In 1939, as the Nazis were invading Europe, the Russian Army decided it needed a go-everywhere, do-everything vehicle to combat encroaching German forces. As the story goes, the Russians smuggled five German BMW R71 motorcycles from Sweden (neutral in the WWII) to Russia and began the arduous task of bolt-for-bolt disassembly and duplication. Two years later, the first prototypes were shown to Stalin. With his approval, production began immediately. Through the end of World War II, nearly 10,000 URAL motorcycles joined the fight on the frontlines.
Since those early days, more than 3 million URAL motorcycles have passed through the doors of the Irbit factory – right at the footstep of Ural Mountains of Siberia.Of course, in 1939 both Hitler and Stalin were invading Europe, as allies. That bit of history is often forgotten. Apparently even in Spain, where that nation managed to avoid the destruction, perhaps learning a lesson from their own civil war in 1936.
Anyway, at 100 Euros for a three hour tour, it would seem a bargain.