DNEPR 650 (1974 - 2000) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
Power: 45 bhp
Seat height: Low (25.6 in / 650 mm)
Weight: High (540 lbs / 245 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
1 out of 5 (1/5)

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. 

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

Brand new, with warranty, the Ural Moto models cost £3600 upwards, which is hefty tag for something so obviously outdated.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.

Equipment

2 out of 5 (2/5)

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... 

Specs

Engine size 749cc
Engine type 4v, flat twin, 4 gears
Frame type Steel tubular
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 650mm
Bike weight 245kg
Front suspension none
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake 280mm discs
Rear brake 260mm disc
Front tyre size 3.00 x 19
Rear tyre size in

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £200
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 8 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 45 bhp
Max torque -
Top speed 80 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 22 secs
Tank range 230 miles

Model history & versions

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 

Owners' reviews for the DNEPR 650 (1974 - 2000)

2 owners have reviewed their DNEPR 650 (1974 - 2000) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your DNEPR 650 (1974 - 2000)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Equipment: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £200
5 out of 5 THE BEST BUG OUT BIKE ON THE PLANET
22 December 2019 by Andi

Version: MT 16 TWO OF THEM 1986/1991

Year: 1986

Annual servicing cost: £200

Show me another post WW2 bike/sidecar combination that can plough through mud/snow like a Nipper ( that's how to pronounce Dnepr. A powered sidecar wheel makes all the difference

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Simple old school, no cam chain nonsense Parts are cheap & easy to find online. ie full set cables £15 tyers £40 each, brake shoes £3.50 pair

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

So you need to get the spanners out occaisionally

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

TWO WHEEL DRIVE. Will carry 280Kg & still pull a ton plus trailer accross a muddy field

Buying experience: Excellent

5 out of 5 I LOVE MY DNEPR !
24 January 2016 by Elton Johann

Year: 1978

Annual servicing cost: £200

It is the best classic any collector could dream of having

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

It is a classic so don't expect a luxury ride. And that is the beauty of a classic. Go Honda Gold-wing if you want comfort because the Dnepr is not for you, or you for it.

Engine 4 out of 5

Tough boy

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Even by today standard, my Dnepr K-650 is very reliable considering it is an 80 years old technology. I ride it constantly and I enjoy its classic feeling.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

It is a very simple tough engine. If any trouble, you can easy fix it yourself.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Simple and easy to figure it out.

Buying experience: I enjoy riding my Dnepr K-650 (2 WD) . It turns heads and I get stopped and asked questions and buying offers.

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