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Back from the past: the Jawa 360 (and the 559)

Jawa 360
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The time when people don't want to be seen dead on a Jawa is over. Driving Jawa is pure nostalgia. And certainly not cheap anymore.

That gain of ground for Jawa is justified

Because František Janeček was just as brilliant as Soïchiro Honda. Or more brilliant. A number of the patents of men who studied at the Hogeschool Delft were later purchased by Honda. For example, in September 1959, Jawa filed a patent for automatic acceleration applied to motorcycles. This application attracted attention from designers around the world. Honda, which at that time only made light motorcycles, entered into negotiations with Jawa about a license agreement. The application it got was on the successful Honda 50 cc step model and later the 70 cc and 90 cc Cub models. And those are again the most produced motorcycles of all time.

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.


A serious middle class

The 350 cc'ers were called from 1964 type 360 and had also undergone their changes. They remained in production until 1975 and thereby prove their reliability and durability. But in 1975 they remained in the showrooms due to 'old-fashioned'. The Nippon era was settled after all. 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.

Jawa, a modern motorcycle

Here, the 350 cc two-stroke with its characteristic 'Rengkedeng' exhaust sound when closing the gas was a serious, modern mid-sized car. 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.

Jawa now

In the current era, such a serious 350 is somewhat endearing with the size of a big moped. Of course it plays in me that the average length of our fellow Europeans at the time was 165 cm rather than 185 cm. 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. And he still accelerates quite quickly.

Prices

For a topper you paid ten years ago between the 800-1000 euro. Now prices between the up to 3500 euros are realistic for very nice ones.

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