Three wheels, four props, limitless fun
Ural loves its limited edition bikes. Since 2005, our friends from Mother Russia have rolled out rad special edition bikes in very limited numbers either to celebrate some anniversary or another or simply because they can. They typically feature a special paint job—like the gorgeous MIR LE—and often have special accessories produced in partnership with another company like 2013's Gaucho Rambler which came with a bunch of comfy accessories from Pendleton Woolen Mills. This year, Ural brought its A-game to its limited edition by giving us not just a fancy paint job or a stack of wool blankets but a whole second vehicle.
Friends, meet the 2018 Ural LE Air. Based on the stout, 2WD GearUp, the Air is both a go anywhere, do anything, all-terrain sidecar rig and a mobile drone launching facility! Hidden in a special compartment built into the nose of the Air's sidecar is a DJI Spark drone. With the push of a button, the drone bay door opens and the buzzing little thing can be launched into the sky for scouting or general exploration. The drone's controller is mounted firmly to the sidecar by a custom mount built specifically for the Air by RAM.
“The idea of Ural Air is to encourage riders to go further,” said VP of Marketing and Sales Madina Merzhoeva. “The inspiration behind this LE was to open Ural riders to new experiences and see their adventures from a different perspective. It also reflects our fascination with blending Ural’s classic design with cutting-edge technologies”.
The blending of old and new technologies can also be seen in the drone bay itself, a really neat piece of kit built by StrataSys that showcases the advantages of direct digital manufacturing.
“It would’ve never been possible to make something like this if not for the advances in 3D production systems,” said Ural's VP of Operations Jason Rae. “How else can you develop from scratch and produce these manufacturing grade compartments in just six weeks?”
Along with the sweet new drone—and the bike, of course—the LE Air even comes with its own bright orange windsock and a telescoping mast to mount it on. Gotta know which direction the wind is blowing when you're flying, right?
Only 40 LE Airs will be available worldwide. Each comes in a special slate gray metallic colorway with orange and black highlights under a satin clear. The LE Air will be available at Ural dealers in November 2018 at $17,999 ($21,299 Canadian), which is only a slight premium over the standard tricked out GearUp. Now that you know, get out there and catch some Air!