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.
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, when offered, 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 MT11 is the one-wheel drive model. If you want two-wheel drive, you’re looking for a Dnepr MT16. Equipped with a 12 volt electrical system and a reverse gear, everything is claimed to work well on this bike – as you’d hope with something that has just 30 miles of use in a ~30 year lifespan! Click here to see a quick POV video of this Dnepr putting along.
Find this Dnepr MT11 for sale here on Craigslist for $5,950 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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