War is hellishly good at driving technology, and the Ural Patrol T motorcycle — a remake of the classic “Cossack Motorcycle” — is proof. The Ural is a Russian World War II era sidecar motorcycle that has been completely reinvented for 2011, and boasts the same benefit its predecessors did: two-wheel drive. (There’s a crankshaft running from the bike’s rear wheel to the third wheel on the sidecar.)
The new Ural is being made by the same Russian company that introduced it in 1941, IMZ, and the company is still building them in Russia (using parts from global sources). They first began updating the Ural in 2000, and the 2011 version is fully modern with an overhead valve 4-cycle V-twin engine, more comfortable suspension, Brembo brakes and 33MPG.
The ballsy thing about the Ural is that it isn’t some delicate reproduction vehicle — it’s still got the bike’s infamous grit. Cross-desert trek? No problem. Sub-zero conditions? Also no problem. In fact, Urals were originally designed to help soldiers navigate the wet muck of the Siberian wilderness, so whatever mess you can get into, this old war horse can probably get you out.