Delfast just can’t help but break records. This time they took their electric prototype motorcycle, the Delfast DNEPR Electric, to Bonneville Speed Week at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. It proved to be the perfect setting for the return of the storied DNEPR. They set a new speed record.
The DNEPR motorcycle has a long and fascinating, albeit complicated history beginning with the M-72 model. Prior to WWII, the Soviet Union was searching for a replacement for the outdated motorcycles in their service. The motorbikes of the Red Army were heavy and performed dismally during the Winter War of 1939-1940, also known as the First Soviet-Finnish War. The BMW R71 was selected as the ideal replacement. The recent signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact allowed the Soviet Union to use the R71 design and German know-how to scale up and put the M-72 DNEPR into production.
The official party line that later came out of Stalin’s office was that the plans were stolen from Germany, but many historians believe this to be propaganda to distance themselves from the initial nonaggression treaty they signed in 1939 with an increasingly unpopular Germany. A treaty that many believe paved the way for the start of WWII.
Three factories were initially planned to produce the M-72. Only the Moskovskiy Mototsikletniy Zavod (MMZ), a factory near Moscow, produced complete motorcycles before the fateful 1941. On June 22 German troops invaded the Soviet Union and production of the M-72 was moved east to the Irbit Motorcycle Factory (IMZ) in Western Siberia.
In 1952, the KMZ factory in Kyiv got a shipment of 500 M-72 engines from the IMZ. These engines allowed the Ukrainian factory to produce its first batch of M-72 motorcycles. The KMZ continued the production of this model until 1956. In 1957 the People’s Republic of China purchased the production rights of the M-72 and continued producing the motorcycle until the mid-1980s.
Delfast acquired the full trademark and intellectual property rights in 2021, officially bringing the DNEPR back to Ukraine. Delfast is widely known as a manufacturer of powerful, intelligent, long-range electric bicycles. Using its vast experience and expertise with electric vehicles, Delfast set out to create an electric version of the now legendary Ukrainian DNEPR motorcycle.
Delfast engineers swapped out the traditional gasoline engine of the classic DNEPR motorbike for a powerful electric motor. The cutting-edge EMRAX-228 synchronous electric motor weighs only 12 kgs and utilizes permanent magnets. It produces 100 kW of power in the short term and 50 kW of power sustained. The equivalent of 136 and 68 HP, respectively. The motor is powered by a 12 kWh/800 V battery with a maximum output of 200A and a torque capacity of 220 Nm.
The smooth fabled salt flats were the perfect setting to test the capabilities of the Delfast DNEPR Electric. Bonneville Speed Week 2021 didn’t disappoint. Fans were on hand to watch as competitors challenged their machines from August 7 to August 13. The Delfast DNEPR Electric set a new average speed record of 107.217 mph in the “A” Omega motorcycle category.
Serhii Malyk, a professional racer from Ukraine, piloted the DNEPR Electric to its record-setting performance. Serhii is a multi-time champion with record-setting runs at Bonneville Salt Flats in 2017 and 2018. His most recent feat shattered his previous record set in 2018 of 104.78 mph.
Delfast continues to set records and standards for those in the electric vehicle industry. Its Guinness World record-setting 228-mile range for an eBike on a single charge, and now its record-setting speed for an electric prototype motorcycle, cement its status and unwavering commitment to power and performance. The same technology pioneered in its record-setting range can be found in the current eBike model, the Delfast Top 3.0i.