2010 Ural Patrol T and Solo sT
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The Solo also lacks the Patrol’s reverse gear, and, by extension, the sidecar drive and linked brakes. At the front, a 40mm Marzocchi telescopic fork replaces the Patrol’s leading-link suspension. A leading link fork typically works better for sidecar use, because it’s more able to cope with the lateral loads a sidecar imposes — loads that telescopic forks aren’t designed to handle. And while BMW made successful solo machines with a leading link fork right up until 1970, the extra weight was rarely justified.
The Solo’s handling is a revelation. The steering feels neutral and direct, though not really what you’d call quick. And thrown into a series of sweepers, the machine feels planted and secure. Low speed maneuverability is especially good, with the low center of gravity and gyroscopic effect of those big flywheels contributing to excellent stability. The extra punch from the reworked engine is more noticeable in the Solo, and the excellent front and rear Brembo disc brakes mean braking is smooth and effective. And while not exactly plush, the suspension is firm yet compliant, which makes for a ride free of choppiness or bone-jarring crashes.
Railing the Solo sT through a sweet series of sweepers on state Route 203 near Carnation, Wash., the chassis feels responsive yet composed, helped no doubt by the wide handlebars; while it’s no sportbike, an enthusiastic rider can maintain quite respectable speeds.
For those looking for the vintage experience without vintage electrics, brakes and carburetion, the Solo sT is just the ticket. IMZ-Ural likes to compare the sT with Triumph’s Bonneville and Scrambler, Guzzi’s V-7 Classic and the “new” Royal Enfield Bullet C5, and the sT is certainly not embarrassed in this company — though it is the only one with a 4-speed transmission.
Ural motorcycles have come a long way in a relatively short time, yet IMZ-Ural have succeeded in preserving their essential vintage character while producing fully functional and competitive motorcycles. But if you decide to buy one, don’t forget to add extra time to every journey — to allow for the Ural Delay Factor, of course! MC
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