It's a shocking development!

The October Revolution, smashing the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front during the Great Patriotic War, the launch of Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova orbiting the Earth—all monumental events not just in Russian history, but it world history. Now, once again, the Russians stride boldly on to the world stage with Ural's announcement of the world's first all-electric sidecar rig.

Friends, meet the electric Ural cT. Built in cooperation with Zero Motorcycles and ICG, the electric cT is a proof-of-concept vehicle designed to test the viability of an electrically-powered Ural. It features a Zero Z-Force 75-7 brushless electric powerplant that puts down about 60 horsepower and 81 foot-pounds of torque. I had the pleasure of riding this prototype a few weeks ago—a story I'll be telling soon—and the Ural frame reacts very well to all that power and torque, especially in the lower-slung cT platform.

Electric Ural cT
Electric Ural cT

So, why an electric Ural? 

“We always knew our sidecar is the perfect platform to build an electric motorcycle because it can offer what regular two-wheeled motorcycles don’t: passenger comfort, stability and safety, not to mention more space for batteries”, said Ural President and CEO Ilya Khait. “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 center of gravity and optimal weight distribution. It’s very stable thanks to its three wheels. It doesn’t have 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”.

“Proof of concept was the main goal for this project”, said Ural's VP of Ops and project manager Jason Rae. “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 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 the development of our production intent prototype”.

Electric Ural cT
Electric Ural cT

Ural doesn't have any plans to produce the electric cT just yet. The company will be showing the bike off at the Progressive Motorcycle Show in Long Beach, California, from November 16-18, 2018. It's also busy arranging demo ride events to get people on the bike and collect feedback. If riders like what they see, and I reckon they will, Ural will move on with the next phase of the project. 

To learn more about the electric Ural, check out the website here and the press release below.

 

 

Hide press releaseShow press release

A URAL CHARGED. LITERALLY.

Iconic sidecar motorcycle brand reveals an all-electric prototype.

 

Ural Motorcycles finalized the first development phase of an all-electric sidecar motorcycle.  The electric prototype was built on the existing one-wheel drive cT chassis (https://www.imz-ural.com/c-t/), utilizing Zero Motorcycles’ powertrain package (motor, batteries, controller and other components). California-based company ICG developed the overall design and was responsible for fabricating the initial prototype. Zero Motorcycles’ proprietary also provided the necessary engineering support during the development and testing of the prototype that made this project possible.

“We always knew our sidecar is the perfect platform to build an electric motorcycle because it can offer what regular two-wheeled motorcycles can’t: passenger comfort, stability and safety, not to mention more space for batteries,”- says Ilya Khait, President and CEO of Ural Motorcycles. “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 center 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.”

“Proof of concept was the main goal for this project,”- says Jason Rae, Ural VP of Operations and project manager. “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 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 the development of our production intent prototype.”              

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 will be displayed at the Progressive Motorcycle Show in Long Beach November 16-18. Ural Motorcycles is currently organizing demo-ride events to collect feedback before moving to the next phase of this project.

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Technical Info:

Power Train

Motor

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%)

Performance/Economy

Range as tested

Up to 103 miles /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

65mph (105 kmh)

Maximum speed as tested

88mph (140 kmh)

Dimensions and Weight

Overall length

91.6 in (233 cm)

Overall heights

53.8 in (137 cm)

Overall width

63.6 in (162 cm)

Seat height

31.0 in (79 cm)

Ground clearance

9.2 in (23.4 cm)

Max permissible weight

1325 lbs (600 kg)

Dry weight

822 lbs (373 kg)