Well maybe not reverse engineered
The story I heard on Ural's upgrading from a sidevalve BMW design to OHV after the war was that the BMW sidecar factory was in the Russian zone right after the war. So they packed up the factory lock, stock, barrels, and toilets and transported it to Irbit. Things were modified a bit to match USSR thinking, home made steel spokes (i.e. rust on a stick) gearbox gears like a T34 (first 100 hours the gears finish the honing and fitting process themselves).
I really like the Ural for its original airhead design. I checked out the nearest "dealer" in Miami but they only had one 2011 gearup, no one had a clue (someone buys 3 at a time and mostly ships them to South America) and no one works on them. Like you say a bit rough around the edges but steel everywhere.
Seemed a bit cramped seat-to-footpeg wise (I'm 6'4" with long legs and old knees). Looks like the seat could be shifted to the rear 2" and still be on the mounting plate.
Also my butt reminded me I've got a DayLong on my RT, so a bit of a change there I think.
There's a dealer mid-state that gets good reviews, so now to plan a trip to actually ride one :thumb
I second the vote to kind of fold Urals into the 'OA crew on the basis of their engine heritage alone. Plus they are so much a real new old bike.