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Discussion Starter #1
Both knees being replaced August. Thinking of a way to still wander around aimlessly on less than perfect pavement. I have decent skills for installation of one...I think. Would I be better just to buy a 2wd Ural and call it a day?


Any and all input appreciated.
 

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Can't speak to sidecar questions, but do have an opinion on the remote travels.

I love the KLR for its basic ruggedness and reliability. I've owned a bunch of bikes and have learned much from the smarter kids on the forums. This allows me to proactively correct many of the failure modes that one might expect from the KLR. And having read through a few thousand postings and the responses has allowed the little gray cells to get smarter about recognizing the symptoms and fixing the scooter on the side of the road in BFE. Having grown up as a farmboy, I learned basic mechanical skills and those have served my well. Those skills, some thorough reading of forrums, and core set of hand tools will generally get me home, or at least far enough to be within cell range again.

So, my vote would be for the one bike I know better than any other bike and that's the KLR.

Do let us duffers know how the date with your ortho doc goes. Likely to be on the roadmap for some (asking for a friend :) ).
 

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Rode a few thousand miles alongside (well, maybe not ALONGSIDE) this KLR sidecar rig and its rider through the southern Appalachians a while back. The hack kept up with the solo riders (Versys 650 and KLR 650) on highways wide and narrow. Yes, INCLUDING The Tail of the Dragon! :)
 

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I cannot speak with any experience with sidecars. That said, I really want one (not on my current bike because I want one on two wheels). I have been doing some reading on them and I really want to try to fab one myself. I am a fabrication teacher and have a CNC plasma table so I should be able to do it with the right research. I read a thread on adventure rider saying you have to be careful with the KLR mounting the car because the frame is prone to failure in a certain spot that some people mount them (I cannot remember where specifically it was). That said the statement was made by someone that works for a manufacture of sidecar mounts that says theirs mount to the "spine of the bike" which is supposedly "much sturdier". I am really not sure what he meant by the spine.

I also thought about a Ural because the look super cool. I would paint is with old USSR markings if I had one. That said, they appear to have some serious reliability issues. Even their owner's group forums say they have a lot of problems. If the fan boys are saying they have problems but we still like them it is a sign for me to stay away. What drew me to the KLR was the rugged reliability especially of the Gen 1. Even though I have one I am happy with, I am always keeping my eye out for a steal of a deal to snatch another one or two ups so I have a life supply.

Whatever you decide to do you need to share pictures. Also, good luck with the surgery.
 

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Well, I can speak to both. I had both knees replaced in August 2015. If you do the physical therapy it will hurt but you will heal more quickly and completely. I was back on my KLR in 7 weeks.

I'm on my second Gen 2 KLR and I've owned 3 Urals and a V-Star/Texas rig.

The 2WD feature on the Ural will get you into and out of places that would be much more difficult on a KLR rig. While 2WD is just added weight on a street rig it's really handy off road.

In the 2000's I worked for a great Ural dealer in Michigan, Crawford Sales. Terry is the best Ural guy in the country. Heindl in Ohio is also top shelf and so is Holopaw in Florida.

If you stay with the very simple maintenance, mostly frequent oil changes you'll be fine. What kills these things is trying to freeway them and neglect.

I'd find a nice pre-fuel injection 2WD Patrol or Gear-Up, give it a once over and have at it. Parts and accessories can be had from any of the bigger dealers. I took care of mine--having learned from Terry--and never had a breakdown.

Best to you. Do the therapy.
 

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A Sputnik car on a KLR is very common and it's a good match. It is butt ugly, but affordable, and has some very good features, such as the front end lifting up for access. It also has a trunk but with a crummy Soviet era lock that must be replaced with one from the local hardware store.

When I first started looking for sidecar options, Jay the owner of DMC Sidecars had a Sputnik attached to a KLR and I almost bought the rig. I opted to having him install a Sputnik on my DL650 VStrom and it was the best option for me. It's about 75 pounds lighter than a Ural tub and well suited to the KLR. It only comes in orange though so many owners paint them to match their bikes.

Installing a sidecar is pretty complex process with many guys getting it wrong,ending up with poorly tracking rigs. Jay can sell you the car and all of the mounts for the Sputnik and he does it right. You then must consider front end modifications. Leading legs are the least inexpensive way to modify the trail to lighten the steering, which I had installed on the Strom. Without it, the bike can steer like a 1960 Ford truck without now power steering, as my Strom did prior to installation of the leading legs. .

On the Urals, I know several friends who have them, some who love them and some who hate them. With the 2WD Gear Up, the car axle is moved to the rear to line up with the rear wheel axle. While it will pull you out of a mud hole, it tracks more poorly than the single wheel drive. Be very cautious if considering a Ural because they had systemic quality control problems for years, to include poor metallurgy in the gearbox but Ural come quite a long way since about 2016. A close friend just bought a beautiful 2020 and loves it. They are under powered but about the only factory built rig on the market. The Chinese knock off doesn't count because it is a flaming piece of junk.

