Ural's "From Russia With Love" edition (FRWL) is the best model so-far produced by Ural (including the 2022 line-up, a topic for another post). The FRWL was a limited edition of 35 units, all themed on James Bond's silver Aston Martin DB5. Here, Ural made a credible effort to include 007-esque features (covered extensively in other articles) and furthered the exclusivity of the edition by giving every unit a distinct name, each based on a noted Soviet-era female spy and stitched into the sidecar's leather dashboard (I own "Polina"). The rig is, in a word, gorgeous.
The model is still too new to comment on long term reliability, but we can expect it to be Good based on Ural's commitment to improving and correcting past woes. Rather than "fixing" Russian-born issues, Ural applied proven components from trusted brands such as Ducati, Brembo, Keihin and Kuryakyn. The 750cc engine is air cooled and reliably simple, turning a robust shaft drive to the pusher wheel (with another shaft that can be operator-engaged to turn the sidecar wheel). The carbs were replaced by Ural with fuel injection. Disc brakes on all 3-wheels. A time-tested leading link fork. Literally battle-proven frame and sidecar. Failing that, all new Urals come with a 2-year/unlimited mileage warranty.
As mentioned above, Ural is persistent in making the brand better year-by-year, an effort quite apparent in 2019 and later models. Still not equal to top-name motorcycle brands, but most of the FRWL quality shortcomings are cosmetic rather than functional (e.g., chrome parts that surface rust too quickly). If you buy a Ural, buy wax.
The Ural is powered by a 750cc air cooled engine. By conventional motorcycle standards it is under-powered, even without the sidecar. If you want to pull an 10-second 1/4-mile with the weight of a WWII sidecar and passenger tagging along, you don't want a Ural. If you want to cruise at 65 mph and aren't in a hurry to get there, you won't be disappointed. Ural's braking performance is better than adequate, especially given inherently awkward sidecar dynamics. BUT I do wish Ural offered anti-lock brakes. Off-road performance is remarkable: A low first gear gives the operator a sense one could climb trees, and true 2WD that allows me to keep-up with ATVs. This same traction lets me cruise snow-covered New England streets that otherwise keep most bikers grounded. The Ural has a rare ability to perform competently on