Ural has been making motorcycles for most of the last century, starting before World War II and continuing through to today. The company is best known for its side-car motorcycles with two-wheel drive. Like most Russian manufacturers, they design and build for serious capability and durability and the sT utilizes the company's tried-and-true boxer-style engine, outputting excellent power for its size and featuring the near-bulletproof durability that Ural is known for.
Like all Ural bikes, the 2011 Ural sT (called the Solo outside of the U.S.) is a retro throwback in design with all of the appeal that engenders. The sT is also unique in that it was built not only by Ural designers, but basically started as a design proof using one of their other motorbikes with the sidecar removed. The sT prototype was then shown to and ridden by cycling journalists, Ural motorcycle owners, and motorcycle professionals and then modified per the requests of these valuable sources of input. The result is a motorcycle that rides smoothly, accelerates beautifully, and is as capable as any machine available.
In this price point (below $8000), most entries are low-end machines with limited capabilities and stiff, unforgiving rides. The 2011 Ural sT stands out as it is a capable road rider and it is equally as capable going where many road bikes dare not. Built with the Russian eye towards extreme durability and functionality in harsh conditions, the sT has superb handling and nearly unlimited capability.