I've learned a lot over the previous 5 years about sidecar rigs, installation etc. PM me if you'd like additional information.

And BTW, I rode my Strom to the Arctic Circle via the Dempster in 2015 with my knees shot full of Cortisone for my last two wheeled great adventure. I had the car installed upon my return, had a knee replaced, a horrific process, and would ride my rig anywhere in the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your insight. I truly hope you're wrong about a horrific knee replacement. Cortisone works for about 4 days now. Not long enough to ride to the grocery store. Anyway...3 August right knee, 4-6 weeks later left...

Doc claims that I will be able to do a dual sport ride in WI the weekend after Labor Day with my new right knee.

I have a buddy who is a wizard at setting up sidecars on BMW's. He's willing to do this for lots of beer...
 

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Thanks for your insight. I truly hope you're wrong about a horrific knee replacement. Cortisone works for about 4 days now. Not long enough to ride to the grocery store. Anyway...3 August right knee, 4-6 weeks later left...

Doc claims that I will be able to do a dual sport ride in WI the weekend after Labor Day with my new right knee.

I have a buddy who is a wizard at setting up sidecars on BMW's. He's willing to do this for lots of beer...
I should not have described it as "horrific", although describing a total knee replacement as routine is also not accurate. It is a double amputation.

I had one of the best doctors in the country, a graduate of the Cleveland Institute, do my knee but I still have some discomfort. The Cortisone shots to my knees have lasted for about 6 months for the last 6 years. I got my last injection at the US Air Force Academy Hospital on Dec 24 last year and it is just now starting to wear off.

I'm regret being a whiner but chronic structural pain just gets a wild and crazy rider, down
 

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Whichever way you go, a sidecar rig is just a riot.

FYI I had both knees done same time. Doctor also did a major realignment on both legs. They have a special table for that. I kidded the doc and said I felt like an old car on an alignment rack. Recovery a bit longer because of that but it was a success.

Good Luck, Sir
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I should not have described it as "horrific", although describing a total knee replacement as routine is also not accurate. It is a double amputation.

I had one of the best doctors in the country, a graduate of the Cleveland Institute, do my knee but I still have some discomfort. The Cortisone shots to my knees have lasted for about 6 months for the last 6 years. I got my last injection at the US Air Force Academy Hospital on Dec 24 last year and it is just now starting to wear off.

I'm regret being a whiner but chronic structural pain just gets a wild and crazy rider, down
My son was hit by a semi 3 years ago this month while riding his m'cycle. He lost his left leg below the knee. That sir is an amputation.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Whichever way you go, a sidecar rig is just a riot.

FYI I had both knees done same time. Doctor also did a major realignment on both legs. They have a special table for that. I kidded the doc and said I felt like an old car on an alignment rack. Recovery a bit longer because of that but it was a success.

Good Luck, Sir

Thanks! Due to the corona stuff my doc says one knee, then the other 4-6 weeks later. Doesn't want me to have to be in a rehab facility for any time at all.

I'm amazed at the cost of a rig! I do have a Can Am Spyder that I bought for my son after his amputation. With his prosthetic he is now able to ride his H-D, but it isn't much for dual sport riding:smile2:
 

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Thanks for your insight. I truly hope you're wrong about a horrific knee replacement. Cortisone works for about 4 days now. Not long enough to ride to the grocery store. Anyway...3 August right knee, 4-6 weeks later left...

Doc claims that I will be able to do a dual sport ride in WI the weekend after Labor Day with my new right knee.

I have a buddy who is a wizard at setting up sidecars on BMW's. He's willing to do this for lots of beer...
Again I should not have called it that and wish you the best. I had the same schedule for my second knee and firmly believe that's the best way to do it, either both at the same time or with a 4-6 week follow on. A bad snow storm cancelled my second surgery though and then I started having issue with the first one. I learned later on that a certain percentage of people are not good candidates for total knee replacement, and I'm one of them. One thing I would recommend to you is to strengthen the joint and legs as much as possible before surgery. It helps with recovery. And I hope you are able to get out there and ride as your doc is predicting. I'm back riding off road but it just took me a bit longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Been doing PT for over a month now. My torture person has given me several more exercises. She has been my gal for several of my racing mishaps over the years. Her admonishment to me last visit...just do the stuff the amount of times I have printed out for you...you are overdoing a bit.
 

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PT before the TKR surgery is definitely a plus. Were it not for that I would have been a complete cripple after surgery. Still, almost six months to the day after surgery, I've got a ways to go to get back to 100%. I've got full range of motion but I am not there with the strength part.

Every session of PT is an adventure. Just when I have mastered something she finds a way to make it 50% harder, so we do that. Then she comes up with something completely different.
 
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