Ural with sidecar - visiting Irbit factory and test ride of Ural bike during the Trans-Siberian Tour

During our Trans-Siberian tours we make a stop in Irbit, small town with 37 thousand people population, that is located after the Ural mountains on the border with Siberia. Here located Ural factory and this town is known in Russia as the motherland of Urals and motorcycle industry.

We think most of you know history of this legendary bikes but we will briefly remind - Ural bikes were copied from BMW R71 right before the Second World War. Their production began in 1940 and was steady growing during next decades. These bikes were extremely popular with people in the rural areas, in villages and small towns, they were reliable and multi functional. In the end of USSR in 1990th more than 10 000 motorcycle were produces every month, it was a big factory with huge facilities and many employees.

Unfortunately after the USSR crashed production almost stopped because of no demand and money. Factory was sold to private investors and after several years of restructuring production was stabilized at approx 100 motorcycle per month, which is around 1% of previous times (drop from 10 000 to just 100). Most of the parts now come from other countries and bike are just assembled in Russia. The good news is that they were significantly upgraded. Main markets for Ural bike now are USA, Europe, Australia, Canada and other foreign countries, local sales are just around 5%. 

 

When we ride from Moscow to Vladivostok over the Trans-Siberian route we always stop at Ural factory. First of all its history, then there are three museums in the town devoted to Ural bikes with really passionate owners. One more thing - in working days we visit factory with a private excursion, thank for company management for that. And we have a chance to see how Urals with sidecars are assembled. 

Last, but most precious point - we take a test drive of Urals motorcycles with the sidecars. As a rule its a short test drive of some old bike on 80-x in the internal yard of the museum of factory and then its a 1,5 hour ride with new bikes around the city. Below you can see photos how it looks like. Amazing experience that will bring you memorable emotions. 

To sum it up - if it happen that you ride from Ekaterinburg to Tumen dont ride boring highway, take slightly to the north with secondary roads (they are good, paved) and make a stop at Irbit town with the Ural factory. Visit several museums, take Ural motorcycle with the sidecar for a test drive (preferably arrange this in advance). If you need any information with routes, contacts feel free to ask via phone or write us at info@rusmototravel.com