Got a note from the Ural folks the other day who are pretty proud of their new M70 Anniversary Edition and thought we would like to hear what it’s all about. It all started back in 1941 when the Soviets were facing a German assault on Moscow. At the same time, they were hurriedly setting up a factory in the town of Irbit on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains. Their intention was to build a copy of the BMW R71 sidecar rig, a motorcycle the Germans were using to great effect. Hey, if it worked for the Germans, they figured it would work for the Russians, too. In February 1942, the first M72s were sent into battle. After the war, the factory continued production and here we are, 70 years later, with Urals still rolling out the door. The new Ural M70 is dedicated to those original M72s built 70 years ago.
The Ural M70 is based on the Ural Retro model and comes in both solo and sidecar versions. Though not a copy of the M72, it is painted in olive drab, the sidecar has a machine gun mount (hey, you never know) and the tonneau cover is made of canvas similar to what was found on the M72. There’s a spare wheel on the sidecar, a shovel mounted on the side and the tank has an insignia of the original factory badge. A tractor style seat and luggage rack complete the appearance.
But this is a modern motorcycle, too, with Marzochhi forks, Sachs shocks and Brembo front disc brake, not something you would find in WWII equipment. A longer wheelbase and lower sitting sidecar makes this, according to the factory, the fastest and best handling Ural.
The total Anniversary Edition production run is 30 sidecar and only 10 solo motorcycles. MSRP is $14,200 for the sidecar model and $9,150 for M70-solo.
These look so rugged and ready for anything, it might be fun to take one out looking for adventure in the great outdoors. Although the recommended top speed of 65 would limit any extended highway work, that’s not what they’re intended for anyway. It’s more Indiana Jones than Indiana interstate. Pretty cool.