Friday 25 April was a nice day. I’d removed the fairing lowers from my Skorpion Traveller (I’m slowly converting it to an unfaired Tour model), fitted
my new no-name Chinese GPS, and set off for Redcross. From my place in Bray it was all of 45 kms, and something less than an hour, distant.
The River Valley Holiday Park in Redcross is a very good venue. There I found Jim & Catherine Walsh (MZ 500 Country), Bill & Netty Brugman (MZ 500 Saxon),
Pavel the JAWA importer with son Robbie and daughter Violka (all in/on JAWA 650 Style & Velorex chair). Over the next few hours Mick Doran (JAWA 250 Travel),
Brian Moore (BMW R60), and Martin Tuček (Honda 750 Africa Twin) arrived. One conversation led to many others, and we found ourselves in the on-site pub
for a meal and some very good craft beers.
Next day was the runout. I sat this one out as I usually do, and wasn’t sorry. The Saturday was wetter than average, which in Ireland is saying
something. The rain became so bad that the run was cut short, and the gang returned to the site. As so often happens, the rain eased up shortly after they
returned. By this time Jana had turned up, so Pavel and Robbie left her and Violka together, and the two gentlemen and I sat around inside my microcottage
and talked of this and that for an hour or so. Then Ivan Čech came along on a company BMW R nine T. This is a factory stripdown 1170cc flat twin, looks
really intriguing. Minimalist it may be, but the price - €16,000-odd – isn’t.
Later in the evening Mick presented the awards (which Ger Duhig had generously donated). Robbie and Violka were awarded the Jelly award for best behaved.
The distance award went to Bill & Netty Brugman, with the understanding that it would go on Nettys side of the bed. Best Non-JAWA/ČZ jointly to Jim’s MZ
500 Country and the MZ Skorpion belonging to, er ... me. The award for Spirit of the Rally went to Catherine Walsh. Best JAWA went to Mick’s own Travelka,
(there waws some lively debate on this i can tell you).
Then we spent the rest of the evening (and the night and some of the early morning hours, if you want to be pedantic) having a big meal and quite a few
more craft beers. Frank Swords and Josephine came along to the pub, to join us. Gerry Quigley arrived with guitar in hand to liven up our night.
The next day after a lenghty breakfast and discussion on the weekend we folded our tents, those who had them, paid our bills, and off home again. There
wasn’t a huge attendance this time, weather in part to blame for that, but it had the advantage that we could all get to talk to our friends. Mick, Brian
and I travelled home together as far as Bray. It was good to have seen the gang once again.
Many of you will have known Ian Walsh, the elder son of our long-time friends Jim and Catherine Walsh. Ian died on 9 April when the truck in which he
was a passenger came off the road near Clonmel, Co Tipperary. He and the truck driver both died in the wreck.
Ian was buried at Ballylaneen Church graveyard on 12 April in the presence of a very large congregation, some of whom had travelled from the UK.
I remember at the Glengarriff weekend in 2011, I had halted on my Skorpion to let Ian and Olivia’s car go by on the way out of the campsite. I’d put my
foot down to balance, only to find there was nothing but air underneath. The Skorp fell slowly over and spat me off. Ian was out of his car in an instant,
and I’d swear he picked up the Skorpion with one hand and shook it for misbehaving. He was one very strong young man.
Many years ago, Ian made me a clutch puller tool for the TS and ETZ series MZs. This tool was just like the factory version, only better finished. I
used it most recently some months ago to pull the clutch on Peter Redmond’s engine. As might have been expected from something Ian had made, it did the job
Ian is survived by his widow Olivia and toddler twin sons of little more than a year old, and also by his parents Jim and Catherine and his brother
To all of which we send our condolences. May Ian rest in peace.
A very enjoyable weekend in Redcross. Thanks mucho ! A black car that got between you and Brian on one hand and myself on the other stuck ahead of me
till we got on to Bray's Boghall Road. At that point it was still crawling, so when I found a straight section I blew it away. Not a thing I do very
Suman Kumar Next week i am going to ny... with my entire family and bike..so can i find any one if my bike need some service.
Depends on who is paying the plane fare?
do u have idea how to increase milage of my bike..currently it is giving 35 km per leter
Hi Lads, hope you had a great weekend at the Rally and the weather is good.
Devistated I an not make it but I hope it all goes well for you and ride safely. Please express my apologies to all for missing this.
Thank you for your kind invitation to the JAWA Redcross Rally, but I am putting in a new sewerage system and must dig, dig, and just dig!
Another year! I hope you all have a good time and most importantly the weather-erm-is ok!
Hope all is well with you and very best of luck with the Rally. I am working a full day on Saturday and unfortunately will not be able to join you.
