This YouTube clip http://www.youtube.com/ originates from Anders Österberg on the "Jawachat" site. It shows a contemporary 350cc 640 model reconfigured by the JAWA dealer in Moscow in the manner of a 1950s/60s model 354 "Kývačka", the one that featured two rear shock absorbers for the first time. A real retro JAWA! And the test rider seemed to have had a lot of fun riding it, until he fell off at the very end.
Then we have these photos here http://www.jawamoscow.ru/ from the site of the Jawa Moto-Club Moscow. See photo #2 for a really good still photo of the retro job. Don't know when it was taken, but by the look of the couple in the background it sure as hell wasn't in any recent Moscow weather.
Would you like one? I mean, I really wouldn't mind one myself. Only thing is ... the price is 350,000 roubles. That translates as euro €8,732. Or US$11, 343. Or sterling £7,447. Hmm ... don't think there'd be many takers here for this machine at those prices, delightful though it is. But they were reportedly making only ten of them anyway, so it hardly signifies.
A personal note: why don't the Works turn out a Nový Pérák on the style of the original post-war models, one that uses the Yamaha/Minarelli 660cc engine? One with an adjustable saddle height, for instance? For guys with short legs, like someone I could name? Here http://www.autogallery.org is a small photo of the original Pérák. An absolutely timeless style that would work every bit as well now as it did in 1945/46 and onward.
Friday 26th to Sunday 28 April, 2013
River Valley Caravan Park, Redcross, Co. Wicklow.
Phone: Ireland: 0404 41647 Int:00 353 404 41647
Rally shirts are ready, hats are in discussion. Prizes will be collected this week. Stickers are to be ordered. It ain't long now folks.
Camping is €12 per night for an adult and a tent, extra adults are €6!
Mobile homes, €200 for the two nights, must be a minimum of 4 in each and no more than 6 in total, homes have three bedrooms with four singles and one double! Mobiles must be pre booked. It will be the first Rally of the year for many of us, the weather was dry but cool last year. Mobiles offer the chance for a bit of comfort for those of us who love ourselves a little bit. All bookings should be made through River Valley.
For a map check out the Events page.
Some light viewing to help pass the hard winters evenings.
In response to the Editors plea for Jawa not to abandon the 250 class, I would make the following observations.
The 1930’s were perhaps the halcyon days of motorcycling, with legions of manufacturers making diverse types of machinery in a variety of capacities. Motorcycling was for the masses to commute from rural communities to the industries of the towns and cities, and, often with a large double adult sidecar attached, weekend family adventures to the seaside.
In my early teens, in every street there seemed be BSAs, Triumphs, Norton’s, Ariels, AJSs and 650 Panthers, all hitched to enormous sidecars. In fact, not far away up the hill a V4 Matchless outfit used to reside! The budding young learner motorcyclist of the day, was confronted with one of two choices. Ride a solo of up to 250 cc or an outfit of any capacity! So when Dad got a company car, I got to inherit his 9 year old BSA Bantam 150. School classmate Jonathan Pearce however, went the other route and ended up with a Triumph Thunderbird 650 and the remnants of a sidecar tubular chassis, on which was tied, a shortened builders plank! On this particular contraption we learned manoeuvres at junctions and 90 degree bends that, much later, even German outfit racer ’Siggy’ Siegfried Schauzu otherwise known as ‘Sideways Sid’ fame would have been proud of!
Just out of school, economy was of paramount importance, with many mid range capacity machines being capable of 80+ mpg. Then came along first factory 250 cc machines capable of 100 mph, in the guise of Ducati’s and Royal Enfield’s, and not after, the authorities restricted learners to 125 cc, plank or not! As cars became affordable, and with young ladies not wishing to crush their new hairstyles under a crash-hat, motorcycling was heading towards a different leisure market. After passing your test on a small capacity machine, the next ‘grace of passage’ was invariably to a crotch rocket, where a rider could perhaps, at least, look cool, like his hero’s from the race track? Even modern mid range capacity all round machines (often derived from a crotch rockets,) would frequently return not much more than 40 mpg, a figure easily achieved today by many cars. So with the advent of the hike in fuel prices (largely driven by taxation) where do we find ourselves today?
