Heritage Run

The mild weather inspired the spin to the National Heritage Centre in Wexford. I was a little worried, organising it weeks in advance, that the weather would break and our winter start just as we headed for the N11. Big Jim emailed that he would be there. Pat Gernon and Ger texts that they would make it and Brian Moore also agreed to travel down with me.

Brian pulled into the Spawell car park at 10.25, on time every time. We chatted till Pat Gernon turned up. Then Ivan arrived in a car as he was providing a ferry service for some of the younger members. Mikie arrived with news that Pavel was running a little late. Brian Pat and myself decided to head on as we would be slower. Ivan and Mikie would wait and travel with Pavel.

Sunshine, a warm 10 degrees, light Sunday traffic. It does not get much better. We held a steady pace 90 to 100k comfortable in the slow lane, keeping a eye in the rear mirror for late arrivals. Passing Wicklow a blur overtook us and speed wobbled slowing down. It was Gary. We had enough of motorway by Arklow and took the Inch road to Gorey. A stop for petrol then the old Wexford road through Oulart. We rejoined the main road above the Ferrycarrig hotel just above the park.

As we pulled up at the park we saw Ger, Jim and Catherine, Pavel Jana, Ivan and crew. A turnout of 12 all told. Pavel decided that the Snail (my 250) is not slow, it is very slow. But we were not slow about digging into lunch. As we were dressed for the outdoors we sat out on the Patio area. The restaurant is self service so without delay we are talking, eating and generally catching up.

To soon it was time to start heading our various directions. As some of us had deadlines to meet we took the main road all the way back. Pavel set the pace of the return journey. It has been reported that a Black 250 Travel was clocked doing 133k per hour. But as the speed limit is 120k who can be sure. Gerry turned up on the way back. Those who spotted him stopped for a chat.

It was a very enjoyable spin. The National Heritage Park looked after us well. Picking it as a location made it possible for us to meet members who are a little further away. The gamble of a March Spin paid off. Thanks to everyone who could make it.


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Is It True

There has been a lot of talk, photos, gossip is the word. There is almost too much to cover in this Issue but that does not mean we will ignore it. Take a pinch of salt and read below. Do excuse my comments but I could not resist.




Přestavba vznikla za pomoci firmy Mates Moto Servis z Lošánek u Kolína. Základem byla moje předchozí stavba - Jawa 250 Californian OHC. Největší úpravou je změna podsedlové části (narovnání trubek), aby bylo možno napasovat sedlo z typu 634. Další změněné díly: přední blatník a světlomet (Jawa 638), nádrž, kastlíky a sedlo (Jawa 634), zadní blatník, blinkry a světlo (Jawa 634). Výfuky jsou původní, jiná jsou kolena výfuků.

The modification had been done by the Mates Moto service from Losanky u Kolina. I have used my previous build jawa 250 californian. The biggest change was done on the rear subframe (underseat) where we have had to streighten the pipes to be able to fit seat from 634. Other changed parts are: Front mudguard and light from 638, tank, side covers and seat from 634, read mudguard, turning lights and rear light from 634. Silencers are original but we had to use different maniford.


There was an instant tear in my eye when I saw this bike. I did drive a 634 for 21 years. The 250 is a tidy engine, it is not hard to make it look well. This bike is a one off, I would like to see issues like the exposed chain, alloy wheels, tubeless tyres, suspension, improvements to the side and main stand being tackled.



This is from the Hungarian magazine, TotalBike. I believe it shows a lady named Ibolya Oláh (obviously a Hungarian herself with that name, if so) attempting to push the bike at the recent Brno show. That's unless Google Translate has made a complete "hames" of translating the original, and it isn't her name at all.

Hey, yes! I've checked, and I understand that Ibolya Oláh is a Hungarian pop star. I don't suppose the Works would allow an ordinary Mary Sixpack to take liberties with their prototype.

Don't tell me the Californian isn't a lovely machine! Decent front mudguard, for a change.


In my opinion the Californian 660 isn't a lovely machine. The bike looks like it lost a row with a truck. But I do like Ibolya Oláh


JAWA 400

Here's an intriguing picture, lads. It's not an official factory pic. The comments made about it on the forum weren't all complimentary, but that's the nature of these forums anyway.

If it's your standard Lifan 400 V-twin, then it's a shaft drive job (now I notice it says as much at the bottom of the box -- "kardan"). It would be a reasonable logical successor to the 350 two-strokes. I think it looks good.


Yes I do like this one. The 650 custom frame is good. Nice size, brakes suspension. The 400cc would be lovely for the longer trips, yet not too heavy for around town. The engine would not be that large in the JAWA frame. A shaft would make it a practical commuter machine. I have always wanted an in line V engine. But this is fiction. More's the pity.

