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Ural Motorcycles: A Lifestyle Called “Adventure”

Second Part of Our Feature Story on Ural Sidecar Motorcycle Lifestyle.

by Ujjwal Dey



What do you think of when you hear the word “motorcycle." It’s a simple word association game. What is the word or image or anything that comes to your mind immediately when you hear the word “motorcycle?" Try this word association with the term “Ural Motorcycles." What did you instantly think of? Ancient antique carriage motorcycle? Or urban hipster going to office? Or a world explorer, ready with minimum of belongings, living on the road everyday?

Chances are Ural first gives you the alien feeling of an exotic foreign motorcycle. And the sidecar culture promoted by Ural makes you think whether these idiots are serious about what they are doing. After all, is there a culture beyond Harley-Davidson culture? Well, Polaris certainly is trying hard to establish an Indian Motorcycles culture, so much so that they wound up Victory Motorcycle business and put it in the motor graveyard.
Editor's Note: Read Part One of this feature by clicking here


Culture Case study #1

Mihai and his family explored Europe on their Ural Gear Up model. It started as a small vacation and quickly evolved into a 4-month road trip. They covered 17,000 miles and 41 countries, on their Ural: Man, wife and one adorable daughter.



Culture Case study #2

After Lena beat cancer, she decided to have some fun with her best friend Kristina. They wanted to travel by sidecar, start a podcast and explore the country. And the ride began. Lena and Kristian bought a Gear Up model of Ural motorcycles and began road tripping around the U.S. Now they have a new career, as host of http://2girlstrippin.com/ featuring DIY travel tips, tricks and stories from their adventures. These two girls have discovered the most intimate way to explore the beautiful country of America and find the best hidden gems on and off road. They continue their search for the best beers, $2 tacos, and local specialties. You can follow their adventures at their website, their iTunes podcast and their Twitter.



Culture Case study #3

Tom was a top AMA racer and is the owner of The Early Years of Motocross Museum. He and his son Brad loved riding together until Brad suffered a head injury in 1997. Today, Tom and Brad continue to ride together on their Ural Gear Up. The proud father was very happy to see the joy of motorcycling back in the eyes and heart of his son. Just because he is injured doesn’t mean he cannot have fun, cannot enjoy living. Tom and Brad continue to share their passion by collecting and restoring vintage motorcycles. In 2006, they founded The Early Years of Motocross Museum. http://www.earlyyearsofmx.com/

Today the White family has curated the largest vintage motocross collection in the world. Brad's family continues to work closely with the High Hopes Head Injury Program. “High Hopes has helped us in so many ways, and we continue to try and give back however we can. We want to thank the staff for making our lives better.” says Tom White. The museum hosts charity events throughout the year, raising funds and awareness for head injury victims and their families.



Custom Culture Case study #1

Kevil’s Speed Shop made a custom Ural motorcycle with sidecar as an ode to British racing. The sidecar features a Brooklyn Racing Screen. New paint and custom upholstery made this Russian bike into a Royal ride fit for Kings of England. Kevil and his team even added a hidden rumble seat to the side car trunk. The buyer, Adam, wanted that room for one more to enjoy his Ural experience and Kevil’s Speed Shop made the dream into an amazing real-life fantasy.



Tourism Culture Case study #1

Have you ever been a tourist? Been to a foreign land and wondered how to explore this exotic place as if you were one of the locals. Brightside is a tourism operator offering different Spanish tour packages ranging for three hours to a full day, tailor made to your tastes. Brightside won a Certificate of Excellence from “tripadvisor” in 2015 for the great reviews it received from its users. All the users mentioned Brightside Ural tour as the “highlight” of their visit to Spain.

These tours are highly interactive, offbeat and “seriously fun” travel experiences. Enjoy the best range of cuisine in the land of “Fiesta” with a Ural. “TripAdvisor” also voted Brightside as #1 out of 121 Food and Wine Tours in Barcelona.


Celebrity Talk Show host Conan O'Brien Presents: Team Coco
Celebrity Talk Show host Conan O'Brien Presents: Team Coco


Canine Culture Case study #1

Ural owners go on adventures with their favorite sidekicks. Toni and Bodi on their Patrol model Ural go on coffee runs, with a pet store pit stop.


Becca and Vedauwoo went exploring Montana on their Gear Up model.

Follow three Wheels, two Pals and one Tail. https://www.instagram.com/3wheels2pals1tail/

Melissa and her German Shepherd, Dante, have spent the last years touring the U.S. on their Gear Up model. These girls seem to love a Canine Co-pilot. No wonder I'm single.



And the tales keep coming. New adventures, new experiences, new roads, new destinations, meeting new people and maybe living a completely new life.