Should we perhaps be embracing a Jawa 250 capable of say motorway bursts of 120 kph and/or 140 mpg (50 kilometres per litre)? Then you might say, comfort (or at least dryness) is of paramount importance? So apart from beating traffic congestion, why would one wish to brave the worst of the weather, when travelling in a modern diesel car will return 80+ mpg is an option? Gazing at two Jerry cans, one full of diesel and the other of petrol, there can be no doubting the fact that for vehicles of comparable power output, the can of diesel will take you further (assuming of course that you don’t mix the cans around)! I should perhaps qualify the earlier statement by adding that whilst many cars now claim amazing economy, there is now a Smart car fitted with a Mercedes derived three cylinder 800 cc diesel engine which delivers! So, just perhaps, I hear you say, in a world of fuel poverty, what are the merits of diesel powered motorcycles? There have been of course a number of attempts to do this previously. The one that comes immediately to mind is the Enfield Robin featuring a 400 cc diesel water pump engine mated to an otherwise standard Indian Enfield Bullet gearbox and cycle parts. A number of these were built and sold a few years back. The three gallon tank gave a range of 750 miles with a top speed of 55 mph (Honda 90 performance territory) Then I heard that US military strategists were working on a single battlefield fuel initiative and that the 350 cc Rotax powered Harley badged machines would be phased out in favour of a Kawasaki KLR based diesel single. I didn’t follow this up until researching this article, and discovered that a 670 cc machine had in fact been built, but, this machine was not likely to come on the public market by virtue of cost.
Then up on the ‘Net’ popped the TRACK 800. As I don’t buy motorcycling mags anymore, this revelation had completely passed me by! With big scooter twist and go transmission and powered by the aforementioned 800 cc Smart car diesel triple, here was a machine that allegedly could ‘out-drag’ a BMW GS away from the lights up to 70 mph! This is what comparatively huge gobs of torque do for you, at only 1800 RPM. 45 bhp, 100mph and up to a quoted 140 mpg and a likely engine life of 250,000 miles is perhaps a step in the right direction, if in the long term you do not want an electric motocycle?
In the fuel poverty stakes however it is in the ‘solar panel’ economic pay back league retailing at 16000 sterling! (One wit has already speculated on the chances of being stopped on a bike when using green diesel)! But there again, this Dutch built machine has been targeted squarely at BMW customers who have purchased 75% of the bikes built so far, and if I was still doing my 30,000 mile annual motorcycling commute, it would warrant serious consideration. (I can still however envisage mating this engine from a scrap-yard donor vehicle, to a BMW gearbox etc. and throwing this into a Douglas Dragonfly type rolling chassis! Regrettably, though, I already have more than a lifetime of projects remaining!)
Now back to Jawa and the market place....... Jawa and MZ historically have shared many virtues and formally have led the world in 2 stroke design. Some spectacular racing machinery has resulted, witness the Jawa 350-4. Prior to its most recent incarnation, MZ engineered some very quality 4 stroke machinery. Their Swiss engine designed 1000 sportster is a case in point. Poor marketing strategy meant that no one got to know that motor was originally designed for a supercharger and 170 bhp. Attempting to sell such a 180 degree crank twin engine to an audience expecting it to ride like an old 360 degree twin or a big four, without some education is, in my opinion, lamentable. Even so, 3000 units were retailed (mainly in Germany) before the money ran out. A Jawa 1000 prototype powered by a parallel twin has been seen chugging around the Checz Rep, seemingly in a Harley-esque sort of way. We know that the Minarelli built XT derived engine is fitted to the Jawa 660 Sportard, so is the new engine also from the Yamaha stable? Perhaps a variant of the stalwart TDM? With Jawa’s recent range of excellent 4 stroke machines being sold in 100s rather than 1000s, we should perhaps view the operation as being comparable with the modern day Norton operation in terms of volumes. So are Jawa targeting a Harley or perhaps a Guzzi type of customer with the 1000? How many units will they manufacture?
I still believe that there is a market for a distinctive 85-100 mph Jawa 250 with a 100 mpg potential. Jawa was conspicuous by its absence from the RDS Motorcycle Show in 2013 which was a big disappointment. Without decent factory marketing and support for dealers, Jawa are risking future sales and business success by repeating the mistakes of other manufacturers
He's a glutton for "punishment", that there 'Compo'. Yet another cold Monday morning, this time in February, and he's wanting, yet again, to mount his machine, affectionately known as "J.L.", and blast off towards the horizon..... well, perhaps "the horizon" is a bit of an exageration. "I just want to get a few more miles on the clock, and 'she' can go in for her first big service, and then I can really let 'her' rrrriiippppp !!", said Compo. He had already got "J.L." ticking over and warming up whilst I was still checking the Jawa's bits and pieces, and readying it for the off. Eventually, fully garbed, and astride the Jawa, I asked the big question.... "where do you want to go, then ?" Compo answered with a simple 'shrug' of the shoulders, indicating that he had no idea. "Follow me then." I shouted, as I dropped the 'Classic' into 'first' and eased the clutch home, feeling the eager urge of the machine to be away.
I mentally planned a suitable route for our little run, keeping the two machines on relatively quiet roads with little traffic. Being a rider of advancing years, so to speak, the 'stress' incumbent with riding on motorways and fast dual carriagways, is something I avoid whenever possible. I've spent most of my life, working and otherwise, traversing the roads of Britain, in a variety of vehicles from a little CZ to an 80 tonne 'CAT 2' articulater, and most things inbetween, and whilste I've seen lots of idiotic maneouvers being carried out over the years, there's still some things and drivers out there still able to surprise !! Compo's mount also had to be considered, it being, though quite sporty, was still a 125 with less than a thousand K's in the clock.
