If you’re looking for a bike that can not only carry all your gear, but also turn heads in a crowd and be as at home in the backcountry as it is in the city, then perhaps it’s time for you to step up to the Ural Gear-Up.
Ural motorcycles have come a long way from their military origins, but they continue to be built as bomb-proof and reliable as their progenitors. And because it’s the only motorcycle specifically built to be used with a sidecar, the handling and responsiveness of these bikes isn’t hampered, as it can with other ‘bolt-on’ sidecars.
Aside from the obvious cool-factor of these bikes, the 2012 Ural Gear-Up also features on-demand 2 wheel drive (using a shaft connected to the sidecar wheel), a true reverse gear, and are not just painted – they’re powdercoated to stand up to all sorts of weather and riding conditions!
The Gear-Up is powered by the über-reliable and time-tested ‘boxer’ engine – an overhead-valve, air-cooled, 4-stroke, opposed twin-cylinder powerplant that is easy to maintain and just oozes retro coolness. Up front, the forks are a leading link version, specially built to improve turning stability, increase the handling and maneuverability of the bike, and improve braking.
The tranny offers a true gear-driven reverse (not one powered by the starter, as is the case in some other bikes), and because all Ural bikes are shaft-driven, not chain-driven, they offer low maintenance and long life. Brakes on all three wheels mean you can safely stop when you need to, and the front wheel features a full floating disc brake by Brembo.
Ural bikes can absorb the bumps and grooves with ease, thanks to Sachs swing-arm suspension on both bike and sidecar, as well as coil-spring shocks on all three wheels, making this the motorcycle which can take on potholes and country roads without blinking an eye.
The sidecar is made from solid steel – no plastic or fiberglass here – and is also packed with retro-cool features, provides lots of storage space for hauling passengers, pets, groceries, or roadtrip gear, and is easy to enter and exit.
Here’s a video review of the 2011 model from the folks at Motorcycle.com:
If you need any more evidence that these bikes are built to last, here’s a guy who has been riding his around the world for 10 years now: The Timeless Ride
The 2012 Gear-Up is available in several powdercoated flavors – Forest Fog, Gobi Desert Camo, or Forest Camo – and prices start at just $13,949.
I was first re-introduced to the Ural motorcycle while covering the Ice Run, and after spending a couple of hours drooling over these old-school bikes, ended up putting them at the head of my wishlist of awesome man-toys to buy. Go ahead and keep your choppers and crotch rockets and Harleys, I’ll take a Ural with a sidecar any day.
How does the Ural Gear-Up stack up against your favorite bike?