The 2009 Ural Sahara is a limited edition version of the popular Ural Gear-Up. Like the Gear-Up, it has an unmistakable Russian aesthetic that will remind history buffs of bikes from the WWII era. In fact, legend has it that Ural based its original designs on a BMW motorcycle that it snuck across the border in 1940. The Sahara also relies on no-frills engineering that makes it a true touring bike. Anyone expecting high speeds and loads of torque will want to look to other options. Those who like to spend their time cruising country roads on unmistakably unique motorcycles, however, will definitely want to check out the 2009 Sahara.
Ural only built 18 Sahara models for 2009, so it's not a common motorcycle to find outside of collections. That's too bad. Serious motorcycle enthusiasts would love test-driving the Sahara. Its no-nonsense design forces riders to rely on their experience rather than gimmicky features. Luckily, those who can't find this special edition can always turn to the 2009 Gear-Up, which offers the same fun, but with a slightly different look and charm.
The 2009 Sahara, like most Ural bikes, has a sidecar for passengers. Unlike many of the motorcycles made by Ural, though, the Sahara has a sidecar driveshaft, which helps correct the drift that sidecars often cause. Most riders don't find that a slight pull to the right affects their experience much. It's rather easy for them to adjust to the feel of sidecar bikes. Still, others will appreciate that they can hop onto the Sahara and take off without having to correct their direction. The sidecar driveshaft also turns the Sahara into a two-wheel-drive motorcycle, which drivers find useful if they ever get stuck on slippery roads.
The Ural Sahara's front suspension relies on leading link forks. This offers a bumpier ride than bikes equipped with USD forks, but it also harkens back to a time when motorcycles were built for utility, rather than sport. Those who prefer leading link forks often scoff when they see sleek Japanese models cruising on the highway. For traditionalists, the history of Ural engineering adds to an enjoyable ride. Instead of getting angry at every bump, Ural fans tend to appreciate communicating with the road, just like countless motorcyclists before them. Ural, after all, is one of the few motorcycle manufacturers that managed to update its technology without letting go of the past. That fact makes bikes like the 2009 Ural Sahara special for those who can truly appreciate them.
As a highly limited edition motorcycle, few people will have the chance to drive the 2009 Ural Sahara. Even fewer will have the opportunity to own one. Those who do get to ride this bike, however, get to enjoy a unique combination of contemporary and WWII-era engineering, with aesthetics to match.