Russian sidecar motorcycles in Siberian Ice Run

Posted: Feb 13, 2012 06:34 pm EST

(Newsdesk) Old school Ural motorbikes and sidecars will set off on a 1500 km motorbike adventure across the frozen rivers and ice-roads of Siberia, Russia, in minus 30 degrees Celsius. Twelve teams will start on February 13 with no back up, support cars or set route. The adventure is supported by Ural and launching from their factory in Irbit, Siberia.

Don’t underestimate the risks involved in undertaking this kind of adventure, warn the organizers. “[They] will be driving through extremely remote areas where there is little human habitation and a large wild population of wolves and bears. This part of Siberia also has a reputation for being somewhat lawless. Do not underestimate the danger of this event.”

Here goes their press release send over by the organizers, The Adventurists:

Driving on frozen Siberian rivers and ice roads: The first ever Ice Run launches on February 13

Adventure teams attempting first edition of extreme adventure across the frozen Siberian wilderness on Ural motorbikes and side-cars with no back up, support or set route

On Monday February 13th, 12 amateur adventure teams will set out from Irbit on the southwestern corner of the River Ob in Russia and attempt to drive 1500km north to Salekhard, the only town in the world that sits on the Arctic Circle.

Ural motorbikes

Organizers, The Adventurists, believe that real adventure can only be had when you make things intentionally difficult. True to form there are no expedition prepared 4x4s. The vehicle of choice for The Ice Run - the 7th offering from the UK based purveyors of glorious mayhem - is the Ural motorbike and side car; a motoring classic.

The adventure is supported by Ural and launching from their factory in Irbit where the bikes have been built for decades. The teams are expected to take around 12 days to reach the finish line though nobody quite knows for sure what will happen as it’s never been attempted in full before. The Adventurists carried out a limited test run last year but only reached halfway.

Participant selection

The participants had to apply to take part in the Pioneer edition, and were selected for their previous experience and inclination for intentionally arduous adventures in extreme terrain using highly unsuitable vehicles. They now face extreme dangers that other rallies organized by The Adventurists have never presented.

Hostile weather and terrain

Temperatures can drop to minus 30 degrees Celsius, sometimes even colder, hostile weather conditions including high winds and heavy snowfall could leave the teams stranded in remote areas with sparse population. The motorbikes they will be using are second-hand so unlike the brand new versions are likely to break down in the extreme environment. There is no back up, no set route and emergency rescue services in the region are almost non-existent.

The journey is likely to be made exclusively on ice roads, through mostly unsigned areas and villages that don’t appear on maps. With their luggage and team mate shoehorned into the side car they have minimal room for equipment, tools or spares.

For 6 months of the year this part of Siberia is frozen under several meters of snow and ice. In summer the only way between the remote villages in the region is via river boat. In winter the frozen tundra becomes a winding network of ice roads, perfect for adventuring on an unsuitable but classic motorbike.

Fund raising

Each team is also raising at least £1000 for a charity of their choice and the adventure is generously supported by Ural, Oxford Products and Buff Headwear.

Ural are providing a launch venue, in-country support and all-important vehicle expertise, Oxford Products are providing their splendid heated grips & handlebar muffs and Buff Headwear, a longtime partner of The Adventurists are supplying the teams with their specialist multi-functional headwear.


The teams will be tracked via GPS and sending in updates to the Live Tracking Map on the official website. For more information check their website.

In 1939 the Russian army thought it was high time they had some motorbikes. Ever the masters of efficiency they nicked one from the Germans - the BMW R71 - pulled it apart, copied it and slapped an Ural badge on. Thus was born one of the world's coolest motorized bicycle machines.

Right up until the 2000's the design remained pretty much unchanged. It is these older engineering marvels that we have carefully selected to make sure completing the Ice Run is really quite hard.


With their luggage and team mate shoehorned into the side car they have minimal room for equipment, tools or spares
courtesy The Adventurists Press Office, SOURCE

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