Seventy years ago in Irbit, near Siberia, Russian manufacturer Ural began producing a motorcycle with a sidecar for the Red Army. Now the company has announced an anniversary edition to pay homage to the military workhorse – complete with a shovel and machine-gun mount.
In honour of its forebears, the Anniversary Edition M70 sports a drab, olive paint scheme and is available in either solo or sidecar configurations. The sidecar model has a canvas tonneau cover and spare wheel, as well as the shovel and machine-gun mount.
The M70 also has 18-inch aluminum rims, 40mm Marzochhi telescopic forks, Sachs rear dampers and a Brembo front disc brake. A teardrop petrol tank (decorated with a throwback Ural badge) sits ahead of a tractor-style seat and rear luggage rack.
Due to its longer wheelbase and lower stance, the M70 is Ural’s fastest and best-handling motorcycle to date, according to the company itself.
It has dedicated the Anniversary Edition M70 to the workers who built the original M72, nearly 10,000 bikes in total for the Red Army. The workers arrived by train in the Siberian winter of November 1941 to build a motorcycle factory on the Ural mountainsides, while the German army came ever closer to Moscow.
The M72 was ironically a copy of the BMW R71 sidecar used by the German Army. It was capable of transporting three soldiers plus equipment, and was first deployed at the Battle of Stalingrad – mainly for reconnaissance and dispatch, although occasionally as a makeshift ambulance to transport injured troops.
Just 40 of the Anniversary Edition M70s will be produced, three quarters of which will be sidecar models ($14,200). The M70-solo will sell at $9,150.