People know we have a soft spot for sidecars. What they may not know is what these Ural sidecar motorcycles look like when they hit U.S. soil and what happens after they emerge from their Russian pine crates. For our new addition to Good Spark Garage, we visited Heindl Engineering to catch the assembly all on video!
Of course, new sidecar motorcycles that leave the factory in Russia have gone through many inspections and tests, but when they arrive at the dealership there is a bit of time required to get ’em road ready. Our 2016 Ural cT was carefully prepped by Jon Heindl, the owner-operator of our go-to shop in Eaton, Ohio.
We pulled up to Heindl early in the morning, doughnuts in hand, eager for the big unveil. After pulling off the cardboard and breaking down the crate, Jon methodically organized the array of parts and pieces, big and small.
As you can see in the video, this ain’t Heindl’s first rodeo. Maintaining their status as a top dealer of Ural sidecar motorcycles, they carefully ensure the finished product is completely ready for a safe maiden voyage.
From wrenching to mapping and a final wipe-down of the glossy brick-red paint, Jon took the new rig out for a shakedown. With a few final adjustments, our latest ‘company vehicle’ was ready for adventure. Corey hopped on the cT and followed Jon (on a grey Gear-Up) on a quick jaunt through the Ohio backroads.
The healthy torque of the new EFI motor and the newness of this fresh-off-the-barge sidecar made a great first impression. The Heidenau K28 tires make you feel like you can carve with confidence. And, as with the other older sidecars we own, all the wonderful familiarity of riding a Ural remained…just like we like it.
New to us, beyond the electronic fuel injection, is the more-functional parking brake n’ lever (a welcome update), a locking trunk with great weatherproofing, the three-wheel disc brakes (!), and a few noticeable aesthetic improvements (rubber mats, paint, etc.). We’ve since added some accessories that we may detail in a future post.
Above photo by Mark Weaver @motocollab
So far on this Ural, we’ve ripped around on urban streets for a downtown bike event, cruised the midwestern highways, blasted through creek beds, done doughnuts in gravel, climbed hills and ran to the grocery a time or two. What’s next? Man, the world’s our oyster on this thing.
If you’re interested in a Ural, this cT is their lowest-cost model, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a one-wheel drive rig that’s the most road-friendly set-up of the whole line, but that hasn’t stopped us from playing off road. The weight (approx 700lbs dry) and the torquey motor help it crawl around on the rough stuff just fine.