Roadside Attractions – 2013 Ural Patrol

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On my way home the other day, I spotted something small, odd-looking, and Russian sitting in someone’s yard. No, it was not Vladimir Putin. Knowing I had never seen anything like it, I jumped on the brakes and pulled over to take a look. Check it out.
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Turns out this is a 2013 Ural Patrol, made by the IMZ-Ural company. Since I clearly know nothing about motorcycles, I hit the internet to do a little research. Interesting company, Ural. Did you know that in developing the original M-72, they used the BMW R71 design and copied it almost to the last bolt? Every country flatters its enemy with imitation during times of war, so this wasn’t unusual.
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One of the cool things about the Ural is that it’s 2-wheel drive, which must make it fantastic off road. This particular bike has just 3300 miles on it, and comes with a spare tire, a luggage rack, and windscreen for the passenger. It sounds like a pretty comfortable way to travel.
I know several of you have seen a Ural before, and some of you have probably ridden one before. If you have, let us know what they’re like. The seller of this Patrol is asking $9,900, which seems like a lot of money to me, but maybe I’m way off base on this one. Again, my motorcycle knowledge is lacking. Would you take this Cossack cruiser down the road, or would you let it pass?
[Photos Copyright 2015 Hooniverse/Marcal Eilenstein]

0 Comments

  1. Best thing about them is they have a reverse gear. They were pretty craptastic when the first started importing them in the ’90s, earning them the nickname “Urinal”. Quality has improved moderately since then, service and parts are supposed to be fast and friendly. Evidently they can’t up the quality too much so they sweet you on the maintenance. The last review I read of one was in City Bike a few months ago.
    http://citybike.com/includes/upload/back_issue/cb_2015-02.pdf
    $10,000 is probably not too bad for a sidehack. Sometimes just the uninstalled side car can run $5000. Although, for $13,000 you can get the latest 2015 Ural with fuel injection and a lower center of gravity.

    1. I actually found this bike on craigslist after I posted. He says his price is “very firm,” and not to waste his time if you’re not ready to pay. A real ray of sunshine, this Ural owner.

  2. One of the Seconds Saturdays regulars has one. For the July 2Ss, he brought it, and had a friend ride his Royal Enfield Bullet 500. I rode my TW200, and we had an impromptu “bikes the world forgot to stop making” theme. (All three were post-2010 MY bikes.)
    Definitely neat machines, even if I prefer vehicles with even numbers of wheels.

      1. I’ve got 1000 miles on it, and I have to say, you did not over sell it. It’s fantastic. I’d like a second bike that is more highway capable, but I definitely don’t want to mod the TW into that role. I’d ruin it. And honestly, right now, it’s great for 95% of my day-to-day motorcycling. I am in no rush to upgrade or buy another bike. It’s an amazing first bike, and I totally understand what you meant about it being a bike that experienced riders can have fun on, too.

        1. Trailways, or T-Dubs as we call them, are very popular in my neck of the woods. In my little burg of Eureka Springs, some of my friends have them as second or even only bikes. They have enough grunt to go up hills and are great for unimproved roads. Strangely, they hold their value and are snatched up in a hurry when they show up on Craigslist. I’ve been on the lookout for one but I’m always a day late.

          1. Yeah, there are relatively few of them on Craigslist, and they hold value really well. I had the money to pick one up new, so I avoided the problem by getting a 2015.
            It’s my only bike in the SF Bay Area. It’s a great bike for hooning around town. It’s narrow and agile, so it’s great for cutting through traffic, and it’s got enough grunt that it keeps up with traffic on surface streets without any problem. It doesn’t hold its own on freeways, but it will go over the bridges just fine. (I still need to get it in the dirt. Soon.)

          2. I predict you’ll have a bigger blast in the dirt than you’ve imagined. You’ve got yourself one of the absolute most fun per HP machines on the planet there!

  3. My Honda loving neighbor, who wrenches a lot of bikes, insists that Urals (even those as late as 2009) are the most craptastic cycles he’s worked on, and showed me a couple of details on the one that was in his garage at the time to emphasize the point. Regardless, I think they’re cool.

    1. Hmm.. Username Alff, avatar: picture of two Alfa Romeo Spiders with hoods raised or off. Unclear which one (or both) is a parts car. Something tells me you’re largely impervious to build quality and reliability arguments…

      1. When it comes to vehicles, I do believe in quantity over quality. Get enough of them and you’ll always have something to drive.
        The red one was the parts car.

  4. The Ural importer is in Seattle and the dealer in Portland also sells Enfields. This is definitely on my list of bikes I’d like to try but I missed out last year and they didn’t come to demo day this year. My company has enough riders with money to spend that we can get the local dealers to bring their demo fleets to a parking lot one Monday in the summer.
    I see a few in the area since Urals are the cheapest turnkey sidecar option and make a good play bike.

  5. I’ll just leave this here
    http://www.sovietsteeds.com/forums/index.php
    And (as the owner of a 71 Alfa Spider on which I have replaced everything except the rear bumper) I will limit myself to the caution that you are buying a piece of 80-year-old technology faithfully reproduced in the most authentic method of Soviet manufacturing using the finest materials available for almost nothing in a former Soviet-Block backwoods.
    This does NOT mean that you will not enjoy owning one, it just means that you will have to set your expectations correctly, which is to say, not very high.
    I won’t verbalize what I would do personally but I will allow you to speculate based on the attached image below

    1. Which is why I struggle with the $10K asking price for a used bike with no warranty. Again, I have no motorcycle bona fides, but my gut tells me I would be insanely happy with the bike for a few weeks every summer, then cursing it the rest of the time.
      If I were to subject myself to that, I’d sooner buy a pontoon.

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