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The Ural Yamal: A rough 'n' ready Russian -- with a sidecar, too

November 27, 2012|By Charles Fleming
  • The 2012 Ural Yamal comes with two-wheel drive and is equipped with an oar, just in case.
The 2012 Ural Yamal comes with two-wheel drive and is equipped with an oar,… (Ural Motorcycles )

The 2012 Ural Yamal Limited Edition Sidecar moto-machine is rough, Russian and ready for anything. This latest iteration of the famed Soviet-era military motorcycle -- copied just before the beginning of World War II from the German BMW R-71 and in continuous production since then -- is based on the Yamal Peninsula ice-breaking boats. Hence the teeth, the twin-hull body design and, one presumes, the oar that comes as standard equipment.

The bike is notorious for its durability ("tough as a Russian AK-47," the manufacturers say) and long-haul capability. I've seen them everywhere from Northern California to Southern Spain, invariably driven by a mad, committed, world-cruising biker. (Often accompanied by a hound, who occupies the sidecar.)

PHOTOS: The 2012 Ural Yamal Limited Edition

The Yamal is a two-wheel drive model and is part of a 2012 line that also includes the 745cc Solo sT, the company's first non-sidecar motorcycle.

Only 50 of the Yamals have been made for export to the U.S. They will retail at $14,250.

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