2014 Ural Sidecar Lineup—Most Comprehensive Upgrade In 10 Years

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2014 Ural Sidecar

“We made the bikes lighter, faster, more responsive, more fuel-efficient and better in handling and braking,” explains Ural president and CEO Ilya Khait. “We retained our classic charm, ruggedness and unpretentious character, but performance-wise, these bikes are closer to what riders expect of a modern day motorcycle.” The 2014 Ural Sidecar lineup has been comprehensively updated with fuel-injection, disc brakes on all three wheels, a new hydraulic steering damper and dozens of other upgrades.

“We know there are a large number of people who like the idea of a classic motorcycle with sidecar,” continues Khait. “But, the well-known ‘quirks’ of previous generations of Urals has stopped some of them from buying one. With the introduction of the new Ural, we’re hoping to get another chance.”

2014 Ural Sidecar
2014 Ural Sidecar

That consumer experience matches our own. We love the amazingly unique character of Ural’s bikes, as well as their surprising all-terrain capability, but have been let down by their limited performance and… challenging handling.

This comprehensive series of changes has been designed to target both factors, while improving both fuel economy and emissions too.

The most notable upgrade to the engine comes from the swap from carburetors to fuel-injection. The new closed-loop system has been engineered specifically for Ural’s 749cc, air-cooled boxer by the Michigan-based Electrojet Inc, using Bosch and Delphi components. Individual ECUs control the injectors for each cylinder, precisely managing fuel delivery and ignition timing for each, while communicating with each other to deliver smoother idling and balance. An added bonus of the two-ECU arrangement is that the bike will keep running, even if one of the ECUs is knocked out; a welcome feature on a rugged machine.

2014 Ural Sidecar
2014 Ural Sidecar (side)

A new, larger airbox (nearly twice the size) and improved cam profile complete the engine upgrades. The larger airbox provides less restrictive airflow while further aiding balance while its inlet has been raised to make it more weatherproof and to make servicing easier. The camshaft will lead to shorter valve lift durations, improving low- to mid-rpm torque.

The net improvement all that brings to performance is a very modest increase in power from 40 bhp at 5,600 rpm to 41 bhp at 5,500 rpm. More importantly, torque has been increased by 15 percent, growing from 38 lb.-ft. at 4,600 rpm to 42 lb.-ft. at 4,300 rpm, 90 percent of which is available at just 2,300 rpm.

Slowing down that new performance is a new brake system that fits discs to all three wheels. Since 2003, Ural sidecars have been fitted with Brembo hydraulic disc brakes on the front wheel, and cable operated drums on the rear and sidecar. In 2014, all Ural sidecars will now be fitted with a Hayes Brakes floating caliper on the rear and a two-piston Brembo on the sidecar wheel, both operated by their own Brembo master cylinders.

2014 Ural Sidecar
2014 Ural Sidecar (closeup)

Ural says this setup “dramatically” increases stopping power while reducing rider effort. The parking brake has also been redesigned and repositioned, again making it easier to use.

Also increasing safety will be the fitment of a new, hydraulic steering damper. Previously, Urals were equipped with a friction-type damper. While that facilitated convenient, on-the-fly adjustments, it doesn’t lead to what Ural generously describes as “consistent handling.” Right now, riding a Ural requires constant steering input just to keep it going in a straight line.

The new, 18-position hydraulic damper should fix that. “Riding the bike, equipped with new damper, requires less rider input while feeling more ‘planted’ and connected to the road surface,” explains Ural. “As an added benefit, the hydraulic damper reduces the amount of sidecar specific yaw (pull to the right or left when accelerating or decelerating). For newbies to sidecars, it eases the transition from two wheels to three wheels.”

Looking at these pictures, you’ll notice further, aesthetic refinements. There are new kneepads and badges on the gas tank. A new dash incorporates modern indicator lamps in a new, simpler binnacle that better follows the contours of the headlight. A new front engine cover is slimmer and cleaner, while incorporating the IMZ-Ural logo.

Can all these changes finally bring Ural into the 21st century? This sidecar crasher will be riding the new bike early next week. Gulp. I’ll let you know how it goes.

More: 2014 Ural Sidecar >>

  • Jon B.

    Rad. Lets hope for the best, the world needs more metal bikes and dogs riding as passengers.

    • Scott Jones

      Dogs definitely love to come along for the ride.

  • Emmet

    ‘well known quirks’? A customer has a sidecar-equipped Ural. I believe he’s on his third motor… still a cool bike, and riding in the sidecar is a cool experience.

  • Lourens Smak

    must-see website for Ural fans: http://www.thetimelessride.com/

  • http://thecrumb.com/ thecrumb

    I so want to ‘try’ a sidecar… seems like the perfect 2nd bike. But I don’t know anyone who owns one so a test ride is out.

    • Generic42

      The dealer’s have demo days where you can do test rides. There is also Soviet Steeds, those guys are happy to give rides if you are close.

  • thegreyman

    I just don’t see a reason for owning a bike like this. Part of riding a bike to have some mobility- doesn’t the sidecar kill that??? That being said, I have yet to try one out- so who knows, maybe they are fun.

    • Generic42
    • Spike Flintrop

      Reason for owning a Ural? Where I live it’s the sand and gravel roads, crossing the pond size puddles and the adventure of riding National Forest trails where you wouldn’t take your HD or Honda cruiser or any sport bike. And it’s about riding to the store and coming back with a case of beer and several bags of groceries on board.

