The famed Russian sidecar motorcycle manufacturer Ural has reported all-time sales numbers for 2012, surpassing its previous high in 2006 and showing a 30% growth in sales from 2011 to 2012.
In particular, the company credits strong sales for the fourth-quarter release of its Ural Yamal. Named after a famed Yamal Peninsula ice-breaking boat, the bike features a twin-hull body design and comes with an oar as standard equipment.
Prized by long-distance motorcycle travelers with a taste for the exotic, the Soviet-era military motorcycle began production just before the beginning of World War II. The first units were designed for combat duty and were based upon the German BMW R-71. Ural motorcycles have been in continuous production ever since, and are notorious for their durability ("tough as a Russian AK-47," the manufacturers say) and long-haul capability.
But we're not talking big numbers. The limited-production run of 500 Yamals, priced at $14.250, sold out in only seven days. The total number of Urals sold in the U.S. last year was 620.