Ever wanted an authentic Russian motorcycle experience, but without the Russian traffic experience? This Sverdlovsk-made Ural Patrol 750 motorcycle with sidecar typically retails for $10K in the US, though with tax that usually comes out closer to $11K. IMZ-Ural, the manufacturer, makes only about a thousand motorcycles a year, and 97% of its production goes overseas. The prices for Patrols in the Russian and US-markets are, surprisingly, about the same. It’s amazing to see a low-volume Russian manufacturer selling BMW-derived motorcycles based on a late-1930′s design. In the US of A. For Hyundai Accent money.
Years ago IMZ used to make thousands of motorcycles a month, but now its become a niche manufacturer of what are effectively retro bikes. Having said that, the current Urals are packed with foreign components (Brembo brakes, Ducati ignition, etc). Decent examples of similar models are reportedly plentiful on the Russian market, and typically go for just a couple hundred dollars. If there was an automotive equivalent of Ural, it would have been the Land Rover Defender in the 1990′s, which sold in small numbers and for impressive amounts of money despite having changed very little since the
Attlee government early 80′s.
Still, ten grand is ten grand, and lest we become desensetized to that figure, in the 2-wheeled world it could get one any of the following:
- BSA MkII Spitfire, 1966
- Ducati 200 Supersport, 1959
- Zundapp KS601, 1955
- BMW R90S, 1975
- Vincent Comet, 1950
- Triumph T120RTT, 1966
- roundtrip airfare to Moscow + a used Ural w/sidecar purchased at a Russian bazaar
- ten IZH Planeta 5 motorcycles (remember Claudio’s ride in Long Way Round?)
- about two dozen used IZH Jupiters
- a 2002 Volvo S80