As the two machines climbed onto 'Mapperley tops', the idea of a run out into the Vale of Belvoir came to mind. The weather was dry and bright, but a little on the cold side, and 'The Vale' wouldn't be too far, and we could be back before the day's sunshine left us, especially now that the nights are drawing out, and on a good day, it was 5.00 pm before the light deminished....With the aforementioned weight of traffic being considered, I chose the drop into Woodborough, via Bank Hill. This sleepy little village was quiet, as was to be expected, and the pair of machines slipped through without raising a single eye brow. A few more minutes saw us turning onto the A.6097, and heading towards Bingham. Navigate the traffic island at Lowdham, head for the railway bridge, and whoa !! A long line of standing traffic stood before us. Luckily, access to the 'old' road was open, so a left turn took us back into the village, and a closed railway level crossing. We'd no sooner put a foot down,at the closed barrier, when a two-carriage 'local' thundered through. The barriers opened, and we were moving again.
Forget Belvoir, I thought to myself, lets have a look at Southwell. At a steady 45 - ish, we plod on for Southwell, and pretty soon we are turning right at the Saracen's Head, and riding past the famous Minster. Parked cars are always a problem on this stretch of road, and today is no problem. Parking is so bad around here, that even a couple of 'solos' need have to carefully pick their way forward. Soon enough, we've passed the race course entrance and the 'workhouse museum', and we're heading onto clearer road with some lovely bends to enjoy. The day was getting colder by the mile, but when you've got roads like this to enjoy, and you're astride a relaxing pleasant machine, you tend not to notice.... providing you have taken the precaution of dressing suitably. Unfortunately, 'Compo' had ommitted to wear any over trousers, and this was the cause of some heat loss to him !!
Still, this was unknown to me, and there seemed to be no complaint from the rider following me. We eventually joined the A.617 and we headed towards Newark. Just before Kelham, there is a lay-by which sports a mobile refreshment cabin. I pulled in, and asked 'Compo' if he fancied a hot coffee ? "Dead right, I do," answered Compo, in a cold and shakey voice. He rolled himself a cigarette while I ordered the two coffees. The chap behind the counter said, "Bit cold for bikes, aint it lads ?" I agreed, but you've got to blow the cobwebbs away, now and again, I told him.
I returned to my shivering companion, who was struggling to find his lips with his cigarette. "You alright, ?" I asked him. "Just give me that coffee, and let me get warmed up." said 'Compo'. So here we were, just a stones throw from Kelham Hall, (now the offices of the local council, but before that, was a monestary.) and in view of the Newark sugar beet factory, emitting its clouds of steam into the cold air. "Shall we run over to Wellow, and have a look at the 'May Pole' from here ?" I asked 'Compo'. He declined my offer, asking me if I didn't find it a little cold.. Of course, it was getting close to 3.00 pm by now and the sun was getting lower, so we decided on a retrace of our steps. With the coffee gone, we turned our wheels back into the direction of Southwell, and beyond, looking forward to a proper 'warm up', and another cup of coffee.
Not a long run out, I give you, but it was almost three hours in the fresh country air, and about 45 miles nearer to the "big service" for the little 125. Then again, even with no particular place to go, you can still enjoy a bike.
Till the next time, Wally and Compo
The French author, Marcel Proust, in his famous novel - “A la Recherche Du Temps Perdu” (Remembrance of Times Past) deals with the triggering of memories by certain sensory experiences such as sights, sounds and smells, without the conscious effort of remembering. In Proust’s case the trigger was the taste of a French sponge cake known as a “Madeline”.
A recent visit to the” Irish Motorcycle and Scooter Show” in the RDS had a somewhat similar effect on me. Looking around the auditorium, one could not help but notice the age profile of the visitors to the show. The “greys” have taken over the motorcycling world. Everybody there appeared to be aged in the late forties and upwards. The motorcycles on display resembled, in the main, the motorcyclists milling around them – carrying too much weight and grown in size over the years. I began to wonder why machines had gotten so big and heavy. In motorcycle racing terms, the “senior” was, in days not long gone, for machines of 500cc capacity and the “junior” for 350cc machines. Today the senior class is 1000cc machines and the junior class is made up of 600cc machines. Racing using the lower capacities was certainly not as fast but no less exciting.
Thinking back to my motorcycling heyday during the late sixties and on into the seventies, there was a vast choice of light, smaller capacity machine available to the novice and more experienced rider to enjoy. There were 50cc, 80cc, 100cc, 125 cc, 175cc, 200cc, 250cc, 350cc machines to choose from with both four stroke and two stroke motors.
