The name Ural Gear Up Air LE will surely have you thinking that Ural Motorcycles somehow managed to lighten their Gear Up model for improved performance. When you think about it though, how much improvement will a motorcycle with sidecar be able to achieve? What the Gear Up Air LE is, instead of being a lighter version, is a drone launchpad.
The latest limited edition motorcycle from Russia is clearly the result of a vodka-fuelled party between two unlikely mates. The Gear Up Air is the end product of a collaboration between Ural Motorcycles, DJI which is one of the world’s foremost drone makers, Ram Mounts, another well-known brand that makes mounts of all types, and finally Stratasys which is a prominent entity in the 3D printing business.
So what do you get for the hefty sum of cash for your drone? Well, the launchpad of the drone is the Ural’s sidecar itself, which can double up as a mobile command post for flight operations. How does a rolling Russian command post for your surveillance drone sound? Cool, right?
It’s not as if the Russian command post is a slouch, either. Urals are notorious for their never-say-die off-roading capabilities. In fact, videos have gone viral over the interweb of a string of Ural sidecar motorcycles going completely under water in a raging river, only to emerge unscathed on the other bank. That is the kind of hardy attitude these Russians carry.
Sure enough, the Ural Gear Up Air LE comes with top-notch features such as two-wheel drive, auxiliary lights, a storage trunk, spare tyre, et al. But the real deal is in the front storage of the sidecar. The kind of stuff that is drone pilots’ wet dreams. An entire launchpad with all kinds of imaginable amenities occupies the front of the sidecar. Accessed via a rising hydraulically mounted lid, the command post made by Stratasys holds the DJI Spark drone. “The drone compartment, made by Stratasys, is a perfect showcase of the advantages of direct digital manufacturing solutions,” according to Ural.
Now you’ll probably be busy holding on to the motorcycle when the going gets rough. So how will you hold the remote control for the Spark? This is where Ram Mounts comes in, eliminating the need to hold the controller with your hands. Of course, the mounts don’t fly the drone for you.
Finally, flying a drone is a risky endeavour, for you don’t want your precious flight machine to be at the mercy of the wind and bang into a thicket of trees. To that end, Ural Motorcycles has also thrown in wind tracking technology with the sidecar motorcycle- a selfie stick with a windsock attached to it.
The Gear Up Air will hit U.S. dealer floors in November 2018, and are limited to just 40 units worldwide. You can get yours for roughly $18,000.