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Everything posted by mbrown1952

  1. Hello, I want to update everybody on what is going on with my Dnepr business, Vostok Motors. My current inventory is down to 8 motorcycles and some parts and components. I am vacating my current warehouse and shop space and have an arrangement with a respected Dnepr man to take many or perhaps all of the inventory but probably not all the remaining motorcycles and probably not the custom 2-Dnepr trailer that I must also sell. This has been a good year and the business is fun (most of the time) but I am ready for a break. Probably no surprise to everyone that there is a fairly big administrative overhead to a business like mine, which is actually three businesses in one. Here are some or most of the remaining bikes: 2 yellow MT-11 kickstart only OHV Dnepr, refinished yellow w/black frame. One has mismatch tank in camo or OD finish. $2200 each 1 gray MT-11 similar to yellow but w/oxidized finish (gone flat) $2000 1 older Ural (Green), bench seat, nicely refinished in Ukraine, complete but not running, partially disassembled. $2800 1 older Ural (traditional Blue), nice paint, storage grime, complete but not running, partially disassembled. $2800 1 deluxe MT-16 2WD gloss OD w/leading link front end, RU disc brake, 35A alternator (yes, the hand grenade) $3800 1 deluxe MB-650 flathead 2WD elec starter ($5500) reserved for customer 1 super-deluxe K-750 gloss black flathead elec starter German ign upgr $6000 1 trailer converted lg boat, for 2 sidecar m/c or other vehs - new tires - $1500 or FREE if you buy 2 motorcycles Many thanks to all my friends and colleagues out there! Mitch Brown
  2. Thanks to all for the many useful comments and suggestions. Since my initial post I have had several queries from the community. Coincidentally a nice gentleman and Dnepr enthusiast in Mexico is coming my way to pick one up. // Mitch
  3. I had a brillant idea based on having done a couple of sidecar additions to walk-in customers who had non-Dnepr solo motorcycles, wanting to add a sidecar, in the event a Dnepr sidecar, to their vehicle. This was accomplished and I decided that hordes of ageing solo riding dudes would soon be wanting to do the same thing. Three wheels better than two wheels. Last year a container shipment from Ukraine made it through the Port of Oakland and along with a lot of other parts it contained 10 primer painted sidecars, frames, lights, wheels, spare wheels, most of the mounting hardware (but not all) and not seats at all. My Ukrainian colleague, a great guy who I have worked with for over 5 years, admitted the error, all good, but the problem remains what to do with the incomplete sidecar "kits" which are otherwise okay. For example, what price should I ask? They are unwieldy to say the least, and shipping will cost some kapusta. Thanks for any input. Mitch Brown Vostok Motors Sacramento
  4. Thanks to the kind comments from those who submitted them. I'm not a regular forum guy but I was urged to make a statement in this case, so, very reluctantly, here it is. It was hurtful to read the gentleman's statements about his purchase of an MB-650 from my company, Vostok Motors, earlier this year. Without getting into too many details I think it is important to state that we did not leave the customer twisting in the wind and tried to solve his various problems as he reported them to us. These apparently began when he took delivery of the vehicle from a commercial shipper (which he booked) and did not make a damage claim although he informed us that the motorcycle arrived with one of the carburetors knocked off its mount during shipping. It would take a fairly good impact to do this, which could have damaged other components, but that's just speculation. For weeks and months after his purchase we supplied many replacement parts to the gentleman although we don't warranty these vehicles at their current price. If we did warranty them we would have to virtually double their price, approaching Ural levels. We also called the gentleman several times to discuss his problems, called his local repair shop and shipped parts to them as well. At various times he reported that everything was okay and he seemed satisfied. My goal is to have zero unhappy customers. That's not why I started this interesting business. When it seemed apparent that we were not going to be able to resolve the gentleman's concerns I offered to refund his purchase price (minus any damage done to the machine while in the gentleman's care) if he would ship the MB-650 back to us. He said he did not want to do that. The offer still stands despite the ugliness of the comments he made about us (and opposition from my mechanics). There are many aspects to the Dnepr business. It is quite challenging to get these machines from Ukraine to the USA and getting them street legal once here is a whole other set of issues. We price them as low as we can and at $5500 the MB-650 is a tremendous bargain. Our profit margin with that price tag is miniscule. Despite being careful and a pretty knowledgeable Ukraine hand, I have been royally duped a couple of times by well known vendors in Ukraine who continue to operate on the major online auction site. It's a minefield out there and not for the pale of heart. Then we come to operations in my beloved home state, which is a whole other set of issues and expenses that would make anyone with any sense run away as fast as possible. During the Kiev trip in June with my dear friend Ken it became apparent that the number of Dnepr motorcycles still available in Ukraine has diminished alarmingly, which shouldn't be too surprising I guess since the factory has been out of production for a decade now. Still, I was hoping that the fabled 800-1000 "Rumanians" (MT-11s ordered by the Ceaucescu regime) that were returned to KMZ after sitting in a Bulgarian warehouse for a decade or so would provide a source for a while. These were stored in a facility outside Kiev along with some of the production machinery in case KMZ could make a production comeback one day. Sadly, this stock has been hugely depleted for parts and scrap metal. The MB-650s are even harder to hard to find now because most of them, stored in various military facilities around Ukraine, are long gone. Although once produced in enormous numbers the Dnepr is an endangered species so those that we have in the USA should be valued and not reviled. In summary, if this gentleman wants us to take his MB-650 back and refund his purchase price the offer still stands. My mechanics will be furious with me for this but that's the way it goes. We will pay for the shipping from Houston to Sacramento if that's what it takes. The only condition is that the gentleman must agree to accept our evaluation of any damage done to the vehicle while in his custody. If this is acceptable to the gentleman I hope he will refrain from any further attacks on our little business. Best regards. Mitch Brown Vostok Motors Inc Sacramento 916 921-6090 vostokmotors@hotmail.com
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