Russian Motorcycle Brands

Russian Motorcycle Brands

Russian motorcycles have never been more popular worldwide than in the middle of the 20th century. It was the Soviet era, which today everyone tries to portray as the darkest and most undeveloped, that saw the peak of the Soviet motorcycle industry. The collapse of the USSR led to the practical destruction of this type of industry. Attempts to restore its former glory today have not yet been successful. Single cases still cannot compare with the large-scale successes of the past. Today, the maintenance of the Russian motorcycle industry largely falls on the shoulders of old but well-known brands that have gone through difficult times.

What are Russian motorcycle brands?

The most famous Russian motorcycle brands that have entered the global market are Ural, Stealth, ZID, BaltMotors, Irbis, AVM, and IZH.

Comparing today with the history of the Russian motorcycle industry cannot be objective or at all possible. The famous Soviet brands were full-fledged products of Soviet production from cog to seat, gaining worldwide recognition as a whole country product. Modern companies, loudly positioning themselves as leaders of the Russian motorcycle industry, can boast only of their motorcycle design or the ability to make them ride, assembled into a single mechanism from spare parts from foreign manufacturers. But recently, new developers have begun to appear, trying to support the domestic brand based on designs assembled from elements produced in Russia. Today, we can say that the return to the former successes has begun.


Ural Logo

The most famous Soviet motorcycle brand was and remains the IMZ-Ural enterprise. The enterprise was founded in 1941 by the Soviet government in Irbit. Since then, its products have held the palm of superiority among the best Russian manufacturers for decades. The brand could withstand the most difficult period of the state collapse. This was facilitated by the constant demand for Ural motorcycles in some European countries and the USA. The first model was based on the basic design of the BMW R-71. Heavy motorcycles with sidecars were characterized by high power and passability, thanks to the drive on both wheels. The technique was indispensable in off-road conditions. In addition, the company produced an urban version – the model ST. Due to the high popularity of its products, the company continues its activities.

The central element of the emblem was the alphabetic abbreviation IMZ. The sign is a stylized wheel of two circles inscribed in each other. An isosceles triangle is inscribed in the small field. The abbreviation of the manufacturer’s name occupies the figure’s inner space. In the field between the small and large circles in the upper part, there is an inscription – URAL MOTORCYCLES. The color of the logo is black monochrome. It characterizes the seriousness and seriousness of the state production aimed at meeting civil and defense needs.


Stels Logo

Stels is one of the brands born in the new Russia in 1996 in Lyubertsy, Moscow region, as one of the activities of Velomotors company. The creation of the brand was caused by the necessity to form a separate division engaged in the production of motorcycles and bicycles. Stels contributed to the possibility of individualizing the company’s products on the market, which was quite saturated with one-size-fits-all offers. The company has developed its motorcycles, ATVs (since 2009), and bicycles, assembling them based on components from China and selling them through a worldwide dealer network. In 2013, the company’s products passed international certification.

The Stels logo is a vivid example of modern minimalism. The emblem is made in a monotonous light yellow color. This shade has a pronounced positivity, thanks to which it demonstrates visual self-identification particularly well. The trademark is a light yellow square with a slight slope to the right. The symbol “S” – the capital letter of the brand name – is inscribed inside the figure on the white background of an unfinished circle. The white color creates a visual impression of the presence of the symbol, echoing the Chinese “yin” and “yang.” The brand’s name is placed under the sign – Stels, made in a lowercase font, close in execution to the Comic Opera Oblique JNL font by Jeff Levine in light yellow color. The slant of all logo elements symbolizes speed and the possibility of getting what you want today and now.


