Originally Posted by MotoJ
Thanks for the corrections! None of those items definitely indicate a military model- my mistake. They are features more prevalent on military models, though. As you pointed out, IMZ did make the M72 for both military and private use, but KMZ M72 production was mostly military. The wheel hubs are KMZ. If this is a 50s bike, then IMZ had switched to the bottlecap type by then. With the overarm sidecar frame, wheel stand, and Dnepr hubs, it's a better than average chance the bike is a military model, which means better metalurgy and quality control. There's lots of drab painted M72Ms out there but not many true military models, especially in the US. The star stamps would tell. If the owner really did bring it back in the fifties that makes a better chance it's authentic military too.
I'd like to see pics of the tub if it's there, too. Mounts for guns, ammo boxes, etc. on the tub would be a giveaway.
My point was that this pile would be worth the time to get back on it's feet. I suppose there's no way to tell for sure the provenance.
I'd like to know what that "air cleaner" feature is- some kind of vented gas cap? It looks like it was engineered to fit there for some reason.
The wheel hubs are the same as used by BMW on the R71, all four M-72 manufacturers and the Chinese on almost all CJ bikes until the present. The bottlecap wheel commenced with the prototype M-72M in 1955. The M72 and M-72M production lines ran concurrently in 1956 and the M-72 line was transferred to the Chinese in 1957, For a period in the late 1950's, early 1960's IMZ bikes also used alloy hubs of a similar design to those used by KMZ up to it's end. They alloy hubs were used on The M-52 and at least some M-61 and posiibly some M-72M,
Star stamps mean very little as lots of normal quality stamps ar star-shaped, Also the different quality of civilian and military production is more of a 1970's, 1980's concern. Lot's of myths floating around about military bikes and few facts.
Also would anyone really believe that in the 1950's, someone actually managed to smuggle a military outfit out the USSR? It's as believable as Arbalet's infamous 1939 KMZ M-72. If you want I can supply you with the M-72 Stalin had made expressly for Winston Churchill with it's LH sidecar - only $30,000!