Okay. You can say something about our 'system'. But – again viewed from here – you can just as easily say: 'The more easterly, the crazier'. And then we go far beyond the Achterhoek. We are going to what was once Czechoslovakia. There Jawas were made by craftsmen who were very good at making Jawas. But under the tutelage of the USSR's communist planned economy, the Jawa techies were only allowed to make boring & decent cheap two-wheeled transport.
The Czechoslovakians secretly invented the 500 cc OHV with a king-shaft driven camshaft. This came to the ears of the planning politicians and was banned. And that while the – at the time – Czechoslovaks were internationally top-skilled motorcycle manufacturers. But within the framework of the planned economy, civilian two-strokes had to be made. Until the piston-driven two-strokes were really past their sell-by date. But that mega production was there. Of these are driving and now a million+ in the former Soviet States and in…. India, where the Jawas were made under license. And guess what? Now Jawas are being made again. So in India…
The rumor: The copies made had to be destroyed
So they became, but only administratively. The narrowly framed political system was so rigid that with a bit of freedom of mind you could just shuffle between the regulations and the reality. After communism succumbed to its own rigidity, we soon found ourselves in places like Kladno. Fairs were held there where east and west met. They had the stuff (and the limited knowledge about 'the value'). We had money. Those were euros and we still had to get used to that. Many offerings were still priced in D Marken. That first visit to Kladno there were about four complete Jawa 500s for sale and quite a few parts to be found. Friends who had gone to Jawa's homeland had similar experiences. I think 1991 asking prices of € 5.000 for a completely restored Jawa ohc. They were not immediately sold for it.
The Jawa 500 OHC is a four-stroke, two-cylinder, air-cooled motorcycle,
Developed and produced between 1952 and 1958. The predecessor was already a Jawa 500 OHV. After the end of production of this four-stroke, Jawa has not mass-produced another four-stroke motorcycle with its own design. But that is now changing. There is now a delicious Jawa 300 cc, a heart-stopping retro look four-stroke that is made in ... India.
Unlike the “Perák”, this model was more aimed at sporty drivers.
The first prototype was produced around 1948. Another series from 1950-51 had a different front fork. Another oil tank and a Lucas magdynamo. The very first ones used the high PAL mag dynamo, the Bosch mag dynamo was also tested. Engines from 1952 had a battery ignition coil. The first series-produced type was the 15/00 from 1952, the so-called “Snail”, then the 15/01 and 15/02 types, with buddy seat, large drums and fenders with piping.
In the years 1955-1956 type 15/02 was produced
The king shaft drove the camshaft on type 00 with a spiral transmission, on types 01 and 02 it was a more durable bevel gear. Brakes were type 00 and 01 single sided drum, steel, type 02 all round, ribbed (large aluminum drums). Type 00 and 01 had a saddle, type 02 had a buddy. The Type 02 also had a higher engine power of 26 instead of 28 hp, an increased top speed from 135 to 147 km/h. The model was produced until 1958.
In total, approximately 7200 JAWA 500 OHC engines were produced, of which approximately 5000 were of the 15/02 type. We cover with the mantle of love that Jawa's masterpieces had weaknesses at the beginning of their existence. Justly.
Our Slovakian friend Lubo Hrivnak has collected a nice collection of Jawas. And his 500 is the masterpiece in that. And don't think that you will easily find these engines and/or the parts in the region where they were once made. These machines are now actively sought worldwide. And little found… The 500 in the snow WAS at Dutch Lion Motors
In this story we also mentioned the new Jawas. Is that allowed?
This site is free. We find that a bit unfortunate. But now at least we dare to ask something in return: What do you think of new motorcycles that look convincing, honest and stylishly classic? “Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!”.