Ural is a heavy motorcycle produced in IMZ-Ural factory (Ирбитский мотоциклетный завод) in Russia.
On the photo Imz-Ural factory
The history of Ural began in 1939 together with the planning of the II World War. The Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union decided that BMW R71 is the best base model for making a copy for military use. New engines and gearboxes were made in Moscow based on BMW. At the beginning of 1941, the first M72 samples were ready and received Stalin's approval for production.
After a short development the factory in Moscow produced hundreds of M72 motorcycles. But the Russians feared that the factory in Moscow was exposed to German bombers and they decided to move the factory far east to the Ural mountains area that was rich in mineral resources. The chosen location was a small town called Irbit, which was an important trade center in Russia prior to the revolution in 1917.
First M72 motorcycles were sent to battle on October 25th, 1942. During the II World War, 9799 M72 motorcycles were sent to the frontline for intelligence and for use by mobile squads.
On the photo model M-72
After the II World War the motorcycle factory was renovated and in 1950, 30 000th motorcycle rolled of the production line. At the end of 1950s KMZ in Ukraine took over the production of military motorcycles and IMZ continued the production of motorcycles for only civilian use.
The first Urals were exported to developing countries in 1953. At the end of 1960s Urals were also exported to other countries and since then there are more and more Urals on the roads of each continent. Today, Ural motorcycles are a unique combination of price, timeless style and sidecar functionality.There were 3.2 million motorcycles produced in total over the years.