For a while now, MrsB has been hankering to get back on a bike, having sold her evil Commando to partially finance our migration from the UK 12 years ago. Due to dodgy knees and a back problem, she's not confident she can cope with a big solo any more and so, as she learned to ride on a plunger framed BSA A10 with a box on the side, a combo presents itself as the logical solution. Consequently, I've been farting around trying to get on with chairing up my old K100. Trouble is, (a) the K isn't the easiest bike to deal with, BMW having forgotten to put in half the frame tubes :grin: and (b) I'm the king of the unfinished project, having the attention span of a kitten on ice. Hence, when I found out, via NR, that someone was seriously intending to import Urals (rather than the dreamers who've been putting up rather poor websites every couple of years), presenting a factory built solution, I was interested. When I pointed out to MrsB that a soft tune 750 twin would be reminiscent of her much missed A10 and that blatting around town on what is, in effect, a Wehrmacht replica outfit would do wonders for the eccentric reputation so important for an emerging professional artist, she too became interested. So interested that I never needed to use any of my carefully rehearsed arguments. I was ordered to order one forthwith :grin: . And so, after some correspondence with the importers, whose website can be found here http://www.imz-ural.com.au/, yesterday morning I paid the non-refundable deposit for a Gear-Up combo in forest camo. The expected delivery date is mid-June so MrsB and I have to control our excitement for the next 8 weeks. As there are no dealers appointed in WA yet, it looks as if the outfit will have to come from the Eastern States. We could get it shipped over, but where's the fun in that? So I'll be riding it back, coast to coast . Am I mad? Quite possibly. Should I do it? No, it should be MrsB. It's her new bike after all, but we've talked about it and agreed that, for various reasons, I'm more likely to succeed than she is. Do I know exactly what I'm proposing? Well, I've got a fair idea. When I first got my licence in the UK, I had no money so my staple biking diet was Eastern Bloc 2-strokes, bikes so unpopular that, if you rode one, complete strangers would stop you in the street and offer you shedfuls of free ones :grin: . I became well versed in the deficiencies of Iron Curtain machinery, but came to appreciate its merits as well. Like many at the bottom of the biking pond, I hankered after one of the majestic Russian twins as being the ultimate in Commie cool (whilst being perfectly well aware that the carbs would need a rebuild every other week, that an immediate rewire would be necessary, along with a car alternator and that I'd need to set up a fund to pay for proper bearings on every rotating part). But, 18 years and the collapse of the Soviet Union later, Ural seem to have addressed the main areas where the old Eastern Bloccers gave trouble. Japanese and Italian shock electrics, Mikuni carbs, Brembo brakes, some semblance of quality control. With my experience from the bad old days of Communist industry and the improvements forced by commercial pressures, I think (hope) we can meet on some middle ground. I'm also under no illusions that this is some equivalent of a W650 or a new Bonneville. No matter how many disc brakes or electronic ignitions it might have, this is a stone-age motorcycle. Even an Enfield is modern beside the basic design. The giveaway is the service interval, a paltry 2,500 km compared to 6,000 km for the Bullet Electra. Whatever happens I shall keep NR posted on developments as they occur. I'll be posting a full account of the trip, complete with photos, and will also be reviewing the machine itself based on the experience. I'll be on a fairly tight schedule for the big trip, but if any Netriders along the way would like to ogle the machinery and say Hi, I'm sure something can be arranged. Provisionally I'm planning to pick up the bike in Newcastle, then head inland to Dubbo, then Nyngan and onto the Barrier Highway to SA for the Nullabor crossing. Not the most exciting or scenic route, but time constraints and administrative issues (which I'll deal with in another post) leave me few options. So that's the rough outline of the motivation and The Plan. More will follow as it happens.