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Meet Russian All-Terrain Motorcycle, the Hamyak (“or Hamster”)

Side view of the Hamyak, created by Russian engineer Eduard Luzyanin

There’s nothing that piques my interest quite like a vehicle that sits itself in the far extreme of a category – any category, really. 

And with the pedigree of a motorcycle, bloodlines rooted firmly in Russia, and the general appearance of a tank, the Hamyak fits that description to a tee.

Hamyak ATV motorcycle

According to a report by DesignBoom, the Hamyak is a 150cc motorcycle that Russian engineer Eduard Luzyanin originally built for the All-Terrain Vehicle Trophy back in 2020.

Having lovingly dubbed his creation ‘the Hamster (pronounced ‘Khomyak’), the build was originally a one-off to create a machine that could traverse more troublesome terrain, such as snow and sand.

Still, with requests coming in to build a second, Luzyanin obliged to the great delight – and slight consternation – of all. 

How this fits into the category of a motorcycle is beyond me. However, I will admit the general height of the vehicle (knee-high) is admittedly convenient and compact enough to toss into the back of a truck and tote to wherever needed. It tries so hard to be the younger, tougher brother of the Kawasaki KLR that I’m almost impressed.

The quirkiest feature of the Hamyak, though, is its ability to steer – or general lack thereof.

Eduard Luzyanin displaying how to turn with the Hamyak

Turning is apparently a suggestive feature of the Hamyak. It requires the shifting of the rider’s body weight to allow the motorcycle to turn in the desired direction – similar to a skateboard.

Should this method not work for you (I’m thinking this event WILL be a record-breaker should you manage a good lean when bumbling through town at a law-jarring 27 mph), planting a foot on the side where you want to turn – traditional motocross-style – is also a reasonably successful method of turning for the Hamyak.

Fuel efficiency was also apparently not on the mind of the Russian engineer, as this baby’s motor burns through nearly a third of a gallon an hour. 

Bottom line, if you’re expecting a novel introduction to the rocky terrain of Russia with the seamless integration of a local machine, expect a few surprises – and a lot of hilarious video footage.