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1938 DKW NZ350

Posted on November 11, 2012 by Scott in Bobber, Classic. 58 comments

Some bikes we receive come served on a platter with amazing photos, hilarious quotes and pages and pages of information from the builder. Other times we have to work for it. Like this amazing DKW which was spotted in some random Moscow motorcycle club photos. After a bit of detective work and a couple of emails to our ‘friends’ in the Russian mafia, we quickly tracked down the owner/builder. His name is Vasiliy Arkhipov and as you might have guessed from looking at this bike, he has some skills up his sleeve. After working in the automotive industry for over 7 years, Vasiliy who is only 30 years old, now works in the aerospace industry as an industrial designer, specializing in carbon fibre. So he decided to use all of his talents to create a bike that is out of this world.

To fully appreciate the build and the bike, I have to give you a really quick history lesson on Russian motorcycle manufacturing. It might sound like something out of a Russian spy movie, but this bikes history started back in 1945 when drawings and equipment were taken back to the USSR from the German motorcycle manufacturing plant DKW. They made an almost exact copy of the legendary DKW NZ350 at the Russian plant called Izhevsk, and named it the IZH350, which became one of the first production motorcycle in Russia.

Here’s Vasiliy to tell us more about this unique project. “A good friend of mine got one German made 1938 DKW  in very poor condition and he also had some parts from the IZH. In Russia, the bike is valuable to collectors so we decided to reincarnate it. We had a spare engine from Yamaha Diversion, which we decided to use. Wheels and brakes were taken from a Yamaha R6. Then we had to redesign the frame, making the motor fit inside it. After that we redrew the tank, making the diffusers for carbs that hides the filters. Rear wing, graying and bracket for registration number all made of carbon fiber. The electrical system and battery are located in a leather box under the seat.”

This ambitious project took Vasiliy around 10 months to complete. “At the end, I’ve got a very comfortable bike for every day use” he says. We think he got a lot more than that. Vasiliy has built a stunning bike that is part vintage, part modern, part historic, part futuristic, part innovative and part genius. And my favourite part? Those carbs going through the tank.



  • VR

    It only lacks a red star at the front to look like an old might steam locomotive from the transsiberian railway.
    Wouldn’t change a single bolt. It’s perfect.

  • Carbonarc

    Jaw dropping……….

  • arnold

    Having side draft carburetors nearly vertical as down drafts threw me for a loop. You old idiot,( I often talk to myself ) they must be this new injection body stuff. Very interesting, away from the “new normal” design. Thanks.

    • arnold

      I see that they are set like that on stock bikes. Oh well just another thing in this world I don’t understand.ald

      • Tony Stark

        (There goes Arnold talking to himself again. Poor fella…)

  • MotoTrooper

    That Seca/Diversion engine has never looked so good! I used to think it was the ugliest thing in that Yamaha frame. Fantastic application of modernization, only thing I’d be tempted to play with is trying different permutations of engine paint either all black or all silver. But still I’m not sure I’d care sitting on it!

    Maybe he should try to sell these in kit form. I’d be tempted to buy if he didn’t resort to having China help in production…

  • bikeymikey748

    Outstanding ! Mad skills, creativity, and the ability to think outside of the box. A stand-out stunner.

    • arnold

      Only for having a twitchy posting finger.

      • bikeymikey748

        In my defence….I was just sooooo excited to post 😉

        • arnold

          Selector switch on full auto again?

  • bikeymikey748

    Outstanding! Mad skills,creativity,and the ability to think ‘outside of the box’. A stand-out stunner of a build! Поздравляю

  • Manxman

    This is one of the best bikes I seen anywhere, period. It’s a fantastic blend of old and new, great lines, super front end, eschewing the Harley v-twin archetype in custom builds. Kudos to the builder.

  • Michael Luttrell


  • ted

    very nice build but hope they never have a backfire!

    • Tony Stark

      NOMEX riding jacket…

  • Ecosse

    oh please post a video of this thing under power. sight and sound to please the workers!

    nicely done!

    • Tony Stark

      ditto ditto and ditto

  • hugh

    Not sure about the R6 brake calipers…

  • Sideroad

    WOW, I love it! I would not change a thing. I would love to be in the drivers seat and hear the roar of those carbs on the road at fully noise. A+ build. I want more!

