As part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of
1939 the Germans helped the Soviets with technology in return
for gold. Part of this exchange gave the USSR the production
machines and technical help to produce the BMW side-valve
motorcycle. The factory was built in the industrial zone just
outside Moscow. In 1941 Germany invaded Russia and the pact
ended. The USSR moved all heavy industry to new zones in the
Urals as quickly as possible. This included the MMZ (Moscow)
factory, which became the IMZ (Irbit) factory. All development
from this point has been carried out by the USSR and Russia.
From November 1941 to the beginning on 1942 a few hand built
IMZ Ural M72 bikes did leave the factory, but it was not until
1942 that the complete assembly line was up and running, The
M72 became invaluable to the Soviet forces, some of the 9799
bikes produced played a part in the Battle of Stalingrad.
1942 - 2012 70th Anniversary Edition
M70 is based on the Retro model. It is painted
in olive drab, the sidecar has a machine gun mount and its
tonneau cover is made of canvas similar to the one used on
the M72. Just like the M72 it also includes a spare wheel
and shovel. The tear drop gas tank is decorated with a replica
of the first factory badge (circa 1956). The motorcycle features
a tractor style seat and luggage rack on the rear fender.
While M70 keeps the aesthetics of the original M72, it is
also an extraordinary road going sidecar motorcycle. The M70
comes equipped with 18" aluminum rims, 40 mm Marzochhi
telescopic forks, Sachs shocks, Brembo front disc brake, and
other modern features. A longer wheel base and lower sidecar
make this model the fastest and best handling Ural.