The decision to buy a Ural was a tough one. To go from the smoothness and guaranteed reliability of a Honda ST1100 into the unknown of a Russian copy of a 1930's BMW was a leap that would make anyone hesitate.

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I read every forum I could find for over six months, visited the dealer many times 'kicking tyres' and asking stupid questions and finally took one for a test ride. Now bear in mind I had never ridden a sidecar before and my other half had never ridden in one. Off we went for a couple of hours; we never went over 70kph, never pushed any boundaries, just pottered around quiet roads and dropped into home for a coffee and to talk it over.

First impressions - damn it's different. But fun.

Our daughter came out to see it and announced that if we bought that bike she was leaving home. It was a desert camo bike which she said looked like mouldy cheese. Hmmph.

Anyhow... we returned the outfit without drama and agreed that it had produced more 'smiles per mile' than anything we could remember. We were committed.

We are near Newcastle, Australia, so the two wheel drive models available overseas were not an option for us. I don't care, it's going to be pretty much a road-going Ural.