ZiD Logo

One of the popular Soviet two-wheeled vehicles was the legendary “Kovrov resident” – the Voskhod moped. Voskhod production was formed based on the ZiD – Degtyarev plant, founded on August 27, 1916, in Kovrov, Vladimir region of Russia. At its formation, the enterprise was part of the First Russian Joint Stock Company of Rifle and Machine Gun Factories. In Soviet times, it produced Fedorov, Degtyarev, and Goryunov machine guns and the world-famous PPSh. In 1946, the production of the first motorcycle, the K-125, was organized. Today, ZiD is a part of OJSC “High-Precision Systems” (Rostec) and has several divisions in the motorcycle industry. ZiD produces motorcycles based on the developments of the USSR times and the Chinese brand Lifan.

The logo of ZiD repeats the image of a wheel in its form, which is traditional for mobile Soviet equipment enterprises. Very little attention was paid to the brand’s attractiveness during this period. All the forces of production were directed to the simplicity and recognizability of the product, which was to be recognized by the consumer for its quality and the possibility of long-term operation. Therefore, the main directions in their creation were brevity, simplicity, and uniqueness of emblems. The emblem of ZiDa was made in a monotonous blue color. In the center of the circles with the right slope was placed the abbreviation ZiD. A five-pointed star “fluttered” above the middle letter.


BaltMotors Logo

BaltMotors” is the first Russian enterprise to manufacture motorcycles after the collapse of the USSR. It was founded in 2004 in Kaliningrad. Motorcycles, quad bikes, snowmobiles, and low-tonnage motorized tugs represent the company’s products. The latter is in special demand in Europe, Canada, and the USA. The company is known for the high quality of its products. The use of modern Japanese and Chinese technologies ensures it. Today, the production of motorcycles includes the development and modification of 10 models. The range covers almost all spheres and can be used to ensure comfortable human life and sports grounds.

The Baltmotors logo considers modern visualization requirements and the psychology of information perception by the current consumer. The color of the mark consists of black and silver-grey. The round logo has a visual convexity towards the center. In the upper part of the inner field of the circle, the text – baltMotors – is printed in capital Latin letters around the circle. The center is “bm”. A stylized image of a radiator is formed along the circle from the beginning of the company name inscription to its last letter. In the lower part, there is a stripe in the gear design, an element of the gear in the extended design.


Irbis Logo

The history of Irbis Motors, a company engaged in the assembly and sale of motorcycles by Chinese manufacturers, began in 2000. The brand BEIJING IRBIS TRADING CO, LTD from Taizhou entered the Russian market searching for representatives, which became the Russian company Vostokscooter. In 2004, the company was renamed “Irbis Motors.” the brand has significantly expanded its capabilities, acquired assembly shops, and moved from the “sales only” category to a production company. The range of offerings includes:

  • Quality and affordable motorcycles and scooters.
  • ATVs.
  • Snowmobiles under Irbis TM.

They are distinguished by low price and reliability, the possibility of service maintenance, and the constant availability of original spare parts.

The brand’s trademark is the paw print of the animal that gave the company its name—the snow leopard. The whole logo is made in a solid caramel-red color. To the right of the paw is the brand name Irbis. The text is in lowercase font with serifs. Such execution creates a visual sense of acceleration, which is characteristic of the products and development prospects of the whole company.


AVM Logo

St. Petersburg brand AVM was founded in 1996 as a company trading in foreign-made motorcycles. The name itself was created based on the abbreviation from the first letters of the goods offered for sale – cars, bicycles, and motorcycles. Today, the brand carries out the retail trade of foreign-brand cars, wholesale and retail trade of bicycles, and the production, wholesale, and retail sale of light motorcycles and mopeds TM AVM and XMOTO. Later, the company acquired facilities for the production of motor vehicles under its name. The company has a wide dealer network throughout Russia, which provides sales and service of manufactured vehicles.

The AVM emblem gravitates to the world-famous Audi AG logo. The same gold rings are only made in several three pieces and are made by crossing each other. Each ring contains a lowercase letter that is the abbreviation of the company name. The smooth transition of tonality of the rings provides the visual perception of shimmering gold and gives volume in the form of a triangular prism.


