M-72 Motorcycle & Sidecar (x4)
In 1940 the Soviet Union licensed the design and production facilities from BMW of the R71 motorcycle and sidecar. The first M-72 model was finished in 1941. A Soviet aircraft engineer by the name of Serdjukov worked at the BWM plant in Munich from 1935 to 1940. Serdjukov was allowed access to R71 blueprints and parts, as the Germans considered it no longer their premier model. In 1941 BMW began series production of R75, and did not resume production of R71.
Initially it was built in factories at Moscow, Leningrad and Kharkov, but in 1941 the Moscow facilities were moved to Irbit and the Leningrad facilities to Gorki (Nizhny Novgorod). Later the Kharkov factory was also moved to Goki.
ZIS Moscow, 1941
Irbitski Moto-Zavod, Siberia, 1942 - 1956
GAZ Gorki, 1941 - 1950
Designation: M-72 Motorcycle and Motorcycle Combination
Engine: 2-cylinder, H-I-A-C, 745 cc, 16.4 kw @ 4500 rpm
Maximum Speed: 105 km/h, 95 km/h with sidecar
Transmission: 4 Forward
Weight: 205 kg, 335 kg with sidecar Production: 1941 – today (From 1955 in China)
The decision to adopt a motorcycle for military use came out look for greater mobility after Soviets witnessed the effect of blitzkrieg on Poland in 1939. The motorcycles used so far had not worked satisfactorily, their technology was outdated and the manufacturing quality left much to be desired. On October 25, 1942 the first batch of motorcycles from Irbit went to the front and during WWII a total of 9799 M-72 motorcycles were delivered to the front for reconnaissance detachments and mobile troops.