A Jawa, if you can afford it

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Recently you bought a Jawa for the famous 'fart and three marbles'. That time is over.

That gain of ground for Jawa is justified. Because František Janeček was just as brilliant as Soïchiro Honda. A number of man's patents who studied at Delft University of Applied Sciences were later purchased by Honda. Most of his first 60 patents were for hand grenades and fire installations on cannons.

All bombs and grenades

But he wants to make his production less dependent on that branch of sport. He started making writing and sewing machines, and in 1926 he started making motorcycles. Those were Wanderers first improved by him and built under license. The first Jawas that were secretly developed in World War II, the 250 cc Perak and the 350 cc Ogar are at the start of our story. In their time they were staggeringly modern motorcycles. In the meantime, they are very sought after and firmly priced. Because prices up to 10.000 and e are firm. Yet?

The Jawa 360

The story of the Jawa 360 starts in 1962. In that year the Jawa 250 type 559 appeared. This was a modernized motorcycle in which, compared to its predecessor, the headlight was integrated into the upper part. This upper part also partly included the handlebar. The design of the speedometer was also new. The rear light was made of plastic and the buddy was now lockable. When one lifted the buddy one could reach both side storage compartments.


A serious middle class

But there was more than the 250 cc single-pitter. There were also the 350 cc twins. Those 350 cc'ers remained in production until 1975. But in 1975 they remained in the showrooms due to 'old-fashioned'. The Nippon era had begun. From 1954 to 1975, more than 1.4 million engines of these types have been sold to 120 countries around the world. The 350 (344) cc version delivered 16-18 hp at 4.000 rpm during its production and with an 120 top, such an 350 cc twin was a very serious machine.

In terms of sales, he lagged behind the 250 cc Jawas, certainly in the then Eastern Block countries. Because there he was priceless and here the 350 cc two-stroke with its characteristic 'Rengkedeng' exhaust sound when closing the gas was a serious, modern mid-sized car. A machine that you could be seen as a motorcyclist. The Jawas were easy to keep clean and friendly in maintenance. The chain was fully encapsulated and the combined kickstarter / shift pedal was a not to be underestimated novelty. The wear indicator on the front brake is also something thoughtful for a service bike.

The Jawa now

In the current era, such a serious 350 is somewhat endearing with the size of a big moped. . Starting an 350 cc two-stroke is not a witch's job, and after floating for a while the twin immediately spins nicely around. Do not expect any miracles when turning the gas. The kickstarter is folded back to the switch position. The link is fingertip light, the switching paths are long, but clear. Such a Jawa is certainly not an obstacle in traffic. The machine is doing fine in the city due to its smooth engine character and is pleasant company on the secondary roads. The only 'thing' of these motorcycles is the ignition installation. But today there are good and affordable alternatives for that. The Jawa in the photos is one that was adopted after he had been sleeping dry and suspended for at least ten years. He must have had a very good life, because he could have been in the front row in a showroom.


You paid ten years ago for an 350 cc topper between the 800-1000 euro. Now one 'in museum condition' is already being offered for 8.200 euros. But prices between the 4.000-5.000 euro are common for very nice specimens. Or that madness is at its best? Well, ask our directors. They call that 'market forces'. And we voted for them too.

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