Jamie Robinson explored Southern California on his 2WD Gear Up, discovering a new way to adventure with his family. He says, “there’s no need to rough it! The sidecar trunk has plenty of room for your camping gear and supplies.” Jamie has a YouTube Channel now with his website http://www.motogeo.com/ chronicling his adventures with his family. His wife, young toddler son and even his father have joined him on trips for camping and fishing.


Factory Manager at Ural, Russia tests the waters
Factory Manager at Ural, Russia tests the waters

Chief of Engineering at Ural, Russia, makes sure no terrain lefts undiscovered
Chief of Engineering at Ural, Russia, makes sure no terrain lefts undiscovered


Off Road Ready:

Twice a year Ural Motorcycle Company’s lead engineers get dirty and see exactly how far they can push our bikes. No "pro riders", focus groups, or closed courses. It's more fun this way.

This team perfects Ural's off-road capability. Northern Toshemka River Run was the off-road-test this year.  The team had their eyes set for mountain passes and river runs. Ural team set out for Northern Toshemka with four Urals from the factory floor. Anticipating 3-5 feet of water at any given crossing they routed the airbox intake into the sidecar trunk and equipped each bike with our 2-in-1 high-up exhaust.
Vladimir Kurmachev the Ural factory general manager went on to water testing a 2WD Patrol. Victor Osintsev the Chief of Engineering and Lead Designer Dmitry Kukarskikh tested 2WD climbing capability on broken rocks and trails you wouldn’t want to trek even on foot.



Your Ural:

Irbit MotorWorks of America, Inc, or Ural IMWA for short is the official affiliate of the Irbit MotorWorks Factory in Irbit, Russia. As such, they are the direct importer and distributor for the Ural sidecar motorcycle in the United States. This is a small, but dedicated team, made up of both American and Russian men and women who each contribute to the story in his and her own capacity. From the moment your future Ural is received here in the United States, this team works diligently to assure that your bike, your dealer, and you, are well-equipped for the adventure ahead.



Ural promises to do everything to insure that you receive a unique product and outstanding service. They want to listen to you, consider your opinion and your wishes in developing their products and services.


So visit a Ural Dealer Today and tell them Bikernet.com sent ya!



Since after 2014, all Ural motorcycles have an electronic fuel injection system. This EFI system will automatically compensate for changes in elevation so that you can ride up any mountain and valley and desert. Putting the center stand down on these heavy Urals is an adventure experience of its own. Don’t try alone to lift the rear of the motorcycle for putting it on center stand.



The Ural motorcycles are left-foot shifted with the sidecar placed on the right hand side. Length and Width on average would be 7′ 7″ x 5′ 7″. The dry-weight for a Ural T would be 700 lbs and for Gear-Up around 730lbs. The max permissible weight for the Retro and M70 models is 1,140 lbs, and for all other sidecar models the gross weight is 1,325 lbs. Sidecar models can handle approximately 600 lbs including rider and passengers. Ural Owner’s Manual cautions strongly to not exceed the maximum permissible weight in your model when fully loaded.


A well maintained carbureted Ural should average around 30 MPG. Of course the more cool stuff you add to your Ural to personalize it, or the more supplies you bring—as you ride across country—will adversely affect your bike’s fuel economy. Stock Duro HF 308s are fine for most on road, and light off road, applications. Duro HF 307 and the Heidenau K 37s are recommended for rough terrain. Avons are good enough for daily street riding. The main thing to remember is the tire has to have a hard sidewall with a 650 lbs. or better weight rating.



A whole range of after-market accessories are available for every Ural model. Warranty stays with the bike regardless of how many times the ownership changes/or how many people own it. Towing a trailer however will void your warranty in USA. Sikkens paint is officially used on all Ural motorcycles and sidecars. The battery is located under the seat.


Finally, you can even buy a Ural sidecar even if you don’t own a Ural motorcycle. Just attach it to your current motorcycle as a sidecar of preference. An Ural adapter kit can be used to do this.



Ural’s are perfected for riding and handling on three wheels. So, if you plan to ride solo lot more often, then consider the alternative model - the Solo ST. Think of the 2013 Ural Solo sT as a bike that could have been produced by Ural in the 1970’s, if the engineers were allowed to fulfill their ambition for building a performance two-wheeler. But Ural is most famous for its expertise in 2WD so it is ideal choice for people wanting 3 wheels on their motorcycles.


If you are in Seattle, give Ural a call and you can tour their Home Office in USA. Factory Tours at Russia however are not available. And of course, these motorcycles are imported into USA and Canada, so they will probably seem too pricey for the deal compared to Harley or Indian.



Hope you enjoyed this feature and write to us about your experiences and adventures on Three Wheels. Drop me a mail at support@happymen.org or to bandit@bikernet.com or simply post a comment below.


We are here to serve the Trike and Sidecar community on a local level and a global scale. So please feel free to criticize or recommend or review or otherwise be of encouragement to us to improve our BikernetTrikes.com Magazine.


Ride On !!!






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