Wednesday, 22 August 2018

The Czech motorbike, a cow shed and the Beast from the East

Now, I know nothing about motorbikes but I know a story when it trips you up, and today that is what I got.

We were by Ken Foster’s Cycle shop waiting for a bus, and outside was Sean carefully tending a motorbike.

To my inexperienced eye it looked old, and was in fact built in 1974 in the Czech Republic.

It is a Jawa 559 250cc, which Sean found in a cow shed where it had spent 35 years in the company of a herd of cows.

So much so, that one side of the bike was covered in a mix of smelly cow stuff and needed some tender care and attention from Sean to restore it to when it rolled off the production line.

The Jawa 559 250cc was made from 1962 till 1974 and was called Panelka.

And for those who want to know more,  “The Panelka series had the headlamp top nacelle stretched to the end of the handlebar with an oval speedometer instead of a circular speedometer on the headlamp top nacelle. 

For better security, the FAB switch box was used, whereas in the previous models a PAL switch box with nail type keys were being used. As in the previous models the rear tail lamp was made of translucent red plastic”.*

But enough of this technical jargon, and back to Sean who might have called it the Beast from the East, given that when the storm struck the bike was in his garden and was covered in snow.  Undeterred Sean told me
“It started with a second kick once I took the snow off” and despite its links with the East, he prefers to call it “the Cow Shed Special” adding “I regularly commute from Rawtenstall to Chorlton and have ridden it to Holland and back in 2017 to a Jawa Classic Rally”.

So a little bit of Czech history can be seen here in Chorlton and on the twisty roads which brings Sean from Rawtenstall.

And that is about it, leaving me only to thank Sean for providing the pictures and the story.
Location; Chorlton, the Czech Republic and Rawtenstall

Pictures; the Cow Shed Special, or Jawa 559 250cc from the Panelka Series, courtesy of Sean
*Jawa 250/559,

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