Either way, the R71 was already obsolete in 1939 (BMW had begun developing the R75 that replaced it), and not much has changed since then. There have been many updates to the Ural recently, especially since the company was privatized in 1998 and focus shifted from providing state-sanctioned employment to actually selling motorcycles. Look closely and you’ll see modern Brembo brakes, Sachs shocks, and Keihin carburetors, which, even if they aren’t cutting edge, at least represent late-20th-century technology. But the basic design—the double cradle frame, the leading-link fork, the 750cc, air-cooled flat twin and the all-steel sidecar—are essentially unchanged. Nearly every piece of the bike—even the wheel weights—is manufactured inside a massive factory in Irbit, 1000 miles east of Moscow on the edge of the Siberian steppe. The machines are built almost entirely by hand, each receiving more personal attention than even the most exclusive Bimota, which partly explains their near-$14,000 price tag. Once you recognize Ural’s old-world authenticity, it’s hard not to fall in love.