If you had to bet money on which motorcycle companies posted the biggest sales increases of the past two years, you probably wouldn’t back a Russian sidecar manufacturer. You’d be wrong not to, though, because two consecutive years of growth in 2010 and 2011 culminated in a 30 percent upswing in 2012 for Ural.
After a hard fall in 2009, there wasn’t anywhere to go but up. The company began to connect with outdoor and adventure enthusiasts, and the tactic paid off in spades with the introduction of the Yamal this year. Based on a Russian icebreaker, the limited-edition Yamal came with a paddle and a set of tongue-in-cheek instructions for using it to survive water hazards. The 50-bike production run sold out in just seven days.
Ural’s growing sales and popularity allowed it to reinvest in and make improvements to its factory and its powdercoating facilities in Russia, and consolidate and relocate its part department in the U.S. for tighter inventory control and faster delivery to dealers. Future plans include moving further into key metro markets, improving international distribution, and launching several collaborative projects.