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Dnepr 650 Naked Motorbike Review

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Neval Dnepr motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 2

The Dnepr/Ural machines are a real antiques roadshow, which can trace their roots back to the 1940s. First seen as a Cossack 650cc, the Neval Dnepr is basic two - or three - wheeled transport. OK, it isn't the most fashionable, fast or reliable bike in the world, but you can get it repaired by a cobbler in Uzbekistan for 68p. The Ural Moto 650/750 is remarkably similar to Neval Dnepr and still available today.


MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 0

Most Dnepr models suffered from quality control issues which were typical of Soviet Bloc machines. Carbs were especially rubbish. The post 2001 Ural 650/750 motors have another 10bhp and are likely to last longer, but still basically designed for burbling about lanes at 60mph all day long. Clunky gearbox as you'd expect.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 0

The modern Ural machines are a vast improvement on the older Cossack/Neval machines with reasonable suspension and a better seating, although the Custom design doesn't really work as well as the retro Red Star classic in terms of riding experience.


MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 0

The later Ural Moto bikes have a front disc brake, carbs that work, 12 volt electrics and indicators that actually work - Nasdrovya! Otherwise, all the Neval/Ural bikes offer basic, no-frills transport which is solidly built, but boasts few 21st century components. Sidecar outfits have reverse though... 

Neval Dnepr (1974-2000)

Detail Value
Engine size 749 cc
Power 45 bhp
Top speed 80 mph
Insurance group 8 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 2 rating is 0
Engine rating is 2 rating is 0
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 0
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 0
Quality & Reliability rating is 1 rating is 0
Value rating is 2 rating is 0

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 1
Owners' rating rating is 0

Anything still running from the 70s/80s/90s will probably have been rebuilt eight times. The 2001 onwards Ural Moto generation machines are better made, but this is still a motorbike from the 1940s, dragged reluctantly into the next century. It needs TLC in the same way a classic Norton or BSA might do. 


MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 0

Brand new, with warranty, the Ural Moto models cost £3600 upwards, which is hefty tag for something so obviously outdated. Buying a used Neval can be a better bet, especially if you find an enthusiast who is retiring from biking and has spend years keeping his 650 twin chugging along. Buy his spares too.


Insurance group: 8 of 17

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Model History

1974: Cossack 650 arrives in UK, solo and sidecar. 1989 Now known as Neval 650. 1993: Neval Dnepr Phoenix custom launched.
2000: Ukraine factory ceases production.

Other Versions

Ural Moto 750 Wolf     Custom variant Ural Moto Roustabout sidecar outfit  Red Star with chair Ural Moto Dalesman sidecar outfit   2 wheel drive off-road outfit Ural Moto Charnwood outfit    Brit Charnwood sidecar attached Ural Moto Red Star/Retro    Old school commie chic Chiangjiang 650/750    Basically a Dnepr, made in China 


Top speed 80 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 22 secs
Max power 45 bhp
Max torque 0 ft-lb
Weight 245 kg
Seat height 650 mm
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 230 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 8 of 17
Engine size 749 cc
Engine specification 4v, flat twin, 4 gears
Frame Steel tubular
Front suspension adjustment none
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes 280mm discs
Rear brake 260mm disc
Front tyre size 3.00 x 19
Rear tyre size in

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 0(0 reviews)

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I owned one of these in the 80's, mine was a Neval (Cossack) 650 (not a 750) and I'm pretty certain it had drum brakes, seem to remember a really effective twin leader on front. I used it to go to work on, and it never let me down once. It was one of the most reliable bikes I've ever owned, and always started first or second kick whether hot or cold. The only little quirk was the kickstart was on the left, and it had no stand. It was an heavy beast and felt more like 650 lbs rather than the 550lbs (245 Kg) quoted in this review. I was using it solo having removed the sidecar. I had the wheels rebuilt with new rims & spokes & balanced, plus new steering head bearings, and it handled well enough, though could have benefited from better rear suspension. Mine had a car alternator sticking out bolted to a bracket by the previous owner, and a large BMW-type battery, so electrics worked fine.

27 November 2011 19:50



Not an acurate review

I don't get this review at all, It says Neval Dnepr. but they were 650 not 750. then you say the Ural moto 750 is remarkably similar to a Dnepr. But hold on. There are no common engine parts, they are made in different countries, You must mean remarkably similar in the same way that a Austin Montego is remarkably similar to a BMW 316 because they both have the same number of wheels and cylinders. It is simply not appropriate to compare Dnepr quality with Ural quality. One is a domestic market product from a factory that is closed and the other is an export product with huge western investment and quality control.

The truth is here

16 November 2009 16:42

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