c1959 Jawa 353 250cc Motorcycle
The JAWA story began in 1929 when Ing. Frantisek Janecek of the National Arms Factory in Prague first decided to manufacture motorcycles under licence from the German Wanderer concern, the name JAWA being a combination of the first two letters from both Janecek and Wanderer. Although considered reliable and well made, early JAWAs suffered from the high price and it wasn’t until the British designer George W Patchett joined the company in 1930 that the brand really found its feet and his designs also met with great success on the track. Patchett’s simpler, cheaper 175 model proved hugely popular from its debut in 1932, becoming a best seller until production ceased in 1946. Post-war, the Czech Auto Industry took over control of both JAWA and CZ and the mainstay of road bike production in the latter part of the 1950s and early 1960s were the Types 353 (250cc) and 354 (350cc) models, which proved so popular they remained in production in India and China for decades to come. First unveiled in 1953 and entering production the following year, the Type 353 was an air-cooled single design with a bore and stroke of 65mm by 70mm, a compression ratio of 6.25:1 and developing 12 horsepower. In February 1957 a major overhaul saw the 353 considerably modernized, with new suspension and a raised compression for more power and a higher top speed. Few JAWAs made their way from Europe to Australia in period and they remain a rare sight on our roads today, despite their popularity with collectors around the world.