Since it started manufacturing motorcycles in the early 1940s, Ural has developed a reputation for making some of the most rugged bikes in the world. The 2009 Ural Gear-Up provides further evidence that the company's focus on no-nonsense engineering, and a WWII-era aesthetic still has a place in the contemporary world of motorcycles.
Ural's 2009 Gear-Up 750 is a sidecar motorcycle with a four-speed manual transmission and a horizontally opposed engine that offers 40 horsepower. That number won't likely impress anyone who is interested in speeding down the highway on a Japanese bike built for sport. Those interested in leisurely touring the countryside, or simply commuting to work on a sensible bike, however, will eye the Gear-Up with envy.
Ural's history is embedded in the look and engineering of every 2009 Gear-Up. According to legend, the company started building motorcycles after sneaking a BMW across the Russian border. Engineers dismantled the bike, and developed a design that could withstand harsh Russian winters without succumbing to mechanical problems. That formed the basis of what has become one of the most renowned motorcycle builders in the world. The 2009 Ural Gear-Up is a testament to that original design. It doesn't rely on frills or gimmicks. It doesn't cater to adrenaline junkies in search of another rush. It offers the kind of reliable performance that a Russian soldier would appreciate, while keeping an eye out for Nazi forces. In other words, it's the kind of bike that always works when you need it the most.
The Ural Gear-Up doesn't focus on unnecessary comforts, but it still understands that today's motorcyclists want a smooth ride. Its 58-inch wheelbase and hydraulic spring shock absorbers make it easy to control on practically all road conditions. The sidecar does cause the bike to drift a little to the right, but most riders find that they quickly learn to correct for this. After a couple hours of experience, riders gain an intuitive understanding of how the bike reacts.
Collectors interested in a unique version of the Gear-Up can look for the 2009 Sahara. It offers the same engineering as the Gear-Up, but it has an aesthetic that feels at home in the desert, rather than the tundra. Ural only made 18 of the special edition Saharas in 2009, so they're difficult to find.
The 2009 Gear-Up's link to history doesn't mean that it has outdated technology. Ural has reengineered its bikes to keep up with modern needs. The company just knows that its bikes have a certain place in the world, and it doesn't try to fit in where it doesn't belong. With the Gear-Up, riders get a fun, reliable bike with unique aesthetics that connect it to the past, rather than worrying about current trends.