Each fall, the Ural factory sees fit to release a limited edition motorcycle. For the last few years, these small production run bikes have cultivated a growing audience – especially with history buffs. That is because Ural, a Russia-based company, traces its roots back to the glory days of the former Soviet Union. This year’s limited edition hack (slang for sidecar bike) draws on Ural’s fascinating past by paying homage to an original motorcycle used on the front lines of February 1942 in a little town called Stalingrad.
The M70, Ural’s 70th Anniversary bike, is a tribute to the first M72 built by the Irbit Factory during the beginnings of what would be an incredibly long and costly war. 9,799 M72’s served to recon, dispatch units, and evacuate those in need.
This year’s special edition bike comes in olive drab, with a sidecar machine gun mount, tonneau cover, wooden floor mat, luggage rack, spare tire, and shovel. The tear drop gas tank adds a touch of style with factory badging, harking back to the original factory symbol.
As far as fundamentals go, the M70 is equipped with 18” aluminum rims, Marzochhi telescopic forks, Sachs shocks, and a Brembo brake. Of all the Ural bikes, the M70 is the fastest and best handling model – apparently due to the vehicle’s longer wheel base and low-seated sidecar.
Actually getting one of these beauts could be tricky. Ural plans for a limited production run of only 30 units and an MSRP of $14,200 for the M70.
If a 70th Anniversary bike isn’t your thing, check out the other seven Ural bikes. The Patrol model features the world’s only on-demand sidecar two-wheel drive. Yes, that’s right…a motorcycle which drives from two rear wheels without looking like those obscene tricycle bikes. Taking 2WD a step further, Ural’s Gear-Up model has similar capability to the Patrol, but adds a sidecar bumper and irresistible camo paint job (forest or desert) for the true outdoorsman.
Most new Ural bikes fetch between $11,599 to the M70’s $14,200, so expect to drop some serious cash towards your predilection for Soviet-era time capsules. But even without a dynamic heritage, the Ural company makes some incredibly durable bikes, capable of handling all kinds of adverse conditions. Spec sheets don’t lie.
Now…if only the M70’s machine gun mount could be used for anything other than a debris-resistant camera…