I don’t really get the people who obsess about riding a Ural – a Russian knock-off of a German sidecar just doesn’t strike me as an enjoyable time on a motorcycle.

Of course, my saddle time on a Ural has been relegated to around-town and highway riding, which isn’t really the Ural’s domain of choice. These Cossack bikes really shine off-road, where their funky WWII-era 2WD design becomes an asset, not a hinderance.

Add to the fact that Urals are bone-simple to work on — owning a Ural means you will be wrenching on it, a lot, by the way — and you’ve got a motorcycle that’s well-suited to the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of where the road ends…especially when the road ends in a river.

Attempting to ford the river, Oregon Trail style, these Ural owners are experiencing all that the Russian marque has to offer. Seeing is believing, after the jump.

Source: AutoBlog

  • paulus

    Fantastic, how the carbs did not suck in water when completely submerged is amazing. Is it good engineering, or pure luck… don’t know, but it’s cool.

  • Calisdad J Hobbes

    Yes- Bitchen. I was looking for the snorkel too.

  • John Walker

    Last time I did that I bent a conrod

  • Jason

    They have snorkels.

  • Jason Evariste Cormier

    You must try a Ural at some point, if only to satisfy your curiosity. If you ride anything built since 1965 odds are you will find it utterly terrifying. Memorable, but terrifying.

    I met a far-too-loyal owner once. He was on his second, a “one wheel drive”. Why not the 2WD? Well his first one was a 2WD, and the engagement lever had dropped while he was riding around a corner, locking the wheels together and sending him into the ditch. To the guy’s credit he was buying studs for the tires so he could ride it through the winter here in Alberta.

  • Keith Schiffner

    As a friend who owns one says…it’s the most fun I’ve had on two or three wheels ever. As another friend says, it’s not for everyone and brutally simple.

  • Matt

    Fortunately no one died of dysentery. You’d have to be an 80’s kid to get that one…

  • paulus

    That is what I initially thought… but I am not so sure… can’t see them in the video and both the bikes go completely under at some point.

  • Jason

    I’ve seen pictures of Urals will flexible plastic pipe used as a snorkel routed below the tank to the headstock.