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IZ motorcycles were created in the city of Izhevsk in Russia. In 1807, Izhevsk Arms Factory (Ижевский Mашиностроительный Завод ) was established, also called Izhmash (Ижмаш), where arms and motor vehicles are still produced today. 

On the photo Izhmash factory


In 1929, a group of constructors built five new motorcycles under the direction of P. V. Mozarov. These were: IZ-1, IZ-2, IZ-3, IZ-4 and IZ-5.


Motorcycles IZ-1 and IZ-2 belonged to the heavy motorcycles class. These included two-cylinder four-stroke V engines with capacity of 1200 ccm. IZ-2 included an additional gear for starting additional mechanisms that were used in agriculture or in fire fighting technology. IZ-3 had a two-cylinder 740 ccm V engine and a chain drive in oil bath - in a hermetically sealed body (chain guard). The exhaust system of the first IZ motorcycles had an interesting solution. The lower pipes of the frame were also exhaust pipes, but the lower ends of the rear fork were changed into muffler tips.


The first samples of series production motorcycles were introduced in Leningrad. Sample motorcycles were named L-300. They were put into series production in 1930. L-300 had one-cylinder engine with capacity of 292 ccm. 3-speed transmission included a hand shift lever that was located separately from the engine. The frame was made of pressed beams of different shapes that were connected with bolts. Engine capacity was 6.5 hp, maximum speed 80 km/h and fuel consumption 4.5 l per 100 km.


In 1933-1939, IZ-7, IZ-8 and IZ-9 were put into production. The first with 6.5 hp and the latter with 9.5 hp. Next model was IZ-12, engine capacity 350 ccm and 13.5 hp. Mass production was not launched because of the upcoming Great Patriotic War.

On the photo the production of model IZ-7


Production of IZ-350 started in 1946. This motorcycle had one-cylinder two-stroke engine with capacity of 11.5 hp, welded and pressed frame and front fork with springs. New IZ-49 with hydraulic spring shock absorbers came out in 1950.

On the photo model IZ-350


In 1955, Special Construction Bureau was established for building motorcycles. By then a new model had been developed – IZ-56. In this case the pressed frame was replaced with a much more reliable welded pipe frame. The rear wheel was supplied with a swingarm fork. The appearance of the motorcycle was changed with new side boxes and deep fenders, sidecar was an optional accessory. Engine capacity was increased to 13 hp. Cast iron cylinder was replaced with aluminium cylinder.

On the photo model IZ-56


Izhevsk factory has produced over 11 million motorcycles.