2010 Ural Patrol T and Solo sT

The Russians are coming!

| November/December 2010

2010 Ural Patrol T and 2010 Ural Solo sT
Engine: 745cc OHV air-cooled opposed twin
Top speed: 90mph, Solo sT (est.)/75mph, Patrol T (est.)
Transmission: 4-speed, shaft final drive (auxilary drive to sidecar wheel, Patrol T)
Weight (dry): 441lb (200kg), Solo sT/705lb (320kg), Patrol T
MPG: 45-50mpg, Solo sT/26-33mpg, Patrol T
Price: $6,999, Solo sT/$12,399, Patrol T

Cruising along a quiet country road outside Carnation, Wash., I realize how far Ural motorcycles have evolved in the last decade. The latest from the company is the 2010 Ural Patrol and 2010 Ural Solo sT. The controls are lighter, and the engine more responsive. And while gearshifting still requires patience and deliberation, it’s light years ahead of the first Ural I rode in 2003.

That first ride, on the quirky Wolf chopper-style solo bike, was torture. The forward-mounted shift lever was so stiff that I had to reach down and yank it by hand. And the kicked-out front end not only spoiled the handling but seemed completely at odds with the rest of the bike.

A couple of years later I tested a Ural Patrol sidecar outfit and was much more impressed. Shifting was still a wait-for-the-flywheels-to-slow-and-stomp process, but the torquey engine and substantial frame just seemed to suit a tricycle layout much better — which, after all, was what Urals were designed for.

Five years on, and IMZ-Ural has responded to the new economic realities with no-frills versions of two of their more popular offerings, both of which I have scheduled for my test: the Patrol sidecar outfit and the Solo two-wheeler. These bargain basement bikes include a “T” suffix meant to channel the utility and popularity of Henry Ford’s famous people’s car, so the wheel rims are painted black instead of being chrome plated. Available only in Olive Drab, the Patrol T seriously looks the business and saves $600 over the regular Patrol outfit. The Solo is available only as the sT version and in a range of colors — though the wheels will also be painted black, despite the silver rims on our red test bike.

From Russia, with Love

The 2010 Ural Patrol sidecar outfit is the culmination of a 70-year development process during which not much happened for long periods of time, with most of the upgrades arriving in the last decade or so. The original “Ural,” the M72, was famously reverse-engineered from the 1930s BMW R71. The story goes that the Soviet government, seriously impressed by the sidecar-mounted Wehrmacht forces’ rapid advance across Europe, acquired three R71s through neutral Sweden.

11/4/2010 9:25:52 PM

Nice artical, I have been considering buying a Ural (off and on) for several years. Now I think that I will start shopping for a good used one.

10/15/2010 6:06:47 PM

Just got my Nov/Dec issue. The Ural Solo seems to be to be a good base for a trouble-free tourer. Surely a bike that can drag a hack can easily allow for a couple of hard panniers and a sizeable windscreen. Wonder if Ural has such parts available or if a pannier frame and luggage rack are available on the aftermarket? Good article and good photos, thanks.

bike on highway

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