You remember Dr. Robert Harms, he’s built some spectacular bikes from the most disparate piles of parts imaginable. This Dnepr is no exception, starting as a $500 pile of parts, everything was reconstructed, rebuilt, improved, modified and reengineered. The result is a knockout. How does he do it?
The Doc was kind enough to send me this note to explain:
This is a 1983 Dnepr (Neval). I bought this as a total POS basket case for $500.00 and only wanted to use it for engineering the electronic conversion aspect of my Russian points plates. Thought I would do that and part the thing out and make a few dollars and have free use of the bike for developmental purposes.
However, at the time , I was having real conceptual problems with my articulated rear propane powered Buell and one thing led to another.
I try to build a bike a year for the British meet in Atlanta and Neval is at least marginally British..
Although I only have 6 months in the bike (not much for me) and its a bit conventional for my tastes it seems to have worked out well.
Don’t tell M. Chambers, but its a lot easier to ride than my Wraith and it has carry ability and is about 70 grand cheaper
This may help to interpret the pics:
.. conversion to VW (automobile ) single carb ..conversion of frame to use taper roller bearings in head ..modification of frame for air cleaner ..HD Sportster forks on Suzuki trees Honda wheel on Harley forks with Buell caliper and Goldwing rotor. Geo alternator ..exhaust that goes back up and out and exits thru gutted HD dresser muffler cans .. cool taillight/brake light ..crossover jockey shift ..seat (carved from Chinese kids scooter seat) and Honda Rebel gas tank both modified to allow for the shop-made air cleaner Drive in speaker tool box (seen that one before)
1915 Model T headlight with new headlight inside
I don’t consider this to be my most creative piece of work, it may well be the most practical and reliable.
BTW, its set up for a sidecar. The sidecar exists but is not quite finished.
Its also atypical.
I think the real value of the bike over simple transport is that it illustrates what can be done without a ton of money and that something can be built from atypical raw material/donor bikes.
This a very simple motorcycle with NO electronics. There is no speedo or turn signals. There are no mufflers but (I assume) because of the long exhaust track coupled with the massive Dnepr compression (yeah, right), it is NOT noisy. All of the crappy OEM stuff that keeps Russian bikes on the side of the road are gone. The VW Solex carb is dead dependable. The Geo charging system is Nippondenso and even has an idiot light (see top of horn) and my GM points plate conversion and external coil assures that the the entire ignition system is bullet proof.
The bike is kick start only and runs great. He also mentions there was a bit of serious work involved, over 200 hours of TIG welding and lots of time on the Bridgeport.
So, that’s all there is to it. You spend $500 on parts, combine it with prodigious amounts of imagination and skill and you come up with something like this. Spend some time on the photos, you keep seeing more the longer you look. I love this bike.
It’s for sale, too, and you will absolutely never see another one anywhere.