It used to be… well. Well done

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Hits aren't necessarily my thing. I myself am a member of a two-man motorcycle club with room for one aspiring member. But that doesn't mean I've never attended or visited meetings. I remember a meeting in England, sometime in the mid-seventies. And I remember a Ural/Dnepr meeting about 25 years ago. England in the autumn sun was fantastic and none of the Triumphs of our group gave problems.

That Russian meeting? That was different

That was when those Russian free-range animals were worth nothing and when they laid the foundation for the horrific reputation they are now beginning to outgrow. Blurred memory: Half of the registered machines made it to the meeting. And half of that half broke during the tour. The fact that most malfunctions were also rectified along the way was a plus and did not detract from the joy of the party.

We are now a quarter of a century later

Classic Urals and Dneprs have become – yet affordable – cult bikes. There are a few people working on it professionally. That gives peace. The quality of the rolling stuff has improved considerably. And that's how you start in Genemuiden with more than thirty Russian boxers, a Nato Guzzietje and an Enfield Himalayan (or something like that). Funny: There were also a bunch of recent Urals, even a 2021'er. Those new Urals may have all kinds of novelties from disc brakes to starter motor and injection, but that is simply not noticeable to non-connoisseurs. They are therefore not retro bikes. A new Ural is the mild result of about sixty years of conservative product management.

During the tour of about 100 km there were two breakdowns

The first was classic Russian-worthy: A big-end bearing cap came off. That was the final stop. Because the boxer had already arrived with a thumping big-end. The other bad luck was just endearing. Six volts isn't much. And if the battery is no longer charged, the sparks will stop at some point. Of course it was symptomatic, but with a different battery the problem was actually solved. And so everyone was in time for the excellent BBQ at Camping Kleine Belterweide. And there it was great fun. Most of those present had immediately arranged an overnight stay. It was a perfect late summer evening. The beer tasted good and the general impression was that the lovers of old Russian stuff are not all vegetarian non-smokers yet. In short: It was a perfect weekend.

Above Genemuiden, life is quite open-minded

But what did come up: organizing such a meeting with a tour is a thing these days. In fact, you soon have to deal with all kinds of regulations, obligations and permissions. And if you belong to 'the organization' in that process, you suddenly bear 'The Responsibility' for a whole number of things. And that can turn out. Fortunately, the various types of soup are not eaten as hot as they are served. But experience has shown that it is very much appreciated within municipalities if you keep the number of participants clear, inform the local police and if you do not close off intersections to guarantee your column free passage.

Let's see if there is still a nice classic meeting to do this late summer. After all, it can again.








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  1. You would almost wonder if those old cronies notice the next day that they are no longer as squeaky as they were twenty years ago.

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