Irbit and Kiev Motorcycle Comparisons

Basic differences in early Ural (IMZ) and Dnepr (KMZ) Motorcycles:

Because the vast majority of the older M, K and MT models on the market today have been rebuilt from various parts, it is almost impossible to identify a motorcycle by cursory inspection; i.e., late model Dneprs are often retro-fitted with M72 tanks, solo saddles or early headlight/ignition shells. But there are a few differences which can be obvious on closer inspection.

Irbitskiy Mototsikletniy Zavod (IMZ-Ural); Irbit, Russia: est.1942

  • • Early frames (to M63) are one piece with rear plunger type suspension.
  • • Later frames (M63-) have the swingarm outside the rear frame.
  • • Large engine timing covers span the full vertical height of the engine.
  • • Rocker covers are rounded, oval shaped with 3 raised lines.
  • • Early wheel hubs are "bottlecap" style pressed steel with different sized spokes.

Kievskiy Mototsikletniy Zavod (KMZ-Dnepr); Kiev, Ukraine: est.1946

  • • Frames (K750-) feature a swingarm mounted inside the frame with rear plunger type suspension.
  • • Small engine timing covers only span the upper half of the engine.
  • • Rocker covers are squared, rectangular shaped with 5 raised lines.
  • • Wheel hubs are round, cast aluminum with straight spokes and no indentions.

Early Model SV Engines

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From late 1941 to 1943 the Tyumen factory produced a model TMZ-53, also based on the BMW R71 but with a 1000cc SV engine. The gearbox featured 2 ranges of short and long ratio and the sidecar wheel was driven by a differential. The only known surviving example resides in the Moscow Polytechnic Museum, presented here for historical reference.

Russian Motorcycle TMZ53    Russian Motorcycle TMZ53


Side Valve Cylinder Head Patterns: M72 (left), Early K-750 (center), Later K-750 (right)

Russian Motorcycle TMZ53

IMZ/Ural OHV Models

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Ural gearboxes did not have reverse until 1999 (approx.), but did have a hand shifter on the right hand side. When the reverse gear was added you push rearwards to get reverse.

Urals feature roller bearings on the crankshaft.

Ural overhead valve engines come in two sizes, 650cc and 750cc. The earlier 650cc engines have a cast iron barrel bolted directly to the crankcase with studs on the barrel to mount the aluminum head, oval rocker cover with push fit down pipes. Later 750cc engines have a aluminum barrel and head, more rectangular rocker cover. Studs pass through barrel and head.


KMZ/Dnepr OHV Models

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Dnepr 650cc OHV engines have a aluminum barrel and head with a rectangular rocker cover, the mounting studs are visible through the barrel fins the exhaust has a screw on mounting fin fitting.

Dnepr gearboxes have a reverse which is push forwards to engage and a declutching device which works when gear lever depressed to engage gears: however some early units came without one or both.

Dneprs have shell bearings on crankshaft.

Later Dneprs used the rectangular "toaster" or "shoebox" tank.

"The new program, which now holds the plant team, rearmament and modernization of production will be reflected on our website." -KMZ Official Website, May 2014