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A brief history of Jawa in the UK

After World War 2, Jawa CZ bikes first arrived in the UK in 1949 when they were distributed in the UK by KOVO (metal & engineering products). In the early 1950's the sole UK distributors became Industria, first based in Lime Street in the City of London, then they moved to Boyn Valley Road, Maidenhead. By the 1960's they were back in London at Holloway Road.

In the 1970s they moved into Skoda UK's HQ in Bergen Way, Kings Lynn, where the cars, and Zetor Tractors came in on ships and the Jawa CZ bikes and Barum tyres on lorries (which I used to pass on the A2 on my way to work in London on my Jawa).

After Skoda went to Volkswagen in Milton Keynes in the late 1980's, this left Bergen Way with the bikes, Barum tyres and Zetor Tractors where they operated from until the early 1990's when the bikes ceased to be imported en-masse.

Jawa Motorcycles are now imported in limited numbers by F2 Motorcycles Ltd.

All the Sales brochures show the name MOTOKOV. Motokov was the state car distribution and marketing company in communist Czechoslovakia. In addition brochures then had the distributors address and these cover Kovo, Industria, Skoda Motocycle Operations and finally Jawa CZ Motorcycles. The Motokov building and the company still exists and also still trades as Motokov UK from Kings Lynn still importing Zetor tractors.

Additional info can be found on the image archive section of our website.

Arthur Fleming - Club Librarian.

A letter from an old friend

To Pete Edwards,

This is not a request for tools etc. Just to say all the best to the Jawa / CZ Owners Club. I look at the very interesting website every couple of weeks to keep me up to date. Nice to see some of the names are still around from the early days. I look back to the early rallies at Swindon . We had with very fond memories. I couldn’t wait for the date to come around each year and still have the prizes I won including all the rally badges from 1978 to 1985. I still have the motorcycle I made with the Citroen 2CV engine / gearbox all those years ago (although I can’t ride anymore). Anyway, best wishes to the Jawa / CZ Owners Club from a very old ex-club member.


Geoff White (South Wales)

Cezeta scooter model 501 (circa. 1960) Registration 965 JKX

Hi there! Just a shot in the dark......it is 50 years since I owned the above, in red and grey. I wonder if any of your members have, or recognise, the above registration number? I purchased it new from Aylesbury dealer, named Mick Riley now long gone.


Trevor Brace trevor.brace@tesco.net 

The story of a CZ

Prompted by the main rally article in the August edition of Torque and all the interest shown in my CZ 485, I thought I would share the following story.

My involvement with our beloved Czech bikes began in 1976 when I purchased a typical 1974, yellow & black CZ 175 (477).  Jap bikes were more exotic, but due to a disability, I could not pull a clutch lever and the CZ semi-automatic clutch feature was my way to progress up from a Honda C90.  With practice on throttle control and left foot co-ordination, setting off as well as smooth gear changing on the move was mastered.

Marriage, 3 wheelers (a Reliant & a Bond on my motorcycle license) and then 4 wheelers led me away from bikes.  The passion however never faded so when left a little money in 1980 (good old Gran) I went in search.  One local Yamaha dealer, Wraggs Motorcycles, did a few CZ's on the side for the less wealthy.  They had just taken back a red 250 Single that had been on the road for just five weeks.  I was told the guy just couldn’t get on with the CZ and had swapped it for an RD250 paying the balance. Perhaps it just lacked “street-cred” who knows?

With a young family, the bike got used less and less and finally went to the back of my shed in 1987 where it remained for almost 13 years.  I would occasionally pour a little oil into the plughole and turn the engine by hand.  In 1999, the shed and much of the contents were in a very poor state.  A real dilemma, do I scrap the now tatty old bike or restore it?

CZ 250 engine and gearboxFortunately, sentiment of Gran’s small legacy said I should invest in the very sad CZ.  In a nearby rented garage, the 485 was totally stripped down after one attempt to start her with a new battery and fresh fuel.

The engine did indeed burst back into life on the 7th or 8th kick, but sounded awful from within the crankcase.  My oil in the top once per year had preserved the barrel & rings, but the main bearings were coated in rust from the damp air.  Mick Berrill replaced all three plus the big end.

Then began an 18-month rolling restoration and numerous visits to Pauline at Berrill’s.  The only other engine fault was seized clutch plates so these were also replaced.  All the “tin ware” was re-sprayed dark red with a painted silver coach line running over the mudguards & tank.

New decals were sourced but the black vinyl “kneepads” for the tank had to be copied by a graphics company.  The lower fork legs, rear springs and back brake steady arm were re-chromed.  EVERY nut, bolt & washer was replaced with stainless steel, and the wheels were re-laced with heavy gauge stainless spokes.  The silencer was too far-gone so it too was replaced.  Czech alloy is really very good, so with a lot of time, effort and Solvol, came up to a fine polished finish.

