The Bike


ural tourist

The machine is a 2007 Ural Tourist, a distinctly retro type machine with a sidecar that is made in Russia but with several updated european parts.  (Italian brakes, Japanese carbs, etc.)

If you'd like to find out more about how we came to purchase this, you can read up on it on CMGonline.com here.

Why ride THAT thing?

With the sidecar we'll get to switch up drivers.  Plus with our two wheeled bikes one of them is a 1975 Honda CD175 - while it might well make it, it'd be a lot more nerve wracking.  (And a bit more of a chore on such a lightweight machine.)  Could be done, and I might even be crazy enough to attempt it one day, but it isn't the appropriate machine for this run.  

Still, really, a Russian sidecar motorbike?

Yep.  Part of this trip is to honour the memory of my grandfather Jack - and I think he'd appreciate it.  It isn't about making miles, it isn't about  speed - in fact I want to take the sideroads anyways.  We'll get to see Canada in a way very few ever do in this way.  Lots of people have flown over country and glimpsed the terrain from 20,000 feet.  Lots of people have done the Trans Canada highway and seen the country at 100kph+ - not so many have seen the small towns, oddball places and off the main road diners and hotels.

I want to stand alongside a gravel road in the prairies and experience the place - not a high speed snapshot of it.  I want to swear at bugs in northern Ontario, drive the mountains of B.C., and smell the ocean.  Sometimes the trip should be the reason for the journey - not the destination.

Besides - I don't know how far Jack ever went across Canada but this is the way I suspect he'd have liked to have done it.  You don't ride Victorian style bicycles and wear the occasional top hat or bowler because you appreciate the high speed lifestyle.

I still don't get it - why not a Harley/Honda/Suzuki/ETC?

*sigh* fine.  The motorcycle craps out magic candies and gold, ok?  Now would you leave me alone?

BTW if you are interested in learing more about Urals (and their close cousin the Dnepr) you can find out a lot from the Canadian Ural Dnepr riders (CURD for short - go HERE)