Russian Motorcycles
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Today in Motorcycle History

Motorcycles of the USSR

Many former USSR marques are mistakenly termed Russian. These errors will be addressed.
As it is now all but impossible to obtain spare parts for Russian motorcycles, links will be included to dealers who may still have old stock.

Abrikosov. (pre-revolution). St. Peterburg. Hildebrand & Wolfmüller. ¹


Baltika. 1913-15. Riga. NSU engine. ¹

Baltija. 1902-04 (Riga, Latvia) Triumph and possibly Joseph Barter. ¹


DUX Logo


Manufactured by by Yuri Meller in Moscow, the firm built twin-cylinder motorcycles using Moto Reve engines from Switzerland.

DUX Models:

Sojuz, 1925, 1-cyl. 4-stroke 502cc 10hp, 1 built
Moto-Reve-Dux model M, 1914~1915, Moto-Reve V-twin 497cc 4hp
Moto-Reve-Dux model I, 1914~1915, Moto-Reve motor, single, 300cc 2.5hp
Moto-Reve-Dux, 1913, Moto-Reve V-twin 340cc 3hp
Moto-Reve-Dux, 1913, Moto-Reve V-twin SV 404cc 3hp
Moto-Reve-Dux, 1912, Moto-Reve V-twin SV 275cc ?hp, new frame, flat tank
Moto-Reve-Dux, 1910-1911, Moto-Reve V-twin 275cc 2hp, special frame, cylindrical tank
Moto-Reve-Dux, 1909-1910, Moto-Reve, Moto-Reve V-twin 275cc 2hp, bicycle frame, cylindrical tank

Sources: b-cozz.com; autogallery.org.ru archive.

N.B. There was a Dux built a few years earlier in Great Britain - see Dux of Coventry.



A three-wheeled armoured car, some 20 were made for the Russian War Ministry in 1916 as a private initiative.

Source: reddit.com/r/TankPorn/

Fortuna. 1908-15 Moscow. Defaux-Motosacoche engines. ¹

Frese, 1903-1908, Saint Petersburg. Sarolea. ¹

Gloor. (pre-revolution). Moscow. Defaux-Motosacoche engines. ¹

GMZ (M-72), 1941-1949, Gorjkii ²

HMZ, 1930-1933, Harjkov ²

IMZ (Irbit, M-72, Ural), 1941-on, Miass, Cheljabinskaja oblastj ²

INZ (K-125, K-55, K-58, K-175 "Kovrovec", "Voshod"), 1946-on, Kovrov, Vladimirskaja oblastj ²

Jasenski. 1903-05. Warsaw. Sarolea ¹


KMZ (Kijevljanin, M-72, K-750), 1946-on, Kiev ²

Kovrovec (aka Kovrov, Kovrovetz, Kovorets)


L (Krasnyi Oktjabr), 1933-1941?, Leningrad ²

Leutner (Rossija), 1899-c.1903, Leutner & Co. Fabrika Velosipedov "Rossija". Riga. Built bicycles, motorcycles and trikes under Rossija trademark. Models of types: Hildebrandt & Wolfmüller, Clement, Werner , De Dion-Bouton, Cudell and Fafnir. ¹

Lir & Rossbaum, 1898-1907

In 1912 Gabrielius Macys worked at the motorcycle trading company "Lir and Rossbaum" in Lithuania. Gabrielius was its representative and shareholder until 1917, when the company was taken over by the Bolsheviks.

Source: old.birzietis.lt

LMZ (MV, Verhovina, Ljvovjanka, Karpaty), 1960-1995, Ljvov ²

Lundberg–Vasiljev, 1899-1901. Fabrika Avtomobilej Lundberg-Vasiljev. Moscow. De Dion-Bouton and Werner engines. ¹


MMZ (M-72, Moskva), 1941, 1946-1951, Moscow ²

Naletov. 1895-96. St. Petersburg. Werner engines. ¹


Pobeda. 1901-1911. St. Petersburg. FN and Soesen (Fr) engines. ¹


Manufactured at the Podolsk Mechanical Plant (PMZ) in Moscow from 1935 to 1939.