I had always thought that the power was modest for a 250 so the last job was a little tuning.  Whilst the barrel had been off, all the ports smoothed with fine wet & dry and the piston ring “tang” in the centre of the inlet port was carefully bevelled to improve gas flow into the lower crankcase.

The section dividers of the baffle tube in the new exhaust were drilled to reduce backpressure.  The ignition timing was slightly advanced and finally, the original suffocating air intake system was changed.  A “K & N” filter was fitted directly to the carb, with an increase to all the jet settings.

The overall result was a significant improvement in acceleration, less gear changing on hills and a top speed of around 68 mph.

I cannot say what the total cost of this project was, just in case the wife reads this article !!

Seven years on and the bike remains in good order with less than 10,000 miles on the clock.  My sincere thanks to the Club Committee for the “Best Bike” award at the Rally, it really means a lot to me.  Other than our good friend Pete Amys, is anyone else running and enjoying a 485??

Ian Roberts (Skegness)

MOTMy MOT hell

My favourite bike for the JAWA CZ Owners Club National Rally is my 1969 CZ model 450. You do not see many of these 175cc singles and mine is scruffy but pretty original and different from the JAWA 350’s that are so common.

First of all when I dragged it out to prepare for the MOT I noticed that the horn was missing and I guessed it must have been used on another JAWA or CZ. Looking round the garage I found another horn complete with mounting bracket so I did not have to steal a horn from another bike. The bracket needed a little bending so it was unlikely to have been the item removed but it was soon fitted. I took the opportunity to crimp some round connectors to the two bare ended wires and the horn was soon in place.

6 volt CZ hornStanding back to admire my work I noticed smoke rising from the horn so I rushed to remove the fuse which was red hot as was the wiring. The horn internals were shorting to the horn body and through the bracket to earth. On removing the horn from the bracket it was obvious this was on old problem as the horn had been insulated from the bracket with tape round the bolt thread and plastic spacers between the metal bracket from the rear of the horn and the bracket between the forks. I renewed the tape and replaced the plastic bits with fibre washers, refitted the lot, replaced the fuse and all was well.

I was most surprised that the original small ceramic 10 Amp Czech fuse had not blown to protect the wiring system!

I pondered on this as I was worried that any future breakdown of this home brewed insulation could cause a wiring fire and kill the bike for good - as it would be uneconomic to restore. The next day I was at Gaggs - the British Bike specialists on Alfreton Road in Nottingham - and found a new 6 volt horn for £11.50. It was a close replica for the old horn and a lot cheaper than a PAL horn which costs close on £30.00 (still cheap compared to an original for my BSA M33 at £70.00). I went to fit it and had to cut off my new connectors and replace them as the horn had flat spade connectors for the wires. Problem solved.

MOT day came after a wait. I had never realised how busy the local bike shops were. Nobody seems to do “while you wait” MOT's so I had to book the bike in for Friday 6th June. Delivered at 9am I collected it at 12.30pm during my lunch break to be handed a red FAIL docket.

The rear number plate was homemade and had been on this bike for at least 15 years but being hand painted yellow on black it was not up to current standards so I ordered a new plate (£15.00) and went home with the bike to collect my V5C which had to be produced with a form of ID before I could have the new plate. Back home again to remove the old plate. The 2 metal screws were solid so I used the angle grinder on the heads, removed the plate, drilled out the holes to take yellow nylon  number plate screws and drilled and fitted the new plate. The old plate had a cut out under the rear light and along the bottom edge for the reflector in the mudguard. I telephoned the MOT shop and was told I could not reduce the size of the new plate – just as I had guessed. I fitted the new plate and as it was lower it covered the reflector in the mudguard, so I stole a reflector off the back of my Land Rover and screwed it to the top box.New motorcycle number plate

I rode the bike back that afternoon and pointed out I had fitted a new reflector. Told it was unnecessary as there was a reflector in the Lucas tail lamp! Waited 20 minutes for my free retest and it passed. I was now ready for the 2008 rally.

The MOT guy was helpful informing me that if the bike had original style silver on black plates it would have been OK. That made my day......

This was the same MOT tester who advised me that the chain on my Suzuki GSX 750 ES was slightly slack. I guess they did not check it with the bike two up with full luggage. I have only had that bike 19 years – must learn how to adjust the chain. I expected a similar warning for my BSA M33 tested on 5th June and was ready to ask them if they knew the BSA guidance for that model but it passed without comment. They did have to get the company boss to start the 500 single as only he realised there is a valve lifter to unlock the kick starter which goes solid when on full compression. I think I had the last laugh.

Right: The new number plate and the original. Think I need a metal plate behind the new plate to avoid it being knocked and broken off.

So, two MOT's in a week at £27.00 each and £26.50 for new parts, but at least the bikes are road tax free being classified as historic.

By Pete Edwards

Recommended Retail List Price - Issued 1st January 1976.

