Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Popular Mechanics review of the 2010 Ural Patrol T

I saw a posting on sovietsteeds.com providing a link to a Popular Mechanics Magazine online article on the 2010 Ural Patrol T Sidecar Rig.

The 2010 Patrol T
source: Popular Mechanics

The Popular Mechanics writeup was pretty good though I could tell it was written by someone who'd never been on a sidecar rig.  He got his story wrong when he mentions Hubert Kriegel's epic and ongoing journey around the world, as Hubert started off with a R100 Beemer tug sidecar rig. 

Still, a pretty good read if you want to learn a bit about the history behind Ural's Sidecar rigs and how they've been improved in recent years.  There's also a nice slideshow of them playing, I mean road-testing, the new Patrol T rig in the snow. 

Here's a link to the full article on Popular Mechanics website:  LINK

Here's some excerpts from the Popular Mechanic's article with my own commentary:

Attacking moonscapes like Death Valley, Moab and Copper Canyon, these hearty enthusiasts revel in the simple pleasures of loading up their hacks with ballast, clicking their two wheel-drive into gear, and hopping, rocking and grinding their way through topography that would make a traditional two-wheeler skulk home.   Why yes, yes we do.....

But without the Darwinist benefits of capitalism in place, build integrity (and subsequently reliability) went unchecked.  This is a nice way of saying crappy production and no quality control was the norm during that time period.

The boxer-style engine starts up with an innocuous exhaust note and a metallic timbre that has inspired some riders to slap on a cheeky sticker that reads "Loud Valves Save Lives."  Oh yes, I must get one of these stickers!  The other variant of course is "Loud Gears Save Lives" since the saying goes that Ural owners are expected to do the "final machining" of the transmission gears through actual use.

Go read the article.....these rigs are a lot of fun and while they do require maintenance at shorter intervals, they're very easy to work on.


RichardM said...

Do the newer Urals have the same "issues" as the older models? In other words, has the design and build quality improved?

redlegsrides said...


funny you should ask.

I've seen the newer models and while some stuff remains unchanged, some of the components do appear to be better, their owners seem happy about their purchase and build quality does seem better.

The engine is basically the same, internal components such as timing gears are supposed to be better design and make, the air filter box is definitely different, and ancillary components such as shocks, controls, ignition modules are now outsourced. However, the basic engine/gearbox is still pretty much unchanged. It's actually a good design, sometimes I wish it provided a few more HP but then again, its not meant to go fast!

cpa3485 said...

That author's colorful use of language reminds me of someone we know. (Jack).
Interesting write-up. You have become a Ural expert in not too long a time.