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Dnepr MT-11 Rebuild with Vintage Inspiration

Dnepr restoration rebuild bmw

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#1 ByTheLake

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 07:33 AM

A few years ago I acquired an interesting Dnepr MT-11.  It was a kit-based bike and was barely ridden - it had only 23 Km on the odometer.  The Dnepr started easily and ran well, but began to rust the moment it was exposed to the humid northern Michigan air.  After just 1200 Km I decided that a rebuild was in order.

I had previously completed 4 full motorcycle restorations, but in those cases the goal was a return to original condition.  With the Dnepr, I decided that this project would be purely to satisfy my own tastes, not some stuffy judge with a clipboard.  So, I took the path of a resto-mod, and the freedom felt fantastic.  My goal was to bring some of the original German styling influences to the bike while preserving some of its Soviet heritage as well.  With this project, I set out to change anything that I didn't like with the original motorcycle.  That may offend some of the die-hard Russian Iron fans who prefer to leave these bikes as they were.  My design inspiration was the 1930s BMW models with the teardrop fuel tanks and speedometers set into the headlight nacelle.

Some changes were functional, some purely cosmetic.

In no specific order, this is what I did:
  • Stripped old paint - repainted with 2-part automotive primer and paint from Eastwood
  • Replaced fuel tank with BMW-style tank, but applied KMZ badges
  • Replaced headlight with BMW-style headlight
  • Created a leather "battery box" from an old leather camera case
  • Replaced rear fender lights and indicators with custom-fitted vintage-style round lights
  • Replaced original 2-into-1 exhaust with high quality chrome headers and vintage-style fish tail mufflers
  • Replaced valve covers with BMW-inspired polished aluminum valve covers
  • Modified reverse lever, removing plastic knob and replacing with beech wood knob
  • Replaced all wheel bearings with high quality Timken roller bearings
  • Replaced ball bearings in steering head with tapered roller bearings
  • Replaced telescopic fork with Dnepr leading link fork, but added a Ural reaction link for improved reliability
  • Replaced points and condenser ignition with electronic ignition
  • Replaced crude wheel rims with higher quality rims
  • Replaced original spokes with stainless steel spokes with chrome-plated brass spoke nipples
  • Discarded all original wiring and created a custom harness with automotive-grade wiring
  • Added steel tool boxes to each side to contain electronics
  • Added Soviet Volga car "leaping deer" emblem on tool boxes
  • Replaced original fuse panel with new switched fuse panel, hidden in left toolbox
  • Replaced all incandescent bulbs with LEDs
  • Replaced thermal turn signal flasher with electronic flasher for LEDs
  • Replaced Pekar K65 carburetors with K68s
  • Replaced engine ignition cover with earlier model with older factory logo, and painted logo background red to match fuel tank badges
  • Replaced original spark plug wires with vintage-style cloth covered wires
  • Replaced original shocks with new
  • Cut away original seat mount, battery ground toggle, and rear brake switch mount.  Welded on solo seat spring mounts
  • Replaced original seat with a hand-made leather seat with chrome springs
  • Replaced all turn signals with polished aluminum bullet-style turn signals with LED lights
  • Fabricated metal intake tubes from 60 degree bend polished aluminum tubing
  • Replaced cardan shaft rubber disc with polished stainless steel covered rubber disc
  • Replaced rear cardan shaft u-joint cover with chrome plated cover
  • Painted blue plastic alternator cover with aluminum colored paint
  • Replaced clutch and brake hand levers with vintage-style inverted levers
  • Replaced gaskets and seals as needed
  • Tin-zinc electroplated many steel parts, springs and fasteners for corrosion resistance
  • Replaced all cables
  • Replaced all rubber foot pads
  • Replaced all brake pads
  • Replaced rubber swing arm bushings on the motorcycle and sidecar
  • Replaced horn
  • Had sidecar seat professionally reupholstered with textured black vinyl with white piping
  • Added sidecar floor ladder and automotive carpet
  • Added decorative interior side panels to sidecar
  • Added decorative leather straps to the raised areas at the rear of sidecar
  • Added steel "Dnepr" name plate to sidecar rear, made from a "Dnepr 2" Soviet refrigerator name plate
  • Filled many seams and gaps in sidecar body
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#2 Bilge Keel Dave

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 12:06 PM

It looks real nice!
RAMCO Dnepr MT-16





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