SKODA (GREAT BRITAIN) LTD. JAWA & CZ MOTOR CYCLE OPERATIONS, Bergen Way, North Lynn Industrial Estate, King's Lynn, Norfolk. PE30 1BR. Telephone King's Lynn (0553) 61176

United Kingdom Concessionaries for Jawa & CZ Motor Cycles



  ISSUED 1.1.76    
  Basic Price V.A.T. R.R.P.
* CZ 125-476 (Posilube) Mk IV 208.33 16.67 225.00
  CZ 125-476 (Posilube) Mk V 221.30 17.70 239.00
* CZ 175-477 (Posilube) Mk IV 236.11 18.89 255.00
  CZ 175-477 (Posilube) Mk V 249.07 19.93 269.00
* CZ 175 Trail 482 (Posilube) Mk II 240.74 19.26 260.00
  CZ 175 Trail 482 (Posilube) Mk III 250.93 20.07 271.00
* CZ 250-471.Twin (Petrol Mix) Mk I 299.07 23.93 323.00
  CZ 250-471 Twin (Petrol Mix) Mk II 309.26 24.74 334.00
* Jawa 350 634/5 (Petrol Mix) 339.81 27.19 367.00
  Jawa 350 634/6.(Oilmaster) 365.74 29.26 395.00
  CZ 175 Enduro 384.26 30.74 415.00
  CZ 250 Enduro 431.48 34.52 466.00
  CZ 250 MX GP 620.37 49.63 670.00·
  CZ 400 MX GP 647.22 51.78 699.00

All motorcycles marked * are subject to £3.00 delivery charge.

All models except Moto Cross machines are supplied with flashing indicators.

Specification and prices all liable to change without prior notice.

The above machines are subject to availability.

The new Mk3 CZ 250 Custom

Mk 3 CZ 250 Custom

The latest Mk 3 variant of the CZ 250cc Custom gets European styling with forward sweeping side panels in silver metal flake finish matching the front sports mudguard, fuel tank panels and rear mudguard/seat panel.

This is the official caption for this photo when released to the press. This model was later available in a metallic cherry red. Note: the first CZ Custom in silver was a Mk 1 specially made for the JAWA CZ Owners Club to celebrate our 25th Anniversary in 1979. Importers, Skoda (GB) Ltd. sold us the bike at trade price and were then so impressed with the colour that they made later production Mk 2 models in silver. The Club bike was raffled and the winner was a young lady who accompanied her boyfriend to the National Bike Show to stop him spending money! She decided to take a cash payment in lieu of the prize so the Club then offered it to members who had to submit secret bids to Spares Officer, John Orford. The best bid of around £350 was from Club Chairman Alan Madeley (still a member) and he collected it from Kingston’s the Nottingham dealer who did the Pre-Delivery Inspection and put it on the road. Alan then rode the bike home to Skelmersdale. From memory it was a wet day! To mark the 25th Anniversary the bike was fitted with a silver plaque on the battery box cover. Last I knew it was still lurking in Alan’s garage. We had some interesting times taking the bike to various shows when selling raffle tickets as I had a 360cc flat twin, white Honda van that went everywhere at 45 mph. The CZ just fitted in the back! At one show in Birmingham, in the old Bingley Hall, we had to carry it upstairs to the Club stand. What we did when we were young and foolish!

By Pete Edwards

Czech Motor Review 4/86. The introduction of the JAWA 638.

For almost three decades JAWA motorcycles are an inseparable part of the big family of powered two wheelers. Owing to the diligent and assiduous work done by workmen, technicians as well as by designers JAWA won in the course of years many well wishers and admirers all over the world. And since with the spring the motorcycling season opens both for tourists and sportsmen, we asked Jan Chomát, manager of the National Corporation JAWA Tynec nad Sázavou, for the following interview.

Could you briefly indicate the most important aspects decisive for the production of JAWA motorcycles?

More than half a century of JAWA motorcycle manufacture traces a period of time that may not mean much in the history of mankind, but that represents in the life of an industrial enterprise considerable effort by several generations of workmen, designers, production managers and administrative staff. It had been their endeavour and aim to make motorcycles fulfilling in any circumstances their principal task, i.e. to give customers reliable and satisfactory service.

Of course, in the course of years it was mainly the manufacture that had utterly changed. Nowadays JAWA makes five times as many motorcycles as before the Second World War, when it was in the private ownership of the manufacturer Janecek. And the production volume keeps growing. Just for the sake of illustration: In 1966, 71,000 complete motor cycles had been manufactured by JAWA, this year it will be 97,000. The part of cooperation, automation and mechaniza­tion had increased. Clearly, the manufacturing plant is changing as well. In 1963, production was transferred from Prague to Tynec nad Sázavou, when to the existing buildings a large assembly hall had been added. As the factory buildings were being updated so was steady development of the final product taking place.

Last year (1984) the production of a new motor cycle model was launched. Where in do you see the main advantages of the new JAWA compared to the former model?

The new product, JAWA model mark 638.5, is based on the well-proven concept applied by JAWA for many years. The 350cc capacity engine is again a two-stroke, air cooled twin cylinder.