It seems an age since I last saw the Jawa boys(and gals) at the Christmas party - Winters seem to be getting longer!
Ever since I was a nipper, I’d always been intrigued by the sort of people who’d get into a financial dispute with some company or individual, and
who’d loudly insist in the resulting dogfight, “It’s not about the money, it’s the principle!” I never believed them back then, and I still
don’t. For me in such matters, it’s ALWAYS about the money.
Which leads me to my nomination for Bad Guy Company of the year to date. Enter British Racer, www.britishracer.com,
based at Teramo in Italy. On 11 March I ordered some clever-looking polished-alloy headlamp brackets from them, total including postage some 60 euros.
I’m still waiting for them. I’ve sent the company various nasty e-mail messages -- some very, very nasty indeed – yet no replies. All I can do now is
try to get my money back from this gang of – well, I scarcely know what I should term them in a family magazine. (And no, I didn’t pay via PayPal, worse
luck.) On British Racer’s website, my order is still “being processed”. Oh sure an’ begob it is. Yeah, right.
I’m not the only one with a gripe on this company. On the www.triumphrat.net site, I see a bunch of people
complaining about 30-60 day waiting periods (I’ve handily beaten that) and no communications. Make up your own minds on this one, but for me British
Racer is one company to whom I’ll never, EVER send money again./p>
And now for the Good Guy ...First ...Feeling whacked out by the British Racer saga, I checked the internet to
see if there were a headlamp bracket supplier closer at hand. Found one immediately, Monty’s Classic Motorcycles of Tavistock in
Devon,http://montysbritishclassicmotorcycles.com/. Ordered the brackets from their
eBay shop, exactly the same shiny alloy Taiwanese brackets as had been on show by British Racer, but much less expensive. Had them here in Bray within a
week. First-rate service.
Second ...Then I needed a few metric-fine M10 screws for the shiny chrome Taiwanese replacement 7-inch headlamp I’d bought from my neighbours
Bray Honda Center(http://www.brayhondacenter.com/) for the Skorpion.
This headlamp is (for whatever reason) internally threaded at M10 X 1.25mm, and if it hadn’t been I wouldn’t have been looking for anything in the obscure
metric-fine! Nobody local in Bray had these screws. Eventually found BoltBase eBay shop in Alloa in Scotland
(http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/boltbase/m.html), quite ready to sell stainless fasteners in very small quantities. In spite of my gloriously messing up
the order, they supplied me with the necessary items very quickly.
Just to cheer your up, i write about new experiences under warm skies in the Land of Jawa. Since I moved here twelve years ago, I am surprised -still-
by how much fun you can have in a country free of Eurobeaucracy or currency. Make no mistake -this IS the cheapest country in Europe in which to live, and
it;s good fun too.
I drive a very high mileage Citroen, and discovered the owner of the service garage was once a European Hill-climb Champion-in fact there are so many
cups in his waiting area it's almost impossible to ignore his skill behind the wheel. We got talking and he offered me a go in an Opel Kadett GTI historic
racing car-all I'd have to pay would be the track entry fees-about £50-2600CZK. I thanked him and arranged to pick up the car on a Thursday. When I turned
up, the Opel was exploding-big bangs, lotsa smoke-in his workshop-and he told me that I'd be driving a Peugeot GTI instead. which was fine. I got a mate to
drive it and together we drove the following day to Most an industrial town near the border with Germany. By then we knew the Peugeot could do a ton no
We found an excellent hotel for £20 each and signed on at the Autodrom. Cars were screaming round and we were keen to have a go next day. Next morning
we got our introduction to car racing-I expect you are wondering what this is doing in a Jawa magazine? Patience! All will be revealed. We both had a
couple of practice laps-the lap record was 1 minute 50 secs-we were around 1 minute 58 seconds -but were last! The Historic Class are no less competitive
than their more rapid comrades in Modern and Racing classes.
We tried hard, I spun off , but failed to get in the finals. A terrific week end -and I was completely thrilled -at 69 there isn't a lot that can do
that! My mate was 75 and agreed -it was a hoot!
Then a few weeks later a Czech biking friend invited me to a hill climb locally which he was running in his village, about ten miles from mine. I had
told him that just for the hell of it I had converted one of my ex-holiday Jawa 350's into a racer-well franky much like my "hire racer"-a stripped out
bike with a pretty standard engine. I'd read about a French chap who raced one in his village and got carried away with the idea.
The 1st May was a fine day with rain forecast sometime, so I took waterproofs and set off on the "racer" for "Angel's Steps where the event was to be
run. I was so early when my friend Petr turned up he gave me number two as my racing number. Number one was reserved for the chap who had a huge
collection of bikes funded by a successful bedding factory in the same village.The local squire no less.
