Delfast reinvents the Soviet Dnepr into a powerful e-bike

A new e-bike set out to reinvent the Soviet-era Dnepr motorcycle. Created by American-Ukrainian e-bike brand Delfast and slated for production in 2023, the post-Soviet Dnepr will be a futuristic electric roadster with pop colors and a durable powertrain.

The original Dnepr was favored by the old KGB. Produced in Ukraine in the 1960s, these big, manly motorcycles were primarily designed for heavy-duty roads and military service. They were also extremely powerful motorcycles with up to 1.0 liters and 60 horsepower. The Dnieper even enjoyed a period of popularity among celebrities.

Fast forward to today and Delfast’s team of engineers and designers were inspired by the work of Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov Design Bureau. Lightweight, with only ABS on one front wheel, the Dnepr makes it easy to drift around corners and slippery roads. The clear throttle and wheel connection makes traction and launch control unnecessary.

Alex Astapov, who looks after the product line in Delfast, explains: “We referred to Antonov’s work using aluminum forging, chemical etching – traditional aeronautical engineering approaches. Additionally, the unique approach of Antonov’s designers is to use reverse adhesive seals in the battery area of ​​the bike.

When it comes to color, the team decided to take a very different approach to the military hues favored by the Soviet Dnepr. “Every driver is going to be a street art artist, breaking the routine of city traffic,” Astapov muses of the bold colors revealed on the prototype. More conservative shades will also be offered to customers who will have the option of customizing their bikes.

In revealing Dnepr Electric, Delfast also announced official ownership of the Soviet brand and its intention to resurrect the historic motorcycle brand. Meanwhile, in August, the prototype competed in Bonneville Speed ​​Week to set an Omega Class A speed record (105.6 mph) at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

“I am very excited to reinvent the historic model by applying the latest approaches to electric transport design,” said Delfast CEO and Founder Daniel Tonkopiy. “Dnepr was my childhood dream bike,” he tells me. “My grandfather even gave me the chance to ride a motorcycle when I was a child. I had the idea of ​​creating an electric version for a long time.

I ask Tonkopiy about the origins of Delfast, which he founded in 2014. “I was a proponent of sustainability when it wasn’t mainstream,” he says, having been made aware of green concerns by his father, an academic in this field. “Later, I became interested in how green transport can positively affect our lives, which turned into a mission to make the air cleaner in cities.”

Delfast’s staple e-bike, the Top 3.0, has become the Guinness World Record holder for the longest distance (228 miles) traveled on a single charge. Coincidentally, when the company was founded, Tonkopiy was offered the office where the Dnieper motorcycle producer, Kyiv Motorcycle Manufacturing (KMZ), used to rent.

“I took it as a sign and started the discussion about acquiring the trademark rights. I had an idea, resources and a strong team of engineers and designers from Delfast, who supported my This is how Dnepr electric was born: a fusion of Delfast’s approaches to sustainable transport, aeronautical technology and motorcycle engineering.

See how others are reimagining the classic with enduring power: French designer Philippe Starck’s solar-powered gondola, Pininfarina’s Oceanco Kairos e-hybrid and fashion designer Paul Smith’s electric MINI Strip

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