  • Campisi

    Presumably the Solo sT receives the engine-related updates as well, yes? I don’t see why they’d leave that one model with carburettors.

    • Ilya Khait

      Yes, only a little later in the year

  • Jack McLovin

    Quirks? Hmmm, let’s see: requires 91 and gets terrible mileage, needs very frequent oil changes, tops out at 65 mph and costs as much as a rocketship from Honda or Kawasaki.

    • Ilya Khait

      Did you check the actual figures for 2014?

      • Jack McLovin

        I can’t find them easily, what I can find is that the current lineup requires oil changes every 1,553 miles and in the FAQ you recommend a spare engine (practically) should be taken along, in parts of course, on a long road-trip. BRB off to the bank to draw 16 G’s for the privilege of owning a relic.
        But seriously though, aside from EFI a fractional increase in power and disc brakes all around. what else is improved? What’s the new bikes’ MPG top speed and service interval? Do I still need to bring spark plugs, intake boots, and a spare clutch cable every ride or is the 2014 Ural half as reliable as a 1974 Honda?

        • Ilya Khait

          Jack, you need to educate yourself. Start here http://www.imz-ural.com/ural-rolls-largest-package-upgrades-ten-years/

          • Jack McLovin

            I don’t want to beat this into the ground but I still don’t see the service interval. And if you can update it so thoroughly and keep the same price why was the old one so expensive? Quirks and all I’d get one if it was half the price, considering what can be had from other manufacturers for $8K.

            • dave neale

              There isn’t a factory side car rig for 8k. Actually, there isn’t a factory side car rig other than ural, at any price. Nor is there another street legal 2wd set up.

    • Paul Elliot

      OK, but that is not what you buy a URAL for…different mission.

      • Jack McLovin

        What are they for?

        • Paul Elliot

          Going places you would never take a sport bike, taking a ton of gear, adventuring , being different. Might not be your cup of tea, but it appeals to me. I do ride an Enfield, so maybe that explains a little. :-)

          • ms

            Moved from CA to VA with my herd of bikes and bought a KMZ instead of a car for snowy icy days. Just the ability to be this stubborn is almost worth the price of admission.

  • LiberalNightmare

    I really want one of these, but as much fun as it would be, its too damn slow.
    I think I’d be better off with a harley or goldwing sidecar rig for the higher speeds I need to ride highway safely.

  • VagrantCoyote

    Triumph should make a Scrambler or Bonneville with a sidecar from the factory, I bet they’d steal close to 100% of the sales of Urals and actually pack some performance and reliability into them.

    • Dan Kearney

      You might be right, but all the Ural owners I know (Including myself) don’t buy a Ural for its performance. My current 2010 Ural has been perfectly reliable. That includes a two-week 4,500 mile ride I took through the US and Canada this past Summer. Cheers.

      • Fava d’Aronne

        I don’t mean to come across as a smartass, and I do love urals: but being able to go for 4500 miles in two weeks across the US shouldn’t be considered as a reliability feat, but as something that any decent bike should do. I have been doing 4-5000 miles trip every summer for the past 20 years, with Japanese, Italian and American bikes. The only time I had a problem was with an Aprilia.

        If one can’t rely on a bike to last a 4500 mile trip then that bike sucks.

        • Dan Kearney

          Good Point. I don’t mean to imply that taking a Ural on a 4,500 mile trip is a feat of endurance either. I just mean to point out that it is something that modern Urals have no problem accomplishing. It wouldn’t be necessary to make such a statement, but most folks I read with negative opinions of Urals either don’t own one or are posting hearsay. Mentioning your issue with the Aprilia demonstrates that any manufacturer’s bike can have a problem from time-to-time. Cheers.

    • HammSammich

      It’s actually not a bad idea, but I wonder if such a set up could conceivably use a 2WD system like most Urals. If money (and garage space) were not an issue, I’d love to have a sidecar rig for winter riding, but Ural’s 2WD system seems like it would be more capable in the snow than a traditional sidecar setup.

  • Jonathan Ward

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Ural sidecar combos, these improvements just make them more practical for everyday use. Definitely considering getting one for when it’s super icy or snowing, will be much safer than my Fazer!

    • Ilya Khait

      MSRP is from $12,400 to $16,000 depending on the model

      • Jonathan Ward

        Cheaper than over here in the UK then, $16,000 (£9,800) for a base model!

  • Fava d’Aronne

    This is one of those bikes that I dream of owning at some point. But boy, those prices are so effective at keeping me away.

  • Hooligan

    Disc brakes, fuel injection?

    Damn, I’ll be returning my membership card for the Communist party.
    You can actually do tours out into the Steppes from the Ural factory. Camping out and roughing it, great fun. Incidently if you want old Russian/East European classics cheap, Cuba is full of
    them. A friend of mine has a container full of old CZ’s, Jawas and MZ’s
    on it’s way back to Europe. He did not pay more than $50 for pristine
    vintage bikes.

  • frankfan42

    Any word yet on pricing. Brembos and FI are not cheap. Is the price going to leap up quite a bit?

  • Generic42

    If anyone is wondering what type of adventures the Ural is for, go enjoy this wonderful travel log of a man and his dog riding the continental divide from Canada to Mexico


  • Brian

    @WesSiler – So, where are you going to test ride one and give us a fair and honest comparo that doesn’t involve you breaking any of yourself in the process?