Not much of a story available on this: it was found by some treasure hunters picking around a forest near Vyborg, Leningrad Oblast, Russia possibly in the summer of 2013 (first photos seem to have hit the Russian biker forums in September 2013). Because of Russian laws governing treasure hunting, the finders are understandably anonymous.
Speculation online was rampant, and as usual various false claims were made as to the make, model and location. In fact it’s a Красный Октябрь (“Red October”) L-300, the relatively rare Russian copy of the DKW Luxus 300.
|1929 DKW Luxus 300|
In the late 20’s the Izhevsk plant had developed five models of motorcycles under lead engineer Pyotr Vladimirovich Mokharov, but the factory was still focused on arms and not yet ready for motorcycle production. In 1930 Mozharov went to Leningrad and organized the “Тремасс” (Trust mass production, “Tremas”) designers association. Tremas originally utilized the “Красный Октябрь”(Red October) factory in Leningrad for casting and production of engines and transmissions, with final assembly competed at the “Промет” (Prometheus) facility. In September 1930 the first production run of 25 model A-300 bikes came off the line.
The A-300 was almost a direct copy of the German DKW Luxus-300; a single cylinder, 2-stroke bored at 296ccm.
In 1933 all production was transferred to the Red October factory and the machine was renamed the L (Leningrad)-300; curiously the Prometheus factory began a limited-edition release of a heavier model (L-600) utilizing twin L-300 engines designed for firefighting, with a water pump mounted in a sidecar.
|Красный Октябрь л-300|
In 1934 Izhevsk, now fully online, re-branded the L-300 as the IL-7. In 1938 a model L-8 with a completely new four-stroke engine and circulating oil system was installed in a somewhat modified L-300 frame. In 1939 the “Red October” factory was repurposed for military production and both the L-300 and L-8 returned to “Prometheus”.