Of course the fundamental change is in the use of light alloy cylinder barrels presenting a number of advantages which will be certainly appreciated by customers. First of all, the engine weight is 7 kg less.

As a result the centre of gravity of the motor cycle was lowered bringing with it improved machine handling. Another advantage of the light alloy cylinders is better cooling and the resulting lower fuel consumption.

A fundamental change in the equipment of the new JAWA is the introduction of the 12 volt electrical system. In respect of the 634 model criticism had been voiced that the output of the dynamo had been unable to supply all the accessories. In addition, its charging revolutions were lower than the engine idling speed. This could cause at times battery discharging while riding in town with the travel interrupted by frequent stops. With the introduction of the alternator all such troubles were removed.

The alternator permits to increase the input of the electrical acces­sories, especially of the lights, which is a significant element of improved vehicle passive safety. Charging revolutions are much lower and battery discharging by reason of low revolutions is now out of the question.

Another construction element improving the motor cycle useful value is the use of needle roller bearings in the gearbox. This does away with any seizure possibility and other problems that could cause trouble to owners.

You do not certainly want to keep to this type only. What novelties can customers expect in the nearest future?

As to the existing 350 JAWA, model 638, alternatives differing from the basic ver­sion in appearance only are being prepared for production. Unchanged will be the engine and frame, modifications will be applied to the tank, seat, mudguards and side boxes.

In our research and development centre situated in Prague work is, of course, going on not only on other improvements, but on motorcycles of on entirely new concept. But I think it is too early to speak concretely about such development trends. However, I wish to stress that, together with the Branch Corporation CZM Strakonice, we are working hard to devise the way the Czechoslovak motorcycle industry is to take in the future.

What would you like to wish Motor Re­view readers and JAWA owners?

Naturally, satisfaction with the product. After all, that is the purpose of everybody’s work at JAWA. My personal wish, and I believe sincerely to be speaking for many other JAWA staff members, is that the ranks of JAWA friends should not diminish, to the contrary, that the numbers of satisfied customers should continue growing.

Not only we in the production must make our contribution to this with quality products, but together with the Motokov Foreign Trade Corporation by setting up an extensive network of service centres, by extending the sales network and by timely supplier of the full range of spare parts. We are faced by many tasks, but I trust that, owing to the readiness and interest shown by the entire JAWA staff, all our commitments will be fulfilled.

Thank you for the interview. Jiri Hajek.

In 1986 the 638-00 (Mk11) was launched and this was covered in Czech Motor Review 2/86. 


I unearthed a photograph recently of one, PC Geoff Hamill, Jawa CZ enthusiast and former Head Lad of the Doncaster branch of the Club. The photograph is of Geoff posing in his riding kit alongside his newly acquired Police motorcycle which had been purchased for him by the good people in the villages on his beat in South Yorkshire, who felt sorry for him having to use a bicycle and wanted to ease his load. I think that the reality was that they thought that in the case of there being a 999 requirement of his services, that he would arrive that bit quicker if his two wheels had some sort of propulsion!!

Due to Geoff’s boundless enthusiasm for the Czech marque he managed to convince them that a CZ 125cc would be ideal for his purposes and so here was Geoff doing “photo call” with his immaculate brand new CZ  - one of the last of the singles to be offered in the UK, which I think was 1996. I‘m sure that Geoff can correct that one, if I’m wrong.

However, Jawa’s and CZ's are not new to Police duties. In the Nottinghamshire Constabulary there was a requirement for motorised transport in the 1960’s, due to a lot of small villages losing their own village bobby. One officer on a motorcycle could take on the beat of several! BSA C15's began to appear on the village lanes - the 249cc motor sported a softer 6.5:1 compression ratio, soft cams and a 12v alternator to cope with the requirement of the officer's 2-way radio, mounted in a (probably Ken Craven) box behind the single seat. These little “Beezas’ could be seen happily chuffing around villages for a number of years, but in the early 1970’s, replacement machines were needed, and of course, it was about the time that the mighty (and mighty they were) BSA group was just about ready for shutting its doors. If the system of patrolling the villages was to continue an alternative would have to be found. Cars were out of the question as it was the time of spiraling oil prices due to OPEC reducing production and the headlines in the local press were “Police cars limited to 80 Miles Per Day” (and no high speed chases). So, the village bobby was still going to be mounted on a motorcycle but which one? Money had to be saved so that the “cars” could cover their 80 miles a day.

