“Urals are low-tech as they are based on 70-year-old technology,” says Madina Merzhoyeva, the better half of the team that runs Ural. “They are heavy as hell, thus you can only drive them at 65mph. they do have an electric starter now, but also the kick-starter — just in case. Disk brakes were adapted 20 years behind the industry and only for one of the three wheels. Urals are expensive too.” But in a year that saw motorcycle sales industry-wide plummet yet again, Ural sales are up. And not just a little bit, 39 percent year-on-year. Why?
“There are certain things you can do on a Ural which you can’t do with other motorcycles,” continues Madina. “You can drive them all-year round, on road or off-road. Snow, dirt, it doesn’t matter. You can drive your kids to school, go grocery shopping, cruise around the city or make a cross-country trip. You can fix a Ural on the side of the road, they are that simple.”
“But, who would have thought any of of this would attract customers these days?”
“We realize that we have seen some of the best results in the motorcycle industry in terms of growth over the last year, but our goal was to get back to the level of sales we had in 2008. We feel somewhat disappointed that we didn’t reach this goal and fell short of our pre-crisis results by 18 percent.”
“Ural is probably the only company in the industry which does not offer neither retail financing, nor flooring options to its dealers. But, we’re working with several lenders on retail financing. As for flooring – we offer great product, creative marketing, very flexible ordering process, and one of the best margins in the industry. We think it compensates very well for the lack of dealer financing, if you really dig into the numbers.”
Ural is also announcing new colors for its Patrol models, the orange, blue and desert camo you can see in the gallery.
“We believe, there are very few motorcycles out there which are as simple, fun to ride and at the same time as practical as Ural,” concluded Madina. “And this is what customers are looking for now.”