Ural Motorcycles

As part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 the Germans helped the Soviets with technology in return for gold. Part of this exchange gave the USSR the production machines and technical help to produce the BMW side-valve motorcycle. The factory was built in the industrial zone just outside Moscow.

In 1941 Germany invaded Russia and the pact ended. The USSR moved all heavy industry to new zones in the Urals as quickly as possible. This included the MMZ (Moscow) factory, which became the IMZ (Irbit) factory. All development from this point has been carried out by the USSR and Russia.

The current Urals have very little in common with the original side-valve. The tooling supplied by Germany was passed to China in the 1950's.

Of course, there are more colorful stories:

One story is that, in 1942, the Russian army captured / obtained / borrowed several German sidecar motorcycles, reverse engineered them, and began making their own.

There are several others. Choose your favorite.

Today, this same motorcycle is still produced, and has a dedicated following in the United States, Russia, and around the rest of the world.

Ural owners, unite and share information and photos.

Welcome to the world of the brand new, fifty year old motorcycle.