Motorcycles

Old-school Ural Motorcycles rolls out new-school electric sidecar prototype

Old-school Ural Motorcycles ro...
An all-electric Ural sidecar with a Zero powertrain? Sure, why not?
An all-electric Ural sidecar with a Zero powertrain? Sure, why not?
View 12 Images
That familiar Zero dash turns up in the oddest of places
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That familiar Zero dash turns up in the oddest of places
Ural's electric prototype on the road
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Ural's electric prototype on the road
Ural's electric prototype: odd-shaped battery-holding frame
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Ural's electric prototype: odd-shaped battery-holding frame
Ural's electric prototype: dash and charging plug
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Ural's electric prototype: dash and charging plug
Ural's electric prototype: plenty of room in that trunk for more batteries
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Ural's electric prototype: plenty of room in that trunk for more batteries
Ural's electric prototype: oddly mounted Zero motor makes 60 horsepower
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Ural's electric prototype: oddly mounted Zero motor makes 60 horsepower
Ural's electric prototype: accelerates quickly "for a Ural"
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Ural's electric prototype: accelerates quickly "for a Ural"
Ural's electric prototype: from behind, it could be any other Ural, but where's the exhaust?
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Ural's electric prototype: from behind, it could be any other Ural, but where's the exhaust?
Ural's electric prototype: more aerodynamic drag, weight and an extra wheel means this thing doesn't get nearly as far as a Zero bike on the same amount of battery capcity
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Ural's electric prototype: more aerodynamic drag, weight and an extra wheel means this thing doesn't get nearly as far as a Zero bike on the same amount of battery capcity
Ural's electric prototype: quite the classic looker from the outfit side
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Ural's electric prototype: quite the classic looker from the outfit side
Ural's electric prototype: looks absolutely bizarre from the non-outfit side
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Ural's electric prototype: looks absolutely bizarre from the non-outfit side
An all-electric Ural sidecar with a Zero powertrain? Sure, why not?
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An all-electric Ural sidecar with a Zero powertrain? Sure, why not?
View gallery - 12 images

We're not quite sure what's going on over at Ural Motorcycles lately. After nigh on 70 years making the same basic, soft-road capable sidecar outfits, the company has recently done a Star Wars tribute, a mobile drone station, and now, of all things, an electric sidecar prototype.

The all-electric prototype basically takes the regular one-wheel drive Ural cT chassis and builds in the powertrain from the Zero S/DS platform – a 60-hp (45-kW), 81 lb-ft (110 Nm) motor, with a ZF13.0 main battery pack and a ZF6.5 powerpack combining for a total of 19.5 kWh of onboard energy storage.

Ural's electric prototype: odd-shaped battery-holding frame
Ural's electric prototype: odd-shaped battery-holding frame

Mind you, despite that wonderful motor and familiar electronic dash, the Ural is not a Zero bike. It's necessarily much heavier, at 822 lb (373 kg). It's got an extra wheel's worth of rolling resistance, and a broader aerodynamic drag profile to boot. So while the Zero S gets up to an impressive 223 miles (359 km) out of 18 kWh at slow city riding speeds, the Ural prototype is only squeezing 103-odd miles (165 km) out of 19.5 kWh, and its top speed maxes out at 88 mph (140 km/h).

That familiar Zero dash turns up in the oddest of places
That familiar Zero dash turns up in the oddest of places

Granted, that Zero range is probably closer to 120-150 miles (190-240 km) if you're not riding it like a grandma, but it does go to show how much efficiency you lose by adding a sidecar. Of course, you're also adding a bunch more storage space that could easily be used to fit more battery capacity if batteries weren't so damned expensive.

Engineered by California's IGC and built with assistance from the Zero team, this prototype is just a proof of concept, and Ural says it has no immediate plans to produce the bike. If it got the impression that it'd sell, however, it estimates that getting it into production and on the road would take around two years, using whatever whizz-bang battery technology happens to pop up in the interim.

Ural's electric prototype: oddly mounted Zero motor makes 60 horsepower
Ural's electric prototype: oddly mounted Zero motor makes 60 horsepower

So it's just a curiosity for the time being, but the kind of curiosity we'd like to see more of. Ural's taking it to the Progressive Motorcycle Show in Long Beach this weekend for demo rides.

You can take a look at the bike in the video below.

Source: Ural

Electric Ural Prototype Sidecar Motorcycle

View gallery - 12 images
4 comments
AGeekRecommends
Well I hope the charge socket as it is, has an internal drainpipe of sorts for when its raining. Otherwise you have a design flaw right there.
Nelson Hyde Chick
A motorcycle with a sidecar offers non of the advantages of either a car or a motorcycle with all the disadvantages of both.
YuraG
I didn’t know there is a shortage of salvaged parts from Nissan Leaf in the US. Given how many DIYs live there, this news should have been kept on hold till 1 of April.
Imran Sheikh
An irreverent but reverent question to Gizmag. why haven't you covered 2018 JAWA Motorcycle relaunch. About this bike. a beautiful nicely painted retro modern bike. simply love the sidecar. the only thing i would suggest to change before production is to make both mudguards really close to tires.