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Dnepr vs Ural. How big is the difference?


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#1 Zhmenya96

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 11:26 PM

I am newbie here! After spending some time on SovietSteed i got feeling it is mostly for Ural owners. And here most bikes are Dneprs? And am planning to get Ural or Dnepr. How big is the difference? I mean really? I was born and raised in Ukraine. We traveled trough all former Soviet Union. I saw both of them. Ural is typical Russian horse and Dnepr is from Ukraine. I never ride any of them. Urals are coming well equipped compare to Dneprs. Brembos that first comes in mind? But really? Is it wort it to pay extra (seems like 5 grand over) for new Ural or even more. M16 are 2wd also! They don't come with brembos. What is in your opinion better user-wise. I don't need daily driver. Only for Sundays trips 20mi both ways? Cool paint on Urals? Even i will end up with Gear Up i will paint with my camo style that i have in mind (air special forces or ВДВ по-русски). I am from Kiev and going there once a year. I can get M16 and send it to US for much much less than pay a dealer here for new Ural or for used one selling here.
Now am asking trully Dneprs owners. After owning your precious rig did it ever cross your mind to switch it to Ural?

#2 shoetou

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:53 AM

i have a Dnepr and love it but i also would like the Ural just to have new and all the new stuff that goes with it , like disk brake in front nice paint job and bigger motor , just all the new stuff if you know what i mean but. i still love my Dnepr it was a labor of love to get it running and i can say i did it ,
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#3 SafetyBob

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 06:45 AM

I have several Dneprs and love them all.  I also had a 96 Ural.. To me, the Dnepr is the superior machine.  With that said, I would doubt my Dnpers would have anything in common with fresh from the factory Dneprs in Kiev.  Mine may have bits and parts from many machines just to make one.

I would like to get my hands on a factory fresh unmolestednDnepr just to see what it would be like.

Let me go now before the rest of these guys shoot me....

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#4 UTE

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 10:06 AM

Is it still possible to get a new Dnepr?  Text at the Dnepr Wikipedia page reads... "Since demise of U.S.S.R. the factory had fallen on very hard times. Production decreased to only remnants of former glory. All shops were closed, and machine tools were taken out of the city limits."

If they aren't being made, when did the last Dnepr come off the assembly line?  

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#5 Bilge Keel Dave

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 10:16 AM

Mine was a factory fresh, unmolested, Dnepr. I bought it new from RAMCO in Seattle. Much about it is just a little more heavy duty than a Ural. The frame is made from thicker gage pipe, the transmission is stronger and has that wonderful Dneprglide, clutch less shifting feature. And the full time two wheel drive is incredible, it doesn't pull to one side on acceleration. The cable brakes on the rear and sidecar have many adjustments, to allow fine tuning of the brakes to eliminate pulling when braking too. The cardan shaft and sun gears to the sidecar, on the MT-16, is way more robust and trouble free than the standard driveshaft on the part time two wheel drive set up Ural. The front drum brake is a dual leading shoe design, which, with modern friction material and proper bedding in, approaches the performance of the Brembo disk brake, while allowing the use of the spare wheel on the front.

Minuses, the alternator is small but adequate for just the bike, but won't handle extra lights, heated suits and extra electronics. It could be retrofitted with a Denso though.  The Dnepr 650 engine is not as powerful as the new Ural 750. You can ride on the freeway with a Ural 750, something you would want to limit with the Dnepr 650. You can't buy a new Dnepr anymore, so there is no warranty. With a new Ural, you'll have excellent factory support.

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#6 Rich Maund

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 03:15 PM

Lloyd Lounsbury of RAMCO really poured some quality into those Dnepr's that he got certified. Those are head and shoulders above what the Dnepr factory produced.
The only guy now doing doing quality Dnepr work to the best of my knowledge is Ken Ulrich of U2 Cycles in Wisconsin.

That stuff Yuri sells under different names on EBay seems to be mostly made from whatever was laying around in the old factory scrap heaps that was built too far out of spec and then set aside for recycling.

I owned a Dnepr back in the late 90's. After a few months of work I had it every bit as good as what my 1995 Ural was fresh outta the box. The Dnepr was a better design with superior engineering compared to the 90's Ural. But it was held back by non existant quality control. Really, it made early 80's American cars look good by comparison. That's a shame, but it was what it was. It's too bad that Dnepr didn't downsize and take on quality control issues the way Ural did. I bet they'd still be in business.

All that said, I think it'd be cool as heck to own one of Ramco's white MT16's.  :thumbsup!:
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#7 Zhmenya96

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 04:18 PM

 Rich Maund, on Nov 7 2010, 03:15 PM, said:

Lloyd Lounsbury of RAMCO really poured some quality into those Dnepr's that he got certified. Those are head and shoulders above what the Dnepr factory produced.
The only guy now doing doing quality Dnepr work to the best of my knowledge is Ken Ulrich of U2 Cycles in Wisconsin.

That stuff Yuri sells under different names on EBay seems to be mostly made from whatever was laying around in the old factory scrap heaps that was built too far out of spec and then set aside for recycling.

I owned a Dnepr back in the late 90's. After a few months of work I had it every bit as good as what my 1995 Ural was fresh outta the box. The Dnepr was a better design with superior engineering compared to the 90's Ural. But it was held back by non existant quality control. Really, it made early 80's American cars look good by comparison. That's a shame, but it was what it was. It's too bad that Dnepr didn't downsize and take on quality control issues the way Ural did. I bet they'd still be in business.

