The Bottom Line
Three wheels + two wheel-drive = go anywhere capability
Sidecar hack offers passenger and cargo options no motorcycle can touch
2010 upgrades further enhance Ural’s relatively recent reliability renaissance
Crude mechanicals might disappoint riders familiar with modern adventure offerings from BMW or KTM
Fit and finish gets a bit rough around the edges
Limited dealer locations
Engine: Air-cooled, horizontally-opposed 749cc twin-cylinder
Engine output: 40 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm, 38 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission: 4 speed, with reverse and two-wheel drive
Brakes: Front Brembo disc, rear drums (at both rear and sidecar wheels)
Suspension: Front leading link with Sachs shocks, rear Sachs hydraulic coilovers
2.9 cubic feet of trunk storage in sidecar
Dry weight: 705 pounds
Average fuel economy: 26-33 miles per gallon
Warranty: 2 year parts and labor, unlimited mileage
Guide Review – 2010 Ural Patrol T Review
Ural made waves when they priced their back-to-basics T model at a reasonable $9,999, but their new Patrol T takes the no frills approach a step further by incorporating two wheel-drive.
Priced at $12,399– $1,200 below the 2WD Gear Up model—the Patrol T ditches chrome bits and camouflage paint, as well as accessories like a spare wheel, luggage rack, bumper, sidecar windscreen, and an electrical outlet.
Like all Urals, the Patrol T is powered by an air-cooled, horizontally opposed 749cc engine, which undergoes a few upgrades for 2010 outlined here. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a four-speed transmission with reverse, and can also be diverted to the sidecar wheel by engaging a knob near the rear wheel. Two wheel drive mode lacks a differential, and is only advisable in low traction conditions like snow or dirt.
The Patrol T exhibits all the unusual handling characteristics of a motorcycle sidecar when ridden on dry tarmac: the slightly right side tug under acceleration, the weird wiggle between shifts, and the fact that indelicate (or, if you choose, intentional) right turns can actually lift the sidecar .
But the beauty of the Patrol T lies in the fact that it can attack almost any surface condition, which I put to the test at Mount Baker, about 80 miles north of Seattle. Under normal circumstances, encountering burgeoning snowfall on virtually any two or three-wheeled ride would have immediately resulted in a u-turn towards warmer climes; but since I was aboard the Patrol T and led by Sergey, a tough-as-nails Russian who’s ridden Urals for over 50 years, I was treated to an offroading experience which took cold weather riding to new extremes.
After clicking into two wheel-drive mode (with a bag of river rocks placed in the sidecar hack for downforce), we plowed our way through virgin snow along a path that led to a bleached out lake. Sergey’s delicate clutch slippage and deft ability to shift his rig’s weight distribution enabled him to pull off balletic drifts and donuts in the snow.
Considering we were knee deep in the white stuff (and the fact that our Urals were clad with street tires), it wasn’t surprising that we had to push ourselves out of the snow a few times. But all factors considered, the Patrol T’s two wheel-drive system proved to be a revelatory way to tackle challenging terrain typically reserved for a four wheel-drive trucks. Despite the lack of snow-oriented features like studded tires and heated grips, the Patrol T is a rugged and effective way to traverse the great snowy outdoors.
Ural fanatics have long taken their tricked out two wheel-drive rigs everywhere from California’s Death Valley to Russia’s frozen Lake Baikal (see this YouTube clip for examples of their offroad prowess.) But thanks to its time-proven construction and more accessible pricing, the Patrol T should expose the quirky Russian brand to a whole new subset of adventure-seeking enthusiasts.
As is common in the motorcycle journalism industry, the writer was provided with complimentary travel and access to products for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy .
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