Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 13 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 34
Minsk vs. Jawa / Planeta / Jupiter / Dnepr

Hello,

Does anyone have any familiarity with these Russian/Soviet bikes? I have been in Minsk for a number of months and now I'd like to drive to Syria. Foreign bikes (German, Italian, Japanese) are much more expensive than these 'local' bikes. Looking on irr.by (small adds in Belarus) any of these bikes in fairly good shape (from the early 90s) can be had for less than $300. But I don't know which one is most suitable for such a trip.

**UPDATE:** I've put the aproximate range of prices for the different bikes for anyone intrested.

The contenders are:

Minsk: made here in Minsk. 2-stroke 125cc. Made mainly for export and used in many countries. [$150-$250] [Sometimes newer four-stroke models with chinese engines can be found for higher prices, upto $600]
Jawa: made in the Czech republic. Was the largest motorcylce plant in eastern europe during the soviet union. 350cc 2-cylinder 2-stroke. [$350-$600 ?]
Planeta: Russian 350cc single-cylinder 2-stroke. [$250-$400]
Jupiter: As above but twin cylinder [$250-$350 ?]
Dnepr: Made in Ukraine. 750cc 4-stroke based on an old model BMW. [$250-$600 ?]
Urals - some of these for sale too.

Obviously a good bike should be:

>fairly reliable and tough
>not use too much fuel (20km/l or better?)
>Can cruise at at least 55mph
>not have bad vibrations when cruising, and not to noisy (makes you tired too..)
>Have parts available easily available where I am going.

I've heard that the Jawa is the best bike. It also seems to fetch the highest prices here.

I've made a sepate thread in the 'Europe' forum about the route I'll be taking.

Thank you for your responses

David

Last edited by DavidZweig; 16 Aug 2010 at 23:03.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 13 Aug 2010
Selous's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: England
Posts: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidZweig View Post
Hello,
The contenders are:
Minsk: made here in Minsk. 2-stroke 125cc. Made mainly for export and used in many countries.
Jawa: made in the Czech republic. Was the largest motorcylce plant in eastern europe during the soviet union. 350cc 2-cylinder 2-stroke.
Planeta: Russian 350cc single-cylinder 2-stroke.
Jupiter: As above but twin cylinder
Dnepr: Made in Ukraine. 750cc 4-stroke based on an old model BMW.
David
David here is my 10p worth,
I had a jawa as a young lad for a while, till I had saved enough to buy jap, a good bike quite easy to work on suspension not bad, compared to modern bikes would still be going while jap bike would not take the abuse.

you can find some info here for Dnepr
Cossack motorcycles, information for Russian motorbikes
I would say, if you know how the old bikes work or had a old bmw go for it but look at the site gives you info re which carb is sh*t etc

Planets & Jupiter know nothing

I would recommend the Jawa mainly cos I have had 1 & know them
On a pers note, my GF just came back from Vietnam / Aisa via train bus plane she also did a hochi ming trail on the back of a bike she saw a few European buying Minsk apparently locals find them not so reliable as Honda
__________________
We are the Pilgrims, Master, we shall go Always a little further: it may be beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow, Across that angry or that glimmering sea.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 13 Aug 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Oxford UK
Posts: 1,013
My personal experience of the bikes on your list only extends to the Jawa 350 twin and tbh it's one I'm trying to forget. On the up side it was reliable enough - but - it just wasn't an enjoyable bike to ride. Even 30yrs ago it felt 30yrs out of date. Nothing you can single out, just everything felt substandard. 55mph cruising should be ok but I wouldn't want to go much quicker.

The old bikers lament -"please God, don't let me break down" was always at the back of my mind with the Jawa and whilst it didn't actually give much trouble it always felt like it was about to. It was just something about the way the engine, suspension etc felt. An MZ250 that I had before it was a much better bike.

I've seen the other two smokes on your list but never ridden any. I do have experience of a CZ175 single - again years ago, and the Russian bikes had a reputation of being even worse. If that's the case then they must have been truly awful.

It's always difficult to generalise from a single experience and others may think they're wonderful. However if that's all that's available then I'd suggest the Jawa is the best of the 2Ts for what you want to do.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 13 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 34
Well.. a few more thoughts..

I went to the Minsk factory yesterday. Spares are available *very* cheaply for the bikes. They are known to be tough, and many come kitted out with front and rear racks from the factory. I wondering if the 125cc is a little small for cruising though, I'm sure what the roads are like in Belarus and Ukraine. A new one costs 3.800.000 Belarussian rubles (£830) with front and rear racks. They also make 4-stroke model, with I think, a Chinese engine, 125cc and 200cc versions, for a little more. Fuel consumption of the original model is claimed to be 3.5l/100km (28.5 km/l) which is impressive for a 2-stroke.

The Jawa probably is the most sensible of the three, and also the most expensive. I don't know about finding spares in the Middle East though. They were (still are?) produced in India and China under licence for a long time. Some people online say consumption is 4-4.5l/100km, still acceptable. It looks a little bland IMO.

