How Can A Sidecar NOT Be Fun?

The look of the sidecar bike is nostalgic and romantic (or heroic, depending on which image they bring to your mind); but either way, it’s the classic look of a bygone time. For the M70, it’s a classic look, yes, but that’s where old-school ends and modern engineering begins. Ural equips the M70 with fuel-injected 749 cc engine, and while the numbers don’t look terribly impressive on paper, the ride is lively and quite up to an adventure as much as any adventure bike out there.

Continue reading to see my review of the Ural M70.

  • 2015 - 2018 Ural M70
  • Year:
    2015- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    OHV air cooled 2 cylinder 4 stroke “boxer” (flat twin)
  • MPG(Cty):
    31
  • MPG(Hwy):
    37
  • Displacement:
    749 L
  • Price:
    16499
  • Price:

Design

2015 - 2018 Ural M70 Exterior
- image 614147
It's a bagger without being a bagger. It's a trike without being a trike.

When I see one of these Ural bikes, it conjures the image of a soldier in an old WWII movie cruising across the French countryside with a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread in the sidecar on his way to see his girl. Of course, there’s the other image of the soldier careening down the road dodging exploding shells as he races to get a vital message to headquarters. This ride isn’t far from that having been built off a WWII motorcycle.

The vintage styling and enhanced on-road capabilities of the M70 won my heart over. It’s a bagger without being a bagger. It’s a trike without being a trike. It’s a motorcycle that you can use, not only to have fun, but to run errands — stop at the cleaners, pick up groceries and take the dog to the groomer — while you’re out. It’s the anti-soccer-mom’s bike.

With a 5.5-gallon fuel tank and a cruising range of up to 200 miles, this is the go-anywhere, do-anything machine. The 2.9-cubic-foot trunk — that got a new weather stripping seal in 2016 (Yay!) — and maximum weight of 1,140 pounds means there’s plenty of room for camping gear on your weekend getaway, and the recommended maximum cruising speed of 70 mph means the road is your oyster. There are plenty of accessories to customize your M70: ammo box, luggage rack, first-aid kit, bumper and more.

From 2017, the M70 got a new electronic speedometer with built-in indicators, upgraded seating, and additional storage under the sidecar cushion. The handlebar controls see a little revamp as the reverse lever that was on the bar is moved to a foot pedal , and the parking brake and spotlight on/off controls are now mounted on the bar.

Chassis

2015 - 2018 Ural M70 Exterior
- image 614143
Unlike the Gear-Up, the M70 doesn't have on-demand two-wheel drive, but instead is a road-centric version with low seat height and pavement comforts.

Unlike its brothers, the Patrol, that wasn’t brought forward to 2018, and the Gear-Up that are built for off-road, the M70 is at home on the road with a 40 mm telescopic front fork, the lowest seat height of the Ural line-up — due to its low 4.9-inch ground clearance — and 2.5-by-18-inch aluminum rims laced with steel spokes. New from 2016, the M70 got stiffer shocks and a hydraulic brake switch. From 2017, the folks at Ural installed a combination relay and fuse box under left side panel.

A four-piston fixed Brembo caliper on the front wheel, two-piston Brembo caliper on the sidecar and HB big-bore single-piston caliper on the rear wheel provide stopping force for this mad-fun machine.

Front suspension: 40 mm Marzocchi telescopic forks
Rear suspension: Double-sided swing-arm with two Sachs hydraulic spring shock absorbers, 5x adjustable
Sidecar suspension: Single-sided swing-arm with Sachs hydraulic spring shock absorber, 5x adjustable
Wheels: 2.5X18 Aluminum rims with steel spokes
Tires: Heidenau, 4.0x18 inches
Front brake: Four-piston fixed Brembo caliper with 295 mm floating NG rotor
Rear brake: HB big-bore single-piston integrated floating caliper with 256 mm fixed NG rotor
Sidecar brake: two-piston fixed Brembo caliper with 245 mm floating NG rotor

Drivetrain

2015 - 2018 Ural M70 Exterior
- image 614149
Specs don't read very exciting, but the ride is truly fun.

The 749 cc OHV air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke “boxer” engine pairs with a five-speed (four forward, one reverse) manual transmission to produce a not-too-shabby 42 pound-feet of torque and 41 horsepower. The heads of the flat-twin engine seem to rather lend themselves to air-cooling, being laid out on each side of the case like they’re reaching for the wind.

Added in 2016, the M70 now has compressible fiber-aluminum gaskets to seal exhaust head pipes and a fuel sensor baffle in the fuel tank. The folks at Ural also gave the bike a new starter motor for more reliable operation.

Engine: OHV air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke “boxer” (flat twin)
Displacement: 749 cc
Bore and stroke (mm x mm): 78 x 78
Max output (horsepower): 41 at 5,500 rpm
Max torque (pound-feet): 42 at 4,300 rpm
Compression: 8.6 to 1
Fuel system: Throttle body EFI
Starting: Electric & Kickstart
Clutch: Double-disc dry
Transmission type: Manual, four forward. one reverse
Primary drive (rear wheel)CHAMP_A_TRADUIRE_D] Driveshaft
Engageable sidecar wheel drive: No

Pricing

2015 - 2018 Ural M70 Exterior
- image 614150
MSRP on the basic colorway is a carry-over from last year, but a slew of premium colors are available.

