Each summer, Heindl Engineering hosts a rally at their Western Ohio sales & service shop where a large contingent of Ural riders gather. This was a great opportunity for us to get in some saddle time on the old highways from Indy to Eaton. Come on a sidecar ride with us as we shine a spotlight on this midwestern Mecca for Ural motorcycles.
Since childhood, we’ve enjoyed traveling two-lane roads that link small farm towns to slightly bigger industrial burgs. On this sidecar ride, we built up a head of steam between cow pastures and fields of corn or beans, then decelerated into rows of old homes with big porches and peeling paint.
We putt through the short stretches of conjoined buildings with facades that make them look taller. We pass banks with unfamiliar names. Diners, sometimes kitschy, carry the torch with colorful visual remnants of the past. Like our younger selves, we still try to imagine what each town was like in its heyday.
After cutting through Hoosier country – Pendleton, Markleville, New Castle, Cadiz and Richmond – we jumped onto the super slab for a quick sprint into Ohio. On Hwy 70, Corey held the Ural Motorcycles cT at around 65mph for 15 minutes before peeling off onto the Eaton exit.
Located in Preble County, Ohio, Heindl Engineering Motorcycle Sales & Service is tucked back off the highway in farm country. As we rolled up, we could see that many folks had already made their sidecar ride in from all over the Midwest.
Heindl has earned a solid reputation as one of the top Ural sidecar motorcycle dealers in the USA. Owned and operated by Jon Heindl (president) and his father Dave Heindl (vice president), they’ve been certified and authorized to sell and service these Russian vehicles since 2005.
Part of the fun of a rally like this is the opportunity to meet the characters who ride such unconventional motorcycles. We’re able to pore over bike modifications and hear about how their rig performs in countless scenarios. This crowd makes tools to improve upon other tools, they travel across the country, ride off-road, and camp wherever they stop for the night.
Attendees hung out on the rural patch of land surrounded by a cornfield moat. They made their way inside where the Heindl family provided drinks, food and fixins’. Lots of door prizes and goodie bags were given away to lucky winners.
While you may not see as many sidecars on the road as the average bike, it’s clear that there is a growing number of motorcyclists making the transition. For fun, practicality, safety or whatever the reason, people are wanting to experience life on three wheels. If you’re curious about what it’s like to ride a sidecar, click here to watch our “how-to” video.
If you find yourself on a visit to Heindl, tell Jon and Dave the Wilkinson Bros say, ‘hello.’ And be warned, you’re gonna wanna buy a sidecar motorcycle when you stand in and among a herd of shiny new Urals. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for more info about their annual Rally.
Thanks for riding along and we hope you stop by again for our future travels. Be safe!
–Corey Wilkinson and Casey Wilkinson