You may be more familiar with Ural for its 2-wheel drive sidecar motorcycles, but the Russian firm has decided to bring a solo motorcycle—available on and off in North America—back to the line for 2012. Although IMZ-Ural’s focus has always been its sidecar business, solo bikes have been sporadically available in some markets, and this year’s North American version is called the Solo sT (again).
According to Irbit Motorworks of America’s recently updated Ural website, the newer Solo is “... a bike that could have been produced by Ural in the 1970s, if the engineers were allowed to fulfill their ambition for building a performance two-wheeler.”
That might just be good marketing copy, but what you can’t argue is the fact that this is a classic motorcycle enhanced by current components. The four-speed, shaft-drive Solo benefits from more modern suspension and superior brakes than its previous-generation siblings, sporting a 40mm Marzocchi telescopic fork (as opposed to the leading-link suspension on the sidecar models) as well as 4-piston Brembo front brakes and Sachs rear hydraulic shocks. Like most modern motorcycle manufacturers, Ural uses pre-made components in many cases—alternators from Nippon Denso, brakes from Brembo, ignitions from Ducati Energia. The company still makes the frame and body parts, and the reliably stout, air-cooled 745cc boxer engine remains at the heart of the matter. The 2012 Ural Solo sT is available now in Flat Black, at an MSRP of $7799.