Update: Dnepr is Back on the Road

After 20 months of weekend work, the Dnepr MT-11 was back on the road today, looking more like its late 1930s German ancestor.  I took a 12 km test ride around the Alden, MI area to see how the bike operated.  I still have some buffing to do, and have yet to finish the sidecar interior panels, but otherwise it’s pretty much finished.

The first thing I noticed was how smooth the ride was.  The crude original wheels were anything but round and balanced, so these new rims and tires felt great.  The new leading-link front suspension handled well and tracked nice and true on the road.  The custom wiring design has been good so far, with all-LED lighting and an electronic turn signal flasher.  No blown fuses so far.  The hand-made leather seat was much more comfortable than I expected – a very pleasant surprise.  I could ride in that seat all day.

The test ride did reveal a few minor issues.  The ignition timing needs adjusting, and the clutch cable could use a quick adjustment as well.  The neutral switch is wired correctly but the neutral switch isn’t working reliably, so I’ll need to look into that.  Otherwise, the bike feels good and ready for use.