A Russian reproduction of a WWII-era BMW sidecar rig, all models of Urals have been vastly improved in recent years with modern lighting, ignition, switches, and electronics to appeal to a wider range of consumers. The Ural is based on the Russian military vehicle, the M-72, being produced commercially following the Second World War and exported to developing nations starting in 1953. Since the fall of the Soviet Union the Ural’s focus has been on international markets, with many of its models sold in the United States.
The 2011 Ural Gear-Up is a dual sport motorcycle that is adept at both roads and trails with gusto, though delivers a smooth cruising speed if that is what is desired. It is equipped with a carbureted, twin Keihin with an overhead valve, two-cylinder four-stroke boxer, air cooled engine. The engine does not receive too much stress and delivers a rather thrilling ride. Steering a motorcycle with an attached sidecar can be a little tricky to the novice, though once the learning curve is met, the Gear-Up proves to be a stable and responsive vehicle on the road. Aggressive and sporty riding is not easy on the Gear-Up, requiring a great deal of upper-body strength that most riders wouldn’t bother with, though its competence at a fairly athletic, casual ride is the key to its performance.
The Ural Gear-Up’s Gobi Desert camouflage paint scheme or Forest Camo finish is complemented by an attached shovel on the exterior with fuel canister, and its vintage WWII look is sure to attract a lot of attention from onlookers, including other motorcyclists and pedestrians alike. The sidecar can carry up to 400 pounds, which means that an average passenger plus of fair amount of cargo can be packed in the 2.9-cubic foot trunk or strapped to the rack on top of the trunk. The side car is removable with a reasonable amount of ease, though the vehicle performs optimally with it attached. Ideal for off-roading during fishing trips or the like, the Gear-Up has few real competitors in the market. Instead, the Ural Gear-Up offers a distinctive and versatile vehicle with an unmatched style for motorcycling enthusiasts or those with unique tastes.