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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.
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Old 27 Aug 2010
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I had experience with all of those and had Dnepr for a while since I originally from Kiev, Ukraine and started riding there.
I mean - I had real Dnepr, back in Ukraine. Not those polished and re-assembled equivalents exported from Ukraine.
In a word: stay away from Dnepr if your objective is to get somewhere.
I can probably add 2 pages to list below of what can and will happen to Dnepr. Not what "can happen", but what "will happen".
Jawa - there is different models, the pre-latest "12 volt" model was generally OK, but it needs to be set up accurately and thou it was not bad I won't take it to really long distance.
Izh - loads of lemons but also loads of good bikes. Planeta is kinda OK, but cc does not help it's performance to say least. Jupiter - you totally right, it is way overengineered
Out of those bikes I definitely would chose Minsk for reliability and repairability. But honestly it is 60 mph bike if all works OK.
Also there was (long time ago) Izh called Planeta Sport. Early versions of that bike were engineered with heavy participation of Yamaha, even some parts on it were Yamaha parts. It was mad 2 stroke light and fast bike.
Was not 100% easy to set up right, but it went like stink. If you find that one you can really have some fun on it.

Also, if you get lucky you may find older machine called k-750
This is predecessor to Dnepr. This is not fast, not new bike but by God it worked when Dnepr was long dead. Reliability was excellent, only problems with mechanical ignition interruptor were easily solved by replacing it with tractor item It's pretty too in "oldtimer" style. Saying all that - if you can get yourself Japanese bike and you will be thousand times better off than any of those.
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Old 5 Sep 2010
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Buying/Registering as a Foreigner

Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
By the way how do you go about buying and registering a bike over there as a foreigner?
I don't know how it is in Belarus, but I can tell you how it is in Romania.

Here (I spend a lot of time in Romania) you have two options. If you have a residence permit (e.g. work permit, student visa, etc.) then the process is no different for a foreigner (with a residence permit) than a Romanian citizen. You just buy the bike by making a contract at a notary public's office. Then you buy mandatory insurance. Then you can drive the vehicle for about 1 month before you have to register it. Registering is also pretty simple. You take it to a registered mechanic to make an official inspection. You get an inspector to look at the vehicles ID numbers to verify that they are the same as what's written on the vehicle's papers. You pay some taxes. You go to the local ministry of transport office to register the bike in your name along with all your documents. You come back a week later, hand in the old number plates and get your own in exchange, and you're good to go.

If you don't have a residence permit, then you can't register the bike in Romania. You can still drive it around for the 30 days (with your own mandatory insurance) on the old documents with the sales contract, but that's not really useful. If you wanted, you could drive it to your home country or export it (ship it). If you wanted to drive it IN Romania, you can put it on a friend's name. i.e. Officially your friend buys and registers the vehicle, then makes an official contract which says that they are lending you the bike for however much time (e.g. 1 month, 1 year, 2 years). Then you can drive it around Romania as much as you like. You just have to keep with you the documents for the vehicle plus the "lending contract". I don't think you could take it out of the country though. And you'd need your friend to either sell it for you or export it when you were finished there.
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Old 5 Sep 2010
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Thanks Ursus, that's really useful. Actually know I know that I can ride for 30 days for export makes it very tempting to make my way over there quite soon and check out the market for old bikes. I'll PM you when I go in case you're around so maybe we could meet up for a and a chat.

Thanks again.

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Old 5 Sep 2010
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Jawa / Minsk / IZH / Dnepr / Ural

I 'd stick to the 2-stroke engines, due to the simlicity.
I've been riding Jawa 350 every winter since '93. It works. When it stops, it can be fixed. Friends ride Minsk, Ural and Dnepr. From their and mine experience, I would rate the bikes #1 Jawa / Minsk. Jawa has more power, but the minsk will run cheaper. #2 Ural, since I belive it has better buildt quality than #3 Dnepr. IZH I dont know much aboat.

Ed on the Minsk rides 30.000 km/year, long distance touring:
Langtur til bandittstat på Minsk 125 - mc24.no
He rode Jawa earlier:
and did Oslo - Irbit and return once. His friend then rode his Ural 650, that almost made it.

The Ural and Dnepr are more complicated. But dealers i Europe are plenty:
Ural Motorcycles Europe | Dealers

The new Ural 750 would be great, but expensive. I did a test-ride on it in Irbit, and the bike was great:

...and now I see that you already got hold of a Minsk!
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Old 5 Oct 2010
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I rod a Minsk two up with my girlfriend in vietnam, 3500km in 1 month. It's not very confortable, the luggage racks are great (we hat 25kg of luggage on the bike) and yes we had a lot of troubles (spark plugs, clutch, carburator and even the piston got stuck, I don't know why, maybe the oil in the mix was too bad...)... But I loved riding the Minsk, bought used with ??km for 500 US$ in Hanoi and sold for 400 US$ in Ho Chi Min City... Not the same prices!! It was a model from the beginning of the nineties.
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Old 13 Oct 2010
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The Minsk is great fun, it's lightwieght and easy to repair (Think 4 tools to completely disassemble the engine). Currently running mine, 16500km in 8 months through SEA.
Some, aehm, "minor" issues but all in all I'd do it all over again. So enjoy it!
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Old 24 Dec 2010
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I rode a very old minsk from Vietnam, through Laos and Cambodia. It was a great bike!

Small, but fun and I would LOVE to own one again.

It is not the best bike, but I found it reliable and pretty strong. There is a repair manual on this site (in the bottom) Minsk Club Vietnam :: Improvements & Maintenance

Go for the cheap bike and have fun all the way!
Peter Kongsbak
South East Asia, USA, Central and South America and Scandinavia.
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