Saturday, June 29, 2013

On Urals, Dneprs and Berets

This beautiful picture of two Russian boys sitting in the sidecar of a Dnepr motorbike was sent to me by a German friend (thanks, Peter). I always had a strong liking for Dneprs and Urals (a similar model bike from Russia), until I owned one when living in Azerbaijan and discovered that it wasn't only a pain to get it going, but especially to keep it going...
Dnepr is the brand name of heavy motorcycles produced in Kiev, Ukraine
The Dnepr is famous for its off-road capability. Armed services models equipped with sidecars had two-wheel drive and as much as 15 cm (5.9 in) of ground clearance. The present engine is a 650 cc OHV boxer twin. Modern models are sold with engines ranging from the factory standard 650 to 750 and 1,000 cc.
These motorcycles have featured in many films like Indiana Jones and used prominently in the movie Garden State, with Zach Braff.
French Ural-owner at a Paris motorbike show
Since the break up of the U.S.S.R. the factory has fallen on very hard times. Production decreased to only remnants of former glory.

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