Urals sidecars units

by David Seeker
(Saltspring Island Canada)

Ural Sidecar

Photo by K.Ivoutin: "We rode that bike to hell and back"

As Urals sidecars units are now being sold in Australia, would they make a good vehicle to tour the Kimberley? They can ford between 12 to 16 inches of water. So how are the fords over the rivers in May or June? The plan for deeper fords is to pull the rig across with a rope puller. So would the croc's be a problem?

Plan A is bring a two wheel drive unit from Canada or Plan B get a single drive unit there and touring Australia for 6 months.

Re: Urals sidecars units

Hi David,
Oh dear, now you're pushing it. I have never heard of Ural Sidecars. Had to look them up...

Ural Sidecar

Photo by WorldWideMotorcycles

Would they make a good vehicle to tour the Kimberley? You certainly would attract attention, that's for sure.

It all depends what exactly you want to see. I think you can better judge the offroad capabilities of those bikes than I can.

It's not just the depth of water. 2 wheels or 4 wheels, you really need a vehicle that can go offroad.

What you are looking at are rough roads, either very rocky or very corrugated, and creek crossings with big rocks, deep holes or steep banks (all depending on where you go).

Regarding the water depth, you'd just have to check on the road conditions when you get here. Every year is different and every road is different.

The track into the Bungles for example will open a long time before the track to the Mitchell Plateau opens. Again, it all depends what you want to see and do.

There are plenty of places that you'd be able to go, and others that you might not.

The crocodiles would be a problem in the Pentecost River, and that is one of the crossings that may still be too deep for you in May.

(Did you watch the Gibb River Road videos of the guys who did it on bikes? That shows the Pentecost Crossing, though with little water in it.)

All other major crossings should be fine.

Tell you what, I am going to ask someone who actually knows something about bikes and get back to you with more details.

Update: Ural Sidecars to Tour the Kimberley

Ok, I did ask, and the man reacted just like I did initially:

"Are they a good vehicle for touring the Kimberley? I wouldn't think so."

But then he did some research and now he wants one :-). I wouldn't bother with a single drive unit, though.

There'll be some tracks you won't be able to go, even with two wheel drive, like the serious 4x4 tracks, with big rocks and deep sand. But all the usual stuff that you find on this website should be fine.

The only problem I can think of is that it might not withstand the endless corrugations, and that if anything fails or falls apart you will have no hope of getting parts.

As for river crossings, this part of the world is not as deserted as they make out it is, and I bet any other 4WD coming along will be honoured to give you a pull across.

It'll be a tough trip, but we reckon, go for it!

Comments for Urals sidecars units

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Apr 26, 2008
Go for it!
by: Cuppa

Loved the video. :-)

Never been to the Kimberley yet, but have ridden bikes all my life. Have had a couple of sidecars too. I reckon the Urals would be great, & would manage to 'get through' IF they can be made mechanically reliable and/or the riders are able to keep up the running maintenance. People ride these things all over the world, just takes a certain sort of craziness & commitment. :-)
I would not advise someone unfamiliar with these machines to venture anywhere remote. Plenty of time riding around Australia to get familiar, before heading bush though.

Apr 30, 2008
Loved it, too
by: Birgit

Thanks for chiming in, Cuppa. That's two qualified votes for the trip, plus mine.

I loved the video, too. The other bloke I asked for advice with this one dug it up. Of course I had to have it on the site!

Oct 08, 2008
by: seeker

now things sound ok to go with an ural. Just hope the stockmarket climbs back. Still planning on getting it next year and heading out some afterwards. Thanks for the imfor.

Jun 24, 2009
Do it.
by: Anonymous

We have just come back from 8000 km ride in the Kimberley and NT on our sidecar setup 1150 GSA Going again next year wife and myself loved it.
Cheers Ian.

Dec 24, 2009
Urals in Oz
by: Steve, WA

I've been talking to the Ural importers in NSW.

Ural Australia Distributors
500 Terrible Vale Rd
Kentucky, NSW, 2354
Phone/Fax: +61 2 67787436
Email: jon@imz-ural.com.au

They can only import the single drive wheel units as the power takeoff is on the right side of the rear wheel and we have to have the sidecar on the left hand side.

I'm still toying withe idea of eaithe a Ural or fitting a sidecar to my DR650.

Jun 01, 2011
Ural Cossack
by: Clive

Great to see the Russian sidecars back again. I owned a Cossack model in 1977 whilst living and working in the UK, used it all over the place including a stint as a bike courier in London!

The reverse gear used to amaze people, especially when you start it up facing the kerb! Load carrying capacity is enormous - once had 6 adults on board.

May 15, 2013
Ural Owner
by: Dave Price

I'm the proud owner of a 2008 Gear Up Ural outfit. I rode it from Newcastle NSW to Alice Springs, where I live, with my brother in 2008. I also lived in the South Kimberley for over a year and I've done a bit of touring up that way by 4X4. I would do it in a Ural outfit. You can get parts from the Ural Australia no trouble except they have to come from NSW so that can take some time to get to the Kimberley depending where you have trouble.

I would take a set of essential spares with me and if you're mechanically competent you should be right. The corrugations are a problem and things may fall off. I've done a little off-roading with mine. It handles beautifully in the dirt. The jerry can bracket did break on the rough stuff though and things tend to get loose if you don't keep checking. I bogged it in soft sand but it is light enough to get out of a problem like that easily.

It is sometimes possible to avoid the worst of the corrugations because of its size. They don't necessarily take up the whole of the road surface but avoiding them can slow you down quite a bit. People in the bush are always willing to help out those in trouble on the road and an outfit is small and light enough to get onto the back of a small truck with a bit of determination and ingenuity in an emergency.

I warn you though you will become a travelling tourist attraction - mostly beer bellied blokes with grey beards (like me) telling you what a beautiful restoration job you've done or reminiscing about the Cossack they had back in 1970 something and wanting a photograph. You'll also be a big hit with kids. You'd be surprised at how many Canadians you'll meet over here. I've known several in bush communities. You'll get on fine.

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