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What do we give for it?

ER Classics Desktop 2022

In the housing market, the demand is apparently much greater than the supply. If € 650.000 is asked for a hut, it apparently makes sense to offer a ton above the asking price: 'the jubelton'. You will only look for a house. You will only have a lot to spend.

In our world, the classics scene, the prices for top pieces have become just as crazy

Because as a genetic classic enthusiast, I should apparently not be surprised if a ton is offered for an engine or a million for a car. That is for masterpieces and by investors. I don't have a ton, let alone a million, and I just can't imagine that I would even want to pay that kind of money for an old piece of iron, however rare or beautiful it may be.


But apparently dreamland has now also leaked into the world in which I felt at ease until recently. Prices are now being asked on that twisted Internet that makes me dizzy. Of course there are or were classics that sat in the very pleasantly affordable corner. Which apparently were of interest to almost no one. In such cases, until recently - and if you pay a little attention even now - you could go for an endearing price / quality factor. For example, I have been driving Russian, Ural and Dnepr for 25+ years. And until not so long ago you had in that segment for around € 2.500 a 650 cc OHV in an almost perfect condition.

In the meantime, those old Soviets have become kind of 'hot'

The supply is increasing. Prices are rising. Even if it is the asking prices alone. With the providers of the first hour, the quality of the goods on offer has completely followed this trend. And in the meantime, quite a few old school classic enthusiasts have also discovered the 750 cc side valves from IMZ and KMZ - Irbitskiy Mototsikletniy Zavod, and Kievskiy Mototsikletniy Zavod -, the local working names of Ural and Dnepr. Those machines with BMW's R71 as a first-line ancestor fall technically and historically under the same heading as the illustrious WLA and C models from Harley-Davidson. A good example is qualitatively and technically at the same level as such a side valve V-twin from Harley. And for just a third of the price you get a third wheel as a gift.

Those side valves are so dated that they usually end up with real enthusiasts

They also know that the KMZ K750s do not come from WWII, but were made something from 1970. The M72s are the real stuff. But the 650 cc OHVs apparently appeal to the modern kind of men with groomed fierce beards, buns, tattoos and designer clothes. In contrast to the elementary Russian riders, these are not people who think everything is too expensive and who can repair everything themselves. They see such an ex-Soviet workhorse as a lifestyle item and in their open-mindedness expect the same qualities from such a tricycle as they expect from all modern things.

And things can sometimes go wrong there from the purchase to the moment of bitterness when you say goodbye. A Ural or Dnepr combination of € 3.000-3.500 does not have to be too expensive at all. But then it must be as good as such a utility tool can be. And he asks for the approach and maintenance of a motorcycle that is about seventy years old. Otherwise, things are guaranteed to break loose.

So: starting with real classic driving can still be cheap to affordable

But if you buy a classic as a lifestyle thingy? Then you have a good chance that you will get more work with an old Russian than you would like. This market is developing. In addition to the few people who have been pleasantly involved with it for 20+ years, there are now quite opportunistic providers who do not know the ins and outs of the whole matter. For example, we saw a head for a Russian side valve bravely offered for € 350. And if you are even at home in the world, then you know that a set usually costs you less than € 100. And if you as a buyer are at the same level as the selling party, those few hundred extra euros in profit can often be expensive when buying.

The Russians can still be seen as B brands

Prices are on the rise. Also because it is becoming more difficult for 'the trade' to obtain good (basic) material. But we saw on the Internet a 1986 Honda CB250 for 4.800 euros and a non-original CB750 K2 for 8.500 euros. And now say for yourself: That is crazy for words, isn't it?

There are still enough parts to be found in the ex-Soviet republics

A KMZ side valve. Because sometimes 23 horsepower is just too brutal. By the way, replacement was a roadside repair. Just call a friend if he wanted to bring another cylinder, piston and some gaskets.

An IMZ OHV. There is a lot of chaff under the parts range. This piston (and its oncoming vehicle) has run about 500 km. Something about cardboard piston rings or something

With sufficient care and sensible use, faithful through wind and weather

12 Comments

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  1. The madness is spreading everywhere.
    Not only in car or motorcycle, also with moped, tape decks and other “vintage” HiFi equipment.
    About 8 years ago, could you still find a very nice Licoln MK IV or Towncar between 10 to 12000 euros, now the counter often beats between 18 to 22000 euros, and a Zundapp CS, GS 50 for 5000 euros? Also crazy.
    And with HIFI stuff the same, stuff for which you paid 10 Euro in good condition 75 years ago is now often 10 times the price, with or without festive LED lighting.
    Another example: Pinball machines, bought a so-called DATA EAST StarWars 12 years ago for 500 Euro, now people ask for similar stuff up to 5000 Euro, some items even more. The madness is everywhere, especially in people themselves.

  2. There was once a small shop in the neighborhood, in Fijnaart, that imported the Ural. There were (b) nice men who would rather not want a high-modern Honda or cliché-Harley Davidson, but a BMW-like classic Russian. The machines first had to be almost completely disassembled to become reliable enough for sale to the Dutch customer and for Dutch traffic. They didn't really do quality control in Russia. At least not in the harsh 90s. At the time, there was even an IMZ advertising film showing people on the assembly line with a liter bottle of beer.
    First of all, the wheels had to be aligned, balanced and the spokes retightened. The asbestos brake shoes were replaced by approved ones, a new O-ring chain was introduced, the entire engine adjustment was redone and the block and cylinders were completely checked for tightening moments and any leaks.

    This was a long-time bike for the trouble-free Japanese like the Honda CB750. If you gave an Ural or Dnepr the attention it received in its home country (and the service described above) it was reliable. In any case, no worse than a BSA, Triumph or Harley of the time. In Russia, Ukraine and the surrounding area they drove around for fifty years or longer. Stick to the book when it comes to the lubrication schedule, tightening torques, adjustments, clearances, spark plugs, oil and filters. Do not treat it as a third-rate product, but maintain it as if it were a classic BMW or Moto Guzzi. Basically it is a beautiful bike.

  3. For the prices where nowadays the once 'disposable work shoe' of HD (read; WLA / C) changes owner (and often also 90% replica ..), you can overhaul your I / KMZ four times ...

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