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Discussion Starter #1
Here is a post I put in my Ural forum (Actually I DO have a life thank you very much....). Thought some bored people might enjoy the read.....

Armed with a rope, a winch, my knobbly spare and bit of boredom on a Friday, off I went to explore some of the wooded areas around Tallinn. I turned down a track I have tried before, despite having to turn back previously.
This time: no fear.








OK so what have I learnt about myself, my Ural and Off-road riding?
  1. Urals have their limits
  2. 2WD and knobblies are not a get out of jail free card
  3. If in doubt, walk the path: if you get stuck your feet will get wet anyway!
  4. A winch that says it can pull 800kg, does not automatically mean that you can shift a Ural with it.
  5. A Ural motor does not run well with water in the cylinders.
  6. Take some drinking water with you.
  7. When off roading, take a friend. Preferably one that benches small family cars before breakfast
  8. Practice changing the wheels before you are in the middle of a swamp.
  9. Shopping for beer while smelling of swamp juice makes people look at you funny.
  10. Your winching frame may need strengthening if it ends the day with a 90 degree kink in it.
  11. I am not an off-road god.
  12. Waterproof socks should really be made to extend past the ankle.
  13. Urals have good ground clearance but water clearance sucks
So there we have it.

I rode about a 1/4 of a mile from the road: recent rain had made the forests very muddy. I was on standard tyres when I got the suspect area. I had all I needed so decided to have a crack. The going was OK till about 3/4 of the way across when the bike lost momentum and stopped. Revs dropped and the bike stalled. By now the bike was submerged well above the axles and the rear and side drums weere only about 20% visible!!

SO I got off and first tried to winch the bike out back wards seeing as that was where I would have to head back. This worked not one jot, so I rigged it up to go forward. This way the bike moved, using the front mudguard rail as an anchor. I got the bike out, took out the plugs and turned the bike over to see that no water had got in the pots.

I then decided that to succeed, I would need to change to the knobbly rear. I had not changed the wheels before, but what better way to learn than to do it in the field given as that is how I may have to in the future. The wheel came off fine but the knobbles on the spare interfered with the brake shoes and the left hand shock. So I removed the left shock and on it went. Getting the shock back on was fun as I had to somehow compress the spring to get the bolt hole to line up. Once succeeded I started it up, turned it round in a 32 point turn and reattempted the crossing.

Retrospectively, I really should have tried the break in the foliage on one side where I could have just squeezed the bike through at the cost of a couple of saplings. But I didn't. So I got stuck again. This time I tried to keep the engine revs high and gun the bike on, but it was having none of it. I think the sump and other bits started snagging on mud banks made by previous vehicles because my legs sank in the knee at this point. I tried in vain to start the bike: it would not even turn over and this worried me. A bit more winching and a lot more swearing got the bike onto a higher bit and the exhausts cleared the surface. I decided to inspect. The plugs were wet, loads of muddy water fired out of the plug holes when I turned it over and when I put the plug back in, it picked up again, but it took a lot of gentle coaxing of the throttle for it not to die. After a couple of minutes it was firing well on both pots.

ON the return leg, I had to keep swapping trees as a winch point as the bike would get stuck and so I had to change direction. After about 6 different directions and almost winching the chair over the bike (!) the Ural finally emerged. I let it tick over whilst I collect my sodden things, said my goodbyes to the members of the MST (mosqitoe salvation trust) to whom I had donated a pint of my blood and made for the road 400 yards away. No hesitation this time: I gunned through all the watery dips and troughs and finally emerged. Another quarter mile told me the road tyre was best, so I stopped again, to find that every other side knobble was rubbling the shaft drive, so they'll need to be cut short, which will no doubt knacker my balancing efforts.

Finally, got home and soaked in the bath with a very cold beer! About 15 minutes riding and about 3 hours of sweating my @rse off....

Lessons? I need practice or Tallinn to Far East Russia is going to take eons......

Still, all good fun, eh? (well, let me tell you: no bloody isn't)
 

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:cool:

Looks like you need a high level exhaust and a landrover snorkel on the bike :D great pics I enjoyed them.

BIG D
 

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Generalissimo Tea Boy
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That looks brilliant. You can get surplus goretex socks that go up to the knee for about £20. By the looks of it though that wouldn't have been high enough.:D
 

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DILLIGAF
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Great pics :thumbright:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good fun and I learnt a lot, such as "bagger me if I'm ever doing that again!!" and the like...

So, for my 15 minutes of mud-plugging and 4 hours of winching/wheel changing, I now have to drain and change the engine, gearbox and final drive oil, strip the bearings on all 4 wheels, clean the universal joints on the primary and secondary drive shafts and then buy a compression tester tomorrow to make sure that I haven't put kinks in any of my internal components!!

Bloody well put a kink in my common sense somewhere along the way....

Next time I think "well, if they can do it, surely it can't be that hard" or "I'm bored; how about turning my bike into a diving bell", please tie me to a lamp-post and slap me some....
 

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Hey Warthog, an old but amazing thread. I love the pics and I think you have a lot of patience! :p

The reason I'm posting now is I'd like to know what make your hand winch is in the photos please?

I've been looking for one and all the ones I've seen seem to be wound with metal cable. Is that some kind of synthetic strap on yours instead of cable - and did it come like that or did you rewind it yourself?

I read somewhere someone posting that you can't use synethtic lines on most hand winches - something to do with the gears - but I've no idea whether they were right or not....? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The reason I'm posting now is I'd like to know what make your hand winch is in the photos please?
I bought it locally from a Finnish hardware chain. It is a boat winch, good for hauling 750kg, so mor than enough for 450kg of loaded Ural. The brand was "Strong-Line" if I recall.

Beware the strap. The problem is that, unlike a boat in water, it is quite hard to winch a heavy outfit out and keep the strap in-line with the winch. Admittedly it is probably easier on a motorbike. To counter this I got 10m of nylon rope good for pulling 10 tons (!!!) and wound that on instead of the seatbelt strap thingy. I have since used it twice to get out of sand and snow.

Final thing to consider is the weight a bulk. It is heavy and doesn't pack down small, so on a bike I would not go for one...

Have a look on page 33
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ah, nice thanks :) Do you know how much the winch weighs?
A good 4-5 kg, not counting the clasps you'd need to secure the winch to part of the bike. This is a winch that is designed to be operated in situ, when it is bolted to a boat trailer or the like...

In honesty, the Ural is an exception. On a motorcycle, if you must have a winch, I'd consider the hand ratchets you can get, instead. Less cable, sure but a heck of a lot lighter and easier to pack.

Perhaps a bit cheaper, too. My winch was 550EEK, so about £35 ish.

Your call...
 

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Older, but no wiser!
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I can hear David Attenborough's voice over, "and here we have the Ural in her natural habitat, wallowing in mud to keep cool...."
 

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Hehe looks like one of my days out.:thumbleft: You know you can double the pull on that winch if you use a snatch block.
 
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