So it was that during 1972/3, Kingstons Motorcycles, of Nottingham, had six JAWA 592’s re-sprayed black, fitted them with a carrier, top box and a pair of slim-line panniers, and they were pressed into service to replace the ageing BSA's. Although the Jawa was a 2-stroke, its nature and engine characteristics weren’t so different to the BSA. How they got over the communicating problems, I don't know as the JAWA'S had standard 6 volt 55 watt dynamos (an extra 10w over the 559 due, I believe to the 592 having flashing indicators fitted). The little JAWA'S must have provided the service asked of them as they were replaced in 1976 with 6 CZ 250cc twins [still 6 volts PG] (the Jawa 559/592 now being out of production). The CZ's were only kept in service for three years being replaced by Pandas cars for village work no doubt due to the increasing workload of village bobby. I came across one of the CZ's by chance when a neighbour bought one from a Surplus Auction of Local Authority equipment. He bought it for £60 with a reported gearbox problem as the machine had no drive to the rear wheel. Twenty minutes spent checking the bike out showed that it was no more serious than a broken rear chain. Chain replaced and the bike was as good as new with just 11000 miles on the clock. The maintenance on the little 2-stroke was apparently carried out at the workshops which serviced the council's mowers and gardening equipment and every nut and bolt on the bike was done up tighter than anything I have ever come across before. Extra equipment sold with the bike included screen, carrier, top box and it still carried a fire extinguisher!

By Colin Gregory

Yezdi LPG conversion Indian students make a Yezdi motorcycle run on LPG

Students of the Guru Nanak Engineering College in Bidar, India with their motorcycle fitted with a gas kit.

While the State Government plans to urge the Automotive Research Association of India to work on running two-wheelers on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), two college students in Bidar have successfully done that.

Deepak Kaul and Jerin Jose, automobile engineering students of the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, have developed an-easy-to-use LPG kit to run their two-stroke motorcycle.

They have been proudly riding their motorcycle in the city.

The average running cost of the 250cc Yezdi motorcycle is between 20 paise to 40 paise, compared to 50 paise to Rs. 1.5 in a petrol powered motorcycle.

The "Kaul and Jose" motorcycle has a small metal box fitted in front of the front wheels and holds a two-kg LPG tank. Refilling this tank is easy. It is refilled using gas from a domestic LPG cylinder.

The LPG is passed on to the tank through a pipe connected to a regulator. Such motorcycles can be easily refilled after auto LPG gas stations become popular, they say.

The motorcycle running on LPG is eco-friendly and reduces pollution to a great extent, says Deepak.

"We don't need to make major changes in the engine," says Jerin. "The areas we have to work on are lubrication, design of the gas tank and the air-fuel ratio," they said.

The motorcycle can run on petrol when the LPG gets exhausted. A small plug has to be pulled out before doing this.

Do they plan to patent the technology or produce it on a large scale to make profits? "No," they said.

"We did it just for fun. Playing with engines is our hobby, just as we play with musical instruments and produce some hard core music," says the two.

Article sourced from The Hindu National Newspaper.

Motorcycle lift

After 44 years of scrabbling around on the floor fixing motorbikes I invested in a hydraulic motorcycle lift from Machine Mart. It was just under £300 as I bought it on VAT free night. Needless to say they had none in stock and the week’s delivery turned into close on 3 but I am so pleased with the result I can hardly keep out of the garage. The lift has wheels at one end and castors at the other so if you have the space it can be moved reasonably easily even with a bike strapped up in place (and yes – I know I shouldn’t do that but life is too short to follow all the rules.)

Clarke CML3 Foot Pedal Operated Hydraulic Motorcycle Lift

I remove the foot pedal used to raise the lift when not required as it sticks out and can catch your trousers or legs as you pass. The drop lever is fitted under a protective plate so it cannot be depressed accidentally and you can easily catch you ankle on that plate but my biggest pain in the bum has been the handle for clamping the front wheel in position. I have twice bashed my rear when stepping back from my bench so it now has some water pipe foam lagging fitted to cushion the end as my bum is blue in two places!

So at last I am off my knees and can work at a height that allows me to sit down much of the time. I also find the lift useful as a tea table and Pat now collects all the empty mugs from one place rather than from any free flat “parking” space.

Final cautionary note is that this lift comes in a plywood box with wickedly sharp nails / staples and weighs in at over 170 kilos. I used my son in law and his works van with a tail lift to collect it. Even if you have the lift delivered make sure you have a fit friend to help you unload, unpack and handle it.

By Pete Edwards

2057 miles in a week or even just 4 days!

We decided to ride through France so after arranging a mother and dog sitter and a relative to make sure they both ate properly we checked the ferry prices and decided on using Norfolk Line to cross from Dover to Dunkerque leaving at 4pm one Sunday. That gave us plenty of time to ride down from Derbyshire and negotiate the M25 without worrying about missing the ferry. Our £56.00 ticket was not refundable. We went on the 1989 Suzuki 750 GSXES I have owned from new and bought for continental trips. This was its second in 17 years – so much for good intentions.

Why use this story on the JAWA CZ Owners Club website? Well I want to pass on some general experiences. Like all careful travellers we checked all our gear and made sure it would fit in the top box and panniers – 3 Non Fango boxes of 40 litres each. I also had a tank bag and a rolled up stuffa bag for extra space on the way back. The stuffa went on the top of the top box and was held by a cargo net. I also spent about 3 nights checking over the bike and sorting a supply of spares and tools to take.