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Blast off!


Jawas are rare sights in the UK and Ireland but here is a bike that manages to ‘out-scarce’ them. The chances are that you would not have heard of this bike. In fact, most of those who have heard of it are still waiting to see one, certainly on this side of the pond.

The much lamented Buell Motorcycle Company designed the Blast as an entry level bike for beginners in the USA to gain experience rather than take the direct route to becoming a squid as allowed by the licensing laws over there. Buell had to use a Harley-Davidson derived engine so they took the 1200 Sportster, lopped off the rear cylinder and de-stroked it to produce a 500 single. It was widely used by Harley Davidson as a training bike throughout the USA and even Wales!

Typical of the marque, some clever, if subtle design philosophy was involved. The Blast appears to be normal from a distance but when you get up close it suddenly shrinks to ¾ scale! The proportioned look is achieved by the use of 16” wheels and that huge crankcase. The dry-sump engine and minimalist steel backbone frame (containing the oil) helps to reduce the overall height, providing an impressively low seat height of 27.5” without sacrificing comfort. If you are less than 5 foot tall, there is also the even lower (25.5”) accessory seat. All this in a package only a tad heavier than a Jawa 350 Classic.

Buell also knew that any bike owned by a beginner would need to be maintenance-friendly. As with all bikes, some items are dead easy but others require the dexterity of an Origami expert but the basics are all there for an easy life; Belt drive that requires no adjustment (there IS no adjustment!), automatic choke, single carburettor, hydraulic tappets, air cooling and no silly gizmos to go wrong. Even the rev-limiter is of the skip-spark type that cancels every other firing stroke so you hit that wall softly!

So, what about this one? Helena is right in the demographic for the Blast ownership, being 5ft 2ins tall and a novice rider…but right outside the geographic! The bikes rarely come up for sale in the UK because they were never officially imported and hers is the only example we’ve ever seen. It’s a 2002 model which had less than 5,000 miles on the clock but was a bit scruffy and needed an overhaul, due in part to having been kept outside. Parts were sourced, but not without a fairly long wait and a visit to Earl Small’s Harley Davidson dealership in Atlanta, who have been very helpful. The Blast has a name now – Erik – after his creator who incidentally put one in a crusher as a publicity stunt to show that Buell wanted to concentrate on bigger stuff! Monty Python fans will also recognise the other rather apt reason for this name from the song “Eric, the half a bee”


It’s certainly a confidence inspiring bike. The first time Helena took Erik out, by the first roundabout all I could hear through the intercom was giggling! Performance is real-world adequate, if not startling, but the handling makes up for it. It’s an amusing bike to start up and ride off on. The auto-choke works surprisingly well and the comical tickover vibes are something to behold as you crunch Erik into first gear with wincing looks from bystanders! The 5-speed gearbox is buttery smooth once warm and as with all thumpers you do need to use it. The vibes all but disappear on the move. With 34bhp it’ll go over 90mph but more importantly, it’s a smooth as silk between 70-80mph. The best bits so far?....Quizzical looks from fellow bikers at Box Hill and 75-80mpg!

Instead of pushing short-*rses down the custom bike route, Buell showed that you can build a comfortable, light and low bike that has sporty looks, handles well and delivers excellent mpg. Take a look around the current crop of new bikes in our dealers and try to find something similar. You could be in for a long wait!

Jon Reynolds

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Our Club weekend is on the 27th to 29th April. If you plan on staying in a mobile do please book as they have to be prepared. Full details on the Events Page.

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I was there at Woolwich last week - the ferry was about 10 feet from the quay, It could have been about 11 feet. I think it was 11 feet. So I took a flying leap, cos I've got long legs you see, & I landed right on it & said to the man, 'I've just made it.' He said, 'You had plenty of time. I was coming in

NEW JAWA's on the Road

Ahoj, Posilam foto Petr Petr a jeho jawa 660 a Shane Bennet z Kels a jeho 350 se saidou

We wish Peter and Shane many enjoyable and safe miles on their lovely new bikes.


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Musical Note

Spider Pat, our top investigative reporter, is sharing another of his many varied interests. On hearing I am attempting to learn the Mandolin he sent on this inspirational video. Be warned Pat you cant make a silk purse out of a horse's ass.

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Lesson to Learn

Even though our winter has been mild it has left its mark. On a recent run the lights failed on the snail (250 Travel). At first I could not find the problem. I thought it was the ignition switch as the flash light worked. It turned out to be corrosion on a connection under the tank. I should have remembered the old mechanical quiz in the Breffnie. Go for the easy answer first.

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I bought a greyhound about a month ago. A friend of mine said, 'what are you gonna do with it?' I said 'I'm gonna race it' He said 'By the look of it I think you'll beat it'