Custom: Saint Motor Company Ural Racer

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“I think I made the sleekest, sexiest Ural ever,” says Jeff Yarington of Saint Motor Company. Inspired by land speed racers and Shinya Kimura, we think he succeeded. Not bad for an $800 initial investment. Here’s Jeff’s story.

Update: The Ural Racer is on eBay with a $2,000 starting bid.

“A friend saw the Ural on Craigslist. 1993, 3,000 miles, $800. I’d always wanted to play with a Ural, so off I went. The seller actually had a CJ750 — a Chinese rather than Russian BMW knockoff — it was the one that had 3,000km, the Ural only had 250.”

“That seller bought the Ural when he was stationed in Russia. Him and three friends all went to the warehouse to pick up four bikes. They were scattered all over in no order, so they just picked out the ones they wanted, installed batteries and had the warehouse attendant write the VINs on four blank titles. Off they went. He rode it a bit in Moscow, then had it shipped to his Dad’s in Florida, then a friend’s farm in Virginia where it was stored for years. He returned from Russia via China where he bought the CJ750. The sidecar rig from the Ural was sold at some point. It’s never been titled and tagged in the 18 years it’s been here. It was showroom new when I got it.”

“I like underdogs and I have always wanted to do my take on a parallel twin since I saw Duckman’s green and white suitcase motored BMW. I was going to leave it original, but after staring at it for months, I had a vision of a low and long street racer/salt flat kind of bike. It’s such a backwards idea, a Ural racer.”

“Then, a guy named Chuck who used to work for Ural and started the Siberian Speed Racing and developed the the first Ural to break 100mph, both with side rig and solo. He gave me the recipe to make it turn 7,000rpm and make 70bhp as well as a second recipe to make it turn 9,000rpm and make 90bhp. That second one he said you could get a couple runs in before you’d lose the crank. As much as I’d kill to do that, reality has me selling it with the stock motor so it can be a rider.”

“I think I made the sleekest, sexiest Ural ever. I couldn’t say the same about my Triumph and BSA builds. I was worried about it getting zero interest, but that was totally wrong. I have built some bikes that have gotten attention, but as soon as I put pictures of this bike up I got 1,000 hits in the first two days.”

“I’ve been building bikes as a hobby under the name Saint Motorbikes for a few years. I’d build one or two each year, then showed them on the site. I gained a bit of a following, so I decided since I was now career-less and broke, I’d give an Internet store a shot, selling builder’s parts, apparel, replacement parts, etc. This has just come to life in the form of Saint Motor Company. The site is up and we are stocking it week by week.”

“A friend gave me a book called Zero Chopper Spirit, chronicling the work of Shinya Kimura. When I saw his bikes, the feel, the look, the vibe, the sould, I realized I had been wearing blinders. Motorcycles can be a canvas, they can be what ever you want. I have since befriended Shinya and Ayu and learned that they are two of the most down-to-earth, beautiful, gentle souls around.”

“My number one goal in life is to stay home with my three kids, three dogs and two cats. I want to build bikes, sell them personally and make Saint Motor Company a force in sales. You know, the American dream that rarely works. My number two goal was to be featured on Hell For Leather, so at least I can cross that one off.”

Saint Motor Company

There’s 22 photos of Ural Racer hotness in this gallery.

  • paul

    Definitely looks bitchin! i’d ride the hell out of it!

  • paul

    Wow, what a great looking bike long and low and stripped back to the essentials. Love the archaic look of those ural motors and the big sticky out pots. Just my cup of tea.

  • Terry

    just a flat out great job. You should be 32 flavors of proud.


  • nymoto


  • ike6116

    looks pretty cool, I wonder what our pal Ilya thinks of it.

  • Cajun58

    Will you build one with the leading link fork?

  • scottydigital


  • Mark D

    Very sleek. I love the fact that he didn’t make it a hard tail. I also love the color!

    Oh, and the kick-starter.

    And the carb intake.

    Ok ok, I love it all! That’d be fun to blast around some nearby back roads.

  • Jeff

    Thank you fellows.

    Paul, the sticky out pots are velocity stacks made from cast 45 degree plumbers elbows, they are stout.

    Terry, Scotty, & NYmoto, thank you

    Ike, me too, I know Medina has seen it as I worked on it (pics). I am very curious to hear Ilya’s opinion.

