Motorcycles played an important role in the life of the inhabitants of the USSR. In times of scarcity, when a personal car was a luxury and a rarity, the motorcycle was the only personal transport. Motorcycles IZH, Voskhod, Kovrovets – vehicles that they drove on vacation, took children from school and went on dates. Modern bikers rarely encounter Soviet-made motorcycles. Let’s consider the eight most acclaimed models.
L-300 “Red October”
It became the first mass-produced Soviet motorcycle. Its drawings were created by Leningrad designers in 1930, based on the German DKW Luxus 300 – a reliable German bike. The first batch of Soviet L-300s was released in the fall of the same year. They were produced for 8 years and served as the basis for the creation of IZH-8. In parallel with the Leningrad “Red October”, this model was produced in Izhevsk, where it was called IZH-7.
This model was most widespread in the Red Army in 41-45, its design was written off from the BMW R71, which was equipped with the Wehrmacht. During the 5 war years, M-72s were transported by soldiers armed with light mortars and machine guns. In the post-war period, the M-72 became the main transport of the Soviet militia; civilians were able to purchase this bike only in 1954.
The last copies of the M-72 left the factory workshops only in 1960, and at the beginning of the 2000s, these bikes were ordered by Hussein’s guard. Only she did not have time to take advantage of the order, so the equipment was sold among civilians. The M-72 did not become the first army motorcycle, its predecessors, in chronological order, were:
This model became the firstborn of the Minsk Motorcycle Plant, its “progenitor” was the German DKW RT125. The original model was so successful that it was subsequently released in 7 countries, including Japan, England and the United States. Due to its simplicity and unpretentiousness, the “Minskach” has won the well-deserved recognition of motorcycle enthusiasts of the Union.
IZH Planet Sport
The first bike with a sporty character was released in the Soviet Union in 1973. It clearly showed the features of Japanese motorcycles of that time, which made it stand out among its predecessors, created in the likeness of German bikes. None of the Soviet bikes of that time could reach the 140 km/h that Planet Sport could reach. Good build quality has contributed to good sales of this model in Finland, England and the Netherlands.
They were collected in Kovrov, bikes of this brand were very unpretentious. The plant constantly carried out work on the modernization of the model, later Voskhod with indices 2, 3, 3M began to be produced, the last was Voskhod 3M-01. Kovrov’s motorcycles were scattered in thousands of Soviet villages and became real workers.
In the 50-60s, the Soviet militia used the products of the Irbit motorcycle plant. The four-stroke M-62 engine developed 28 hp. from. It is noteworthy that it was forbidden for civilians to exploit the Urals (as opposed to law enforcement officers) without wheelchairs – the model was quite difficult to operate.
Izhevsk plant started production of the Planet in 1962, it was a fundamentally new model. It gave rise to a whole series, the last motorcycle (IZH Planet 7) from this family ceased to be produced only in 2008.
In the 70s, every third motorcyclist moved on Czech motorcycles (in total, about 1 million bikes of various modifications were delivered to the USSR). The model with the index 360 is deservedly considered the most beautiful. Now models with a stroller, which were made of fiberglass, are especially appreciated. It was in such a carriage that Semyon Semenovich Gorbunkov went fishing in the film “The Diamond Arm”.