When Urals don’t start.

I felt like a right prat this morning. Had done a full fluid change on the Ural at the weekend. Used cheap, mineral 20w/50 (rather than that expensive, thin semi-synth stuff) and the engine sounds so much sweeter. I’ll drop it and change it again in 750 miles. Did tappets too. Then covered her up and took the GS into Oxford (hard to park a combo).

So, the first time I needed her was this morning. And, of course, I was running late.

Cover off, fuel on, key vertical, clutch in.

Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.



Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Bugger again.

Sit there and run through the usual “what would Ivan do” process. Start with the obvious – fuel and spark.

Carb float bowls off. Quite a bit of water in the right-hand one, so drain it, thinking “that’s not going to stop it starting.” Check for spark. HT leads off, plugs out, brush them down, check against a cylinder fin for spark. Nothing. Aha – we have a result. Fuel but no spark.

So I reach for an allen key to take the front engine cover off to investigate further.

Then, I stop and think a bit more. Why is there all of a sudden no spark? That makes no sense. So I think a bit more. And, as I’m thinking one of my pals from the pub strolls past with his dog. Being Bampton, we stop and chat about families, work, the fake speed camera in the next village. And, as I’m sitting on the saddle and chatting I’m idly looking at the killswitch.

Killswitch. Bloody obvious. It’s on. Flick the killswitch back off.

Ural Killswitch 1

Petrol on. Key vertical. Clutch in. Whirrrrrrrrrrr – clackkaclackkaclackkaclackka. A happy Ural.

If this was a cheesy, American lifestyle blog, I’d probably waffle on a bit about how problems are always best when you stop, reflect and take time out to talk to a ‘neighbor’.

But it’s not.

5 thoughts on “When Urals don’t start.

Add yours

  1. Oh dear! I pulled into a motorway service station many years ago and found a chap with both seat and tank off his Honda, pulling at wires and seeking a fault. “The bloody thing just won’t fire – I’ve tried everything” He’d been there two hours.

    I asked if he’d checked the kill switch. A moments reflection, and “Oh f**k”.


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