Established in 1900 as Kompaniya Singeri to build Singer sewing machines, it was the only producer of sewing machines in the Russian Empire.

Initially named the NATI A-750, their horizontally-opposed twin cylinder four-stroke of 747cc owed many of its design features to BMW.

The production model was named PMZ-A-750 and saw service with the Red Army and was also used for the postal service and other civilian bodies. Frequently supplied with sidecars, over 4,600 machines left the factory.

Sources: keymilitary.com, et al

Reshetnikov. 1906-09. Alatyr'. Comet engine (De). ¹


Schumann. 1895-97. Revel (Tallinn). Matador (US) and Hildebrand & Wolfmüller engines. ¹

Scherban. 1911-15. St. Petersburg. Indian engines. ¹

Selten. 1909-14. St. Petersburg. Defaux-Motosacoche engines. ¹


The motorcycle firm of SMZ in Serpuchow, near Moscow, built L-8 motorcycles, the first of which were produced in June 1941. Post-war, the plant produced M-76 racing flat twins in 1948, along with a very basic 3-wheel vehicle intended for use by war veterans which was available until the late 1950s.

In 1956 a four-wheeled disability vehicle named the SAZ was introduced, and this remained available into the 1970s.

Sources: Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum, motos-of-war.ru.

Soyuz, 1925, 1 built ¹

Starley-Psycho, 1898-1911. Akcionernoje Velosipednoje i Mehanicheskoje Obshchestvo "Starley", fabrika velosipedov, avtomobilei i lodok "Psycho". St. Peterburg. Founded in 1895 (Starley Russia Ltd.), from 1898 built tricycles and quadricycles powered by engines from Starley-Rover, De Dion-Bouton, Creanche, and Clement. From 1901 they marketed automobiles named Starley-Psycho using machines sourced from from Creanche, Bertran and De Boisse using their own Starley engines along with those of De Dion-Bouton and Aster. In 1911 the firm was acquired by the Promet Company. ¹



Manufactured by Taganrogskij Instrumentalnyj Zavod, Taganrog, CCCP

Based on a BSA "sloper", the TIZ AM 600 had a 595cc sidevalve engine, an Amal carburettor and a four-speed gearbox. This model was adopted by the Red Army in the 1930s.

By 1937 sidecar combinations were being built, and some versions were fitted with a machine gun mount. These were used in the Winter War with Finland.

When the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was terminated in July 1941 and Hitler invaded, the factory was moved to the town of Tyumen in the Urals where production continued until 1943.

Sources: South-Bohemian MC Museum, keymilitary.com, et al

TMZ (M-72), 1941-1943, Tyumenj ²

TMZ (Tula, Tulica), 1957-1999, Tula ²


Varen (Avan Tren). 1903-05. Warsaw. Zedel engines. ¹


Manufactured at the Vyatskiye Polyany Machine-Building Plant in Vyatskiye Polyany between 1956 and 1979. The brand name was derived from both the river upon which it was located and a breed of horse native to the region. The first model, the VP-150, was a straight copy of the Vespa but with larger tyres and heavier bodywork. Some 300,000 of these were built before they heard Piaggio's shouts of cease and desist. It was replaced with the VP-150M in 1966 and was a ground-up redesign, and over a million were built. Production ceased in 1979, but sales of old stock continued until 1989.

Source: en.wikipedia.org

VNII MotoProm, 1942-on, Serpuhov, Moskovskaja oblastj ²


Wakarezy. 1903-04. Warsaw. Laurin & Klement engines. ¹

Wirkau. 1908-14. Moscow. Terrot and Triumph (GB) engines. ¹

Sources: 1. b-cozz.com/the-early-days/ and autogallery.org.ru (archive)

Sources: 2. autogallery.org.ru (archive)