We build all our BestBear sidecars with
a two-leading-shoe front brake for the best result when braking
Front brakes: single-leading
shoe brake versus two-leading shoe brake
Engines and drive-line components
We also offer choice in our upgraded
engines; the 750cc flathead or the 650cc KMZ 650 over-head-valve
type and/or an upgraded gearbox.
Rear drive units we can supply, with or without differential
locking device, are upgraded with European quality bearings
If you want to convert your own non-driven KMZ Dnepr sidecar
combination or solo Dnepr motorcycle to a driven sidecar combination,
we can provide you with the complete driveline and sidecar
chassis needed to build the vehicle yourself, if prefered
including a military or civil type sidecar body. These driveline
components are as a matter of course also upgraded to our
European quality standards.
Shockabsorbers: although the standard
Russian made shockabsorbers are of adequate design, overhaulable
and usually up to the job, they do not give the most comfortable
ride under all circumstances.
Therefore we offer a choice of several possibilities to upgrade
in springs and damperbodies.
The simpliest way is a Russian damperbody,
non-adjustable and with modified dampercharacteristics, equipped
with a progressive spring of the Dutch make Koni (nowadays
Ikon) mounted on the sidecar. This will already make life
a lot easier for the sidecar passenger and will give a less
bumpy ride when the sidecar is empty. This option is also
available as a complete shockabsorber and spring unit with
adjustable rebound-damping of the high-quality make Koni’s
7610 series, modified by us to fit to the Russian attachment
If you want the very best of all we can provide you with a
set of three modified Koni shockabsorber units, each specially
adapted to their own purpose. For the sidecar this consists
of the Koni mentioned above, accompanied by two Koni shockabsorbers
for the rear end of the motorcycle, which can be equipped
with a variety of different springs according to the riders
preference. This will smoothen out bumps and potholes other
makes cannot cope with, while at the same time road stability
will benefit a great deal. The Koni shockabsorbers supplied
by us will be equipped with green or dark grey impregnated
canvas covers to keep the dirt away, thus extending service
As an alternative we can also fit specially
adapted British made Hagon shockabsorbers with metal covers
over their progressive springs, either one for the sidecar
or a set of three for the whole combination.
The big advantage of the upgrade with Koni’s, besides
the adjustable rebound-damping, is the fact that these are
overhaulable while the Hagons are not. Ikon from Australia
still produces all spare parts for these Koni’s at reasonable
If parts are not up to the BestBear
standards we replace those.
Besides the standard military equipment
which we usually supply our vehicles with - a 10 litres jerrycan
in holder, one ammunition box, machinegun holders fore and
aft plus a large spade and axe - we can also deliver the original
stand for the Diegtiarev DP28 machine gun.
Other accessories are a wooden floor in the sidecar body,
extra ammo-box and sheet metal leg shields. We can also offer
you the original bakelite emergency light, fitted with a led
bulb, and the original Russian black-out device for the headlight,
if you wish so mounted with a reflector for the standard Russian
or 6V 25W halogen bulb. Caution: in some countries this may
not be road-legal.
Although the entire production made in Kiev for the Soviet
Army was of fairly good quality, we found some typical material
flaws to iron out as well as a couple of parts for which there
are far better alternatives available in West European quality.
Our upgrades include amongst others a
better oilpump and recalibration of the oil distribution throughout
the entire engine, better air filtration, German made piston
rings, better exhaust valves and reworking of the inlet and
exhaust ports, static counter-balancing of pistons and small-ends
within less than 1 gramme tolerance and better (asbestos-free)
clutchplates. Contact points, ignition coil, bearings and
oil seals are also replaced by West European quality parts.
With these modifications our engines
are very reliable and smoothly running, also due to the fact
that every single part is checked and if only doubtful replaced
before we put the engine together again in a well equiped
non-production workshop: one man builds one engine at the
time, not hastened by production targets. Quality of workmanship
is what counts. Quite the opposite of former Eastern-Block
production philosophy you might say...
Weighing out and adjusting in a lathe of the pistons.
The OHV engines can do with a good 20W50
multigrade engine oil all year round.
In the flathead engines we strongly advise
the use of a good quality single grade engine oil, e.g. Quaker
State SAE 50 under normal conditions and SAE 30 in cold climate
(below 35 F).
For the gearbox a good quality EP 80-90
gear oil GL4 or GL5 will do the job.
The rear drive and differential unit and the sidecar drivebox
are best lubricated with Castrol SAF X-J differential oil.
The front fork works best with 0.13 l SAE 10 damping oil in
Do not convert by Bestbear upgraded engines
back to the old original type oilpump. The recalibration of
the oilways is carefully adjusted to the higher output of
our better oilpump. The old type oilpump won’t be able
to cope with that, with insufficient lubrication of the whole
engine as a result.
The lower oilscraper groove, beneath
the piston pin, must not be used. This benefits the lubrication
and cooling of the piston skirt. Our modern profiled oilscrapers
are so effective compared to the original design, that lubrication
of the piston and cilinder bore would become inadequate should
a second one be fitted.
In case the excentrical 6 volt dynamo
has to be remounted on the engine it is adviseable to take
off the front engine cover in order to re-adjust the gear
wheel play on the tooth flanges. Make sure the dynamo gear
wheel is on the left, seen towards the front of the engine.
(All mentioned parts are not sold seperately, except for the modified Koni’s
7610 series when available.)