Motorcycles are so fantastically capable nowadays that it can seem like the only way to differentiate one from another is by a few bhp, a few inches of travel, or features like ABS or traction control. Most manufacturers engage in the war, as evidenced by the ever-increasing horsepower for sportbikes, the 1800cc Goldwing, and the massive suspension travel on motocrossers.
Not so Ural. Their formula is to let the rider ride, and not allow huge power or hugely complicated electronics to get in the way. Their no-nonsense approach is working—in 2011, Brad Pitt and Ewan McGregor bought Urals, Ural was featured in the New York Times, and they released a 70th anniversary edition called the M70, which was a smash hit and sold out in two weeks.
Ural is one of the few manufacturers not getting caught up in LEDs, screens, and traction control. Today, Jalopnik ran an article called The Sad Death of The Knob, Switch and Button. We couldn’t agree more. We like it when our motorcycles need us. We enjoy turning the gas on, pulling the choke out, and kicking it over. To us, the more polished motorcycles get, the less they really feel like motorcycles, and the more they feel like the rest of the plastic, screen-infested world we live in. Ural understands that, and runs the other way. They don’t want to make anything flashy. They just make the same good hacks that people the world over have enjoyed for the past 70 years. We want one.
Ural opened 22 new dealerships this year, amid a sales increase of 39%. We’re terribly excited to see where they go next. Of course, it’s probably going to be more of the same, that’s not a bad thing.
Read more about Ural’s on ADVRider
Photos from bikeexif
Ural Motorcycles experienced dramatic growth in 2011, logging a 39% increase in unit sales for the second consecutive year and welcoming 22 new dealers to its existing network.
Additional 2011 highlights included a New York Times feature, a Solo sT collaboration with esteemed bike builder James Hammarhead, being chosen for the prestigious Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, and seeing both Brad Pitt and Ewan McGregor add Urals to their garages. Last but certainly not least, Ural rang in the New Year by watching the year-end release of the M70 anniversary-edition sell out in less than two weeks.
So why is a 70-year-old Russian company — one that still builds its motorcycles just east of Ural Mountains — experiencing such success in an otherwise quiet market? Says Ural CEO Ilya Khait: “Sidecar motorcycles are ideal for a wide range for applications, from adventure riding to daily commuting. Being the only sidecar manufacturer in the world, Ural has experienced an increased demand from all age groups. Mature riders are interested in sidecars because of the added stability, and the unique opportunity to share the ride with their family members. The younger urban crowd is also getting into sidecars in their search for practical transportation and their desire for something unique — an experience and identity — they can associate with their own lifestyle.”
With infrastructure paramount for a fast-growing company, Ural is carefully expanding across all fronts. To service an increasing customer base, standout 2011 new dealers – Leo’s South, Kissell Motorsports, Santa Fe Motorsports, Philadelphia Cycle Center, San Diego BMW, Motorcycles of Charlotte and others — will be joined by an additional 25 to 30 dealers in 2012.
Meanwhile, Ural’s North American operation, located in Redmond, Washington, is moving to a larger facility to accommodate offices, parts and logistics departments. Additionally, Ural is pleased to announce the appointment of Chuck Schram, former Dealer Developer for Piaggio, to the position of Director of Dealer Development, and Jon Bekefy — previously employed by Ducati and LeoVince — to the position of Director of Strategic Marketing Communications.
With new Urals, special projects, dealers, and websites on the way, 2012 promises to continue the excitement and success of 2011 — and then some. For more information, visit www.imz-ural.com and join us at www.facebook.com/uralmotorcycles. For all inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.