  • Neil Morgan

    Awesome.Great balance in the design and the engine looks much better than in a diversion.
    The best thing is though you get a hummer while you ride :)

  • Ugh

    Two questions. 1) If the engine is different and the frame has been modified, which bits are actually DKW?
    2) How d you ride a bike with upright intakes in the rain?

    • Tony Stark

      2) you drop a little drink umbrella over each pipe.

      • Manxman

        Just like Piero Martini of Automobili Cyclops SpA did with the Cyclops II.

    • ccc40821

      1) The frame & the distinct front fork.
      2) Possibly a bit faster, thank to water injection. Parking it in the rain is a different matter.

    • vasiliy
    • Tony Stark

      A lot of race cars had upright intakes. Under speed, not an issue. Stop at the local pub and it’s raining when you come out, you’re pushing her home.

  • Mule

    This thing is frickin’ cool as hell! Only thing I’d change would be to put a little bigger license plate on it.

    • Manxman

      That’s not a license plate – it’s a secret air-brake a la the Mercedes 300 SLR. ;^}

      • Adam Santella

        In soviet Russia you don’t put license plate on bike, you put bike on license plate!

        • Manxman

          Now that’s funny. Do you know what was the tallest building in Moscow? The KGB building – from the basement you could see Siberia.

    • Tony Stark


  • Tony Stark

    I just can’t figure out why every time I get down in a speed stance, the engine dies???

    • Manxman

      Tony, you might want to rethink riding naked – not that there’s anything wrong with that!

      • Tony Stark

        I would lose more t-shirts on this bike…

  • John in Pollock

    Wow. I LOVE the carb unusuality. I would ride that thing until my ass fell off. And I have a tough ass.

    • Tony Stark

      All kidding aside, those uprights going through the tank are frickin’ awesome.

  • revdub

    Those stacks through the tank are seriously amazing.

    • Manxman

      Until you ride sans clothing like TS.

      • Tony Stark

        I have 4 little bald circles on my belly.

  • Boo

    Heh, but that’s not the case began Vasiliy – Roman Kapustin built it

    But it was Vasiliy made ​​it SO ) i like this bike ) and don’t like Roman bike…

  • Hamamatsu1979

    Vasiliy for sure has done something really amazing. Riding this masterpiece on public
    russian roads is amazing too. Watch the dash-cam vids on you*ube shot in Russia.
    Alcohol meets ultra-aggressiveness meets ultra road-rage meets fatal idiocy.
    I’d rather prefer to stay home sipping some vodka’n’juice…and stay alive.

  • BoxerFanatic

    This really is a gorgeous bike. Wish I could see a bit more of the headlight’s detailing.

    The lines, rake, and curves are impeccable, and the detailing and craftsmanship is amazing.

    I am not a cruiser or chopper guy… but I would very much enjoy a bike like that, although perhaps a sprung rear suspension.

    I am thinking of a different german bike… boxer engined, and with a Hossack/Duolever front end rather than a steered girder, and a paralever shaft-drive… but quite a bit like this bike’s amazing lines.

  • Michael J Turk

    Very Impressive!!

  • Terrance Thompson


  • UncleB

    Thing of beauty! post videos with good sound please!

  • Gomà Legata Limonare

    Vassiliy Arkhipov is an alias.

    • Scott@Pipeburn

      Thought it was. Its the name of the Russian naval officer who stopped a nuclear war.

      • Tony Stark

        I thought that was Sean Connery?

  • David Mantle – Grimsby

    Beautiful – absolutely beautiful.

  • barneyfife

    Beautiful bike….love the style.

  • barneyfife

    Are the forks made out of carbon fiber? and what is or does “Yamaha Diversion” refer to?

  • bryan kerswill

    Cool as a cold thing in Siberia. Only the velocity stacks spoil it….turns it into a looker / show bike and not a ride any time bike…pity.

  • Sark

    I am in Awe.
    The carburettas!!!??? WOW

  • Sculptor – Andy Hancock

    bloody awesome line and design, keep going mother Russia!!!

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  • pato

    Esta es mi DKW año 1934 350c.c.

  • pato

    mi DKW año 1934 350cc