Motorcycles & Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939
A social & Technical History By Colin Turbett
128 pages hardback
Published by Veloce 2019
Price: £25 UK
Contact Renniks Publications (02) 96957055. www.renniks.com for date of Australian availability.
Apart from Dnepr, Ural and a couple of others, Russian motorcycles are almost unknown in our part of the world, so this new book is a welcome addition to any enthusiast’s library, detailing every motorcycle produced in USSR between 1941 and 1990. The author is a motorcycle enthusiast and author who has done several motorcycle trips to Eastern Europe, triggering an interest in the utilitarian machines produced there during the Communist years. The book covers the wartime production of big twins and side-valve singles, most of which were in inspired by the likes of Norton, BSA, H-D and BMW. Postwar, things really took off, with factories across the Soviet Union churning out enormous quantities of workaday bikes which found export markets as well. And then there was motorcycle sport, speedway, ice racing, motocross, road racing and even Motoball. In the ‘sixties, occasional forays into Western Europe were made with 350cc and 500cc 4-cylinder Vostok racers. All in all, a very different and well-produced book when it comes to motorcycling from a part of the world that was for a long time “off limits”.