    Cajun58, its funny you asked, when we did last show, me & a friend were looking at the Earles front end on his old BMW (with a VW motor) & were talking about the possibility of using that front end on a raked bike, like this ural:-)

    Mark D-, yup, this one wanted to keep its swing arm, normally I do hardtails on the brit stuff, but with this bike I wanted to do minimal mods to the frame to show what a great platform these are for streeter bikes. I raked the neck a bit (simple on this bike) & I moved the rear shock upper mounts forward to level swingarm, & unbolted rear of frame, & made a new section.
    Biggest PIA was removing the lower aircleaner housing that cast into the trans, I wanted it smooooth there.

  • Pete

    Velocity stacks + exhaust pipes = amazing

  • Scott-jay

    Wow’s the word. Plenty of interesting bits to admire & wonder over.
    Video with sound?

  • JRl

    Love it. Good work Jeff.

    I wonder if you could wear a license plate on your jacket, so not to mess up the look of the bike…haha.

  • Case

    I’m not a fan of parallel twins (it’s a personal shortcoming). This looks sweet though, and I think you have indeed built the ‘sexiest ural ever’. Nice work. It must sound sweet.

  • Jeff

    Pete, yup, I so wanted to the the carbs stand up by the tank with stack, it make the frt & rear view amazing I think. The exhaust I was back & forth 5 times on making it different ways, Matt was half joking when we set it up that that, then it stuck.

    Scott- Ill try to get a video up in next few days, trying to dial in carbs today & if the snow stays away for a day or 2 I can get a ride video done. It sounds awesome.

    JRI, I hate license plates, at the end of every build I get so pissed having to put on on.

    Case, thanks. Its been years that its taken for these to grow on me, & now its overwhelming to me the possibilities of them. I like that when they are out of the frame they just look like they want a propeller on the front.

  • Zane H

    Pretty cool, but it’s a boxer, or flat twin, not a parallel twin

  • Jeff

    Thank you, I always do that. Flat twin, flat twin, flat twin………

    • Zane H

      Well it definitely works perfectly with the long, low, lean look of the bike, nice job!

  • Sasha Pave

    This is gorgeous! Nice work!

  • Mattro


  • Brammofan

    Beautiful bike, Jeff.
    I think Ural must be getting close to the tipping point between obscurity and ubiquity. I was on a flight last week when my wife nudged me and pointed at the motorcycle pictured in the inflight magazine. “Isn’t that a Ural?” she asked. Yes it was. I base my “tipping point” comment less on the fact that it was pictured in the United Airlines magazine, and more on the fact that my wife knew what it was. Now, she can identify Brammos, Harleys, and Urals. Take that, Honda.

  • sidecar_freak

    Long, sleek and low I really like it. Now I need to hear it.

  • Ilya

    Jeff, great job, and congratulations for being featured here. Those HFL guys are picky, so it is a big deal. And thanks for yet another proof that Ural is an excellent canvas for customization.

    Jeff and Ike, the bike is a bit too aggressive for my taste, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it has a soul, as all Urals do.

    Brammofan, you’re too smart, I had to google “obscurity” and “ubiquity”.
    No, we’re not there yet. We will be there when your wife actually invites you to visit local Ural dealership.

  • wwalkersd

    When I first read “sleekest, sexiest Ural ever”, I thought, yeah, that’s like the best looking ugly girl, or the fastest tractor. Urals have their charms, but sleek and sexy are not words that I would associate with them. But you know what? This bike is pretty damn cool!

    • Ilya

      Urals are sexy

  • Jeff

    Shasha and Mattro, thank you.

    Brammo fan- youre lucky, youre wife acually paying attention the the same stuff you like means shoe loves you……..and URALS.

    Sidecar Frank, Im out playing with carbs today. Its on ebay Now, so I will try to have a video up over the weekend.

    Wwalkersd- Thank you, that was to idea, opposite of the normal perception.

    Ilya – Thanks for the comments, yes you are right, Urals are Damn sexy, & by the way,, wwalkersd, where I come from Tractors are damn sexy too.

    I would LOVE to do a side car racer style bike. Hope Ill run across another in a bit, I really fell in love with this bike & it simplicity.

  • Alexandru Dalak

    Love the way it looks, mean lines and aggressive exhaust. As a side question what carbs did you use, they don`t look stock. I have an Ural more towards the cruiser side. – that is a pic of it and would like to make it better – the way your carbs are arranged leaves me more leg room as I am a bit to tall and usualy hit the carbs.
    Thank you