2014 Ural Gear Up [w/video]

Filed under: , , , , ,

2014 Ural Gear Up

I would soon find out that nothing - not mud, not snow and not even a rushing stream of mountaintop runoff acting as a de facto roadblock to vehicles with lesser capabilities - would stand in the way of the 2014 Ural Gear Up making its way to the top of Snoqualmie Pass outside the suburbs of Seattle.

But first, the heavily updated Ural was going to have to prove its mettle where past models fell farthest short: on the highway. And for a first test of newfound high-speed capability, the conditions were about as bad as could be, with a mixture of rain and sleet combining with near-freezing temperatures to send a full-body shiver through my innermost fibers.

I found myself in this predicament due to a complete set of upgrades from Ural for the 2014 model year, including a fully electronic fuel injection system replacing the previous carburetors, triple-disc brakes and a hydraulic steering damper supplanting the old screw-on friction unit that was impossible to adjust on the fly. These bits and pieces serve to bring the Ural outfit, which could otherwise be charitably thought of as 'time tested,' closer to the modern world. And that's a good thing, considering that the tough-as-nails bikes trace their heritage all the way back to World War II, when Russia "borrowed" the designs of BMW's three-wheeled German war machines and hauled the tooling to a plant near the Ural mountains deep in the Land of Rus.

Highlighting these upgrades on paper is one thing. Putting them to the test, with life and limb clinging to Ural's redesigned knee pads on the gas tank and twin handlebar grips, is another thing entirely. And so I approached my first highway on-ramp with a day's worth of riding set out ahead of me and my guide, a rider astride an earlier Ural that didn't have my model's updates. I honestly feared for both our lives... me for my inexperience and him for his old-school mount. As it turned out, I needn't have worried about either.

Continue reading 2014 Ural Gear Up [w/video]

2014 Ural Gear Up [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 30 Jan 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer

Filed under: , , , , ,

An Iconic Sports Car, Restored to Seduce

Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer

I have been strapped behind the iconic Momo Prototipo steering wheel for a little more than an hour, all windows down as I carve my way up a rugged canyon during an unusually warm Southern California evening, and I am overwhelmed with emotion. My heart is pounding out of my chest, my breathing is heavy and my palms are sweaty because I am completely absorbed by this wondrous machine.

After waiting patiently for nearly four years, I am finally behind the wheel of a classic Porsche 911 restored, modified and tuned by Singer Vehicle Design. The vehicle that surrounds me never rolled off an automaker's assembly line in its current configuration, yet its physical appearance is timeless, build quality breathtaking and driving dynamics peerless.

To this automotive enthusiast, it is the most alluring vehicle in the world.

Continue reading Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer

Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Oct 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Retrobuilt 1969 Mustang Fastback

Filed under: , , , , ,

Transforming A Late Model Mustang Into A Classic Hot Rod

Blink your eyes and take another look. While all visual cues may be telling your brain that you are staring at a near-pristine 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Fastback, it's all a carefully crafted illusion - a very clever façade.

Hidden beneath that glistening Yellow Blaze paint, below the sculpted fiberglass and steel body panels, is a 2013 Ford Mustang GT. The retro-coupe features power-operated sport buckets with lumbar support, ice-cold air conditioning, six airbags and a full factory warranty. Lest anyone forget, it also comes with a modern fuel-injected 5.0-liter V8 generating 420 horsepower.

The team at Retrobuilt, out of Lamar, Missouri, is known for recreating Carroll Shelby's iconic cars of yesteryear. Yet instead of restoring worn classics to like-new condition, a process that delivers an immaculate muscle car yet retains all of its undesirable traits, they fabricate classics on current-generation Ford S197-platforms. In their own words, they "allow auto enthusiasts to benefit from the technology and manufacturing of a modern Ford Mustang while combining the classic styling of 1969 muscle cars."

Retrobuilt recently invited us to drive its 1969 Fastback mere days after its debut at the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association's trade show (SEMA) in Las Vegas. To make things a bit more interesting, and gauge public opinion, we chose to meet them at the entrance to Southern California's famed Mulholland Highway.

Continue reading Retrobuilt 1969 Mustang Fastback

Retrobuilt 1969 Mustang Fastback originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Nov 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments