It has become a tradition that every year Ural Factory in Irbit, Russia comes out with limited edition series. In November 2011 Factory ("Zavod" in Russian) celebrated 70th anniversary of the legendary Irbit Motorcycle Factory and introduce two very special models: M70 with sidecar and M70 solo. This motorcycle pays homage to its veteran predecessor, the original M72. The M72 was essentially a copy of a BMW R71, the best sidecar motorcycle of the time. A rugged, all terrain motorcycle, capable of carrying three people and heavy loads, was ideal for mobile troops.The first M72's built by the Irbit Factory were sent to the front lines in February of 1942 and were used by the troops in the Battle of Stalingrad. 9,799 M72's served in reconnaissance and dispatch detachments, and were also used to evacuate the wounded from battle fields during the War.
A piece of Military History! From WWII to "Cold War" the Original M72 was the motor vehicle of Red Army. The total Anniversary Edition production run is only 30 sidecar and only 10 solo motorcycles. It is dedicated to those who built the first M72’s. It was a brutally cold November of 1941. The Nazis were at the outskirts of Moscow, preparing for the all-in assault on the Soviet capital. At the same moment, in a small town of Irbit, located on the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains, 2000kms away from Moscow, a freight train arrived with the machinery, materials, and drawing boards. With this train came people with an impossible task to build a factory in the middle of a Siberian winter and produce combat sidecar motorcycles for the Red Army. M70 is based on the Retro model and is offered in sidecar and solo versions. M70 is not a copy of the original M72, but it bears resemblance to its veteran predecessor. The motorcycle is painted in olive drab, the sidecar has a machine gun mount and its tonneau cover is made of canvas similar to the one used on the M72. Just like the M72 it also includes a spare wheel and shovel. The tear drop gas tank is decorated with a replica of the original factory badge. The motorcycle features a tractor style seat and luggage rack on the rear fender. Each anniversary M70 also comes with a special commemorative plaque. While M70 keeps the aesthetics of the original M72, it is also an extraordinary road going sidecar motorcycle. The M70 comes equipped with 18” aluminum rims, 40 mm Marzochhi telescopic forks, Sachs shocks, Brembo front disc brake, and other modern features. A longer wheel base and lower sitting sidecar make this model the fastest and best handling Ural.
Black powder coated engine, transmission, final drive, sidecar wheel backing plate. Rider seat upgrade. Larger seat with leather covering. Higher gear ratio final drive (3.89 vs. 4.12) for better performance.Sidecar windshield with apron from matching "Brezent" canvasWooden Dash Board, SidecarSpotlight Assembly, SidecarSidecar Power Panel with FuseBox and Switch. Fabricate harness to the sidecar.Rear Tractor Seat with Leather CoverRear Foot Pegs (Left Side). Right side is integrated into the sidecar frame.Heated GrippsHeadlight VisorLuagguage RackHand Shifter for Forwar & Reverse (Limited Supply. It is unique to the "Retro" and M70)Interior Trim for Sidecar
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I took delivery of my M70 on 5/22/2012. I love everything about this bike – even the fact that it doesn’t have EFI. I love how the gearbox clunks every time you shift and how the pipes and everything else seem to shake and rattle with enthusiasm every time you throttle up. The BMW-inspired flat-twin engine and shaft drive are just plain cool. This bike has all the fun quirks of the original 70 year old design, but is far more reliable than even the original BMW R71 thanks to all the modern features like Brembo brakes, Ducati ignition, Marzochhi forks, Sachs shocks, electric starter (though the kick starter is still there), etc. The over-sized tractor seat on the bike is extremely comfortable and, while I’ve not personally ridden in the sidecar, my wife says it’s not bad at all. It’s not as cushy as a Cadillac, of course, but we’ve been down bumpy streets and gravel roads and the ride has been fine. The weakest link on this machine is probably the tires – the fellow who delivered the bike mentioned that I’ll be putting air into these Russian tires each week until I decide to get better tires. (I’ve put just over 100km on this M70 already and haven’t yet needed to add any air, so we shall see about that). I also thought it was odd that the odometer only shows kilometers, while the speedometer shows both (as usual). That will take a little getting used to, but nothing major. The gearbox is the standard 3 up, 1 down type, but it’s nearly impossible to find neutral without using the reverse lever to help out – but it’s fairly easy to do and it may just be that the gearbox needs to be broken in more and it’s very cool to have a reverse gear in the first place. The best and most unique feature of this M70 has to be the machinegun mount on the sidecar’s nose. It’s a 30mm diameter tube (like the original WW2-era M72 had), so if you have an original or repro T pintle and a DP-28, you should be good to go! Overall fit/finish of everything on this bike is very top-notch. When I was showing the M70 off to some friends and family last weekend hardly any of them wanted to believe it was a Russian motorcycle – some actually thought it was a Harley! Everyone picked up on the vintage looks right away. After taking a few folks out for free sidecar rides I think it’s safe to say there are many more Russian bike fans in our town now! This is the first sidecar I’ve ever driven and it certainly has its inherent quirks, but it’s really not been a steep learning curve at all. There is a massive fun-factor with this M70 and it’s certainly a head-turner. I was actually surprised at how many people will stop and watch you as you’re going down the road with a sidecar. It’s almost like an added safety feature – all the other drivers are watching you, so perhaps it’s less likely that someone will say “It came out of nowhere!” Still, I’ll be assuming otherwise just to be safe. I have zero regrets about buying this M70. My wife has never been much of a motorcycle person and really doesn’t like the idea of riding behind me on a two-wheel bike. But she loves the sidecar and I think she’s actually more eager to go out riding than I am! Dmitry and everyone at Ural made it very simple to take delivery of this M70 from out of state. The process was painless, everyone took the time to answer all of my questions, and taking care of the paperwork from half a country away was a breeze. I would certainly recommend Ural of New England to anyone who’s looking at purchasing one of these great rigs!