Ural Bashing – How to Not Make Friends in One Easy Step

Ural Bashing – How to Not Make Friends in One Easy Step

Owning the Ural has been an interesting education in people. Far and away my experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. But every barrel of apples has one or two bad ones, right?

Over the weekend, I met a friend of a friend at the motorcycle show in NYC. As we stood talking  about the event the subject of Ural not being present came up. This opened the door for friend of a friend to chime in with “now there is a brand I would NEVER recommend anyone ever buy.”

Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut but I mentioned that we had one at home. Rather than stopping the course of the conversation there, it kept going. He then tackled how slow they are. Right. Slow, got it.  They’re too expensive. Check, expensive. They’re essentially a piece of old Russian junk. Russian junk, gotcha.


Really, dude?

Crosses Ural-hater off Christmas card list.

I cannot fault someone for their negative opinion of the brand. I’m sure they have their reasons for arriving at those conclusions. For those people, the answer is simple: don’t buy one.

What bugged me most was the basic lack of tact and social skills that some people have when carrying on a conversation with a stranger. Often it isn’t only what people say but how they deliver their message. This wasn’t lighthearted ribbing followed by a ha ha and a wink.

Why stand there insulting someone’s interests to their face? What is the desired outcome? Should I rush out and sell my bike? Or is the intent to simply let me know that I am an idiot?

People Like What They Like

As the conversation unfolded,  I tried to keep my irritation in check and not be bothered. Obviously it didn’t work because I’m writing about it 3 days later.

I don’t need someone to approve of my purchases to make them valuable to me but I also don’t need someone to give me a dressing down about them either. Having had enough, I tried to cap the conversation by saying, “people like what they like.” Isn’t that the truth?

My sweet, lovely Ural. Yes, it is slow. And yes, it is the most expensive thing in my garage. But let’s get this straight –  it is not junk. Not to me.

30 Replies to “Ural Bashing – How to Not Make Friends in One Easy Step”

  1. I’m sorry you had a negative encounter! There are plenty of people who feel the same way about Urals, though. After having ours for 8 months or so, I kinda have to agree… they kinda are junk. I had a disturbing number of bits rusting after just a few months. I couldn’t even get it home on the first day without a major meltdown that had to have it towed back to the dealer where I bought it.

    But would I get rid of it? Heck no! I love the Ural. It gives me a totally different riding experience than my BMWs. It makes practically everyone on the street grin. It lets me bring my dogs with me. It’s quite practical from the standpoint of driving around the city, running errands, etc. And while it *is* kinda junk, it’s also proven itself to be EXTREMELY user-serviceable, and pretty darn reliable once you work out the kinks. There have been multiple occasions when there was a problem with one of our BMWs that made us take the Ural instead, or where the Ural actually *saved* the BMW.

    And as a criteria for dissing a bike: “slow?” Really? SOMEONE needs to learn to stop and smell the flowers. My most memorable rides take place UNDER ~55MPH, which is totally within the Ural’s comfort zone. If I’m going faster than that, I’m generally slabbing it somewhere on a schedule and that isn’t pleasure riding – those trips are completely forgettable.

    Anywho, I’m rambling. Obviously I think this guy’s comments just show his lack of imagination as a rider. It takes the right kind of person to appreciate a Ural. (And I do kinda think he’s right about the “junk” comment, to a degree – I’ve had my BMW for years and it hasn’t started rusting, nor have I had as many “kinks” to work out on it – but I don’t mean to insult you or IMZ when I say that. I just take it as a known thing about the bike. I think of it affectionately as a tinkerer’s bike.) But I don’t feel like an idiot for spending as much as I have on a bike that makes me happy, and you shouldn’t let his comments get to you! He just doesn’t know how to appreciate these awesome bikes.

    Would I go out and spend $10k-$20k on a Ducati? Heck no. They’re fast and people love them… but that’s not the type of riding I’m into. Everyone has their own approach and things that they want to get from riding. I just wish everyone could acknowledge and understand that, instead of thinking that people who don’t share their views are “wrong” or ignorant, etc.

    1. I suppose I think of junk as something that is of no value, that should be tossed.

      Do I think the Ural has a build quality like a Honda? Absolutely not.

      I don’t feel bad about my purchase in the slightest. I just don’t understand what the point of these types of exchanges are. I’m guessing that no one who buys a Ural does so blindly without having done some research etc. When you plunk your cash down on the table you know what you’re getting in to, to some degree.

      I dunno. I’m just venting. I love that darned Ural for what it is. It’s strengths, it’s weaknesses, for better or worse 🙂

  2. Well, the really sucked. Did you know this person? Remember, one definition of diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to Hell, and have them look forward to the trip.

  3. Opinions are like a-holes, everyone’s got one. In that a-hole’s case, just tune him out, obviously a loser. Probably tried a sidecar rig, got scared, now hates them.

    Or, probably the type who can tell the difference between a wrench and a screwdriver.

    1. I just wonder what the endgame was?

      Okay, fine. Slow, junk, expensive. Now what happens?

