Natasha and her kin – Denver Motorcycle Travel

18 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Natasha and her kin – Denver Motorcycle Travel
BMW Other Military sidecar rig

Natasha and her kin

This post will list the information I’ve gathered on my 1996 Ural Sportsman, Natasha, to answer the typical questions I get when UDF’ed (Ural Delay Factor) while riding this sidecar rig.

It’s a Russian motorcycle, made in Irbit at the foot of the Ural Mountains, initially a copy of a German BMW motorcycle sidecar rig.


Ural is pronounced ooral by the Russians.

Manufacturer’s website:

History, according to IMZ: LINK


Five R-71 BMW motorcycles covertly bought through Sweden by Russians, taken apart, copied down to last bolt and approved as M-72 motorcycle for Soviet military starting early 1941.

October 25, 1942, first M-72s sent into battle with Soviet Army, with almost ten thousand produced during the course of the war.

1950, the 30,000th motorcycle was produced.

Late 1950s, the factory in the Ukraine dedicated for military production, the one in Irbitz for civilian consumption.

1998, the factory is fully privatized.

Design really has not changed much since the 1940s. More recent models have outsourced components such as Hertzog Timing Gears, Ducati Ignitions, Italian handlebar controls, Brembo Front Disc Brakes.

Over 3.2 million copies have been delivered world-wide.

BMW Other Military sidecar rig

Natasha was made in 1996 and originally had a 650cc engine. The previous owner had it replaced with a 750cc engine, a deep oil sump, a Harley Davidson solo seat which replaced the hard rubber tractor seats.

Max speed is 65 mph but these rigs prefer to run at 55 mph when run for extended periods of time.

Transmission: Four forward and one reverse gear. Loud Gears Save Lives.

Natasha has fulltime 2 wheel drive, in that both the motorcycle’s rear tire and the sidecar’s wheel are driven. Newer models don’t have this, instead their 2Wd is manually engaged by the rider when in difficult terrain to get the rig unstuck, then disengaged once free of the obstacle as its difficult to steer with 2WD engaged.

5 Gallon capacity tank, about 35 MPG depending on whether or not the sidecar’s windshield is mounted or not.

These motorcycles require regular maintenance, with service cycles every 2500-3000 kilometers. Seem short to you? Well, if you were a 40 HP engine, powering a drive train designed for 19HP, and pushing along about 1000 lbs of weight. you’d require short maintenance cycles too. )

While you can’t neglect their maintenance they are also very simple in design and easy to work on for the most part. I can usually, working slowly at that, swap out the engine, transmission and final drive fluids in less than one hour.

Rides pretty good on snow, and it traverses stuff which my car has gotten stuck in.

Training in sidecar rig riding is a must. These beasts are night and day when compared to their two-wheeled counterparts.

BMW Other Military sidecar rig
BMW Other Military sidecar rig
BMW Other Military sidecar rig
BMW Other Military sidecar rig
BMW Other Military sidecar rig

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