The Ural is the most powerful and mean looking. Not sure if they are reliable, certainly they are much more complicated than the other two. Don't know about spares in the ME/Europe.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 13 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 34
Seems Jawa spares wouldn't be a problem in Turkey either:

These inexpensive JAWAs looked good, were very reliable and gave good performance. As a result they sold well and many were exported around the world and even gained a following in the United States. The motorcycle was also built under license in India where it was sold as the Yezdi. In Turkey the weather is ideal for motorcycle riding and the 353 was a perfect solution to the transportation needs of this emerging economy. The Turkish government subsidized the mass importation of JAWAs. Today Turkey has a thriving JAWA spares industry that has managed to keep these aging machines on the road. The JAWA company is still alive today but finds it much more difficult to compete on the world stage with the likes of Honda and Yamaha. As a result their sales are largely confined to Eastern Europe.

The JAWA project
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 13 Aug 2010
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
I have a Ural, but it is a 2007 and I doubt your budget would stretch that far: you'd probably have enough for one of the 650 twins. From what I gather the Ukranian Dnepr is pretty good once you iron out all the niggles, and that basically means replacing/rebuilding quite a bit!!!

If you want a more in depth answer there are two good fourms stacked with info, mostly targeted at the Ural Dnepr outfits, but other Russian, ex-Soviet brands are also popular...

Russian Iron Board (Powered by Invision Power Board)

Soviet Steeds • Index page

Either search and read, or sign up and post.

Whichever you buy, I dare say you will need the collective knowledge on these sites at some point!!!

Good luck.
__________________
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 14 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 34
I couldn't find any Minsks for sale today. The Jawas are little pricey, they sell for $400 up. I'm going to see an Izh Jupiter tomorrow, it's up for $300. I'll let you know. In general they go for $200-$300. I think it's probably not a good idea to go for a Ural or Dnepr, they are more complicated machines and an old one which I don't know the history of has more potential to go wrong than a 2-stroke. They are though, without a doubt, the coolest looking.

Still, if the Jawa is a much better bike than the Izh, and something I might hang on to after the journey, then maybe I wouldn't mind paying a little more.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 15 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 34
Today I saw a Planeta 3 (I think.) It was pretty and in fair shape, but started to vibrate badly when revved over perhaps 4000rpm. I guess it would need a new set of crankcase bearings at the least. $300 asking price.

The second was a Jupiter 5. It was held together with bits of wire, the gearchange was really mushy, difficult to start, wiring was a mess etc. The steering seemed a little wierd on this model. Also $300 asking price.

Overall these Izh bikes are very heavily engineered. I'm a bit worried the consumption of the 2 cylinder model is high.

I might starting looking more seriously at Minsks.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 34
Strugling a little bit..

Here are some figures I worked out:

Total distance 8000km:
Fuel 1$/l:

Minsk 2-stroke (3.5l/100km):
Bike $250
Fuel $280
total - $530 -

Jupiter 350cc (6l/100km)
Bike $300
Fuel $480
total - $780 -

Minsk 4-stroke (2.5l/100km)
Bike $600
Fuel: $200
total - $800 -

My only reserve about the Minsk is if it can hold 50-55mph confortably. A CG125 supposedly can, and thats a 4-stroke. Theres none for sale in Minsk at the moment. Has anyone ridden one?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 34
I had a stroke of luck. An add came up this afternoon, a model 2007 Minsk. When to see it, nice bike in good condition, and I got it for $170. I'll go to the factory this week and see if I can get a set of racks. Would be nice to have a GPS, but that might cost more than the bike..

Thanks for your help.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16 Aug 2010
Donmanolo's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Weird north East bit of Italy
Posts: 260
Can't wait to see some pictures then, congratulations on your new bike!
By the way how do you go about buying and registering a bike over there as a foreigner?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 17 Aug 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: colchester uk
Posts: 64
cool.......likewise it would be great to see a picture or too. go for it
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 17 Aug 2010
Contributing Vendor
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
Cool

Whether it is a $170 Minsk or a brand new $17000 Super 10/12, nothing quite beats that "I've got a new bike" feeling.

Nice one!!

__________________
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 19 Aug 2010
Selous's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: England
Posts: 420
Congratulations & yes i agree nothing like I have a new bike feeling hehe

We want to see the pictures now
__________________
We are the Pilgrims, Master, we shall go Always a little further: it may be beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow, Across that angry or that glimmering sea.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 26 Aug 2010
Baiazid's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sydney - Australia
Posts: 6
I had a Dnepr as my first bike: 650cc/boxer engine.

If you can think to a part that could never-ever destroy when you are riding, you are wrong. All can happen to a Dnepr.

List:
Right cylinder head bolts loose in riding, lots of smoke coming from the space created between cylinder and cylinder head.

Right admission rocker broken in 2 pieces

First and second gear ...just gone with the winds. Had to replace half of gearbox.

Rocker shaft bended... bought 4 brand new, all different, +-5mm difference in length.

I could continue...

One thing is certain: I learn mechanics on that bike.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2000 Honda Sabre 1100 in Jupiter FL USA wiredfoxterror TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 0 18 Oct 2007 03:38
Chinese R71 BMW clone / Dnepr DavidZweig Which Bike? 3 21 May 2007 05:18
Jawa 650 Dakar Chris_York Other Bikes Tech 5 26 Apr 2007 18:08
Oxtar Jupiter Boot review Mike Stone Equipment Reviews 0 4 Nov 2005 02:46

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 14:48.