Motorworld’s newspaper №86

Motorcycle ML-3 (МЛ-3)

The history of Serpukhov motorcycles began in 1939. The design department began to work on improving the motorcycle ML-3 with a 125 сс two-stroke engine with a power of 3 hp. In addition to motorcycles and spare parts for them was planned that the plant will produce training cut-off models of motors from substandard and defective parts, production of necessary packaging for products and consumer goods (window and door handles, photo frames, fruit knives, etc.). The amount of work was small. In 1940, the plant produced only an experimental batch of motorcycles ML-3.In 1942, the State Defense Committee decided to organize the Leading Design Bureau for Motorcycles (VKB) in Serpukhov. Key cadres were engineers who came from Izhevsk, led by the former chief designer of Izhevsk Motorcycle Plant Vsevolod Vyacheslavovich Rogozhin. In 1946, the VKB was transformed into the Central Design and Experimental Bureau of Motorcycle Construction (CKEB).

М-76

By this time, Glavmotoveloprom (Main Department of Motorcycle and Bicycle Production) decided to produce a new motorcycle model L-8 at the Serpukhov Motorcycle Plant with a four-stroke OHV 350 cc engine with a power of 8 hp. Technical documentation was received at the SMZ from the Leningrad Motorcycle Plant. After proper preparation, the enterprise started the production of new L-8 motorcycles, the first batch (180 units) of which was produced in June 1941. However, the World War II hindered the further production of L-8 motorcycles.

М-76

In October 1941, the bulk of the people and most of the equipment were evacuated to the east. The equipment was installed at the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant and was used for the production of defence equipment. Some of the workers stayed there, the other part with the documentation for the production of motorcycles was sent to Tyumen, where at the same time people from Taganrog Instrumental Factory arrived, as well as equipment and rigging for the production of AM-600 motorcycles.

TIZ-AM-600 from the collection «Motorworld by V.Sheynov»

Serpukhov plant began to recover after the defeat of the Wehrmacht army near Moscow. Experts from the Ministry of Automotive Industry came to Serpukhov with a government task: Serpukhov plant will be repairing captured motorcycles.

SMZ was the only factory in the USSR that was repairing captured motorcycles. The more rapidly the Soviet Army was advancing to the enemy’s camp, the more trophies arrived. During the Stalingrad campaign, the Serpukhov-II railway station was filled up with damaged German motorcycles. At the factory, they were hastily restored and sent back to the front, now against the Germans.
Also, SMZ was attaching М-72 sidecars to the “Harley-Davidson” and “Indian” motorcycles arrived under the Lend-Lease program. In addition, from 1944 to 1946, spare parts for motorcycles AM-600 were produced. In 1946, the plant entered the subordination of the Central Design Bureau of Motorcycle Construction as an experimental workshop (CKEB). Its main task was the production of special experimental engines for motorcycles.

When in 1947 Irbit Motorycle Plant (IMZ) began the production of a sports 750 cc bike M-75 , SMZ started its improvement.

M-75 from the collection «Motorworld by V.Sheynov»

M-80 from the collection «Motorworld by V.Sheynov»

The new motorcycle with the M-76 index had aluminum cylinders replaced cast-iron, new camshafts and a lubrication system with a dry crankcase. The compression ratio was raised to 9:1, magneto was used in the ignition system. The engine output increased from 35 to 38 hp. Experimental bikes for record races (which showed a speed of 206 km/h) had even more power.

М-76

B.N. Sveshnikov on the track

In the М-75 , М-76, М-75М, M-80 exhaust system megaphones were used instead of silencers. It was believed that they create a vacuum, which was supposed better engine purification of exhaust gases. This exhaust, combined with a high-speed engine, created a monstrous noise. People called such motorcycles “Hell Organ”.

In 1948-1949 Serpukhov made about fifty M-76 motorcycles.

 

Manufacturer Serpukhov motorcycle plant (SMZ)
Годы выпуска 1948-1949
Quantity produced, units 50
Price
Today’s value
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Type OHV flat twin
Engine capacity, cc 820
Bore & stroke, mm
Engine power 38-40 hp at 5300-5600 rpm
Sparking
Carburator
Battery
Clutch Dry double plate
Transmisson 4-speed
FRAME AND WHEELBASE
Type Duplex tubular
Front suspession Spring-mounted, with hydraulic shock absorber
Rear suspession Candle-type spring-mounted, with no shock absorber
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size 3,50 х 19
DIMENSIONS
Length, mm 2 100*
Widgth, mm 770*
Height, mm 1 035*
Wheel base, mm 1 420*
Ground clearence, mm 150*
Seat height, mm 700*
Mass, kg
  
Gas tank size, l
 
Maximum speed, km/h
  206
Range, km  

* – Data on the results of metering at the exhibit “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov”.