Top Speed 2019 IMZ-Ural Buying Guide
The 2019 Ural Lineup Explainedby Allyn Hinton, on
A true trans-continental marque, the present-day IMZ-Ural is managed by a U.S.-based team in Redmond, Washington, but the factory is in Irbit, Russia. It specializes in heavy, sidecar-equipped motorcycles that bring classic looks to the table alongside real-world off-road capabilities. At the time of this writing, IMZ-Ural is the only major manufacturer of production sidecar models.
What was to become IMZ-Ural started in 1940 when the Soviet Union got its hands on the plans for the BMW R71 motorcycle and sidecar, and by ’42, the builder was supplying machines for the war effort. Wartime pressures forced the original factories to move from Kharkov, Leningrad and Moscow to their new homes in Gorkiy and Irbit in the Ural Mountains. The latter of those two locations provided part of the name for the marque – Irbitskiy Mototsikletniy Zavod (IMZ) or Irbit Motorcycle Factory – and overall, the company turned out almost 10,000 sidecar-equipped motorcycles for the military.
After the war, the factory stayed in business supplying the military with motorcycles until a restructuring in the late ’50s moved that business to the Ukraine, and the IMZ plant shifted to civilian production. The U.K. imported rebranded models from ’73 to ’79 under the “Cossack” moniker, and since the fall of the Soviet Union, the marque has expanded across the globe with sale in excess of 3.2-million sidecars worldwide.
Sidecar: While the word “sidecar” refers to the specific feature that adds a third wheel to the vehicle with room for a passenger/cargo, the term has come to include the vehicle in its entirety.
On-Demand 2WD: This feature lets you couple the sidecar wheel to engine power for improved off-road performance and handling in inclement weather.
The CT is Ural’s most street-friendly machine. You can choose from a 15-color palette that includes two camouflage options with a stock solo seat, and it’s the only model that doesn’t come with the two-wheel-drive feature. All of the other selling points are there, to include a reverse gear and dry storage behind the passenger compartment in the sidecar. The CT comes standard with a sidecar windshield, sidecar power outlet and sidecar tonneau cover.
Ural Gear Up
The Gear Up is a dual-sport that has a definite preference for off-road work. It has a driveshaft that gives you the option of engaging the sidecar wheel for two-wheel drive and improved traction on soft surfaces. Additionally, the two-wheel drive is particularly effective in winter conditions.
The Gear Up comes standard with LED fog lights, jerry can, folding utility shovel, sidecar power outlet, sidecar tonneau cover, luggage rack, and a universal spare tire that fits all three wheel positions.
Ural Sahara SE
The Sahara SE variant of the Gear Up comes set up with off-road work in mind, specifically in desert areas, though it also lends itself to winter work as well. The factory offers a robust line of accessories that increase its long-range/off-road capabilities.
Ural Sportsman SE Adventurer
The Sportsman SE Adventurer is yet another Gear Up variant that accommodates off-grid work with a 12-Volt power adapter that’ll power your mobile devices, and maybe a few lights as well. As with theGear Up, the Sportsman comes stock with a Jerry-style fuel can and shovel to support long weekends in the wilderness.
Ural Air LE
The Air LE is another two-wheel-drive capable machine, but with a special look and mission all its own. It serves as a wee aircraft carrier for a single, quad-copter drone that launches from the flip-open compartment in the nose of the sidecar.
|Gear Up||$16,999||749 cc|
|└ Air LE||$17,999||749 cc|
|└ Sahara SE||$18,499||749 cc|
|└ Sportsman SE Adventurer||$18,499||749 cc|
See our review of the Ural CT.
Ural Gear Up
See our review of the Ural Gear Up.
See our review of the Ural M70.
Read more Ural news.