OLD-SCHOOL Russian motorcycle manufacturer Ural has shown off a very new-school product — an electric sidecar.

The prototype is powered by an engine (do we call it an engine?) created by American company Zero Motorcycles and was built on the platform of a Ural cT. The electric motor is good for about 60hp which is a fair old jump from the regular Ural’s 40-odd.

California-based company ICG developed the overall design and was responsible for fabricating the initial prototype. Zero Motorcycles provided the proprietary powertrain package (motor, batteries, controller and other components) as well as engineering support during development and testing of the prototype.

CAPTION: No horizontally-opposed twin pistons here, my friend. Just bulk batteries.

Ural Motorcycles President and Chief Executive Ilya Khait said the company had always been confident their sidecar would be “the perfect platform” for an electric motorcycle.

“It can offer what regular two-wheeled motorcycles can’t — passenger comfort, stability and safety, not to mention more space for batteries.

“We’re very happy with the results. At a glance it’s still a Ural, but the electric bike offers a totally new experience. It’s very easy to control, thanks to a low centre of gravity and optimal weight distribution.

“It’s very stable thanks to its three wheels. It doesn’t have a clutch or gear shifter, twisting the throttle is basically all you need to operate the bike. And it accelerates very quickly – for a Ural. Overall, it’s a fun and very versatile vehicle that you can use almost like a car.”

CAPTION: Electricity gets poured into the tank. (Not really … but it is the recharging point.)

Ural’s Vice-President of Operations and project manager Jason Rae said the main goal of the project was proof of concept.

“We went through several iterations, searching for the best configuration of the electric powertrain package. One of the main challenges was to find the optimal location for the batteries while maintaining passenger comfort, storage capacity and stability distinctive to Ural sidecars.

“The bike was tested intensively in a real world conditions – in the rain and snow, on cold and hot days, on the highway and city streets. We accumulated a lot of data that will be used in the next phase of the project.

“Admittedly, I was apprehensive in the beginning that an electric Ural was something worth putting our resources into, but now I’m totally convinced and looking forward to development of our production intent prototype.”

CAPTION: The batteries might take up a lot of space, but there’s still room for a passenger and luggage.

The company has no immediate plans to manufacture an all-electric model at this time. The decision will be based on market research, consumer and industry experts’ feedback.

Ural estimates it would take approximately 24 months to ramp up serial production upon final design approval. Production bike design would incorporate the latest battery technology and charging options.

The Electric Ural is currently making its way around the North American market for trade shows and demo-ride events to collect feedback before moving to the next phase of this project.

More info: https://www.imz-ural.com.au/electric

NB. The bike in the photos is a right-hand configuration. Sidecars for the Australian market have their chairs on the left.

Technical Info:

Power Train


Z-Force® 75-7 passively air-cooled, high efficiency, radial flux, interior permanent magnet, brushless motor

Max output (hp)

60hp (45kW) @5,300rpm

Max torque (ft-lbs)

81 ft-lbs (110 Nm)

Batteries as tested*

ZF13.0 powerpack, ZF6.5 powerpack (combined peak power 19.5kWh)

Charging system

1.3kW on-board charger from a standard 115V/15A breaker (estimated 13 hours to charge from empty to 95%)


Range as tested

Up to 165 km (* The newer batteries from Zero (ZF14.4 + ZF7.2 for 21.6kWh Total maximum capacity) will provide increased range over the prototype)

Recommended maximum cruising speed

105 km/h

Maximum speed as tested

140 km/h

Dimensions and Weight

Overall length

233 cm

Overall heights

137 cm

Overall width

162 cm

Seat height

79 cm

Ground clearance

23.4 cm

Max permissible weight

600 kg

Dry weight

373 kg

Further reading

The day we rode a Ural

More electric Ural press pics



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Shoei VFX offroad


Peter Terlick