The next bike-no.3 -was a Honda six cylinder monster driven by a HUGE chap, and a Squariel, a Rudge Special, a Sunbeam S8 (once mine) and a BMW 600 also
appeared before all the snarling two strokes arrived and a couple of fairly modern Jap bikes-well about 20 years old maybe.
I was told to lie about the age of my bike as it was actually first registered in 1991, but I didnt. When the multitude had finally all assembled, we
moved to a road alongside the motorway I was obliged to use to actually get there. The motorway had made this road-Angel's Steps -because it ascended in a
series of swoops-redundant, and grass grew along it's centre and the surface each side was a bit leafy due to non-use by motor traffic.
We assembled for breakfast-beer and sausages-before getting down to hill climbing. My bike, I had by now realised, was the only bike modified in any
way at all, but I was able to say truthfully that it was all Jawa and standard in terms of engine power. I had tried to save weight though. Nearly
everything was normal kit for a roadbike except drops and a siamese exhaust cos they looked nice.
Being number two I was on very quickly without any chance to watch anyone else cope with the hill. The Squire ahead of me had chuntered up on his
vintage Peugeot taking well over a minute to return to the "Bistro" I was keen to see how my old heap would do so gave it the beans-flat out in first
second, 4000 in third and -could I get it into top.? Yes-eventually-despite running ATF in the clutch/gearbox, but revs had been lost and I cantered in
after 47 seconds.
The huge bloke and his Honda took 36 seconds, I discovered. Even if all went better I was not going to make up 11 seconds, but I was surprised-and
cheered to discover that most riders did not go flat out-and this was no criticism- so on the second go I improved to 44 seconds. By this time it was clear
that we'd never get the practice and two "performance" runs done before night fall, so one fast run was culled. Which left me in second place to my
surprise and delight! I told Petr to not include me in any official result and went home about 3pm-I'd had sufficient for one day.
Later however, after "official" confirmation of my time from my friend, I began to think how I could equip myself with a legal-pre 1980 Jawa- and how
could I make it competitive. A 354 lurks in the shed, a 7000czk moment of weakness many years ago at an autojumble. Hmnn-maybe that could be made to go
I really think that the 638/9 and 640 are all perfect bikes for low level fun racing at modest expense but they don't seem to fit into racing rules
either here in Cz or indeed in England . Maybe France or Germany have something along these lines-plenty of MZ's in Deutschland! Back in the seventies
I would go to Grands Prix near Brno and there'd be thousands of the smoking two strokes charging along on the same mission. Where did they all go to?
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the last croakings of an old Jawiste and I am sure you all have tales to tell of your exploits! Racing really gets you, dunnit?
These events happen in considerable numbers and the car racing is a full time business if anyone fancies that they should contact me.
I'll see what I can do-a long week end would be sufficient-give me a budget for three/four nights accommodation, travel etc and
some dates to aim for.
Pat Brennan started a discussion on the advantages Ceramic bearings might have on our every day machines.
For those of you who, like me, did not even know that ceramic bearings existed, I have searched the topic and below are my findings
1. Just what are ceramic bearings? Traditionally bearings are have been made of steel. Ceramic bearings first started to become utilised in high
tech industries such as aerospace and performance cars and motorbikes. As ceramic bearings have become more available and as costs have come down, they
are now accessible.
Bearings come as either sealed or unsealed. Unsealed ceramic bearings are single balls made of a ceramic material whilst sealed ceramic bearings can be
divided into two categories - hybrid or fully ceramic bearings. Hybrid ceramic bearings retain steel rings, or races, but have ceramic balls. This
contrasts with full ceramic bearings which have ceramic races as well as ceramic balls.
2. What are the differences between ceramic and steel bearings? Ceramic bearings are mostly made using ceramic silicon nitride (Si3N4) which is
both lighter and harder than traditional steel bearings, although zirconia is also sometimes used. The traditional bearings have a hardness of around 30
million lbs per square inch. Ceramic bearings by comparison measure 47million lbs per square inch.
Thanks to silicon nitride being less dense than steel the bearings are up to a third lighter than comparable components made from steel. In addition
due to the extra fine finish they are less prone to friction and therefore create less heat. They also require less lubrication.
3. What performance benefits do ceramic bearings offer? The performance benefits of ceramic bearings are not chiefly down to weight savings, but
rather from their hardness and surface quality. These combine to create reduced levels of friction. Neil Flock, who offers ceramic bearing upgrades,
explains: "Ceramic balls are smoother, so they roll with less friction. Most companies offering hybrid-ceramic bearings are using a harder steel alloy,
which will polish into a smoother surface and compliment the hardness of the ceramic balls."
