Ural Motorcycle Engines

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Cy V

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Jul 1, 2008
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Virginia
Ural Motorcycles is a Russian motorcycle company that makes some interesting bikes. Yes, they are actually sold in the U.S.

https://www.imz-ural.com/

It's mainly their engines that interest me and the possibility that they could be used in an aviation application. Does anyone know anything about them? Reliability? Power? Weight?



 

pictsidhe

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Jul 15, 2014
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WWII BMW motorcycle engine design. Have a cult following of bikers. Urals are always seen with a sidecar, so they get a workout. There is also a Chinese version. That may be Chengdu. Would be worth a look too.
 

Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
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Nov 14, 2009
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Rocky Mountains
I still lust for a Ural with side car for daily transport. Should have bought one a decade ago when we could get them in a crate, delivered for <$3K.

There are lots of used engine cases for sale on eBay, but no cranks or top ends. That tells us a lot about what tends to give up. I'd drive one on the street but the first time the engine developed a problem I'd swap in a new BMW even if it took some serious work.
 

litespeed

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May 21, 2008
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Sydney
the simplest response is NO.

They are quite heavy
have a very poor oiling system- pump is too small
they are marginal for a bike and reliability is not a strong suit.

But the BMW is a much different animal and used in europe for flight.
 

Andy Garrett

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Jan 3, 2016
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Location
Haysville, KS USA
I have a 2016 Ural and love it. They have been enjoyed considerable improvement in recent years and reliability gets better with each new model year.
The Ural 750 engine weighs about 110lbs and produces 40hp at 5600RPM (numbers are estimates).
That's a lot lighter than the Model A at the same power rating.

The best part is how they sound! It's like an old sewing machine ticking along at idle.

Surely some intrepid Rooskie has slapped one on a plane before.
 

Riggerrob

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Sep 9, 2014
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Canada
Last year my brother bought a pair of Ural motorcycles from a movie company. He exhausted his marine engineering skills, so turned the project over to his favorite motorcycle mechanic. By the time the mechanic gets one bike running, he will have earned enough to put his son through medical school!
Hah!
Hah!
Seriously, Urals are based on a German 1930s vintage design.
 

Appowner

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Mar 30, 2021
Messages
72
The Ural was the result of the Soviet Union reverse engineering captured Nazi BMWs. And there they technologically sat until the iron curtain came down.

The Ural of today while improved continues to resemble the BMW of the 30's and 40's far more than the BMW of today.

Personally I'd place more faith in a 1940 BMW than a 2021 Ural.

One joke you'll hear is Soviet engineering kept the side car because they didn't know how to add a kick stand.
 
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