A SIDECAR THAT’S ADVENTURE READY
Ural Australia have always been a supporter of our great Ulysses Club. I remember at the Nepean AGM when Jon Taylor took me for a ride as sidecar passenger in one of these Russian machines. We did a few laps around the event lifting the sidecar wheel on many occasions. They have now moved their office to a northern NSW town named after this machine…. URALa.
I picked up this Sahara test outfit from Sydney dealer, Gasoline Motor Co ( Gasoline Ally) where Jason was most helpful in showing me the ins & outs of this unusual three wheeler. Gasoline Ally is another place you must visit to see a plethora of bikes old and new in a warehouse type environment where us elderly can reminisce and even buy those fine old machines of yesteryear.
It was a rainy Sydney Saturday so the ride home on a unfamiliar machine was interesting as I kept to the right of the left for this wide three wheeler if you know what I mean. Need to watch out for the left guard which protrudes outside the sidecar Jason told me this is a unpopular place for damages. Braking needs to be front and back at same time to avoid it pulling to one side. Sitting upright and singing “Farewell Aunty Jack” was my initial thought along the highway as memories allowed.
Get it dirty those great people from Ural Australia said, a first for a test ride. These machines are tough and even come with a shovel so you can dig yourself out of it. They come with tyre pump, a huge tool kit, spare wheel , jerry can and if you want, a rifle holder. These are accessories and features from the war days in which the origin of this outfit was born. The original still working factory is near a famous Russian mount range called “The Urals”. Some major components are made by others though.
Initially a little bumpy & clunky on the road and typical BMWobbly boxer engine but as we became accustomed things settled down on the comfy seat built for two. Enough get up and go in the city on the motorways and country roads along the Nepean NSW river. The turning circle is very good but you have just got to ensure the third wheel stays down unless your passenger is a thrill seeker.
Be prepared for UDF (Ural Delay Factor) when you are out and about, to be stopped anywhere anytime by anyone and admired & asked questions of this war like machine. You quickly become an ambassador for these go anywhere three wheeling three person (or two) modern going but old looking URAL machines. Comments I did receive were, it’s ugly, its rugged, it’s funny looking and it looks old. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all and they do come in many other colours.
Specs: Fuel Injected Models
Dimensions (L x W x H) 2580 x 1700 x 1100 mm Wheelbase 1470 mm
Seat Height 785 mm
Sidecar Trunk Capacity 83 ltr
Road Clearance 140 mm
Dry Weight 332 kg
Recommended max Speed 115km/hr Displacement 749 cc
Engine OHV Air-cooled, four stroke, two cylinder
Valves per cylinder 2
Bore & Stroke 78 x 78 mm
Max output (hp) 41 @ 5500 rpm
Max torque (Nm) 56.9 @ 4300 rpm Gearbox 4 forward, 1 reverse, shaft drive
Final drive ratio 4.62
Alternator Denso, 55 Amp, 770 Wt Fuel 95-98 Octane, unleaded
Fuel consumption 13-15km/ltr
Fuel tank capacity 19 ltr
Fuel Reserve Approx. 3.8 ltr
Passenger has plenty of leg space in the sidecar with the seat & back being very comfortable with padding. Sidecar has suspension/disc brake/ grab rail/ light & power socket plus its own spring underneath.
This is an adventure machine with much boot space plus three luggage racks so would be great for an overnighter or a trip to the next Ulysses AGM with your partner or even your pet dog. Go off road with our adventure bike branch or join the local sidecar club near you which are becoming more popular.
The URALs have had it tough in the past but after riding one, seeing several videos on how they test them (even their company accountant does testing) and now with updated modern features these outfits are a serious machine for a fun time.