During the check I looked at the disc pads and the tyres. All seemed to have sufficient "meat" for a week’s riding. Wrong .... We arrived in France on the Sunday night at 7pm and as we left the ferry port the heavens opened and the roads were inches deep in water so we did about 60 miles before booking into a hotel. Monday was still exceptionally wet so we pushed on south often cruising around 85 mph. Tuesday morning was equally wet so we continued south heading for Cap d’Agde on the med coast. Needless to say we both had earplugs firmly in place to reduce the wind noise from our helmets. That’s when you realise the advantages of sitting behind a big fairing rather than the skimpy nose fairing on my bike. In France it can be difficult to find fuel so I kept stopping and topping up about every 100 to 150 miles. There are petrol stations but lots are automated and UK credit cards are not accepted. In the past we have had to wait for a friendly local to use his card to top us up in exchange for Euros. At 1pm we were 10 miles south of Clermont-Ferrand, fueling up when I walked round the bike to give it a visual check. Both front discs were scored – so much for lasting a week. We went back to Clermont-Ferrand to try and find a dealer which we did - only to find he had one pair of pads and I needed 2 pairs. I bought his stock for 54 Euros and was told another set might be obtained by Thursday or Friday – perhaps. Luckily I found a bike parts supermarket and got 2 pairs for 32 Euro as they had a 30% discount. I was grateful for the fact it was a Tuesday as France is closed on Sundays and Mondays so we would have had to wait around until everywhere was open. In the pouring rain we pressed on and the rain only began to stop as we reached Millau in the Pyrenees. There we crossed the superb new suspension bridge that was breath taking. We stopped again to sight see it on the way home. If it had not been such bad weather we would probably not gone all the way to the Med but that was the only promise of sunshine. It got hotter and brighter and we spent 3 nights in Cap d’Agde. There was lots to do as it was a week of events for Harley and Goldwing Owners and a bike is a bike after all.

On the return trip I noticed the centre of the rear tyre was much like a slick – so another miscalculation – I should have fitted a new tyre but we had no problems. I had taken 2 cans of puncture repair gel that also inflates the tyre. These were taped to the luggage rack. We got home at 2am on Monday having left France at 8pm Sunday just a week after arriving. Mileage was 2057 really done in just 4 days travel at an average of 50 mpg and close to £1.00 a litre. Not a cheap holiday compared to a late package deal but we can now say we have ridden the length of France.

Other essential spares were a selection of nylon tie wraps – various lengths and thicknesses. I have in the past used these to hold a tyre lever splint in place, to replace a lost nut and bolt and for a dozen other purposes. I also take a selection of jubilee clips for the same reason e.g. a couple can hold in place a suitable tool like a tyre lever or screw driver should a footrest break. Finally I ensure I have a large and small mole grip as they can be clamped in place e.g. if the gear lever broke. I do not bother with bulbs but did have 2 spare plugs and the odd fuse.

We did not like Dunkerque as a ferry port but the town and harbour area was fine. Norfolk were very strict and would not allow us on an earlier ferry – in the past this has never been a problem with other ferry operators. Other than a toilet there are no facilities at the ferry port until you are allowed on to the dock 2 hours before departure. Even then there is only a coffee bar. Fortunately there were lots of bikers waiting to leave. One trike was fitted with a Subaru engine – awesome!

So do think about a trip abroad and do ensure you keep checking your bike over on a daily basis. Earplugs and rain combined with traffic noise does stop you hearing problems developing so use your eyes. I was also surprised to find my Norwich Union Third Party insurance policy covered me for BOTH breakdown and accident recovery. Separate breakdown insurance would have been £70.00 and I would probably have not bothered with it. A great week – so hot on the way home that we had to wring the sweat out of our T shirts and underwear when we stopped Thursday evening at Vierzon a short hop of 342 miles. Our mileage in France was 750 miles each way - not the shortest route but with lots to see. Food great, wine even better. Mother 800 miles away – bliss.

The car would have been more comfortable but on a bike you make friends.

By Pete & Pat Edwards

How to mix two strokes petrol and oil

Sidecar Riders are the hard men in this Club

Sunday 25th June 2006 saw Pat and I take a trip to Luton to save a 1990 638 outfit from a fate worse than death – the breakers. Jon Vary had phoned me to say that he was moving house the following Wednesday and as no one had shown any interest in the machine it was death or Derbyshire.

Members will know that I hate 638s and find them tall and uncomfortable, full of vibration and pretty unreliable. I did own a 638 combo for a period of about a year – again a bargain or so it seemed.  Brian lived in Leicester and had an outfit he had coach painted in maroon and silver. It had just had an engine rebuild by Mick Berrill (£380.00 then) and had to go for the princely sum of £450.00 – another bargain I told Pat!

I was never happy with that bike and it sounded like a bag of nails, but other than an electrical fault that stopped me on a rainy day on the M1, on our return from a Doncaster Branch camp, it never gave a problem in the year I rode it and I happily sold it to a member who lived on the south coast. I never heard about it again.

