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URAL - History | Print |  E-mail

The story of the Ural started in 1939 in the Ministry of Defence of the USSR, because the Russian army needed more mobile forces. This had been tellingly proved by the German troops  during the blitzkrieg against Poland.
The Russian Army opted for a copy of the BMW R71 as this motorcycle was solid and reliable in all operational areas.
They bought five R71 via Sweden, smuggled them to Moscow, and replicated them.  As from 1941 this copy  was mass-produced under the designation  M72.
Owing to the German aggression of the USSR, the plant was moved from Moscow to the Irbit town on the Siberian border in the Ural mountain range.
During the 2nd world war nearly 10,000 motorcycles were built in the Irbit motorcycle factory.

After the war, the extension of the plant continued, and in 1950 the 30,000th motorcycle came out of the production.
In the late 50ies the factory in the Ukraine took over the manufacture of the Ural military versions, and since 1960 the Irbit plant I has been producing only motorbikes for civil use.

Export started in 1953, at first mainly towards so called developing countries. At the end of the 60ies the worldwide interest in the unique and ageless design combined with the sidecar function grew continuously, and the supply to the industrial nations began.

The privatization of the public enterprise was initialized in 1992 and came to its end in 1998. The privatization had a very positive effect on the company, the product quality improved rapidly and an increasing number of new models were developed. The manufacturing penetration was drastically reduced, and the organization of purchase became worldwide. Today parts are bought among others in Japan, Germany, Italy etc. at trademarks like Denso.
So, more than 3 millions motorcycles