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. The subsequent merger with rival Czech firm CZ saw a period of rapid expansion and a diverse range of products arriving on the market. Jawa enjoyed a long association with racing, competing at the top level in everything from Grand Prix bikes to motocross and proved particularly successful in disciplines where the four-stroke still ruled, such as dirt track, ice and speedway. Jawa’s involvement with speedway dates back to the 1930s and is tied to that of another little known Czech company, ESO. Founded by racer Jaroslav Simandl in 1949, ESO began building copies of the JAP engine (called the S-45) for European speedway riders and soon began turning out complete bikes. With their trademark two-piece clip on handlebars, ESO soon eclipsed JAP on the track, proving easier to ride, cheaper to maintain and more reliable than their British counterparts. The list of Speedway World Champions who rode Jawa bikes includes the likes of Ivan Mauger, Barry Briggs and Ole Olsen. Absorbed into the Jawa Corporation in January 1964, the Czech machines dominated speedway racing for many years, becoming the most successful manufacturer in the sport’s long history. The original ESO factory in Divisov continued producing speedway bikes as a separate entity from Jawa’s road bike company after the privatization that took place in 1990s.
Classic 1970s Jawa speedway bike
Formerly owned by Ray Owen
Offered from a private collection
Formerly owned by Australian speedway champion Ray Owen, who won more than 70 State titles and 12 National titles in a career spanning more than 30 years, this Jawa speedway bike dates from c.1976 and features an original Jawa frame, two-valve all alloy 500cc single and a 36mm carburettor. The current owner, a noted enthusiast who bought the bike directly from Owen some time ago, has been unable to trace the Jawa’s race history and it has spent some years on display amongst various other bikes in his extensive collection. To be sold unregistered.
Note: Shannons advise that all potential buyers research and inspect motorcycles before purchase to authenticate originality and condition as a pre-purchase inspection report is not carried out on these vehicles.