When is a JAWA not a JAWA. When its made by made by Shanghai Xingfu Motorcycle Co. and called the XF250. I like the classic lines, tidy snug fitting exhausts. Covered cables, nice seat. It reminds me of my old model 26. The 250 twin port single should be simple and basic to look after. If you fancy a retro bike I dare say there are more expensive ways of getting one.
On July 9th, a group of Pekin, Illinois bikers were riding west on I-74 when they saw a girl about to jump off the Murray Baker Bridge. So they stopped. George, their leader, a big burly man of 53, gets off his Harley, walks through a group of gawkers, past the State Trooper who was trying to talk her down off the railing, and says,
"Hey Baby.....whatcha doin' up there on that railin'?"
She says tearfully, "I'm going to commit suicide!!"
While he didn't want to appear "sensitive," George also didn't want to miss this "be-a-legend" opportunity either so he asked ....."Well, before you jump, Honey-Babe...why don't you give ole George here your best last kiss?"
With no hesitation at all, she leaned back over the railing and did just that ... and it was a long, deep, lingering kiss followed immediately by another even better one. After they breathlessly finished, George gets a big thumbs-up approval from his biker-buddies, the onlookers, and even the State Trooper, and then says, "Wow! That was the best kiss I have ever had, Honey! That's a real talent you're wasting, Sugar Shorts. You could be famous if you rode with me. Why the hell are you committing suicide?"
A Video showing the JAWA Cz production line for the 175cc machines. This is not from the JAWA factory at Týnec, but the ČZ factory at Strakonice. Just guessing at the likely date, but I'd say 1962 to 1965 or so. Look at the speedo while the bike is being tested. Hope that speedo's reading in kilometers. The factory gave up making motorcycles in 1997..
The route picked for any trip is not just the road numbers, corners, tarmac. Even the villages and scenery are only part of the overall picture. It is the escape from the norm, not being answerable to time. Uncontactable by phone is the bonus that comes with the helmet and 2 wheels. The route is the escape plan, tailored to match your mount, mood, riding skill, and destination. The success is not measured in the time it takes to reach the rendezvous. But in the satisfaction from musing over the topics that every day life does not allow time to savor and file away.
A loaded Snail greeted the morning of Saturday 10th August. Yes the JAWA 250 Travel had been partially packed on Friday night, now only the mandolin to be strapped on, then she was saddled up and ready for the road. I have yet to come up with a tidy packing system for the Snail. When loaded she just looks cluttered. But the weight was as low and as far forward as possible. The compensate for the soft rear suspension.
The tropical heat of July is now in the rear view mirror but the weather is still warm and showers all be it short are monsoon like. I settled for a waterproof bike jacket and jeans, light leggings handy just in case. Many frown on not wearing protective trousers but you have to be comfortable. The Snail has hardly been outside the pale (Dublin City) all July so this spin was to be cherished. One last shake of the gear to make sure nothing moved and the little bike took to the road. Now Clonmel is only 192 kilometers away but I had no intention of traveling the main road. The hope was to retrace the route taken home from Powers the Pot last year, in company with Peter the Penniless and his Enfield 350.
Even thought the Snail was sipping at the road, savoring the taste of the tarmac, the dry conditions and excellent surface saw Blessington and Baltinglass speed past. Tullow was soon in the sights. At this stage the road surface becomes more varied. The Co. Council sometimes score the road in preparation for applying loose stones. The bike feels like a train following tracks. No use fighting for control of the bike physics is against you, just relax, keep the power on and let her wobble through it. Irish villages are rarely the stuff of the picture postcards but they do have their own miss match charm. Some still have petrol stations, coffee shops, so there is ample opportunity to take the weight off and rest the limbs. Another wonderful thing about taking the A and B roads is that the mountains of Wicklow and Wexford on the left look spectacular. As the route comes in line with Kilkenny to the right you have Slievenamon. When navigating by mountain ranges looking for passes, the road options are indirect; you end up putting distance into the trip taking alternative routes. But that was the intention. I enjoyed being cocooned in the journey. So much so that I did not even stop for coffee in Thomastown. I wandered down to Buncloudy then across to Graiguenamanagh. The river has the town littered with pleasure boats. When people are left with money to spend you do not have recession. Across the motorway to Carrick on Suir then up hill all the way to Powers the Pot.
It was dry roads all the way. The tent quickly pitched, then over the mountain to Melody’s for a light lunch where I caught up with the Enfield Boys to followed them back to the site. I got to meet Richard for the first time. He has 2 CZ 175 machines but was travelling in Italian style on a Moto Morini 350
You have to be there to experience it but the whole weekend was great. Plus Peter and I had another lovely trip back to Dublin, this time through Gowran and Carlow.
My thanks to John and the Enfield Boys for a wonderful weekend. It is the welcome that helps make the Pot such a sucessful event.
I am pleased to report to all about the 6th Powers the Pot, fine weather good food beer/cider and company the event was a success.
A dry ride to Clonmel put a smile on the 8 bikers from Kerry, some touring for the week and stayed at the Woodlands camp site in Tralee, they were Jed and Mary, Vince, Mike, Nigel, John, Kelvin, Greg and Brendan. During the week I managed to meet up for a couple of spins also a few pints in Tralee. We met Silver up with in Ballydesmond, Bob and Tim followed up in a van Tim a fox terrier rescued by Nell another REOC member. After a shopping trip in Clonmel we headed up the hills and around some hairpin bends to Powers the Pot and made camp for the next two day's. A good look at the gathered bikes was enjoyed, Gordon and Christine with their class Ural combo attracted a lot of attention as did John's diesel bullet, Jed's and Mary's interceptor, Vince and Mikes Connie's and the Maharajah's Super star. Local cider was enjoyed that night by many in the bar, new friends made and old friendships renewed. Bill and Tom had birthdays to celebrate over the weekend and we did so well along with Pete's.
Saturday dawned nice and sunny, coffee and fry up on just to start the day in style. Pete arrived on his bullet 350 to celebrate his birthday in style. The ride out went through in Ballymacarbry towards Dungarvan on to Listmore for lunch in this beautiful town with a lovely seafood chowder at the Listmore hotel. On the road again to The Vee, a beautiful road with the most breath taking view. From there through Clogheen, Ardfinnan, Newcastle and back to Ballymacarbry for a pint of coffee before return to Powers the Pot.
A top class meal followed to see the evening get in full swing with beer and cider consumed by one and all. As usual Nial and family put on a lovely meal. Awards and a raffle followed.
The raffle was in aid of the KSPCA ( Kerry Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals) raised a 105 euro. Many thanks' to all who attended and look forward to next year.
John B Nicholls.