IZh Logo

The most famous Soviet brand for cars and motorcycles – IZH, has been producing motorcycles for 80 years. The company, located in Izhevsk, was a subsidiary of the Izhmash arms factory called IzhAvto. The first motorcycle came from the plant’s funds in 1928 – IZH-1, designer Petr Vladimirovich Mokharov. Subsequently, this brand’s motorcycle model range was replenished with many designs. Among them, the most famous was Izh-Yupiter-5, which was of the middle class, and the sport-touring profile Izh-Planeta-Sport, produced from the 70s to the 80s of the last century. These models were in great demand in Europe and America under the brands “Kazak” and “Neval.” Along with “Ural” and “Dnepr,” which had a rear gear, motorcycles IZh led all motorcycle brands produced at that time in the USSR.

The emblem of the company, which was a leader in the production of the domestic motorcycle industry until recently, remembers all motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide. The emblem was a stylized planet Saturn with a ring around it. Interestingly, the appearance of this emblem turned out to be a mistake of the designers they wanted to use for the model Jupiter. It appeared that it was due to another race to fulfill the plan and tight release dates. The emblem was prepared quickly, entrusting its finalization to a young engineer who had just left the university’s walls. In a hurry, a detailed inspection was not carried out, and in this form, IZH-Yupiter-2 was presented to the state commission. The mistake became a trademark. The ring of the planet and the circumference of the logo were gray. The inner field of the planet was light blue. In the foreground, the ring became the abbreviation of the trademark.


What motorcycle is made in Russia?

Ural motorcycles appeared in Irbit, Russia, in 1941. Due to their durability and reliability, they were created to help the military during World War II. Today, the company still produces these bikes in Russia and sells them in countries such as the USA and Europe.

Urals are known for their classic motorcycles and sidecars, a nod to their military origins. Thanks to their rugged construction and features, these bikes are great for tough conditions, such as two-wheel drive, which is not commonly found on motorcycles but is useful for off-roading.

What is the best Russian motorcycle?

Choosing the best Russian motorcycle depends on your needs: durability, style, performance, or innovation. Ural is one of the most famous brands, known for its durable motorcycles with sidecars. These bikes have even attracted the attention of celebrities like Brad Pitt. They’re built for tough conditions and have practical features like two-wheel drive, which is great for off-road driving.

Other promising brands in Russia include Irbis and Stels. Irbis offers a variety of models ideal for urban and off-road use, while Stels focuses on combining modern technology with efficient performance, appealing to different types of riders.

Is the Ural a good motorcycle?

Ural motorcycles are known for their high performance, especially on rough terrain. They were originally designed for rugged outdoor conditions, making them ideal for off-road adventures. Their rugged design and features like all-wheel drive help riders cope with challenging conditions.

The brand is popular in Russia and Western countries. Motorcyclists value them for their durability, unique style, and practical sidecar, which is not found on modern motorcycles. The sidecar increases the load capacity and stability of the motorcycle, which is useful in difficult riding conditions. This makes it a good choice whether you ride alone, with a passenger, or with cargo.

Are Ural motorcycles good?

Yes, Ural motorcycles are known for their reliable sidecar models. Unlike many modern motorcycles, which use plastic, these bikes are made from durable materials such as aluminum and steel.

The brand is known for its rugged motorcycles, which have a classic look reminiscent of vintage military vehicles. This style originated during World War II when they were first created to help the war effort.

What’s the worst motorcycle brand?

Determining the “worst” motorcycle brand is difficult, as people’s experiences and the quality of different models can vary greatly. Even well-known brands sometimes receive negative reviews. For example, in 2020, Suzuki, a major player among Japan’s Big Four motorcycle manufacturers, was ranked the worst brand in a consumer survey.

These surveys consider various aspects such as the bikes’ reliability, the quality of customer service, the value for money, and overall rider satisfaction. However, this doesn’t mean all Suzuki bikes have problems. It may indicate issues with certain models or reflect customer expectations and experiences.