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Old 05-20-2013, 03:12 AM   #1
CobaltFire OP
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Dnepr in Guam. Buy it?

Long story short, I've been looking at Urals for a few years now, but have hesitated to pull the trigger. I've been without a bike for a bit over two years now, and regret selling my last one. Since then, I've moved to Guam (Navy) and the bike selection here is pretty poor, as well as significantly higher priced.

That said, I was looking on CL yesterday and an Air Force guy is selling a Dnepr locally. Odd place to find it, and likely the only chance I'll have to buy something like this until I transfer elsewhere (2.5+ years).

It's an MT-12 (MT-16, but sidevalve), 2WD non-locking. It was bought in Europe by this individual while he was stationed in Germany, then ridden for about 2 years there. It sat in a climate controlled garage here for 2 years waiting on engine rebuild parts and a deployment. He's selling it because his wife is tired of it taking up space.

It's complete and just had the engine overhauled 2 days ago so that he could sell it (new cylinders, cylinder heads, valves, pistons, carbs, etc.) It starts on the first kick, though it needs tuning and broken in. Seems to run fine, but I'm not even close to an expert. Reads as 24.5k km, but he said the odo was broken for about a year when he was riding it in Germany. It also has 3 spare tires/wheels. 1/2/3/R were tested and worked, as did the semi-auto clutching. Brakes are a bit weak and could likely use a new cable at the least, but work (and supposedly have new shoes).

It is rough (are any of these NOT?), but nothing I don't THINK I can overcome. Paint is good (for what that matters) but most of the cables would be replaced, as would a few other touch points (grips, etc.).

He's asking $5,000, which is roughly equivalent to $3500 stateside given the scarcity tax you pay on most bikes here. I'm the only serious party atm, so probably have a bit of negotiation room (I'd bet I can get it for $3500-4000).

I'd love to have this for fun and a project. It doesn't have to be 100% reliable, as I will be living close enough to commute by bicycle. The bike will be solely for fun.

One other caveat is that I leave for deployment in about a week, and it would have to be stored for 6 months right away. I won't be able to store it in a climate controlled area, covered is the best I can do.

Looking forward to any and all input! Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:30 AM   #2
bk brkr baker
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You already said that selection there was limited, but, $3500 or more for something with Soviet quality and design from the 30's ? Hmmm.
If I buy a bike and it feels like I paid a little too much the pain subsides as the miles pile up. The longer it runs , the better it feels.
So, if the bike gives you good service and not a pile of problems , eventually it will seem a bargain. On the other hand , if you can't keep it running , the payback is far less.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:04 AM   #3
MotoJ
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MT12s are from the 70s and were the civilian version of the military MB750s, which are very desirable among Dneprheads.

http://bcozz.threeandunder.com/2004/...t-side-valves/

$3500-4400 is about the going rate, and if indeed the bike has been thoroughly rebuilt, it's a good deal.

If you have pics, get on over to Russian Iron, Dneprheads Yahoo Group, or Soviet Steeds. Those guys can really tell you what's what.

Here on ADV, pay attention to Oppozit and Roma Dakota. They are both very knowledgeable. Roma has a great build thread about his MB750.

I own an IMZ M72, which is an older cousin to your bike, and also a sidevalve. No expert though.

These old Soviet bikes are loads of fun and highly addictive, if you like tinkering. there's a large international on-line community that can give you help.

Don't expect any performance close to modern bikes. Think "tractor". Old tractor.

One thing- if you buy it, try your best to give it a home under roof, not just under cover. These bikes suffer in the elements- the metallurgy and finishes are not great. They will still run after loads of abuse, but the "pretty" will disappear, if there is any.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:46 PM   #4
usgser
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Depends on your goals and intended use. If I were in Guam looking for a bang around local roads island exploration outfit a flattie Ural/Denpr would be a great choice. If it's stock and running good and you're willing to do the often/constant servicing, adjustments required it'll be a fun reliable local rig. Granted slow (55 mph wound out) but if maintained reliable. Keep in mind a 2 day old rebuilt motor needs proper breaking in. A good running unmolested flattie is worth $3500 stateside. If you're gonna be on rough/mud local roads a couple dings/scratches doan mean zip for usability. If you're looking to show off parked in front of the EM club an old Denpr wouldn't be my first choice. No idea if that one is a "good deal" but depending on your wants, needs, your level of servicing commitment it could be a good candidate for a Guam rig. With your annual rainfall I'd look for indoor long term storage. MT-12's aren't famous for quality electrical systems, expect to do some tweaking/cleaning after returning from a 6 month deployment. Wonderful easy old tech bikes but hands-on user commitment IS required. Prioritize wants, needs, skill and commitment level.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:16 PM   #5
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If you buy it, Be sure and drain the carbs and fill the tank all the way before you leave
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:42 AM   #6
CobaltFire OP
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Well, $4500 is as low as he will go. I also did find a secured garage to store it in for my deployment.

It isn't currently titled, as it was recently brought back from Germany. It has both a Polish and an Armed Forces Europe title. It's titled as a 1981 Dnepr MT-12 on those documents, so am I correct in assuming it falls under the much easier rules for 25+ year old vehicles (no DOT or EPA regs apply)? Worst case I see from that is the 2.4% duty, plus the 4% sales tax here.

He has offered to go down to the DMV with me to make sure it titles and registers.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:38 AM   #7
MotoJ
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That's a tad high, but as others have mentioned, if you like it and you hang on to it for awhile and enjoy it, 500-1000 bucks amortized over a few years doesn't seem like too much. And, if the seller has a big cache of parts, that stuff is worth something.

I would say these older Soviet bikes are more of a hobby than a form of transportation. Be clear about what you're in for. When mine is running right it's the most fun to be had at or below the speed limit! But, on some days I'd happily push it off a cliff.

Make sure it's running though, and ride it first. And make dang sure you can get it titled and that the title will get you a registration in the States. If you can't, walk away.

Pics, too, please!
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:48 AM   #8
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My worthless thought - buy it. Life is short; enjoy it as much as possible. Sure it is a bit on the steep side, but $1000 or so isn't gonna mean anything years down the line. You will have a great time and also learn a few things - can't ask for much more.
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:27 AM   #9
CobaltFire OP
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I elected not to buy it due to my (already short) timeframe being compressed by the addition of some last minute duties. I may or may not regret it, but it's also possible it'll still be here when I get back.

I really do appreciate the feedback from this forum! I'm an infrequent participant, but frequent lurker.

Ride safe!
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
RidingDonkeys
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Shoot me the info if you aren't going to buy it. I have a friend moving to Guam next month, and he's got the sidecar bug.

Edit: Found it on CL. If you are for sure not going to buy it, I'll shoot it to my friend.
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