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2010 Ural Patrol T Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 4 Star Rating (1 Review)

By

2010 Ural Patrol T
Photo © Basem Wasef

The Bottom Line

A rugged, go-anywhere beast of burden that trades the bells and whistles of the Gear Up model for a more pared down expression of a classic Russian motorcycle sidecar.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Description

  • Price: $12,399
  • 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.

>>Click here for a 2010 Ural Patrol T Photo Gallery<<
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.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
The long haul, UP, Member jlarson3509

I just finished riding my 2011 Ural Gear-up alone from Prior Lake, MN to Superior WI, to Copper Harbor MI, to Whitefish Point MI, to Sault Ste Marie MI, to Glen Haven MI, to Grand Haven, MI, to Liddington MI to Manitowoc WI by Ferry, to Ladysmith WI, to Rice MN to Home in Prior Lake MN again. Total trip about 1980 miles. The bike was fully loaded with camping gear and the luggage rack was stacked. The bike ran flawlessly the entire trip, the only complaint was that on a grade and or with a stiff headwind I had a difficult time rolling much over 50 MPH. I fashioned a back rest which helped a great deal, but I was surprised that the bike was not terribly uncomfortable inbetween gas stops of about 120 miles. I am not a young man (57), and I slept in a tent most of the trip, but yet I was eager every morning to resume! My gas mileage was about 27-31 MPG with the heavy load and wind restriction, normally about 35 MPG. The rear tire was ate up completely by this 2000 mile trip, the bike now has about 6100 km on it or about 3800 miles. I had a ball, the forest camo Gear-Up was a real subject of interest the entire trip, I had difficulty getting away from the many inquirer's that would surround the bike at every resturant or gas station. Not sure if I would do it again as I own a very comportable Electra Glide as well, but I can say that it was a very positive experience and that the machine was very reliable, fun and somewhat comfortable. Would I recommend a URAL to others ?? Hell yes, but don't sell your other bike!! JIM

27 out of 28 people found this helpful.

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