’62 Dnepr Tourist Sidecar rig
What do Dnepr, Ural and Chang Jiang have in common? If you answered pre war BMW you win the prize!!! In the 1930’s 1930’s, BMW was making the R71 model. Rugged reliable and perfect for military use. Enter a little Russian ingenuity, buy a couple of the bikes from some guy in Sweden and take them back to the Motherland for a little creative reverse engineering Russian style. Two years later off the assembly line rolls the new (?) M72. Early in production the Russians were worried that the Moscow factory was too close to Germany so the factory was moved to the Ural Mountains. Nearly nearly 1000,000 M72’s were shipped to the front lines during the war. After the war, the military issue bike factory was moved to the Ukraine and the Ural factory focused on civilian motorcycle production.
The Dneper (kissing cousin to the Ural) is built in Ukraine contrary to popular thought, most people think it is a Russian made motorcycle. Over the years the KMZ factory kept building Dneper’s for military use. The Dneper was designed to be the ultimate off road military vehicle in the world and as I learned about it, I believe it. As a military vehicle it was built with two wheel drive (the sidecar wheel is driven via a geared hub), 10″ of ground clearance, can drive through 15″ of water, climb a 10″ rock ledge and with a 50″ track it can traverse a hillside with a 40 degree slope…that’s not going up and down a hillside, that’s riding across it!!!. When the terrain is the ugliest, the Dneper is beautiful.
I did a bunch of research on these motorcycles and the more I got into them, the more I got into them. There is a huge Dneper community all over the world for support and camaraderie. You can even buy a ‘kit’ version for less than $5,000 shipped to your door…complete! A Dneper can be upgraded easily enough, but the basic sketchiness of Russian motorcycles is still there no matter how much you upgrade.
The Dneper I found on ebay is the ‘Tourist’ model so I’m guessing it’s not the full Russian military version, but who knows, the owner didn’t give a lot of detail in his description…he may not know either. The bike is in very nice condition and check this out…only 99Km on the clock, that’s like 60 miles. An almost new 48 year old motorcycle…well if you call a motorcycle from the 1930’s new. Click on the pics for more..it also looks to be a good deal so far and you certainly won’t see yourself coming down the road.