Victor Popenko on the 1978 works 125 CZ, Victor knows how to center punch!!! Falta sticker


The Mid To Late 70's

1975, CZ 250 Moto-cross (typ980.5) (Falta Replica)

1975, CZ 250 Moto-cross (typ980.5)

(Falta Replica)

Patterned after the 74 works bikes, the 75 production CZ featured air shocks and an aluminum gas tank held on by a strap. This was as close to the works bikes as this CZ got. The Husqvarna's and Maico's of 1975 were much closer to what those factories raced than the CZ. I can't remember seeing many Falta replicas being raced in 1975, the downturn had started.

1975, CZ 250 works bike

The CZ 250 works bike of 1975 built on the success of the 1974. The air shocks were laid down giving about 8.5 inches of rear wheel travel. Factory riders Jaroslav Falta and Zdenek Velky of Czechoslovakia both won grand prix on these bikes in 1975. Velky finished 6th in the world championship series, and Falta dominated both motos of the Austrian GP. But Falta dropped out of the top ten, and there were rumors he had medical problems at this time, some said leukemia, but it turned out to be kidney problems.

1974 CZ 250 works bike

1975 CZ 125 typ 511 prototype/works bike

1975, CZ 125 typ 511 prototype/works bike

Developed in 1975 this bike was completely new from the ground up. The new bike looked suspiciously like the Honda 125 which probably had a big influence on the CZ engineers. Like the big CZ's this bike used laid down air shocks. Works riders Antonin Babarovsky and Jiri Churavy did quite well in the new 125 world championship series, finishing 3rd & 5th respectively, with Babarovsky winning the Canadian Grand Prix that year.

Team Czechoslovakia/CZ wins 1975 Moto-cross des Nations

The Czechoslovakian team of Antonin Baborovsky, Zdenek Velky, Jiri Churavy, and Miroslav Novacek, surprised the moto-cross world by dominating the 1975 Moto-cross des Nations. They beat the powerful Belgium team made up of the three 1975 individual world champions, Roger DeCoster , Harry Everts, and Gaston Rahier (plus Jaak van

Novacek, Baborovsky, Velky, Churavy

Velthoven). The win was even more surprising as only Novacek was a 500cc class rider, and he lacked any GP experience. Baborovsky and Churavy had ridden the 125 GP's all year, and Velky had ridden the 250 GP's. The Czech team also rode production 400 CZ's, no open class works bikes were allotted, because no Czech riders had competed in the 500 GP's in 1975.

1976, CZ 250 Moto-cross (typ 980)

For 1976 the some CZ's featured more suspension travel at each end.. *Rumor has it that the US importer, American Jawa was actually contracting to have the frames modified for the laid down shock application. In 1976 CZ's were practically nonexistent on American tracks. The bike shown at right belonged to Steve Person of South Beloit Illinois. Steve bought the bike about 7 years ago from an ex dealer, the bike was brand new. Unfortunately the motorcycle was stolen less that six months after Steve bought it. The serial number is 980-5-000535, so be on the lookout for this one. Thank you very much for sending this picture Steve. This section has needed a good shot of a stock 76 CZ motocrosser for a long time, and Steve is the first person to come through!!!

sv14t.jpg (35821 bytes)

*There are many stories about these Falta's with the laid down air shocks. Some say American Jawa modified the frames, some say the mods were done by area distributors, and some say individual shops made these frame modification. I, (the web page builder), do not know what story is true, sorry.

1976 CZ 125 works bike

1976, CZ 125 works bike

76 works 125 CZ's featured more suspension travel at each end. The air shocks were now laid down and moved forward. Other changes over the 75 works bike include a high pipe and the use of a 32mm Mikuni carburetor. Czech riders Jiri Churavy & Zdenek Velky, and Soviets Yuri Khudiakov & Pavel Rulov made up the CZ 125 GP team. Churavy finished 2nd in the championship, winning 4 motos along the way.

1976, CZ 250 works bike

In 1976 the works 250 CZ featured more power, but the suspension travel was the same as 75. CZ was still using the basic center port magnesium engine design that was first introduced with the 73 works bikes. Antonin Baborovsky and Jaroslav Falta were the works 250 riders for 1976, they finished 8th & 10th in the world standings. Falta won two GP motos in 1976 and was apparently over his medical problem.

1976, CZ 250 works bike

1976 CZ 400 works bike

1976, CZ 400 works bike

The 76 400 works CZ had little success in the 500 GP class. Raced by Soviet riders in that class, none finished in the top 10. A reed valve induction system was new to the 76 400's. The works CZ's (250 & 400) still used a vulnerable low pipe, and all of the works CZ's used Preston Petty fenders in 1976. It's too bad this was not the production CZ of that time, CZ's might have stayed competitive on US tracks a few years longer if their production bikes had been closer to the works bikes.