Along the way the larger capacity motorcycle took over and smaller machines all but disappeared. Looking at the displays from the major manufacturers at the show it is obvious that they still focus the majority of their efforts on the larger capacity machines. In my opinion, manufacturers need to make a wider choice of smaller, lighter and less expensive machines available to tempt youth back to motorcycling.
We live in very hard times. I must say that in spite of these hard times the major motorcycle manufacturers put on very good effort for the motorcycle show and their stands and the other displays were a credit to the industry. I do see signs that the penny may be dropping or have dropped and a wider range of smaller more interesting, less expensive, less intimidating machines are emerging. The 250cc/300ccc class is becoming stronger with machine like the new Kawasaki Ninja 300cc (taking over from their very successful 250cc version) and the new and perhaps more everyday focused Suzuki Iazuma 250cc. Soon our esteemed editor may not be the only man in Ireland riding a “real world” 250cc machine!!! Honda are reviving the 500cc class with three new and sensitively priced machines that look like they will make very good everyday riding machines. Perhaps balance may be restored to the motorcycling world and economical, reasonably priced, light- weight machines that are also fun to ride may again take their place among our ranks.
These musings are subjective in nature and I do not purport them to be objective. They may however strike a chord with some of our members. We are, after all, the remaining champions of the 350cc two stroke class!!
I’d heard that my local D*NN*S store was selling off thick winter socks at 1 euro for two pairs, so I set off and purchased the last twelve pairs of size 11-13. Just perfect for this summer’s riding, and just maybe, a raffle prize at Redcross? Out of curiosity, and with an overwhelming sense of humanity, I wandered down the alcohol isle to see if any beers needed rescuing from the shelves! Two different bottles that hadn’t featured previously, caught my eye, and slipped their way into the basket to accompany the naan bread and the vitamin pills.
Now, it was the day of the Ireland France match. Seemingly, the rain was tippling down at the Aviva, but out in the West, the only cloud on the horizon centred around my French model! She had been more vocal of late (and aren’t they all?) in the rear suspender department, and a previous tactile examination of her rear leg had revealed a broken spring!
Being March, there was no risk of Clotworthy Dobbin of getting overheated so I let him out in the garden to get acclimatized in the sunshine! “CD” would be my reward for the mechanical endeavours ahead!
Not long after, a few yards away, “Madam Peug**t’s” rear end was unceremoniously hoisted in the air and secured on axle stands. With the wheel first removed, there was the intrepid writer, flat on his back on the cold drive, wrestling with the offending strut!
Now, any mere mortal (who is not double jointed) who has worked on French cars previously, will immediately sympathize. Anyhow, with persistence, that ‘Eureka’ moment eventually arrived with the hidden top eye bolt safely clattering to the ground! With the strut removed, dissembled, reassembled complete with new spring, and refitted, it was definitely time to road test Dobbin!
Now, what’s in a name? Contrary to my initial perceptions, Clotworthy Dobbin has no equine connection whatsoever! Mentally, I just had this picture, of an old nag trotting around the rural back-roads of Somerset. Just how wrong could I be? The label on the bottle tells the following story.
“Clotworthy Dobbin was an accomplished Belfast Brewer making the finest of ales back in the early 1800’s. Clotworthy’s tradition continues today in the heart of Ireland’s Mountains of Mourne at the Whitewater Brewery. Made using only the finest ingredients, water from the Mountains of Mourne and yeast from the Old Belfast Brewery itself, this wonderful russet coloured ale, with its signature fruity aroma would surely be worthy of Clotworthy himself.”
Well, upon removing the top, a warm fruity/caramel aroma is self evident. When I gently poured one third of the contents of the bottle into a one pint straight glass, I was however, surprised how quickly the head went flat. The initial taste was like a subtle hint of old style cough sweet and brown ale, with a present lingering hoppy after-taste, which got stronger the longer it remained on the palette.
On reflection, an altogether pleasant beer, and more good news, the remaining two thirds when poured, kept its head nicely. It was like a Rudyard Kipling moment, “If you can keep your head when all around are losing theirs, and blaming it on you.” Score? Seven and a half out of ten. Would I try one again? Definitely.
Now I must rush, as the ‘Salthill’ (by the Wolfe Tone Bridge) has just put on its last cask of ‘Buried at Sea’.
More on that, shipmates, another time.! The Duke
We are returning to Redcross again this year. Dates 26th to 28 April. Details on the events page.
Due to its late submission, details that the annual Pewsey weekend camp is to take place after all, missed being in the latest TORQUE. For details go to http://www.jawaczownersclub.co.uk/
Garrison will be the last weekend in May (Fri 24th - Sun26th). Its 25 consecutive years for this event so a quality do!
Hope to see you there. Lorraine