Wednesday, July 3, 2013

DAY Forty-One: Big Twin Cycles, Boise, ID

Arrived at Big Twin Cycles before they open Tuesday morning. The first to arrive is Carl Boockholdt, the Operations Manager, riding a Ural. Now that is a good sign. We talk about how riding a Ural is so much different than riding two wheels. Not the actual riding part as much as the overall experience is different. Is very hard to compare riding two wheels to riding three. Just as one cannot really compare riding two wheels to riding four. Different animals. Some prefer horses, other mules.

Carl turns me over to Neal, the Service Manage who introduces me to Jeff, the mechanic who will actually determine what happened. Several hours later, Jeff informs me Da'mit is getting a new engine. He spoke with Ural headquarters and they are shipping a new engine. He removed the heads, rockers, valves and piston heads, all look normal. He did not have to go deeper than drain the engine oil to find a lot of metal debris to know the engine was toast. Bearing failure. Exactly which one? A complete disassembly will be required for that. Not Big Twins responsibility to do that. Not sure what happens to the old engine, will ask when I get back.

Kudos to Ural for standing behind their machines. Have to say the people at Ural has really been very supportive, giving priority to getting me back on the road. The Fourth of July holiday is complicating the shipping. Thank you Jason and Madina.

And a big Thank You to Mr Cob/Dave, who helped walk me through the diagnosis while stranded on the side of the road. He was the first to give me the bad news that the engine might be toast after we eliminated the other possibilities. Also for posting a help request on Soviet Steeds and for letting Ural know I was trucking Da'mit to Boise. Dave, I owe you big time.

Thank you Dave


Does this mean Ural are not reliable? No. Not any more than you can say BMW's, Ford's, Nissan's or Honda's are unreliable. As I have been stranded with mechanical failures with every one of those brands, both two and four wheels. Any machine can fail at any time. Whomever is the supplier of bearings for Ural, must bear the brunt of today's criticism. Ural is to commended for their outstanding warranty service and support.

While Da'mit awaits a new engine, decided to remove any pressure from Jeff in getting Da'mit put back together. Rather he have the time to do it right and complete. Therefore am flying home to Texas, enjoy a Fourth of July weekend with the wife, family and grandchildren. Good time to take the cold weather gear home and return with mesh riding gear.

I'll return next week to continue the adventure. Da'mit is in good hands with Big Twin Cycles in Boise.

Found this photo I forgot to paste when I talked about boarding the ferry in Haines, AK. The bikes sit out in the rain while we waited to get aboard. Of course, motorcycle were loaded last!

And this photo of an Ocean Tribe fishing camp with totem pole on an isolated island.

Nite Da'mit, see you next week.

Nite all



  1. Bearing failure eh? It's giving me flashbacks to my own episode of bearing failure. Lots of metallic evidence of its remains within the engine. Did the piston hit one of the heads?

    Your's being the second one in as many months to have this happen, I am also wondering what's going on with the bearing suppliers to URAL.

    Kudos to URAL for standing by their product!

    Have a good Fourth of July at home Jan.


  2. Bummer but nice that Ural is standing behind their product. Have a good long weekend to recuperate from your trip...

    BTW, what is the distance so far?

  3. Sounds like Tuesday was a pretty rough day for you! Sorry about that, and it seems like an excellent choice to go home for a relaxing weekend and return with gear for hotter weather. Travel safely, dear brother! Love you.

  4. The bearing failure was a disappointment as the ride was going so well. But, URAL has been fantastic with their support.
    Here in Houston, am reorganizing gear for hot weather. Need more memory cards for cameras and new power cord for iPad.

  5. Peggy, thanks for sharing the blog with Mom and Dad.

    Actually, and the truth here, there was no BAD day riding. Every day I gave thanks for having been blessed with the health and resources that allowed me to experience and see all that I did. The people I met, the vistas, the events. All were fantastic, unforgettable.

    As I have told others, if you cannot smile and laugh when riding cold, miserable and wet, you would not like riding with me. Life is an adventure, only if you live it.

    I plan on living it as long as I can.