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|Headquarters||Prague, Czech Republic|
|Key people||Frantisek Janeček|
JAWA Motokov is a motorcycle manufacturer based in Czech Republic. It was founded in Prague by František Janeček, who bought the motorcycle division of Wanderer in 1929. The name JAWA was established by concatenating the first letters of Janeček and Wanderer.
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Origins - 1929
František Janeček started the company after working several years in the armament industry. Although he didn't have any experience with motorcycles, he was familiar with production techniques. Janeček chose between the Austrian double piston two-stroke motor of Puch, the Berlin two-stroke of Schliha, and the new Wanderer 500 cc. Janeček chose the Wanderer. Because of the collapse of the German motor industry, Wanderer had already decided to stop the production. This is because they didn't think it would be profitable to directly compete with BMW. The first model was introduced on October 23, 1929. This was a 500 cc 4-cycle engine with 12 kW of power (18 hp) and fuel consumption of 6 liters per 100 km. Although priced highly, through the first years (and several constructional fixes) this motorcycle was successful and was considered reliable.
Due to the economic recession of the early 1930, a cheaper and simpler motorcycle was needed. Year 1932 marked the introduction of JAWA 175, with its 3.6 kW engine. This light (70 kg) machine was capable of speeds up to 80 km/h and fuel consumption of 3.5 liters per 100 km. The first year of production was an immediate success, selling over 3000 of the JAWA 175, almost three times the number of the 500 cc model over three years of production. The production of this model was finally stopped 1946. In 1938 JAWA was the first to offer test rides during exhibition show. This test motorcycle was a custom JAWA 175 equipped with dual handlebars, second pair being in the back for the instructor. Over the years total of 27,535 units of the JAWA 175 were built.
The company founder František Janeček died. Post-war production of JAWA 250/350 motorcycles restarted, and production of the JAWA 350 Ogar motorcycle began.
Motorcycles produced in the 1950s include the 500 OHC, 250/350 (Model 353/354), and the 50 Pionyr and Jawetta mopeds.
- Amalgamation with ESO in production of JAWA speedway motorcycles
- Closure of JAWA plant in Prague – Pankrac
- Production of millionth JAWA brand motorcycle
- Start of production in new plant at Tynec nad Sazavou
- Start of production of JAWA 350 Automatic motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 350 Californian motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 250/350 UR motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 350 Bizon motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 350 model 634 motorcycles
- Production of two millionth JAWA brand motorcycle
- Start of production of JAWA 350 model 638 motorcycles
- Production of three millionth JAWA brand motorcycle
- Start of production of JAWA 350 model 640 motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 250 model 593 motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 50 model 585, 586 motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 125 Travel motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 125 Dandy motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 100 model 587 motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 650 model 836 motorcycles
- Start of production of JAWA 650 Classic motorcycles
- Foundation JMT Alliance (Jawa, Motoscoot, TMEC)
In 1934 JAWA introduced its first car, the JAWA 700, which was DKW-based. In 1937, the modified JAWA 600 Minor was introduced. Production continued in limited numbers throughout WWII, and some were assembled in the immediate postwar period.
JAWA in India
JAWA motorcycles were introduced in India in 1960 and they have a cult following to this present day. Production was carried out directly in India by Ideal Jawa India Ltd based out of Mysore. The JAWA 353/04 designated as 'A' Type, Yezdi 250 'B' Type, Jawa 350 type 634 Twin and Yezdi 250 Monarch models are driven to this day in various parts of the country. JAWA and Yezdi bikes, especially the ones with fuel tank paddings and ignition systems on the fuel tank are now collectors items. The company stopped production in 1996.
Historically JAWA had been very active in racing, and by far the most active East-European manufacturers in mechanical sports. In track racing JAWA sustained a presence in the World Championship until the mid-sixties with respectable performances considering their limited budget. In Motocross the firm built an impressive palmares before its four-stroke engines became superseded by two-stroke engines. In speedway racing, dirt track racing and ice racing where four-stroke engines were still at an advantage, the firm remained a dominant force. The separate factory where these competition motorcycles were built became a separate company following the privatizations of the 1990s with the fall of Socialism.
Following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the dismantling of the socialist block, the Jawa consumer motorcycles and the Speedway competition bikes were divided into separate companies. JAWA Speedway bikes are still successful, while the Jawa company has struggled. As of 2006 the JAWA mostly produce copies of Honda 250 cc, 125 cc and 50 cc motorcycles and large bike with a 650 cc Rotax engine. (This engine can be also found in BMW F650 series) The iconic 350 cc two-stroke twin, mechanically unchanged since the 1960s but very reliable, is virtually moribund, while the 250 cc twin-port two-stroke single is no longer available.
The large bike with 650 cc Rotax engine comes in three different variations. JAWA 650 classic is a retro bike with classic proportions. JAWA 650 Style is aimed for city streets and finally JAWA 650 Dakar is a full-scale enduro bike similar to Honda XL Transalp.
- "About Jawa - Foundation of JAWA company and JMT alliance". Motoscoot Co.Ltd. Retrieved 2010-03-12.[dead link]
- "New Czech Car Is Built", August 1946, Popular Science drawing of unique features of Minor automobile
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