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Pete Bradley's CZ-thingy
|Manufacturer||Česká zbrojovka Strakonice|
The Čezeta is a motor scooter that was originally manufactured from 1957 to 1964 in what was then Czechoslovakia, (now the Czech Republic), by the Česká zbrojovka Strakonice (ČZ) company, which manufactured motorcycles from 1935 to 1997.
Production resumed in 2017 with the introduction of a limited-edition electric-powered Type 506.
Types 501, 502 and 505
The original design of the Čezeta is unique amongst scooters. It is unusually long for a two-wheeled vehicle at 2 metres and has a distinctive torpedo-shaped body with full-length running boards and a long seat that lifted to reveal a substantial luggage compartment, using space that in most scooters is occupied by the fuel tank. This made the Čezeta ideal for two people and popular with young Czechs and their lovers. The front mudguard is fixed to the body and fully streamlined into the leg shields. The fuel tank is positioned above the front wheel, with the headlight fitted into a recess and a luggage rack on the flat top surface.
The scooter was originally powered by the 175cc ČZ two-stroke single-cylinder motorcycle engine, giving a top speed of 55 mph and economy of 3.2 litres/100km. The engine was modified for the enclosed scooter by having a drive pulley on the crankshaft driving a fan by means of a Vee belt. There were four foot-operated gears.
The original petrol versions were given type numbers that indicate their features. The first production started with Type 501, then with advancements like a starter motor a Type 502 was later released. The 501 model, built from 1957 to 1959, had the rear wheel supported on one side only and suspended by a rubber block. The later 502 model had a full fork with motorcycle shock absorbers. These types contain sub-types to further indicate their features, for example Type 502/00 is a 12V model with electric starter, and a Type 502/01 is a 6V model with foot-crank starting.
A three-wheeled utility version, the Type 505 (or 'rickshaw'), was built starting in 1960. This vehicle used mechanical components and front bodywork from the 502.
A popular sidecar was also produced, though in limited numbers – approximately 900 in total – by Drupol in Stiřín near Prague. This was sold as the 'Druzeta', the name coming as a combination of the two companies names.
In New Zealand a local company, JNZ Manufacturing Ltd assembled the 'Čezeta' under the name 'N-Zeta'. The point of New Zealand production was to avoid the duties placed on imported motor vehicles. Duty could be minimised by assembling locally, and using New Zealand parts wherever possible. The company apparently achieved 25% New Zealand manufacture by value, with tyres, seat, trim, lights, controls etc. and produced 4,000 scooters during the early 1960s.
The Czech company Čezeta Motors s.r.o. was launched in 2013 for the development of an electric Čezeta – called the 'Type 506' – by British expat Neil Eamonn Smith. He stated the company's mission was to "build the world's most desirable scooter".
The Type 506 was developed from 2013-2017. The bike was constructed with a steel and aluminium frame and composite bodyshell to save weight. Local engineering companies and CVUT university in Prague were partnered with to develop advanced technologies for throttles, battery, and ECU-CAN system.
The final production scooter honoured the classic iconic design and sported up to 11kW power and a 8.5kWh Panasonic battery to give it the best speed (120km/h) and range (200km) of any A1 scooter in the world.
Pre-orders began in March 2017, the 60th anniversary of Čezeta. On 15 September 2017, the Czech Ministry of Transport confirmed the homologation of the Type 506 as the country's first serial-production electric vehicle. Production began in April 2018 in Prostejov in the historic Wikov factory. It is planned to make 50 of the Type 506 yearly.
In Summer 2018 the company completed one of the Czech Republic's most successful crowdfunding campaigns, raising 20m Czech Crowns (approx 800,000 euro) in just 10 days. These funds financed the launching of production of the Type 506.
The company plans to start a project to build a modernised Čezeta 'Type 507' in 2020. Smith states that this will be aimed at a premium mass-market with a price to compete with Vespa's electric scooter.
- Gomola, Miroslav (2003). Motocykly ČZ aneb Strakonická Historie. Brno: AGM CZ. ISBN 9788085991253.
- "A beauty like no other". AA.co.nz. The New Zealand Automobile Association Inc. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
- Could the iconic N-Zeta scooter return with electric power?, Paul Owen, Stuff.Co.NZ, 09:51, Apr 25 2017, retrieved 19 October 2018
- "Čezeta získala investici 15 milionů přes crowdfunding, chce dalších pět milionů | Firmy a trhy". Lidovky.cz (in Czech). 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Čezeta scooters.|
- čezeta motors s.r.o. company website - www.cezeta.com
- čezeta type 506 review on BBC autos - www.bbc.com/autos/story/20151231-electric-power-for-an-icon-of-the-atomic-age