A MOUNTAIN RIDE WITH URAL MOTORCYCLES
Story, Photos and Video By Amos Kwan
Given the chance to ride motorcycles in the winter, a sane rider might politely decline, but what’s life without a few two three-wheeled thrills? On a recent invitation by Ural Motorcycles we did just that, responding “yes, please” (pronto) while simultaneously reaching for our bags, and multiple changes of underwear. Next stop, cold and soggy Seattle.
Wait, “not Russia”, you ask? Ural Motorcycles is steeped in Russian history, war history, but today Ural is actually based in the Pacific Northwest far from the frontlines of any European battlegrounds, but manufacturing continues to happen on the other side of the world in Siberia — territory inhabited by folks that know a thing or two about wretched weather.
Our agent of transportation for the ride: the eminently capable and appropriately named (at least for us) Gear-Up sidecar motorcycle. Our final destination: nowhere specific, but we did know we would be making our way through a speculative snow cloaked road in the Cascades. Here’s how things went.
Watch our film and story right after the jump.
Note that the Gear-Up looks like nothing else out there. It’s not a bike for sissies, but it’s also not a thrust of horsepower and torque to your backside that begs for you to hold on for dear life. Built like a Russian T-90 tank, the Gear-Up is designed to take punishment. With a reliable boxer engine that doles out a capable 40 horsepower, the Gear-Up isn’t fast, but gets you where you need to go with steadiness and no unwanted drama. The bike is also powdercoated, not painted, so it knows you’d rather thrash it through dirt, bramble and sand than take it to some Concours d’Elegance to show off while you eat cucumber sandwiches. But it also boasts modern bits like Brembo brakes and much-needed Sachs suspension components. For those, we would end up grateful, given the impending weather and road conditions. With the Gear-Up’s fat knobbies, snap on rain cover for the sidecar, and WWII style gas cans for those moments when your desire to ride outdoes your gas tank’s capacity, we headed off for the mountains.
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