This post will cover several days effort in a rambling way that doesn’t do justice to the time and thought for anything and will be shorter than it should. If I don’t get it down now though I probably won’t. The pictures will make it seem longer than it is. So yeah.
It got going pretty good in one direction, most of my stuff always shifts directions somewhere for some random reason, in this case it was a seat – but thats later.
So my first great find was choke cable kits for the JRC carbs, I am afraid the folks I bought them from is now a mystery to me – my memory is terrible. It was a company selling scooter parts in Texas I think haha, google helped me, it could help you too.
Thing I discovered later after buying BMW throttle & choke cables is that German cables appear to be quite a bit thicker than English cables and the JRC carbs are designed for English cables – which are shown in that picture – see how they drop into the adjusters. On the bright side I own a lathe, so I ordered some metric taps & dies and once they arrive I’ll make 4 new cable adjusters out of brass that’ll accept the thicker german cable covers.
I contemplated making new cables as you can see here:
But I abandoned the thought, although I might have to clip the BMW brake cable that has to plug into a Ural brake plate and replace the threaded adjuster with the Ural’s counterpart and then replace the end and re-solder. Only takes bout ¼” out of the length and I think I’ll be OK.
The next bit I came to was thinking more about my idea to add a washer to the end of the Dnepr head pipes so that the BMW exhaust head nut could grab it. As I was looking at the BMW exhaust gaskets I bought back when I bought the engine several months ago I realized that half of the pair of gaskets might work and checked:
And it did. I will add some exhaust paste when I do it for real just to act as a gasket since my washer isn’t quite the same thing.
Next I had to make a metal bracket for the tractor seat and so I did and once it was made I realized that it will be a perfect place to mount the ignition coils since under the tank is not an option.
The last bit that day was checking out the fitment of the carbs to the heads and the airbox. I thought (and was right) that the R75/5 carb tubes would fit both my R90 airbox and the JRC carbs but I’ve no picture of that. What I do have a picture of is my jury rig so that I could think and see some stuff, like the fact that the JRC carb spigot is almost the same size as the spigot on the head so using some thick rubber hose with cable clamps should work fine.
So at the end of the day the bike looked like this:
I was absolutely sure that the bikes direction was 40s-50s styling with the tractor seat and the big old army tank with toolbox. I’ve also got the later rectangular Dnepr tank but had abandoned it because I had never seen it with any seat I owned where it looked at all right. It looks like a knock off of a 70s BMW tank and with anything Dnepr & Ural have made for seats it just looks ridiculous in my opinion.
Well the other day a seat I never thought I’d see and forgot I’d paid for showed up. I bought it at the beginning of this past summer after riding up to Maine and back on the Suzuki TU250 which is as a touring bike remarkably uncomfortable because like most modern OEM seats it begins to feel like plywood after a while. Not like those thick old seats like you’d find on a Norton Atlas (my gold standard). Well what showed up at my door was the factory gel seat which I bought after it had been discontinued and my part was back ordered. At some point I forgot I’d paid for it and then dismissed it as a lost cause around 4 months post order. Its a fake bench seat with white pip striping going round giving it the look of an old Brit bench. Too good to pass up. But I new it wouldn’t fit with the green tank, so I had to think for a little bit – sell the seat or ditch the tractor and army tank for the bench and knock off tank. Like most of my decisions on bikes it took less than 5 minutes.
It offers the exact same as far as utility goes, and maybe more in regards to comfort. While I’d like to play the tough guy and say “fuck comfort, the tractor seat is fine!” because it looks pretty cool, I am disabled and physical contact causes discomfort and pain depending on the day. So Gel vs hard rubber is hard to ignore. I also traveled from MA to Georgia on my 650 Ural using a Ural bench and from Georgia to MA using the Ural tractor. I’ll take the gel.
So I mocked it up:
And with the lower BMW handlebars with controls:
I think it’ll look pretty slick, I think it looks slick already. It looks like a knock off of a 70s BMW and I am going to play on that.
But instead of chrome I am going to tape off that portion of the tank when I paint it green and then I’ll remove the tape and clear coat the bare metal. I want an amusing knock off, I want to emphasize the poor man’s BMW look. But I won’t use the BMW badge, I have solid bronze unpainted badges that look like the painted one in the pic. My hope is over the years they change to match the color of the bike. She’ll get the designation Ural MTR50/5.
I just love the BMW /5 handlebar controls, the low bars, and the /5 headlight with the combined speedo & tach. I never thought I’d actually get to have the real thing on one of my Russian bikes, even with the BMW conversion done I never thought I’d get the cash together to do this all at once and to do it the actual way I wanted it done instead of how well I could copy the image in my head using chines, russian, and indian made knock off parts. Had to sell the TU250 to do it this way, and it was worth it. It was so worth it.
If not for those crisp clean lines alone, then for the ignition & alternator I got to buy and everything tied together without any bullshitting or butchering of the wire harness. First thing I’ll have ever put together myself that’ll have a clean well put together electrical system. What I mean is most of my bikes have been cobbled together from so many various makes and companies that tying it all together was a shit show for the harness. Brent always made sure it was done right, but it was always a hack job, even if a beautifully well put together hack job. This is the first time I’m doing were all the electrical parts are correct for each other – except the tail light and the bike side turn signals. That’s lucas reproduction stuff that won’t be hard to tie in, and just looks too much better than the OEM stuff that is also just more expensive than I can reconcile in my head for what it is. Better to use what I want and think looks better than to spend $400 on 3 lights I cant stand.