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Mark Gregory

SOLD Commrades a good Communist Motorcycle for Sale

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BMW inspired motorcycles with WW2 heritage.  This version is not stellar for speed or reliability.  Ural brand is somewhat better but still not in the class of today’s motorcycles.

 

Terry

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A friend of mine had a very early model (Late 50's or early 60's if I remember correctly) witth a side car and your comment about not great reliability is probably a bit understated.  The other thing was his did not have an electric start and the kick start would send a 245 pound guy flying if it kicked back on you.  I know that from personal experience. They did not have a compressio release either.   We did have a lot of fun in it when it ran well. 

Dave S 

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There was a period in the late sixties - early seventies when the Soviet Union was starving for bread. They bought millions of dollars worth of wheat from Canada and paid for it with manufactured goods. I remember Soviet alarm clocks, the Ural and Dnepr sidecar motorcycles, Lada cars, and  Jawa and  CZ 2 stroke motorcycles as well. All sold in Canada but probably not in the US.

 

I seem to recall they bought a few million tons of grain from the US as well but they got it on credit, with 50 years to pay at 2% interest when mortgage rates were 9% in the US. Don't know if they ever did pay off this debt.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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A friend of mine bought a newer Ural. What a bucket of rotten engineering it is. It just seems to fall apart every time he rides it.

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The CZ motocross motorcycles were decent and sold in the USA.  I think they were from Czech Republic. I had a Husqvarna at the time and the CZ bikes were very competitive with them. Jawa showed up in mostly enduro events.  All the small euro brands suffered from parts availability.  My Husky dealer often scavenged parts from new bikes to keep customers happy.

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Yes Terry, the CZ was the hot ticket in motocross back in the early '70s, then Jap bikes came along. I had a Bultaco and finding parts was a nightmare.

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8 hours ago, Mark Gregory said:

... it is interesting how many companies took German technology after the war back to their own countries. 

 

Actually, from what I have read--even from a reformed

Communist official who is now a loyal American--

the Communists stole just about all the technology they

claim to have developed.  The Communist official

wrote that Eastern Bloc countries' ideologies didn't produce

much in the way of creativity and invention, so their

economies were essentially FOUNDED on stealing technology

from the West, especially from Western Europe.

This includes cars and trucks.

 

They would either insert spies in Western companies--

and this was rampant--and steal blueprints, or else they

would form joint ventures with Western companies and

steal information that way.  In such a joint venture, 90%

of the employees from the Communist country(ies) were

espionage agents.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, 46 woodie said:

Yes Terry, the CZ was the hot ticket in motocross back in the early '70s, then Jap bikes came along. I had a Bultaco and finding parts was a nightmare.

Miller’s Bultaco in Valley View PA had their small but well stocked shop out behind their main business which was....a funeral home!  They had lots of notoriety about that combo.  Other popular euro bike was Maico, also known as Maico-breako. Fast but not always reliable.  One of my friends rode Ossa, another good Spanish bike.  Eventually I went from Husky to Honda but my Husky 390WR is still one of my favorite all time rides.

Terry

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The Soviets did steal a lot of technology from the west. It wasn't that difficult. It mostly consisted of subscribing to magazines like Popular Mechanics, Popular Electronics and Motor Trend, monitoring new patents, and buying products to be sent home and reverse engineered.

 

The joint ventures usually consisted of the western company setting up a factory in the Soviet Union at their expense, to be paid for with the products of the new factory.

 

Not much cloak and dagger stuff was involved. If you wanted details of some new product it was enough to write to the company posing as a possible customer and they would give you all the information you wanted.

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There was a curious case of the opposite - a Western (or in this case Eastern) company stealing Soviet technology.

 

In 1961 the MZ company was a leader in 2 stroke racing bike technology. In that year racing driver Ernst Degner defected at the Swedish Grand Prix along with his family. He soon went to work for Suzuki, and next year Suzuki began winning races with new 50cc and 125cc racers he helped design. They won the 1962 World Championship in the 50cc class.

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Well now, maybe ol' Edgar was right after all. Looks like the commonists who actually just may bury us in the end are the ones who hail from China. The Russkis never had a chance. I'll spend hours at the Goodwill looking for old used "Made in USA", (or Europe for that matter - some high quality Japanese too), trying to avoid having to buy new Chinese junk they dump on dupes.  -  CC 

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16 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

The Soviets did steal a lot of technology from the west. It wasn't that difficult. It mostly consisted of subscribing to magazines like Popular Mechanics, Popular Electronics and Motor Trend, monitoring new patents, and buying products to be sent home and reverse engineered.

 

The joint ventures usually consisted of the western company setting up a factory in the Soviet Union at their expense, to be paid for with the products of the new factory.

 

Not much cloak and dagger stuff was involved. If you wanted details of some new product it was enough to write to the company posing as a possible customer and they would give you all the information you wanted.

 

Rusty, sorry to disagree, but the situation was almost

exactly opposite of what you describe.

 

Magazines didn't even come close to giving away secrets.

For example, the communists stole blueprints to recreate

an entire rolling mill for high-strength steel to be used in weaponry.

From stolen plans, A DuPont plant was secretly duplicated in

the Eastern Bloc, down to the color of the tile on the wall! 

In another case, Romanian dictator Ceaucescu asked to see the

progress of a particular industrial espionage program;  the 

stolen blueprints and other papers, stacked high, were enough to

fill his immense conference room.

 

Most of the joint ventures were in the Western European countries,

not in the Soviet Union.

 

Everything was cloak and dagger.  Spying, and the resultant theft,

was intrinsic to the Communists' economies.  Not just part of their

economy, but most of it.

 

The statements above are based on reading a book and other writings

by a former Communist who was IN CHARGE of industrial espionage

for his entire country.

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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Here is a very interesting article, originally written for 

The Wall Street Journal.  It ties our subject of

Communist theft of technology directly to cars:

 

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/2009/06/01/what_i_learned_as_a_car_czar_215045.html

[Or, read it from the original source]   https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB124381203054570397

 

Here's a brief excerpt.  This is a case, not of a joint venture,

but where a dictator tried actually to produce a car in his own country.

The Dacia car was pitiful, the author writes:

 

"My job at the time was as head of the Romanian industrial espionage program.

Ceausescu tasked me to mediate the purchase of a minimum, basic license for

a small car from a major Western manufacturer, and then to steal everything else

needed to produce the car....
"We ended up with a license for an antiquated and about-to-be-discontinued

Renault 12 car, because it was the cheapest. 'Good enough for the idiots,' 

Ceausescu decided, showing what he thought of the Romanian people.

...The car that finally hit the market was a stripped-down version of the old,

stripped-down Renault 12...." 

 

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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The US got a taste of Soviet style government controlled cars in the late sixties and seventies when Washington dictated safety, pollution and mileage standards. The industry eventually figured out how to meet the standards using things like electronic fuel injection and computer controls, that did not exist when the laws were passed. But they made some pretty terrible cars for a while.

 

Tom McCahill said in the mid sixties that the new regulations from Congress reminded him of a convention of drunken plumbers laying down rules and procedures for brain surgeons to follow.

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On 5/19/2018 at 5:16 PM, Rusty_OToole said:

Soviet style government controlled cars in the late sixties and seventies

 

Reading that excerpt about Renault cars and Rusty's remark made me smile when I thought of the French involvement in US wind farms. Eh.

 

Congratulations on the sale.

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