Kman

27 months ago

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Putin's Motorcycle Gang?!

Biker gangs are a tiny fraction of the motorcycle community. We're talking 0.01%, yet they get more news coverage than the thousands of honourable motorcycle clubs that raise tens of millions of dollars for charities worldwide every year. Clubs that operate outside of the law are the dark clouds of motorcycling and do not represent in any way the spirit, community and force-for-good of the global motorcycle community. 

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is known to ride a Ural and a Harley, so he's not unfamiliar with bikes. He's also not unfamiliar with bike clubs, such as Moscow's most infamous and ferocious motorcycle gang: the Night Wolves. This recent article from The Guardian sheds light on the club known as Putin's Angels and how the Night Wolves have evolved from an anarchic posse of petrolheads into a key component of the Kremlin’s propaganda machine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, at an even with members of the Night Wolves. Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Russian President Vladimir Putin, centre, at an even with members of the Night Wolves. Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

This large and growing ultra-nationalist gang counts many veterans among its members with a scattering of professionals and everyday citizens. They've taken a front line role in the war for separatist states in eastern Ukraine and see themselves as true Russian patriots. 

There's a lot of irony here in light of recent events. "Russia has never made war on another's territory," one biker says.

Vladimir Putin has ridden with the Night Wolves Motorclub. Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Vladimir Putin has ridden with the Night Wolves Motorclub. Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Kman

27 months ago

I looked up the bikes that were available in the Soviet Union. The motorcycle market was limited essentially to a little number of models: the Minsk 125 cc, the Izh 350 cc, and the Ural and Dnepr 650/750 cc. But, between the Minsk and the Izh, there was another motorcycle: the single cylinder two-stoke, Voskhod 175. It was the "luxury alternative" in comparison with the little Minsk 125, although the not very outstanding technology!