All too often I see a perfectly lovely motorcycle being sold in classified listings with the caption “baby forces sale”. I bounced a baby last weekend and it couldn’t organise the order of shitting, farting, screaming and sucking tit so how one would find the time to instigate the sale of a bike is beyond me. “Over cautious other half” would perhaps be a more accurate addendum to a reluctant sale notice.
The problem becomes exacerbated when virile families, the non namby pamby type, try to juggle the riding of motorcycles with the rationing of pillion time between multiple offspring. The customer who ordered this bike is a man I’d like to meet. He wanted a cool ride to explore the Jurassic Coast around his Lyme Regis holiday home. It would need to have enough room for two kids and any fossils they might dig up.
Handily, Paignton based BMW customiser extraordinaire Kev Hill is just down the road and when a call came in from property investment consultant Andrew the two hit it off straight away. Kev’s questioning went something like; “do you actually like this quirky machine? His answer was um yes I think so, well I said, if you’ve got the money we can polish that turd, and roll it in glitter if your budget extends to that”
A few days later a car transporter arrived at the Kevils HQ and unloaded a scruffy, dark blue 2007 Ural Tourist 750. The initial impression was pretty underwhelming but Kev’s team are a talented bunch who quickly readied the poo buffer and ordered some cans of glitter.
With just three weeks in hand the Kevils squad wasted no time in ripping the disheveled Russian apart and instructing the paintshop to replicate a colour scheme from the Kevils Moto 3 Honda CBF250 that we sold from the Bike Shed a couple of months back.
Children grow, too fast for their own good, and if Andrew wasn’t careful he’d find himself writing one of those adverts suggesting a kid was forcing the sale of his beloved Ural and that part exchanges for testosterone diluting MPVs would be considered. Thankfully Kev suggested chopping the sidecar outfit at the rear to create a ‘Dickie’ or mother-in-law’s seat, offering the kids plenty of room for their legs and junior palaeontology tool kits. A Brooklands Aero Screen from a vintage car keeps all but the biggest bugs out of the whipper-snappers’ teeth while Andrew and his missus can travel in comfort on the actual bike part of the combo.
Kev’s upholsterer was kept busy on this build with more than just a saddle to clad in soft brown leather, which against the gunmetal paintwork looks the business. He also fashioned leather straps to hold the Dickie seat down and attachments on the front of the sidecar will come in handy if the boys unearth a Diplodocus limb.
As Urals are machined from solid Indesctructabilium there wasn’t a need to completely rip the engine apart, a thorough service sufficed. Anything not engine or bodywork was powder coated black to protect components from the salty air and occasional trips into seawater. The latter is a guess but something tells me Andrew won’t hold back when it comes to having a good time on this thing. The fuel tank though is not from the Ural catalogue but from another Eastern Block manufacturer of excellent two-wheeled things, Jawa. Kev can’t keep his wallet in his pants at an auto-jumble and has shelves full of shapely tanks, destined for future projects. This one is particularly lovely and suits the project perfectly.
Rolling on knobblies and sporting an amber headlamp in a military position ‘The Tourist’ looks every bit the adventurers family motorcycle and we hope Andrew and his intrepid team make it up to the Bike Shed one day, as we want to have a go.