Slow and steady wins the race. That's as true in day-to-day life as it is in product development. Take Ural, for example. For the past twenty years or so, our friends from Irbit have been incrementally improving their iconic sidecar rigs. From simple things like new castings or gauges to major systems like Brembo brakes and fuel injection. Now, in 2023—despite war, materials scarcity, soaring costs, and relocation to Kazakhstan—Ural has reached its seeming apotheosis with the latest round of updates.

Back at the end of December, 2022, Ural's David George took to YouTube to show the Ural faithful all the new updates for 2023. The changes are, overall, subtle and relatively small, but they should have quite an impact on the bikes' performance and longevity.

Starting off, David shows us the all-new engine case and rear bearing housing seal. The new case is a brand-new casting with improved machining, tolerances, and metallurgy. Little has changed from the outside, save for the new cast-in starter cover and timing port cover, but the changes inside are pretty impressive. The rear bearing housing has improved machining and a new rubber seal to keep the engine's oil on the inside where it belongs.

2023 Ural Roller Tappets and Cam

New roller tappets and bronze tappet guide top, old solid tappets and aluminum guide bottom.

Next up is a new cam, new tappets, and new tappet guides. The new tappets are, in my opinion, the real news here. They replace the old solid tappets with modern roller units in shiny new bronze guides. The tolerances are extremely tight, and a testament to Ural's dedication to self improvement. To go along with the new roller tappets is a new cam with an updated profile designed to work with the new roller tappets.

There's also a new rubber rocker cover gasket to replace the old, busted cork unit. All I can say here is that it's about time. The cork gaskets may have had a certain old school charm, but they required replacing every time you performed a rocker adjustment. Since rocker adjustments are pretty regular on Ural engines, you went through a lot of cork gaskets. These new rubber gaskets are reusable, require lower torque values, and are, overall, a great improvement.

Last, but not least, is the new CV sidecar driveshaft. The new unit replaces Ural's old U-joint shaft and provides a smoother ride with less maintenance.

2023 Ural CV Sidecar Driveshaft

The new CV sidecar driveshaft.

The new upgrades, save for the rubber rocker cover gasket, are reverse compatible with all 750cc Ural engines. The rocker cover gasket is only good for engines produced from 2019 onward. There's no word whether or not a new gasket is coming for pre-2019 mills. Pricing for the upgrades was unavailable at the time of publication, but as soon as we hear anything we'll be sure to let you know.

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