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Been awhile and some miles passed since I last posted, looking forward to sharing experiences over the last thousand miles, post soon. Can you make a Dnepr a reliable long distance touring bike? I think so, I had no challenges in a recent long trip and I suspect if I left tomorrow for Mexico I would make it there and back. Sore maybe but I’m now a believer. Any other outside experience on long distance touring appreciated. Regards

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Still very impressive!


Over the last few months I rode near a thousand miles, not home much with overseas work. I used any spare time to get the sidecar completed for a road trip. I installed the frame and took it for a test ride but the alignment was very poor and there was a low speed wobble. I didn't have time to go through the proper procedure, instead I removed it and focused on outstanding electrical work to get ready for the first road trip.


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I had completed the new wiring harness but the charging system was not working, I was basically running a total loss system and charging the battery every couple of days. To monitor this I installed a cheap Chinese digital voltage gauge, which sort of looks ridiculous on a Dnepr, but at least I could watch the voltage as I worked through the regulator and alternator to diagnose the problem.

Interestingly, you can get quite far on a total loss system, I was running only the coil and rear tail light, no headlight, basically 20km for every 0.1V drop and I would recharge to 12.7 volts when the voltage dropped to 12 volts. Not a long term solution but it got me by until I solved the real issue. Enter the famous PP330 regulator….


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The PP330 regulator took many adjustment attempts before the charging system kicked in, and eventually was adjusted to the right voltage. There are two coils inside, one controls the low voltage pilot lamp which was quite easily adjusted, but the getting the contacts spacing correct for the coil that controls the alternator field current was a challenge. Eventually a friend with more patience then I kept making minute adjustments until the sweet spot was found, and the voltage now sits at just under 14V and hasn’t moved in the last 700 km. Lesson learned: don’t assume that the contacts are clean just because they look clean. A few strokes with fine sandpaper changed everything.

It wasn’t clear that the PP330 would be resolved before the road trip, so as a backup a solid state automotive regulator was hooked up and immediately the charging system kicked in. Even though the PP330 was adjusted before leaving, I brought the solid state unit along just in case. I love the PP330 but I like getting to the destination even more. Turns out the PP330 is reliable once set.


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Picture of the solid state backup regulator. It held alternator output to 14V without wavering even a tenth of a volt regardless of rpm. Technology is wonderful and depressing at the same time. I love the mechanical regulators.....


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I’ll have updates in the summer as I’m working overseas until June. I did recently order some more parts so they are waiting when I get back to Canada, looking forward to finishing the project. Well, not sure you can really finish a Dnepr but we can try.

If anyone knows where to find a set of rubber bushings for the sidecar swing arm it would be appreciated. ND

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I hope you can actually return from overseas! So many unknowns now.

But motorcycling is a good way to be entertained while maintaining "social distance."


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