Dnepr and Ural are often confused, as they are both Eastern European motorcycle companies that produced tough, 2wd capable sidecar machines, and both bikes share a similar creation story – they were based on the BMW R71. But as loyal owners of both brands will attest, there are several major differences. The key difference? Ural is still alive and kicking, but if you want a Dnepr, you’re buying used. While Ural is a Russian firm, Dnepr was based out of Kiev, Ukraine. Dnepr focused more on military equipment, and took much longer than Ural to get into civilian sales. Because of this, Ural’s bikes arguably enjoy a higher level of fit and finish, though Dnepr typically is a little bit ‘heavier duty’. They used thicker gauge pipe, and the two-wheel drive was full time.
Though there are dissenting opinions, many people agree that Dnepr offered better design and engineering, but the quality control was atrocious to the point that it killed the company. You won’t exactly have easy access to a Dnepr mechanic (unless you live near U2 Cycles in Wisconsin or what used to be RAMCO in Seattle), so be prepared to do a lot of your own wrenching. All Dneprs utilized a basic 650cc boxer engine which produced 38 horsepower. Top speed was 77, but only if you weren’t really carrying anything. You got drum brakes on the front at rear – at first glance, that seems like cutting costs, but it was actually done to ensure the spare wheel could be used on the front or the rear.
This specific Dnepr MT16 is being sold by someone who’s got 2 other Dnepr sidecars, so we hope that he’s got a good idea of what’s going on. Originally used as a farm bike in New Jersey, the current owner bought it after it was neglected, then refurbished it, plus gave it a repaint in a lovely shade of Battleship Gray. Everything seems to work well, and the owner tried to keep it as period correct as possible. As the owner says, “if you are shy, this bike is not for you.” Get ready to explain to everyone at stop lights and gas stations what Dnepr is! The owner’s also throwing in some very “Iron Curtain” extras – an ammo can, period correct Soviet sapper shove, fuel can, and metal leg shields. We expect the next buyer to make sure all of those extras are always on the bike.
Find this Dnepr MT16 for sale here on ADVRider (registration required) for $3,750 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.