Loading... Please wait...

Lost by Choice

History of Ural: Part 1

Posted

On August 23, 1939 the Soviet Union and Germany signed the Molotov/Ribbentrop Pact or the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in Moscow, but it didn't mean tensions between the two countries were lessened. Stalin began planning and preparing for when this pact would no longer be in play. He only needed time to prepare his army who were tremendously ill equipped to be at war with Nazi Germany. The biggest concern at the time was to defend their country from invasion. To do this, Stalin needed to enhance his army by giving them modernized equipment. Ground troops and Special Forces were priority. Stalin had seen the devastating effects of the blitzkrieg on Poland and he knew mobilization was the key to victory. The current state of their vehicles were unreliable and did not suit their needs anymore. They needed something new in which they could rely on.

With a pact like this no one was sure when it would end or be violated, the urgency of the situation was sensed by everyone. Discussions began on what type of motorcycle to use for their reconnaissance team and other mobile troops. It needed to be able to handle the rough terrain of the countryside, be able to carry at least two persons in order to have some sort of defense if they came under fire. They decided that BMW's R71 would suit their needs. This could be difficult seeing as BMW's factory was in Germany. Surprisingly, to show that they were upholding their end of the pact, the BMW factory sent drawings and molds of the bike. The Soviet Union also purchased 5 of the motorcycles from Sweden and had them smuggled into the country, one of which survived and is on display in IMZ-Ural factory museum. When the 5 BMW bikes arrived, Soviet engineers set to work taking them apart and then reverse engineered the entire bike. Finally, in 1941, the samples (called the M-72) were given to Stalin, who approved the project for immediate mass production where 9,799 M-72's would be manufactured and used over the course of the war.

In 1941 Nazi Germany attacked, just as Stalin knew they would; and with their attack came a new serious problem. Most of the Soviet Union's key industrial factories - who were supplying them with military weapons and vehicles - were within range of German bombers, even in Moscow. Stalin ordered an evacuation and relocation of all the factories.


The M-72 factory was transferred into a small trading town called Irbit in the Ural Mountain Region. It had been a key player in trade until the Revolution in 1917. Once the M-72 factory moved it continued production of the military use vehicles even after the war had ended. Later, the motorcycles manufactured in Irbit became known as Urals and the manufacturer was called Irbit Motorcycle Works (IMZ). In early 1950's a factory in Ukraine took over military Ural production, IMZ continued to make their motorcycles for both military and civilian use, but in early 1960's they were solely making Urals for civilian use. Between the switch of military production between IMZ and Ukraine factory the M-72 line was sold to China in 1957, and would later make their own version called the Chiang Jiang. 

      

View Comments


Rider of the Month: December

Some like to travel by car or plane but for the rugged travelers who enjoy the journey more than the destination it's the Ural that becomes the ideal mode of transportation. This Rider of the Month we are featuring Fran and his wife who were kind enough to carve some time from their current Ural [...]

Read More »


Coming Spring 2018

This coming spring we are opening a new location in Acton. We are excited this location will be right along the bike path so take a seat on a bench for a breather and admire the vehicles in our open showroom. We are proud to announce that we will also be solar powered. Take a [...]

Read More »


Rider of the Month: November

This past month I have had the pleasure of speaking with a new Ural owner named Howie and how much he is enjoying his new Ural Retro. Howie has been deemed Rider of the Month by us here at AlphaCars and Ural of New England. He has been riding for a long time, but mostly [...]

Read More »


Rider of the Month

People are unique and the way we look at life, interact with nature and the world around is different from each other. It's a beautiful thing to step into the shoes of another person and see what they see for a time. Each experience we have as humans is different, the way we feel about [...]

Read More »


Upcoming Event: Bushcraft Gathering

This past weekend we got into our 2017 Ural Gear Up and putted out to Charlton, MA to meet with the planning team putting together a Bushcraft Gathering and we at Ural NE have been invited to participate in the event to show the off road capabilities of the Ural. Here are a few photos [...]

Read More »


Dare to Ride Adventurous

Each winter, 500 miles southeast of Irbit, Russia, home of the Ural factory, the world's largest freshwater lake freezes creating over 400 miles of barren ice fields. Adventure seekers from across the globe navigate to discover one of the world's most demanding rides, including the legendary semi-annual Ice Run. In 2010, our friends Hubert Kriegel and Chinzo [...]

Read More »


Long Island Recap

This past weekend we sent a team out to Long Island to introduce our new one of a kind Ural motorcycle, service other Urals, and give demo rides. The new Individual Series  New never before seen graphics!A big thanks to everyone who came out over the weekend. We had a great time getting to know you and [...]

Read More »


2018 Ural Gear Up

Welcome to the stage the new 2018 Ural Gear Up, the same Gear Up model you love with new options and features. No more bulky spot light; the new 2018 Gear Up will be equipped with two lights on the front of the sidecar tooptimize your night drive. Admire your new 2018 Gear Up in new colors not offered on [...]

Read More »


Ural of New England Demo Day - October 21st

Join the Ural of New England team & the Harbor Head Brewing Company as we take over the Britannia Yachting Center . We will be having a service center and exhibit. Where we will be performing recommended maintenance and demonstrating some proper general maintenance techniques all day. Demo Rides and sidecar skills demonstration. Come check out what [...]

Read More »