Back in May, 2022, we told you about how some groups of Ukrainian soldiers have been using e-bikes to help them get around. Bikes from Delfast and ELEEK have been providing stealthy transportation on two wheels, offering distinct advantages across terrain that would be difficult to access via other means. While those bikes seem quite good at their jobs, sometimes you need to call in the big guns, both literally and figuratively.
Enter (apparently) a group of Ukrainian soldiers and their old-school KMZ Dnepr MT-11 motorcycles with sidecars. What’s in their sidecars? Why, some anti-tank missile launchers, of course! Each one in a video clip that’s been circulating on social media in late June and early July, 2022, holds a 9K115-2 Metis-M unit in plain view.
This certainly isn’t the first time that intrepid Ukrainians have found innovative ways to use their motorbikes during this war. In March, 2022, a TikTok video of a couple of guys evidently stealing a mortar and hauling it away using their Dnepr made the rounds. (Also, not for nothing, but after the Javelin anti-tank missiles sent to Ukraine by the U.S. Pentagon were apparently running out of power during training exercises, the jury-rigged solution that one U.S. Army veteran came up with involved motorcycle batteries and duct tape. Hooray for technology!)
It just goes to show, no single tool can do everything—no matter what the late-night informercials of yore may have claimed. Just as e-bikes have their strengths, so too do these older machines. Although many Dnepr and Ural sidecar machines have carried far more weight than was advisable over the years, the MT-11 was specifically designed to carry up to 260 kilograms. That’s nearly 600 pounds—which is certainly not insignificant in terms of transporting weaponry, people, and/or supplies.
While Dneprs have been used by many civilians over the years for regular, everyday errands, they came from war—so it’s not at all surprising that they’re still useful tools for fighting in one in 2022. We’ll delve deeper into the history of the MT-11 and its origins in a separate piece, for everyone who’s as big a moto history nerd as we are.
#Russia#Ukraine 🇷🇺🇺🇦: #Ukrainian combatants released a video of their armed KMZ Dnepr MT-11 motorcycles.— War Noir (@war_noir) June 30, 2022
The motorciycle seem to be armed with 9K115-2 Metis-M ATGM systems (9P151 launchers launcher and 9M131-series anti-tank guided missiles). pic.twitter.com/AFhZqCCk32