With an MSRP of $16,499, this bike is in reach. It comes in Military Green, which gives a nod to its military heritage, but there are a slew of premium colors available for an extra $1,000 and a couple of Camo choices for an extra $1,500. The drivetrain comes standard in silver, but for $1,000 more, you can get it black for that whole black-out look.

Warranty: Two-years parts and labor, unlimited mileage
Extended Warranty: Third year extended warranty for $850 available at any time within two years of purchase.
Available Color:
2016: Olive Drab
2017: Flat Olive
2018: Military Green, Asphalt, Grey Metallic, Terracotta Metallic, Burgundy Metallic, Green Metallic, Bronze Metallic, Sahara, Forest Fog, Gloss Black, Woodland Camo, Urban Camo
Price:
2016: $15,999
2017: $16,499
2018: $16,499, Premium Colors: $17,499, Camo: $17,999

Competitors

What do you compare the M70 to that comes out of a factory?

What do you compare the M70 to that comes out of a factory? In the past, I’ve tried comparing it to trikes, but that just doesn’t seem close enough to be realistic. If you’re looking at an M70 as one of your shrinking list of motorcycles to buy, what else are you looking at? Leave me a message in Comments.

He Said:

My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, "This bike really appeals to the little kid inside me that grew up watching WWII movies. I really appreciate the trouble they went to engineering the bike so that the modern technology blended so seamlessly with the vintage look. I wish other manufacturers would revisit the past so faithfully."

She Said:

"I’ve said about other bikes that I want one, but it was always said in the spirit of the moment with wishful thinking. I really do want an M70. I like the fun of it combined with the practicality. I’ve seen videos of folks riding these bikes on snowy roads (it’s been a long time since I’ve seen snow where I’m living now), not on a dare, but because the bike can handle it with aplomb. I love the vintage styling and I can absolutely see my dog in the sidecar wearing doggie goggles with a silk scarf around his neck flapping in the breeze behind him as we head down the road to the swimming hole."

Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: OHV air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke “boxer” (flat twin)
Displacement: 749 cc
Valve per cylinder: 2
Bore and stroke (mm x mm): 78 x 78
Max output (horsepower): 41 at 5,500 rpm
Max torque (pound-feet): 42 at 4,300 rpm
Compression: 8.6 to 1
Fuel system: Throttle body EFI
Starting: Electric & Kickstart
Clutch: Double-disc dry
Transmission type: Manual
Speeds: four forward. one reverse
Primary drive (rear wheel): Driveshaft
Final drive ratio: 4.62
Engageable sidecar wheel drive: No
Chassis:
Front suspension: 40 mm Marzocchi telescopic forks
Rear suspension: Double-sided swing-arm with two Sachs hydraulic spring shock absorbers, 5x adjustable
Sidecar suspension: Single-sided swing-arm with Sachs hydraulic spring shock absorber, 5x adjustable
Wheels: 2.5X18 Aluminum rims with steel spokes
Tires: Heidenau, 4.0x18 inches
Front brake: Four-piston fixed Brembo caliper with 295 mm floating NG rotor
Rear brake: HB big-bore single-piston integrated floating caliper with 256 mm fixed NG rotor
Sidecar brake: two-piston fixed Brembo caliper with 245 mm floating NG rotor
Dimensions & Capacties:
Overall length: 94.6 inches
Overall height: 53.4 inches
Overall width: 62.3 inches
Seat height, (unladen): 29.5 inches
Ground clearance (unladen): 4.9 inches
Dry weight: 710 pounds
Fuel tank capacity: 5.5 gallon
Reserve: approx. 1 gallon
Estimated fuel economy: 31 to 37 mpg
Estimated range: 170 to 200 miles
Max permissible weight: 1,140 pounds
Trunk volume: 2.9 cubic feet
Electrics:
Alternator: Denso, Peak Output 40 Amp at 14V DC, 560 Wt
Battery: FAYTX20HL (12V, 20 Amp/h)
Headlight: H4
Spark plugs: NGK BPR6HS
Details:
Recommended max cruising speed: 70 mph
Fuel grade: 91 Octane, unleaded
Warranty: Two-years parts and labor, unlimited mileage
Extended Warranty: Third year extended warranty for $850 available at any time within two years of purchase.
Available Color:
2016: Olive Drab
2017: Flat Olive
2018: Military Green, Asphalt, Grey Metallic, Terracotta Metallic, Burgundy Metallic, Green Metallic, Bronze Metallic, Sahara, Forest Fog, Gloss Black, Woodland Camo, Urban Camo
Price:
2016: $15,999
2017: $16,499
2018: $16,499, Premium Colors: $17,499, Camo: $17,999

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: imz-ural.com

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