Ural Motorcycles experienced dramatic growth in 2011, logging a 39 percent increase in unit sales for the second consecutive year and welcoming 22 new dealers to its existing network.
Additional 2011 highlights included a feature in The New York Times and seeing both Brad Pitt and Ewan McGregor add Urals to their garages. Finally, Ural rang in the New Year by watching the year-end release of the M70 anniversary edition sell out in less than two weeks.
Why is a 70-year-old Russian company — one that still builds its motorcycles just east of the Ural Mountains — experiencing such success in an otherwise quiet market?
“Sidecar motorcycles are ideal for a wide range for applications, from adventure riding to daily commuting. Being the only sidecar manufacturer in the world, Ural has experienced an increased demand from all age groups,” Ural CEO Ilya Khait said. “Mature riders are interested in sidecars because of the added stability, and the unique opportunity to share the ride with their family members. The younger urban crowd is also getting into sidecars in their search for practical transportation and their desire for something unique — an experience and identity — they can associate with their own lifestyle.”
To service an increasing customer base, standout 2011 new dealers — Leo’s South (Minn.), Kissell Motorsports (Pa.), Santa Fe Motorsports (N.M.), Philadelphia Cycle Center, San Diego BMW, Motorcycles of Charlotte (N.C) and others — will be joined by an additional 25-30 dealers in 2012.
Meanwhile, Ural’s North American operation, located in Redmond, Wash., is moving to a larger facility to accommodate offices, parts and logistics departments. Additionally, Ural announced the appointment of Chuck Schram, former dealer developer for Piaggio, to the position of director of dealer development, and Jon Bekefy, previously employed by Ducati and LeoVince, to the position of director of strategic marketing communications.