This reduced friction means that the bearings offer less resistance and so require less energy to roll. In a test report wheels fitted with ceramic
bearings were spun and were said to have "just kept spinning and spinning". Riders using ceramic bearings can also expect a smoother riding experience.
Fitting ceramic bearings will make the bike feel like it is rolling smoother.
4. Is there any information available on the extent of the performance benefit? Yes there is data available but it comes chiefly from the
manufacturers themselves. The manufacturer CeramicSpeed stated that ceramic bearings can offer power savings of between 10 -12 watts.
5. What are the cost of ownership benefits do ceramic bearings bring? The relative hardness of ceramic bearings results in increased durability
over comparable steel bearings. Ceramic material does not rust, unlike steel, meaning exposure to moisture is less of a concern, particularly for full
ceramic bearings. They require less lubrication and do not suffer from pitting. However, there is a risk of chipping, particularly where they are located
in areas that are susceptible to water or grit ingress. So whilst ceramic bearings can last between 5 and 20 times longer than steel bearings it is
important that they are fitted and maintained correctly. If so, the increased wear resistance means that an initial investment in ceramic bearings should
be paid back over time.
6. To what areas of the bike can ceramic bearings be fitted? Ceramic bearings can be used to upgrade any steel bearing currently in use on a
bicycle. Primary areas are wheel hubs, bottom brackets and headsets, although jockey wheels containing ceramic bearings are also available. "Ceramic
bearings are typically used in applications where high rotational speeds generate high heat. However, rolling resistance is highest at lower speeds, so
the reduced rolling friction of harder, smoother balls is what ceramic bearing companies are targeting. Therefore, using ceramic bearings in a highly
loaded area will produce better results than using them in say derailleur pulleys or wheels."
So now all we need is someone to try this out and let us know how they get on.
To meet once is chance, meeting twice is destiny. We first confronted Bo Bristle in the Beerhouse, Bolton street. The we included Brian Moore, Gerry
Quigley and myself. The beer being light, refreshing, with a hint of grapefruit made very good company for the night. Then in Redcross for the JAWA CZ Club
weekend, on a menu of Craft beers, in the good company of Rebel Red from the Franciscan Well Brewery in Cork, printed in black and white appeared
Bo Bristle, Amber Ale.
The Brewery describe this Amber Ale as Its latest brew. A rich amber colour is achieved through a brew of the finest American citrus hops infused
with fine malted barley. The result needs to be tasted for itself. The Brewery pronounces its dedication by saying. At Bo Bristle beer is in our
blood – when we're not making it, we're drinking it! Bo Bristle was founded by two brothers-in-law with a dream: to make great brews for people who know
their beer. With the support of the Offaly community, the brewery opened in 2010 under the name “Breweyed” in Banagher. In 2012, we decided the wild beers
we were brewing deserved an equally wild name, and Bo Bristle was born. The savage brews have been flowing ever since!
Be it that the Wild Boar is the symbol on the Doran Coat of Arms, or that the distinctive grapefruit flavour is such a wonderful thirst refresher.
Or Gerry comment, that Offaly must be the Grapefruit growing capital of Ireland. I salute the makers of this wonderful slightly different Ale and recommend
that you seek it out and savour its delicious individual flavour.
HA HA I have to admit that I am not a good typist, I can not spell, and i often have the wrong thing said,
faster then Flash Gordon. You may now add to these talents that I can not count. On a motorway trip to Wexford I was had a quick look at the
stickers on the Screen of the Snail. I spotted that the sticker for the 2014 JAWA Rally claimed it was our 7th Rally. It is not it is the 6th.
My mistake, good job nobody turned up to spot the error.
The big thing since our last Issue was the Redcross Rally. It was great to meet up and remind ourselves what a friendly bunch we all are. That said the
weather was poor and the turnout of JAWA bikes dismal. Only 2 JAWA's made the event. The plus side of this is that we will not have any big ego's over the
success of our club. The solid little group of Rally supporters did make the best of each others company. The MZ riders outnumbered us on Saturday but by
Sunday BMW's were dominant. The ride out turned very wet and had to be cut short. We must have looked a sight, the solid little bunch of bikers splashing
through the clouds of Wicklow. The meal on Saturday with the award giving was the highlight of the weekend, because after all its being with friends that
makes the weekend. The democratic voting for individual awards guarantees everyone gets involved. Many thanks to Ger who donated the trophies this year.
I do not think I have had a dry trip on the bike since the Redcross Rally. There is always a shower somewhere and they are usually heavy. But this April
like weather has to stop and more events are on the Calender. Hopefully more of us will get to meet up over the summer.
Thank you everyone for emailing in comments, photos and articles. Do keep them coming.