Tuesday, 5 February 2013

KMZ-M72, the motorcycle from Ukraine which ended up in Poland

An adventurous friend of ours at Wemoto has moved from Cornwall to set up home in Poland and, like all of us, he is a lover of the interesting motorcycle... here is the story of his latest purchase, a KMZ-M72, in his own words and pictures - thank you Rob...

"The bike is a copy of a pre war BMW, made around 1959. I have ridden a few BMW's and they don't  seem to change very much. There are lots of new parts which came with it and apparently it took ten years for the previous owner to renovate it to the condition it's in now. It hasn't been ridden and needs some finishing off before I can ride it. There was an MOT with it and I managed to get it registered on the first day, I was also given six months insurance - insurance is a whole £16 per year!

Dnepr and Dnepr..


The bike was made in the same factory as the Dniepr or Dnepr, but I think it pre-dates the Dnepr. Some machines were made in Russia, but I think mine comes from Ukraine.

The model number of the bike is M72. This number covers a number of bikes - Ural Cossaks- Dnepr- KMZ and IMZ. The engine I have is a side valve, and the rear suspension is plunger type.



The electrics are six volt dynamo, if I keep this bike I will fit a twelve volt alternator with electronic ignition. The only other modification I would like to make is to fit a twin leading shoe front brake, at the moment I think I have a twin trailing brake, well that's what it feels like. Aftermarket twin leading brakes are made for these bikes.

Where it came from..


I found the bike on Polish ebay which is called Allegro pl.  If you would like to see more about east European bikes look on Allegro pl, then at top of page click motoryzacja. Next page click motorcykle. next page click zabytkowe. There are lots of old rubbish two strokes, but there should be a number of Dnepr- type bikes, usually  fitted with a side car.




S'no joke


To ride the new bike now I only have to put the number plate on and fit a snow plough!

I've been told I can get parts in two cities, Lodż and Warszawa, you know it as Warsaw, although they're both a long way away! Apparently most parts are still available, even machine guns to bolt on to a sidecar!

Working on these bikes is very easy, no special tools, I think the Russians supplied two sizes of hammer in the tool kit, large and larger.

I have not ridden the bike yet. The man who sold me the bike had not ridden it either and he had it 12 years.

 The engine sounds very good, and the silencers are very efficient. I haven't been able to find the starter button, but it starts first kick so this isn't a problem.

What he keeps in his garage...


There's a Honda VFR 750 in my garage I bought many years ago, and I'm just waiting for the snow to finish this year and I will be selling it to friend. I also have a Honda NTV 650 that I bought from a friend a while ago. This bike rides ok, but there is a lot of corrosion in the frame and bolt on bits. I rode it to Krakow in the summer, it was fine apart from overheating when waiting at toll gates - water leaks through corrosion in the radiator walls.

As for the history of the bike - I'm just going by what I've been told by people whose English is not very good and my Polish is rubbish!"

What he wants next..


If you do have a look at Allegro pl, you should see a bike called a Junak, it's a 350 overhead valve single, made in Poland in the 50s and 60s. I'm looking for one of these bikes at the moment, but there is nothing in my area, they all seem to be on the east side of Poland although there is a spares shop only thirty minutes away from where I live.

What do you know?

If anyone out there has any information about, or owns one of these bikes we, and Rob, would be really interested, so drop us a comment and let us know what you think. Cheers!


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