I must have MUG written large on my high forehead! The trip to Luton was uneventful except for a short delay on the motorway but we arrived on time at 4pm – as the football started. Filled in the forms, collected the manuals and spare keys and set off home with Pat following. Jon warned me that the bike smoked but he used it when doing his gardening job and managed about 4 miles each day. It had done 14,000 from new. It was on soft NGK B6HS spark plugs. He kindly loaded 3 carrier bags of earth onto the sidecar “tray” to help me keep the wheel down. He considered rocks but thought better of it as I could use the earth for my garden. He also gave me 2 new B7HS plugs. Nice man. Hope your move went well.

Off I went with Pat following. First impressions “Christ! It's unrideable”. This bike shook it's head so badly it was impossible to drive with one hand until it reached 40 mph. Just like the outfit I borrowed from the importers at Kings Lynn to do the 1988 National Rally (Gold Award but I wore out both the rear and the sidecar tyre keeping up with Blackburn on his solo). This was the JAWA UK Press Bike!

That handling was sorted before the rally by realigning the chair so I gritted my teeth and carried on making sure I did not wave any fingers at motorists – a real hardship.  It would be easy to fix but not at the roadside despite having a car loaded with tools (my faith in 638s).

The bike had just gone on to reserve so first stop on the A6 home was for fuel. 26 miles later at Bedford it stopped smoking (Yes, I did put oil in the fuel tank!). I had also discovered that the sidecar brake was pretty good pulling the outfit hard left and that carrier bags of soil slide around and do not stop the wheel flying up. (I only lifted it once, in Luton – it came to earth again at Langley Mill – joke!)

We went via Northampton and then headed north to pick up the A4304 to get to the M1 motorway at Junction 20 Lutterworth.  At Junction 20 I stopped and replaced the plugs with the B7s. We had done 70 miles with one hiccup – the bike stalled at traffic lights in Northampton. I told it that Mick Berrill's was closed on a Sunday so it started again. Do you get the idea I like this bike?

The M1 for 52 miles was no problem and I cruised along at an indicated 60 mph then took the A610 for a 6 mile sprint home. Jon – the bike will do 70 mph. Looking the bike over I will have to align the sidecar as the whole bike leans out even with a rider on board. I will set it up to be vertical and have a toe in of about ¾ inch as that suits me fine. The only fault with the bike is that the sidecar shock absorber has seized (I think) but I must have a spare lying around.

I did put the outfit up for sale on the club website but I shall ride it for a week or so including doing the local BSA Owners Club chip shop run to Ashbourne on Wednesday night 28th June 2006. I somehow think I may keep it after all.

Riding this outfit brought me down to earth. I have a 1980 BMW R100 outfit with disc brakes and leading link forks. The JAWA reminded me that I had shoulder and leg muscles and that it was hard work pushing along an outfit at today’s modern traffic speeds. So – I raise my hat to the hard men and women who ride JAWA outfits.

Doe's Steve James have an outfit with a tree growing through it? Might be giving him a call as I do love 3 wheels.

By Pete Edwards

TIP  Tesco do a £2.99 (prices can vary) electric toothbrush which is great for polishing those hidden spaces!

Download the Jawa 638.5 road test article (1987) PDF icon (51KB)

ROTAX 500R (reprint) Download the full article below with pictures PDF icon (57KB)


At a recent club event a remark was made that I, as a club member had run a 500cc Rotax for longer than any other member. I suppose this is true as I've had my Rotax for 5-6 years, used as a longer distance and summer bike using the CZ 175 as a local and winter hack. The Rotax can be an absolute pig when it comes to starting. A change of the idle jet mixture can change to cold starting but then the hot starting suffers. I find that it is best to stall the bike on the choke then it starts a lot easier. My other hate of the Rotax is the clutch when the engine is hot in slow moving traffic the clutch grabs and snatches. This with the tendency for the engine to stall under these conditions makes for hard work sometimes. But, when I LOVE the Rotax is on A & B class roads. The bike loves changes in speeds, gears and overtaking. I suppose the top speed is about 95mph but it is happy at 80mph. The handling is good normally but fast bends 2 up can cause cork screwing. On this point the swinging arm bush has never been good even from 6 months old. Running costs - rear tyre every 3000 miles but the Barum lasted 4000. Rear chains - about 4000 miles I have tried heavy duty and cheap chains and found no difference. Petrol 45mpg hard or slow so I drive hard. Front disc pads ( I have the early type using the original drum to locate the disc) - good brake but beware one pad is fixed but the one against the piston is not. When it wears down it starts to move forward under braking. I replaced mine just in time - the back had worn so much it could have been discharged under heavy braking. Speedo drive - the Rotax engine has no drive, so it is taken off the front wheel - the drive is of mixed(?) origin and does not last long. Replacements are expensive - I have in the past adapted Tomos moped drives but they run 25% slower. Oil change - every 1500 miles. As the filters are so expensive I make the filter last 2 changes. I have also fitted an oil pressure light using the blanking screw on the filter cover (for peace of mind). Other expenses have been: Fractured rear petrol tank bracket (I believe through vibration) and fractured oil tank top bracket, both brazed by my local dealer. The only other expense has been rear chain guards. The fibreglass original was too long and fouls the front sprocket cover causing the chain guard to split. I have now fitted a chrome one off a Suzuki. Would I sell it? NO! but it is not an everyday bike. Tip when starting the Rotax: Always set engine to TDC or the valves might stick and cause starting difficulties - plenty of bangs in the exhaust though.

