Amazing restoration of a Soviet-era motorcycle

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/31/amazing-restoration-of-a-soviet-era-motorcycle.html

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Buying a Ural in the 1960’s or in 2020’s is an exercise in how to keep 1930’s engine and brake technology running either 30 years later or 80 years later. They’re cool looking and have a decent sidecar setup for a factory bike. But everything else about them is a big compromise. (I think they still use inner tubes even in 2020!)

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At the tire replacemant stage, I was thinking that Mr. Tuffy is seriously missing out on some profit by not making liners for dirtbikes, etc.

Also, a beautiful paint job, but kind of wish they’d have sprung for a powder coat for durability’s sake, if possible.

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The optional espresso bar package:

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I cringe at the amount of proper hazmat disposal ahead of him – if at all in Russia.

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so I looked at ural’s web site, and on their model comparison page there’s a background video of this guy casually fording a river on one.

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Wow nice work. The maker really knows their body work. And nice filmmaking too. That is a lot of setups, all gorgeously shot.

I enjoyed watching the video. But I did kind of cringe thinking about how much toxic waste is created doing a restoration like this. And I’m still not quite sure what he was doing with his home brew battery electroplating or whatever it was.

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That would have been ideal. I think, though, the restorer used the equipment at hand. He may have even had the capability for powder-coating, but not a large enough oven. Still, a very satisfying restoration.

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Here’s mine (I have yet to restore the sidecar):

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Thank you for that, very relaxing to watch someone else do the hard work, rather than the usual send this pile off for chrome, that pile for powder coat and the engine for a rebuild.

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Really quite impressive. What a task. But mint green?

I think he was attempting to fill in pitted areas.

wow! beautiful! I love the color. is that a fade on the fender/ front shock, or just a lighting issue? love to see it with sidecar to match!
when I was looking to relocate to Belize several years ago, it was my plan to import a new(ish) Ural for getting around on some pretty rough roads. of course, parts would have to come from overseas and I would have to do all the servicing/ repairs. I do love the Ural and the Royal Enfield. same deal with the Enfield however, and given the British engineering, it would probably need tinkering with just about every time you take it out!

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Thanks!

Fade is intentional, I used dark yellow and bright orange paints to get the effect.

If you even decide to buy Ural, you should buy a new one, it’s really impressive how parts quality and reliability improved. They are amazingly fun to ride, it’s like a time travel to another era. I love that even new ones still have kickstarter, but you have to be careful with it, because when ignition is set wrong the engine can backfire and rapidly moving kickstarter can push drivers foot so hard that they either fall backwards (I’ve seen that in person, it was brutal) or even break their jaw with their own knee.

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Heh. Good designs just keep going.

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Still doesn’t have anything on a Rokon for pure off-road capability. Front and rear wheel are both driven (true 2 wheel drive motorcycle). And optional hubs can act or a float, or be filled with drinking water or spare fuel. PTO option presents options for powered accessories like a water pump or lawn mower.

It’s not fast, a small child on a bicycle can easily outpace one, but you can tow logs with it down narrow forest tracks. So it does have some practical purpose (unlike a Ural :wink: )

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