Sometimes, a vehicle is so classic, there’s no need to tinker with it much. Such is the case with Ural motorcycles, which first rolled off the assembly line in 1941, commissioned by the Soviet army to roam the front lines of World War II. A direct copy of the BMW R71, the Ural M72 was a rugged, bare-bones mount designed to withstand the harsh conditions of war. With a sidecar, it was capable of seating three, providing Soviet troops with a reliable ride that could be used to haul wounded soldiers from the battlefield when necessary.
Now a popular producer of civilian bikes, Ural hasn’t let its designs stray far from their roots over the last 70 years—vintage aesthetics and functional sensibilities merged with modern engine technology. Hence the awesomeness of the M70 Anniversary Edition, an homage to the M72, built to commemorate Ural’s 70th year in business.
The M70 isn’t a part-for-part reproduction of its predecessor, but it’s close enough to satisfy most retro bike enthusiasts. With an olive drab paint job, original factory badge and proud machine gun mount on the front of the sidecar (machine gun not included), the M70 wouldn’t look out of place idling in the background of a faded war photograph. It doesn’t just look cool, though—the M70 comes outfitted with modern features, including 18-inch aluminum rims, 40 mm Marzochhi telescopic forks, Sachs shocks and a Brembo front disc brake, making it a true road warrior. The head-turning looks are just a bonus.
The M70 is available in two styles: with the sidecar for $14,200 and solo for $9,150. Check out a few sweet historical photos of the bikes in action below, then look into scoring one of your own at ural.com. And whatever you do, make sure it’s your buddy who ends up riding sidecar. Especially if his name happens to be Robin.