Motorcycles & Motorcycling in the USSR from 1939, by Colin Turbett, provides the first accessible English language account of motorcycles in the Soviet Union. Concentrating on the wartime and postwar period until 1990, prior to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, it covers the motorcycles produced, and looks at the way in which they were used at home and exported abroad.
Available for US$ 40, chapters cover wartime, models produced, the social character of Soviet era motorcycling, and wide-ranging sport. With planned, rather than market-led, production based around copies of pre-war German BMW and DKW models, the industry churned out hundreds of thousands of utilitarian and rugged machines that were very different from the more fashion-orientated machines produced in the West. These motorcycles went under the place names of the producing factories: Ishevsk, Kovrov, Moskva, Minsk and, of course, the large flat twins produced in Irbit and Kiev under the Ural and Dnepr names.
With a strong emphasis on Soviet era illustrations, the book provides an insight into a life based on idealism and ideology that has now passed. Period photographs and images, many of them from private family collections, show Soviet bikes as well as popular imports Jawa from Czechoslovakia, and Pannonia from Hungary.