Ural Yamal (paddle included)

Rugged Russian adventurer looks like fun but no, it doesn't float...

RUSSIAN manufacturer Ural has announced a special 2012 edition of it's 'Yamal' bike and sidecar - and it comes with a paddle. 

'Yamal' translates as 'the end of the Earth,' and is a notoriously inhospitable peninsula in Russia, as well as a well-known Siberian icebreaker ship, deployed in the perpetually frozen Arctic Ocean. Good pedigree for Ural's new adventure motorcycle then, you'd think. 

However, to call this a 'new' bike is taking a slight liberty with the facts. The Siberian manufacturer copied the blueprint for the Yamal just before the start of the Second World War from the German BMW R-71, and the bike has been in continuous production ever since. 

The Yamal has a 749cc opposed twin-cylinder engine with shaft drive for switchable two-wheel drive which generates 40-horsepower, allowing a generous (!) 'recommended' top speed of 62mph.

The 2012 edition is avaliable in just one colour scheme, flat orange. 

The bike/sidecar combination also sports a 'dual hull' design (the bottom of both bike and sidecar are waterproof), and a helpful oar to aid lost travellers across icy fjords. The bike's sidecar body and fenders are also coated with 3M material for extra protection. 

50 Yamals will make it first to the U.S where they will retail at $14,250 (£8,900). No word yet on whether it'll be imported into the UK but with the sidecar on the wrong side, it's doubtful we'll ever see one here. Shame really, with the weather we've been having, Ural could have cashed in...