All that said, I think it'd be cool as heck to own one of Ramco's white MT16's.  :thumbsup!:

Find this:http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2006/05/09/dnepr-motorcycles-the-other-russian/

#8 peter hayden

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:55 PM

 Rich Maund, on Nov 7 2010, 03:15 PM, said:

Lloyd Lounsbury of RAMCO really poured some quality into those Dnepr's that he got certified. Those are head and shoulders above what the Dnepr factory produced.
The only guy now doing doing quality Dnepr work to the best of my knowledge is Ken Ulrich of U2 Cycles in Wisconsin.

>snip

Is RAMCO still in business?  The stuff I could find with Google and Bing was all years out of date.

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#9 fencermatt

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 07:31 PM

 peter hayden, on Nov 7 2010, 06:55 PM, said:

Is RAMCO still in business?  The stuff I could find with Google and Bing was all years out of date.

Peter

I think he's more-or-less retired, but he does still have parts for sale.  If you want to contact him, he's still active over on the dneprheadyahoo group.
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#10 arbalest

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 06:32 PM

Here's my take on the differences. From an engineering standpoint, Dnepr is superior to Ural. The problem is with metallurgy and execution. Generally, the older a Dnepr is, the better it is. A Dnepr with 20,000 kms is MUCH better than a Dnepr with 2,000 kms. The old 650 Urals have grenade motors. Due to the pressed crank design, and poor quality control, all 650 Ural motors will grenade. The problem is, there is no telling when. If it was built on a day when the workers stayed out of the vodka, you could have a motor that will last 300,000 kms, or it could grenade in 300 kms, or 3,000 kms. Dneprs will never make it that far. The poor metallurgy will round the cam in 300 miles (ask me how I know). Dneprs commonly used an interference fit for piston/cylinder clearance, and wrist pin/rod clearance. The Dneprglide transmission is wonderful, if you have a good one. Generally, Dneprs are more robust than Urals; heavier frame tubing, thicker sheet metal in fenders and sidecar tub. The one piece crank and slinger of the Dnepr is a much better design than the Ural, but the execution, not so much. A Dnepr can be made to be a good daily driver. I know, I had one, but it had a BMW motor. The Ukrainian motor was an absolute piece of s**t. The full width Ural hubs (NOT the bottlecap hubs) are much better than the Dnepr hubs. There are other differences, but mosly it come down how much work are you willing to do to get a good bike. Rule of thumb would be, any older Ural in running condition, is FAR better than ANY Yuri kitbike Dnepr, at any cost.

#11 gspell68

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 05:31 PM

Quote

I am newbie here! After spending some time on SovietSteed i got feeling it is mostly for Ural owners. And here most bikes are Dneprs? And am planning to get Ural or Dnepr. How big is the difference? I mean really?
There's probably no comparison.
Once upon a time, they were on par with each other but things changed around 2002. That's when Dnepr essentially ceased production and Ural started improving their product line.

You can't even lump all Urals into the pot to comapre against Dneprs. A new 750 Ural is leaps and bounds better than a 650 Ural made just 10 years ago.

If you can do some automotive work, and don't ride much, you could probably get away with a Dnepr. A newer Ural 750 will offer you fewer problems, though.
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#12 OldSkool

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:32 AM

 gspell68, on Nov 11 2010, 05:31 PM, said:

Quote

I am newbie here! After spending some time on SovietSteed i got feeling it is mostly for Ural owners. And here most bikes are Dneprs? And am planning to get Ural or Dnepr. How big is the difference? I mean really?
There's probably no comparison.
Once upon a time, they were on par with each other but things changed around 2002. That's when Dnepr essentially ceased production and Ural started improving their product line.

You can't even lump all Urals into the pot to comapre against Dneprs. A new 750 Ural is leaps and bounds better than a 650 Ural made just 10 years ago.

If you can do some automotive work, and don't ride much, you could probably get away with a Dnepr. A newer Ural 750 will offer you fewer problems, though.
I Agree URAL Is making efforts to Improve their Product
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#13 Ken Ulrich

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 10:52 PM

That is an absolutely loaded question, its compareing apples and oranges, the last Dneprs were designed , and a few mods added in the 1970's. The last production was about 1991 or so, whereas Ural has been continueing to improve to this day, the new 2011 Urals are beautiful, with powder coat paint (totally) no chrome, all things like muffs are SS, some models  have SS handlebars, in MHO Ural folks have done their homework well. In the future you can expect further refinements as well.  But getting back to compareing Dneprs and Urals, if you compare model years and era's of manufactures, and then translate levels of care and maintenance on an equal basis, in my mind they are equal, as to which is better, obviously a 650 Ural up dated to a 750 engine is superior in performance to a heavier and 100cc smaller displacement Dnepr. In the end it is what trips your trigger.........Ken :rolleyes:

#14 harleych

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 04:03 PM

It is impossible to compare 650 to 750 (ohv)bikes. They are from different prices categories.

#15 SafetyBob

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 06:46 PM

What would really be neat is for Mr. Ken to tell us what are the "pattern failures" of each maker..  He works on these beasts for a living and sells parts and rebuilt bits around the globe.

He could give us the straight dope on what breaks or what does not based on repairs and part sales..

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