Moscow, Russia motorcycle customizers Ziller’s Garage transformed the new BMW R 18 cruiser into an incredible work of rolling art. Designed by Mikhail Smolyanov and John Reed, the ultra-modern bike features a beautifully sculpted aluminum shell, custom spoked wheels, and light-up BMW badges. That ground clearance tho.
THE BEST Russia
We’ve spent some time hooning about on the ice in high-powered sports cars, but these guys in Russia show that it doesn’t take a big budget to enjoy ice driving. With tiny studded tires and some 250cc engines, ripping around on a frozen river in go karts looks like a massive amount of fun.
This low-budget Russian take on Gymkhana may not be as slick as those Ken Block videos, but it’s just as entertaining. It starts out a little slow, as our protagonist heads into the woods in his jalopy, foraging for mushrooms, but once the drugs kick in, things get good. Impatient? Skip ahead.
With its twangy mouth sounds, Jew’s harp (aka “jaw harp”) is one of the stranger instruments out there. For the most part, it’s an instrument that’s played by one musician at a time, but this ensemble of 30 or so harp players in Russia occasionally gets together to perform as a group, and the layered sound they make is wild.
Pianist Pavel Andreev performs in one of the most exclusive venues we’ve ever seen – on a man-made floating square island in the middle of the lake in Karelia, Russia’s stunning marble canyon. They had to lower the piano on a crane from above, then floated it into the lake.
The Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra is best known for their classic Russian tunes, but they also enjoy the occasional rock and roll song. Here, their balalaika section performs a cover of the 1971 Led Zeppelin classic Stairway to Heaven. We had no idea that a contrabass balalaika was a thing.
What goes up, must come down, even in Russia. Musician Leonid Vorobyev and his bandmates crank out a fantastic cover version of the Blood, Sweat & Tears R&B classic Spinning Wheel, complete with the big, vibrant horn section that makes the original so damned good.
Watch as a Russian off-road vehicle called a Sherp rolls effortlessly over a partially-frozen lake, seemingly defying physics by not sinking through the softened ice. Apparently it has something to do with the vehicle’s paddle boat tires. See more Sherp antics here.
In Russia, there’s a dashcam in just about every car these days. Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s intense documentary is assembled entirely from dashcam footage, which captured everything from a meteor crashing to Earth, to gas station fires, to some of the craziest road rage ever.
Berezka (“Birch” in English) is a Russian folk dance troupe who performs with an unusual style – its dancers move with such tiny and smoothly-executed footsteps that it appears they’re on wheels. Of course, their dresses are so long that they very well could be.
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