|East German Paul Friedrichs won three consecutive 500cc World Motocross
Championships (1966-1968) on a CZ 360. With a record like that, any
serious American motocrosser of the era would have been drawn to the
Type 969/01 like a moth to a flame. In almost every way, the CZ
production bike resembled the factory machine, and that included problem
areas like the dual-plug ignition (that jumped timing easily), Jikov
carb (that flooded easily) and propensity towards heavy vibration. Even
with its flaws, the CZ 360 was bulletproof and fast when put in capable
hands like those of Paul Friedrichs or Brad Lackey.
founded in Strakonice, Czechoslovakia, in 1919 as a weapons
manufacturer. In fact, the acronym CZ stands for Ceska Zbrojowka, which
translates into Czechoslovakian Weapons Factory. It wasn't until 1932
that CZ started building motorcycles, the first being a 76cc machine
called the Cactus. After WWII, the communist commissars merged CZ with
archrival Jawa. CZ would manufacture motorcycles for street, trials,
enduro and road racing, but it was in motocross where they flourished.
Joel Robert, Paul Friedrichs, Guennady Moisseev, Jaroslav Falta, Sylvain
Geboers, Roger DeCoster, Zdenek Velky, Vlastimil Valek, Jiri Stodulka,
Tony DiStefano and Brad Lackey all raced CZs.
two-strokes changed the sport and earned them seven World Motocross
Championships. Unfortunately for them, CZ’s technology languished under
communism, and CZ withdrew from motocross competition at the end of the
1983 season. Today, the CZ factories produce gear boxes for Skoda
automobiles, motorcycle chains and guns.
For more info on classic bikes go to www.earlyyearsofmx.com
WHAT THEY COST
$1095 suggested retail, the CZ was almost a hundred dollars cheaper
than the Husqvarna 400, but the initial cost didn’t take into account
that most American riders switched the Jikov to a Mikuni and the Pal
shocks for Girlings. Don't pay more than $3000 for a good core (yet to
be restored) or $7000 for a nicely restored example.
CZ 250 Type 980 and CZ 360 Type 969/01.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
For the serious motorcycle collector,
original standard components are critical. On the 1969 CZ 360, it is
important to find an example with a good original high pipe—as the '69
was often called the "side-pipe." As with all CZs, a flawless stock
steel tank, steel front fender, and original fiberglass rear fender and
air box are critical. The Jikov carb is a must, but it is hard to find
because very few CZ riders kept them on the bike when it was new.
Bertus Jawa/CZ in LaPuente, California, is
the foremost expert and supplier of parts for CZs in the world. The
phone number is (626) 330-2326.