1976 CZ Works Bike Specifications


CZ 125-76

CZ 250/980-76

CZ 380/981-76





Maximum Power (hp)

28.6 at 10,600 rpm

39.6 at 9,200 rpm

44 at 8000 rpm

Maximum Torque (ft-lb)

15.5 at 10,400 rpm

25.5 at 7,600 rpm

36.2 at 6,900 rpm






32mm Mikuni

34mm Mikuni

36mm Mikuni





Front Suspension travel

9.0 inch

9.0 inch

9.0 inch

Rear Suspension travel

8.5 inch

8.5 inch

8.5 inch

Weight (dry)

174 lbs

198 lbs

209 lbs

Tomasz Gawel's CZ Typ 996 (1977 125 Motocross)
Thanks to Tomasz Gawel and CZ Marty for this pic

1977, CZ 125 Moto-cross (typ 996)

Even though the CZ 125 works bikes were probably more technically advanced when compared to their 250 and 400 counterparts, little of that technology made it to the production 125 motocrosser in 1977. The beautiful CZ typ 996 at the left belongs to Tomasz Gawel in Poland. Yes that is the original color scheme.


77 production 125

76 works 125

Max Power (hp)

20.7/10,000 rpm

28.6/10,600 rpm

Max Torque (ft-lb)

11.2/10,000 rpm

15.5/10,000 rpm

Front Suspension

7.9 inches

9.0 inches

Rear Suspension

6.7 inches

8.5 inches


Pal (points)


Weight (dry)

224 pounds

174 pounds

1977, CZ 250 works bike

For 1977 the low pipe was finally replaced with a high mounted expansion chamber. Also gone were the CZ air shocks in favor of a more conventional dampers. The works 250's were now using reed valve induction. Conventional CZ forks were still being used by Antonin Baborovsky, but had Falta switched to the Marzocchi offset axle fork by this time. Both Baborovsky and Falta won motos in 77 on their works CZs. Falta finished 9th in the world standings. Baborovsky (pictured at right) finished 6th in the world in 77 and won the Czechoslovakian GP at Holice.

Antonin Baborovsky winning 77 Czech GP

1978 CZ 250 (typ 997)

1978, CZ 250 (typ 997)

The 78 production CZ featured refinements including longer travel air shocks, the conventional 35 mm CZ fork travel was extended, and an upswept pipe was finally fitted. In the UK the older typ 980/981 CZ was modified by the importer and sold as a 78 model. These bikes featured gas Girling shocks, Marzocchi forks, high pipe, reed valve induction, aluminum fuel tanks, and Preston Petty fenders. These bikes were probably better than the newer production CZ.

1978, CZ 125 works bike

The 78 works CZ 125 featured liquid cooling. Unlike Yamaha the CZ used a radiator mounted at the front of the aluminum fuel tank. The works CZ also featured fins on the outside of the water jacket, in theory if the coolant was lost the engine could still be cooled by these fins. The air shocks were dropped in favor of more conventional gas charged dampers, (mounted to an aluminum swingarm) and Marzocchi forks were fitted at the front. In 1978 the CZ 125 GP team consisted of 6 riders, (3 Czechs & 3 Soviets). Czech Jiri Churavy had the most success, finishing 9th in the world that year.

1978 CZ 125 works bike

1978/79 CZ 125 Moto-cross (typ511)

1978/79, CZ 125 Moto-cross (typ511)

Introduced the end of 1978 the CZ typ 511 was a least two years too late. This bike probably would have been very competitive with the Japanese 125's of 1976, but in 1979 this CZ had at least two inches less suspension than the competition. These bikes were imported to North America and were sold with Works Performance shocks fitted instead of CZ air shocks.

1978, CZ 250 works bike

For 1978 the works 250 CZ featured Ohlins remote reservoir shocks and the latest Marzocchi forks, suspension travel was on par with the other works bikes of the time. The bike was crude looking but still trick. Jaroslav Falta and Zdenek Velky were CZ's 250 class riders in 1978. Falta won the Austrian GP, and finish 9th in the world standings on the bike pictured.

1978 CZ 250 works bike

Jaroslav Falta at Holice 1979

1979, CZ 250 works bike

In 1979 the works CZ's were still using Marzocchi forks and Ohlins shocks (with piggy back reservoirs). Jaroslav Falta was still winning on these bikes. He won the first moto of the GP season in Spain! One wonders how many more GP's (or world championships) Falta would have won if he had been riding state of the art machinery during his prime. The picture at the left shows Jaroslav Falta in action at the 1979 Czechoslovakian GP at Holice.

Click here for a list of English language CZ Moto-cross tests
A special thanks to Larry Garcia for the Falta sticker image used at the top of this page.