By Dave Widdowson

From the original file info this was dated march 1998. I believe that Dave has now disposed of the Rotax and retains his Model 11 for Club events.

Trail Riding Jawa / CZ Style Download the full article below with pictures PDF icon (81KB)

Living in Sheffield has some good points. As well as the world class sports facilities, shopping centres, arts and cultural facilities, there is also the Sheffield Tigers Speedway team who have just about won everything there is to win in speedway this year and we all know who make the best speedway bikes don’t we?

As if this wasn’t enough there is the beautiful Peak District national park on the door step. It has stunning scenery and it has to be appreciated as often as is possible. You could go for a long walk or visit some of it's wonderful and numerous attractions but I like to combine it with my passion for motorbikes. I could go for a ride on my Jawa 500R along it's pretty, winding country lanes but that doesn't give you the whole picture. Trail riding on the more remote tracks does. So with this in mind, myself and John Blackburn have been out on our bikes to take in some of the fantastic scenery and try out some of the trails. Testing both bikes and riders.

We met, one evening, at The Ladybower Inn at the start of The Snake Pass. John was on his CZ Enduro. A bike which has successfully taken him on many trails events. I was on my Jawa 500R which I have converted into a trail bike. The road along Snake Pass is great to ride and is well known. It is often used by bikers out for a thrilling ride and has some good bends and twists to test the best rider. We set off up the pass. About two miles down the road we turned left off the road and headed off up a trail which took us up Blackley Hey. The trail started off easily but rapidly deteriorated into a rocky trail, which was very difficult and tired us out very quickly. Over the last few years there has been a lot of erosion, probably as a result of the heavy rains, and this made going very tough. There were a lot of rocks and I was glad I had made a sump guard for my 500R. It was getting a thorough testing and I could hear it ringing every time something hit it.

By the time we got to the top we were ready for a break and we stopped by an old stone road marker at Hope Cross which showed the distances to Sheffield and Manchester. I took the opportunity to take a couple of photos. The view at the top was well worth it you could see clearly over the moors for some way. All the way up Hope Valley. We were soon back under way and carried on down the old roman road dropping down the side of Win Hill looking over Edale. On the top of the hill the trail had been much easier and was very pleasant but as we went down it the trail became rocky and rutted again.

We soon arrived at the other end of the trail. About three and a half miles. We hadn't seen any walkers the only people we had seen were other trail riders. We were now back on tarmac and I for one was glad for something a little easier to ride on and welcomed the rest it provided. We followed the road into Hope village and took the road out past the cement works. It was beginning to get darker so we decided to take a small trail then retire for the rest of the evening to the nearest watering hole.

We headed of up Pin Dale, which took us through some old quarry workings. This trail was only a half a mile long and shouldn't present us with any difficulties. Or so we thought. The going was rocky again but not as bad as before. I was leading and was making reasonable progress but the sump guard was taking some punishment again. Right at the end of the trail it was quite steep and had to be ridden very hard to get up the last hundred yards. It was on me before I knew it and I just went for it. Thankfully I made it up the steep itself in up to the frame incline without too much trouble. John was close behind but he hit a large rock and he had to stop. Ordinarily this wouldn't be a problem but the trail had been repaired with loose hard core and when he tried to set off again the back wheel just dug itself into the ground. We had to lift the bike out so it could grip and John was able to successfully ride up the very steep incline up the track.

The light was now fading fast so we headed into Castleton for some neck oil and a deserved rest. Both bikes had coped with everything we had asked of them. I had tried John's Enduro and found it felt more natural to ride than my converted 500R. But then again it is the proper tool for the job. My 500R has its limitations but the engine just pulls from nothing and this makes up for the chassis faults. Perhaps with some carefully thought out modifications I can improve on the feel of the bike off road. At the moment I'm not a good enough rider for this to give me many problems but I'm hoping to be able to get out into Derbyshire more next year to get more practice. I might even try to organise some trail riding weekends for anyone to try it out for them selves. It really is great fun and you don’t have to have the latest state of the art giant trail bike to enjoy yourself. In fact there are some trails which you quite easily go on with an ordinary road bike.

I thoroughly enjoy it and it’s a great way to see some country side you don't see from the tarmac. It just goes to show what our Jawa's and CZ's are capable of. See you on a remote trail some time!

By Ian Bridges - Sheffield.

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