Sunday, 17 March 2013

Garage Time

Another grey, dreich weekend. Nothing for it but to take stock and spend some time in the shed.

Barrel, Piston, Gudgeon-Pin, Rings
Since the Dnepr arrived I've been buying up various bits and pieces for it. Mostly small stuff and consumables, although I did splash out on some brand new barrels and pistons as they were extremely cheap, and I also picked up a Ural tank and fittings because I like the look of the Ural tank better than the standard Dnepr one.

Ural tank
I had originally been a bit concerned that parts for a 25 year old, out-of-production machine built in the former Soviet Union might prove difficult to find. I needn't have worried.

Although there are a few places which sell spares in the UK, I find them quite expensive. However, there are a number of very good online suppliers overseas if you don't want anything in a hurry. Then there is always good old eBay, with the US and German sites usually carrying stuff. All you need is access to a computer, a Paypal account or credit card, and you can get pretty much anything from a handful of nuts and bolts to a complete bike, and usually at a price that would make owners of older British bikes cry into their oil-soaked hankies.

Gasket Set
I spent an afternoon opening up all the many boxes I'd received so far to get an idea of what else I might need/want. It made quite an impressive pile on my workbench, and that was before I factored in that I'll probably need new mudguards and a seat.

Deep Sump
Next job is to take a look at the electrics. At the very least I'll need a new battery and a replacement wiring loom, the original one having been inexpertly butchered by a previous owner.

The only up-side that I can see is that it gives me the chance to build the bike the way that I want it and, unlike those rebuilding old British bikes, no one is likely to make an issue of my fitting non-standard parts. In fact, anyone who is likely to notice would probably approve of my doing so.

If all goes well I *might* just have a working machine back on the road in time for the next East European (Red Star) Rally…. in 2016.


  1. Sounds like you have a good plan of action there. Get the parts first and then do the work. That's what I'm doing with my Victor Special and so far have thee majority of the parts in now.

    As far as now standard, I'm going with standard with a few exceptions such as electronic ignition, Allen head case fasteners and I think LED bulbs.

    1. I'd say that all of those were sensible modifications.

  2. It's interesting how sometimes it seems easier to obtain parts for older European and British bikes than it is for older Japanese bikes. That's a nice looking sump there. I'm always amazed at how some people get downright angry about using 'proper' parts. If it keeps the bike on the road, why the heck not?

    1. The deep sump means you get about an extra pint of oil in there to help keep things cool. I'd heard good things about them so decided to try one for myself.
      As for the problem with older Japanese stuff, it may simply be down to how many different machines, with unique parts, that came out of the land of the rising sun as compared to the relatively small output from Europe. Eastern Europe especially had a captive market and no great drive to produce newer and better products. My Dnepr is basically the same machine as one from 40 years ago.

    2. True about amount and different models, I guess the thing that some of us still get bent about is that Honda used to say they would always provide parts 'forever'...wasn't practical as it turned out. And it's provided opportunities for others to step in and provide parts. Thank goodness for swap meets and E-bay. Myself, I've always hoarded parts for the bikes I play with, just wished I'd collected more!

    3. That's my BIG problem with Japanese bikes, getting parts for them when they were only 12-18 months old at the time. Eight months to get fork seals vs one afternoon to get pistons and rings, barrels, and gaskets for a 59 Triumph 5TA, and this was back in 77. Easier to get BSA parts too, 40 odd years on!