      I guess some people just need to be heard? ::shrug::

  4. Sorry, buddy. Rudeness hurts.

    I’ve also encountered people like this, one when I was new to motorcycling and beeming with pride for my first bike, a Kawasaki Vulcan 750. When the guy heard what I rode, he slammed it mercilessly and my enthusiasm got crushed. What good came from that? At the time, I believed there’d be comraderie and support among motorcyclists, so the disillusionment was surprising.

    I’m sorry you were hurt.

    1. I know there must have been moments in my past where I’ve not been as careful with people’s feelings as I should have been.

      I think this is a wakeup call for me to think first, talk later. And above all… be kind.

      I’m sorry you were disillusioned, too. This brother/sisterhood of riding? I dunno. I’m starting to have my doubts about it.

  5. Fuzz – some people haven’t got a clue or any social graces of any kind. Here is a little nugget you can hold to your heart – that guy has to live his entire life with his attitude and he has probably irritated more people because of it and he probably wonders why people aren’t flocking to his door. I know its cold comfort, but he is a plague unto himself.

    As for your sexy, beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, URAL – Bah ignore the remark, keep getting your joy from it and Ride it like you stole it!!!

    1. BTW – I have encountered this attitude when talking about my scooter to some motorcyclists and also from some people who think Honda’s suck. Little do they know that I am not breaking the bank to Hardly Drive my bike…….

  6. First, I hope you weren’t upset when I suggested that the Ural was underpowered but cute. I appoligize profusely if I offended. I understand that it works well for what you use it for.

    Second, for some folks talking in ‘expert’ mode is just a sign of limited self-confidence and he/she is trying to establish some non-existent (or existent) credibility. For guys in particular, it’s important to have some credibility about something / anything.

    Third, and the most important point, is the brotherhood/sisterhood thing. It’s real. It’s about shared experiences. I expect my Brothers and Sisters in Motorcycles to appreciate midnight to 6AM at 30mph in February only if they’ve done it or something else nearly as crazy. One of my best friends was someone I rode enduros with a bunch of years ago (I can’t count that high). We don’t have much else in common but we’ve shared something that makes us brothers. Who else but someone who’d done an LS rally could appreciate getting that picture of that fish in the middle of the night?

    1. not at all, B- I wasn’t bothered in the slightest. The Ural is low on power. That’s no secret. When it’s pointed out in good fun – who cares? I think that all goes back to not what is said but the way it’s said.

      See you soon, bro 🙂

  7. What I want to know is where was Pokey through all of this fools bashing?? If he has there he would of gave this dude a hoof to the chin! I wonder what he would of said about a Royal Enfield in the stable. Do what you love and laugh at the fools.

    1. Double Pokey are lovers, not fighters. But to do pity fools – so that’s cool. 🙂

      You guys have been like a super-super pep talk club. Thank you all for listening to my silly venting <3

  8. The general public are usually idiots. It is one thing to have an opinion on something, we all do, but to blatantly bash it knowing one of the people you are talking to owns one and likes it, really is not cool.

    I think I would have just walked away. It sounds as though you handled it well.

    What is that saying? One person’s dream is another person’s nightmare.

    The reason there are so many different bikes out there is that we all don’t think or act the same. And that is a good thing IMHO.

  9. Butthead. Sorry you had to listen to that crap. People like that are just plain dumb and not worth getting upset over. It’s like coming across a really interesting-shaped pile of dog poo. No matter how you slice it, in the end it’s still just crap.

  10. That guy sounds like he is in to bikes for the image of sitting at the local hangout and being cool. I think he needs to get out and ride more, expand his mind and his horizons. Don’t let him get to you the ural is an awesome bike.

  11. He’s an utter moron. Why he thinks you would be happier riding his bike is a mystery. Insecure and childish. I have a Royal Enfield so I know. I know.

  12. Firstly, that might be your coolest shot of the Ural so far!

    Secondly, I really don’t get the whole brand-bashing thing among motorcyclists. Opinions and preferences … yep, I get that; but derisive bullsh%t talk just turns me off when I hear it.

  13. I really don’t understand people anymore. People don’t care who they hurt. I was always taught if you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut. I LOVE your bike!!! Heck any bike is great if the person riding it is having a good time on it… Crazy people. 🙂

    1. I don’t know, Diane – I’m just using these types of experiences to springboard my own actions – to think before I speak, to be more kind and careful with other peoples hearts.

  14. I’ve been interested in a Ural ever since I saw one written up in a blog. Fell in love. Thought seriously about buying a new one. Then I let it pass. A few days ago a 1968 was put up for sale down the street from me. Appears to be in phenomenal shape. $2900. I think I’m gonna risk it.

  15. If I could just get past the $17K+ price tag, I’d buy one tomorrow. I just can’t make myself buy a bike that I KNOW is going to break down and leave me stranded somewhere. For that kind of money, I want a modern piece, not something that has ONLY nostalgia. That’s not enough for ME to plunk down my hard earned cash. Sorry.

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