with beer and that’s what really counts right? The best part of stopping by Rock and Brews was meeting up with and visiting with our old friend Rob who we hadn’t seen for over 20 years. We all had a great time catching up and talking about bikes and rides and more. Good times for sure!
After the lunch stop we hit the road again and rode thru some really heavy traffic in the south bay going thru Santa Monica (not a very fun way to learn to ride this kind of rig but you do what you gotta do). When we finally got onto PCH the traffic was even more horrendous but we pushed on and made it thru the fray and got to Malibu where we took a break at the famous motorcycle hangout – Neptune’s Net.
As expected on a sunny Saturday afternoon, there were tons of bikers there and the place was packed. Somehow I scored a spot right up front. It was really cool how a lot of people stopped and turned when we rode up. This bike is definitely an attention getter and we had fun telling folks about the bike and our journey. The most interesting part was when we left we had to ride thru a tight squeeze of bikes owned by a local 1%er MC club with the guys all hanging out around them. They looked at us on our ride and they all parted the way and took photos as we rode by and they were all giving the thumbs up – that was pretty darn cool!
From Malibu heading north, the road was wide open and I got to really wind up the Ural to a whopping 55-65 miles an hour which went well. The bike ran smooth and accelerated decent enough to keep up with traffic…. in the slow lane.
I still have a lot to learn about this bike. Getting it into neutral is a challenge but I will master that by tomorrow I hope. I need to read all the documents on the bike and really get into it to learn about it as much as possible. This is a simple but very rugged bike and I think with proper care and feeding, it’s going to have a very long and adventurous life.
After an hour or so we finally landed in Oxnard for our first night. Got a nice room at the Residence Inn and had dinner at the Yard House a few miles away. After this long first day, we were wiped out and ready for a good rest because tomorrow it’s going to get even better as we travel farther and head north to Jalama Beach and Lompoc.
I’d have to say that Day 1 was a rousing success and I look forward to tomorrow’s continued adventures.
Some quick notes: The company, Ural Motorcycles IMZ really rocks! With the bike I received a fully equiped tool kit with work gloves, an extensive owners manual with service info in great details with photos, an air pump, a set of touch up paints and I also purchased a digital copy of the full service/repair manual along with twenty two videos on each service procedures – that’s gonna come in handy!
So far we really like our new Ural!