CZ typ 969 (1965 360 Moto-cross)CZ wing


The Twin Pipe Years

CZ Model "C"

1950, CZ 125/150 Model "C"

The CZ Model C could be considered the grandfather of the CZ moto-cross motorcycle. These machines featured 125cc & 150cc engines with 3 speed transmissions. The basic engine design was retained until 1956 at which point the CZ roadster switched to a Jawa designed and built engine. The Model C engine was updated and carried over for use in the CZ 125/150/175 ISDT.

1955-63, CZ 125/150/175 "Six Days"

First produced in 125 & 150cc versions, the CZ "Six Days"featured the revised Model C engine with higher output and a 4 speed transmission. The 175cc replaced the 150cc in 1957. CZ ISDT’s were produced in limited numbers as late as 1965.

The CZ SixDays at right belongs to Olavi Peltonen in Finland.
Learn more about Olavi's CZ in the Misc. scetion of this web site

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Roucka, Polanka, and Pudil in 1956

1956, CZ 150 at the Scottish Six Day Trials

The versatility of the CZ ISDT was proven in the mid 1950’s as specially modified versions of the 150 ISDT were successfully campaigned at the Scottish Six Day Trials. Shown are Czech riders Roucka, Polanka, and Pudil standing in front of Polanka’s bike at the 1956 event. The CZ ISDT would later prove it's versatility in moto-cross as well.

Note, expansion chambers in 1958!

1958, CZ 250 moto-cross at Austrian GP

At the 1958 Austrian 250cc moto-cross grand prix, CZ factory rider A. Roucka rode what must have been one of the first CZ 250 mx bikes. Described as a hastily modified 175 ISDT, the bike was bored out to 250cc. Note the use of expansion chambers on this machine in 1958! A. Roucka did not finish the race. In the same race Roucka’s brother, Bohumil finished 5th on what was a CZ 250 DOHC 4-stroke machine which used a CZ road race engine, this bike finished 5th.

1959, CZ 175 moto-cross at Sarka

Zedenek Polanka on a CZ 175cc at the Sarka Moto-cross of 1959. Polanka’s bike is a modified 175 ISDT. Czech moto-cross meets of this time period traditionally featured 175, 250, and 500cc classes. The corresponding brands ridden in these classes were CZ, Jawa, and ESO respectively.

The picture at right is from an old Czech post card. I had the pleasure of meeting Polanka the 2001 AMA Vintage Days West at Sears Point where he autographed the card for me.

Zedenek Polanka on one of the first CZ moto-cross bikes

Valek on the 1960 works CZ

1960, CZ 250 moto-cross at British GP

Vlastimil Valek on the factory 250 CZ at the British grand prix of 1960. Valek finished third in this race as the development of the CZ moto-cross machine progressed. Near the end of the 1960 season the CZ’s were surpassing the previously dominant Czech moto-cross machine in the 250 class, Jawa.


1962, CZ 250 moto-cross at Czech GP

By 1962 the CZ moto-cross had been developed to the point where it was capable of winning at the world championship level. The photo shows Vlastimil Valek at the Czech grand prix, which he won that year. Valek finished 4th in the 1962 250cc title chase.

Valek on the 1962 works CZ

Valek on the first open class CZ motocrosser

1963, first open class CZ at Czech GP

At the 1963 Czech 500 GP, CZ fielded two 263cc bikes with Vlastimil Valek and Karel Pilar riding. The photo shows Valek on his way to winning the first moto. This would prove to be the first moto win by a 2-stroke in the history of the 500 GP’s. Valek split moto wins with Rolf Tibblin, with Tibblin getting the overall on aggregate time. Pilar finished in 4th overall. Vlastimil Valek finished a close second to Torsten Hallman in the 1963 250 world championships, winning 4 grand prix in the process.

1964, Joel Robert dominates on CZ 250 moto-cross

In 1964 Belgium Joel Robert switched to CZ and devastated the 250cc GP's. Robert won 8 grand prix that year, and there were 5 CZ riders in the top 10. The performance of CZ moto-cross bikes in the 1964 GP’s proves they were the "Best of 1964" despite what that "4-speed Husky guy" tells you. For another view of the 1964 CZ 250 mx click here, for a view of Robert in action click here.

Joel Robert 1964

1964, CZ 360 Moto-cross prototype

The first 360 twin pipe moto-cross prototype was developed in mid 1964. The 360 utilized the 250’s basic crankcases and running gear. Unlike the 250, the 360 featured an aluminum cylinder with pressed in steel liner. The 360 prototype produced 30 H.P. and weighed 105 KG (231 lbs).

Read about the development of this bike, Click Here.

1964, first 360 twin pipe prototype

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1964-65, CZ 360 Moto-cross

The production 360 moto-cross featured redesigned cases, produced 32 HP at 6500 rpm, and weighed in at 102 KG (225 Lb.). In the 1965 500cc world moto-cross championship CZ riders won 6 of 12 GP’s signaling the end of 4-stroke dominance in 500cc moto-cross. East German CZ rider Paul Friedrichs won 3 grand prix and finished second to BSA's Jeff Smith in the final standings. Friedrichs would go on to dominate the 500cc world championships on his CZ for the next three years. The bike shown at the left is almost 100% showroom except for the seat. The Twinpipes did not come with seat skirts originally.

1964-65, CZ 250 Moto-cross

The first CZ 250 moto-cross bike (type 968) imported to the United States featured fiberglass gas tank and fenders, formed aluminum airbox, and sand cast magnesium engine cases. These 250’s produced a reported 27 HP at 6000 rpm. In 1965 the 250cc world moto-cross championship was won by Russian CZ rider Victor Arbekov.

CZ 250 Moto-cross, typ 968

CZ 360 Moto-cross, typ 969

1965-67, CZ 360 Moto-cross

Later 360 twin pipe's (type 969) imported into the United States featured steel gas tanks and a fiberglass airbox. Besides Paul Friedeichs other successful riders of the CZ 360 twin pipe included Rolf Tibblin and Dave Bickers.

1966-67, CZ 250 Moto-cross

About mid 1966 the 250 moto-cross switched to the steel gas tank and fiberglass airbox. The engine cases became sand cast aluminum instead of magnesium. Some of these bikes are still being ridden, like this bike which belongs to Lanny Hyde, and was raced at the AHRMA Sandhill national in 1995.


Lanny's 250 Twin Pipe

Twinpipes In Vintage Moto-cross

In recent years more Twinpipe CZs are showing up at vintage moto-cross events in North America, thanks in portion to Jim Keeton and the hord of Twinpipes he let go of a few years back. Also thanks to the efforts of Bertus of Bertus Jawa-CZ who has gone out of his way to source original and replacment parts for these rare motorcycles. If it were not for Bertus this web builder would never have gotten his 66 360 Twinpipe back on the track again in proper condition. Thanks again Bertus!!!

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Click here for a list of English language CZ Moto-cross tests