Urals motorcycles have been built in Russia since the 1930s with few changes. Stories vary from the Germans selling older BMW R71 or R75 schematics to the Russians or the more likely Russian Defense Ministry purchased five used BMW R71s and reverse engineered them. Either way, the story is entertaining. The factory was located in Moscow until Hitler's troops started sending in the bombs. At that time, it seemed like a good time to move the factory into the Ural mountains, where it remains to this day. Little changed in the production of these bikes until they became privately owned in 1993. The ownership change stepped up the reliability only slightly. With Italian switches and Japanese fueling and electronics, you can be assured there are at least some parts on the bike that you count on.
Suspension is mostly the same in all Ural models; the front suspension on the Troyka is different, in that it has a standard telescopic fork. This suspension makes the handling a little softer than the leading link fork of all the other models, but the change also makes handling the sidecar more work. The rear is the usual twin-sided swing arm with a spring preload shock—and even though it sounds like a cool suspension setup, they're famous for their rough and exhausting rides. The Troyka is considered the luxury model and with nicer two-tone paint and chrome wire wheels, it accomplishes bits of it.
The four-speed transmission, which works with a crossover drive shaft for two-wheel drive, shifts power to the sidecar’s wheel and is manually engaged, giving it two rear driving wheels. So with the both rear wheels engaged, it acts as posi-traction for a motorcycle. The Brembo hydraulic disc setup provides stopping power in front; the rear brake is an IMZ drum. From all accounts, it’s still not enough braking power, even though top speed is only about 60 mph.
This bike varies slightly from the other Ural models with the suspension changes, nicer paint, and added chrome. Troika roughly translates into three, giving this bike the name. Why this one is named Troika and other of their sidecars are named differently remains a mystery. It is still one of the more eye-catching of the Ural models. Be assured that wherever you park crowds will gather.