1983 125 twin cylinder prototype


The 80's And On (fading away)

CZ typ 511-80

1980 CZ 125 work bike (typ 511-80)

For 1980 the works CZ 125's were raced only by a team made up of Soviet (Russian) riders. Non Czech components such as Marzocchi, Ohlins, Mikuni, and Motoplat were utilized in an effort to keep the machines competitive with the Japanese works bikes that dominated the 125 GP's.

1980 CZ 250 works bike (typ 978-80)

The prototype for the "new" 250 CZ was unveiled in 1980 but only Jiri Churavy rode the bike in the GP's. The other works 250 riders, Jaroslav Falta, Vladimir Kavinov, and Guenady Moiseev all rode the old reliable typ 980-80. In 1980 Falta won the second moto in Spain and the first moto in Czechoslovakia. Falta finished 7th in the world 250cc standings. Kavinov won his home GP in the Soviet Union, this would prove to be the last GP win by a CZ rider.

CZ typ 978-80

CZ typ 981-80

1980 CZ 412 works bike (typ 981-80)

1980 was the last year that works CZ's were campaigned in the open class. The bikes featured 412cc engines and 5-speed transmissions. There are probably a few vintage racers out there that would like to get their hands on one of these engines, to build the ultimate "cheater" bike.

1980 CZ Works Bike Specifications











Bore (mm)





Stroke (mm)










Compression Ratio





Power (hp) at rpm

31.5 at 10,600

37.6 at 7,400

37.6 at 7,400

43.6 at 6,400







Mikuni 36mm

Mikuni 38mm

Mikuni 38mm

Mikuni 38mm

Wheel Travel Front





Wheel Travel Rear





Weight (lbs.)





1981 CZ 125 works bike (typ 511-81)

For 1981 the works 125 CZ's were lighter , more powerful, and had more suspension travel. The bikes looked surprising similar to the RM 125 Suzukis of 1980. Soviets Yuri Khudiakov and Andrei Ledovskoi were the works 125 pilots in 1981.

CZ typ 511-81

CZ typ 978-81

1981 CZ 250 works bike (typ 978-81)

Jaroslav Falta,  Guenady Moiseev, Vladimir Kavinov, and Zdenek Velky all rode the new 250 in 1981. The new 250 engine featured primary kick starting on the left side, but the lever had to be kicked forward, like an ISDT Jawa. Suspension travel was up to 12.6" in the rear and still 10.6" in the front. Ohlins and Marzocchi suspension components were used. Horsepower was rated 39.6 at 7,600 rpm.

1982 CZ 125 works bike (typ 511-82)

All new for 1982 the works 125 CZ featured a rear suspension that looked similar to the Suzuki Full Floater system. The CZ system was different however, it used a rocker arm and linkage at the top shock mount. A maximum of 13.7" of wheel travel was available from this system. Marzocchi forks were still utilized. The bike still weighed 207 lbs., but the power was up, 34 hp at 11,000 rpm. A mechanically operated disc brake was used at the front for the first time by CZ.

CZ typ 511-82

CZ typ 978-82

1982 CZ 250 works bike (typ 978-82)

The single shock rear suspension was also new on the 250 works CZ. Virtually identical to the Honda Pro-Link design, the CZ version gave 12.6" of rear wheel travel.The weight of the bike was up to 226 lbs. and the engine was now developing 42 hp at 7,800 rpm. Jaroslav Falta was the works 250 rider for 1982.

1983 CZ 125 Moto-cross (typ 516)

The typ 516 CZ was vastly improved over the typ 511 it replaced, but little of the technology from the works 125 seemed to be incorporated. The typ 516 was no match for the Japanese production 125 motocrossers of the day. But since most of these bikes ended up in the captive market of Eastern Europe, it really did not matter. Where most of these bikes were sold, it was the only brand on the starting line.

CZ typ 516 (1983 125 moto-cross)

1983 125 twin cylinder prototype

1983 125 twin cylinder prototype

1983 CZ 125cc Twin Moto-cross Prototype

In the early 1980's a few companies thought the twin cylinder engine was the future of 125 moto-cross. Gilera campaigned a twin cylinder 125 in 1982, in the hands of Gaston Rahier. Honda also developed a twin 125 MX'er, but that bike was never raced outside of Japan. CZ also developed a twin cylinder 125 Moto-cross, in 1983. But before it could be raced in the GP's the FIM banned twin cylinder engines in the 125 class. When that happened the 125 twin went directly to the CZ Museum.

The CZ "Twin" had some unusual features. The bike featured twin carburetors feeding into a rotary valve induction system. The single rotary valve was gear driven and sat behind the cylinders, so the carbs were in the traditional location. This motorcycle also featured a countershaft sprocket that shared the same axes as the swingarm pivot. This being accomplished with an extra shaft a the back of the transmission.

The CZ Twin MX was recently on display at the National Technical Museum in Prague, Czech Republic. These great pictures come courtesy of Martin Kratky, and Jiri Starec.

CZ 125cc Works Bike 1983

1983 CZ 125 works bike (typ ???-83)

The 83 factory 125 racer featured new forks manufactured by CZ. These forks had 42mm diameter tubes with 11.8" of travel. The frame was new also and it utilized a backbone of welded steel stampings. Power was up to 36 hp at 11,600 rpm.

CZ 125cc Works Bike 1983

1983 CZ 250 works bike (typ ???-83)

The 83 works 250 featured refinements over the 82 version. New porting delivered more power at a lower engine speed (43 hp at 7,700 rpm). The rear suspension was refined and an Ohlins shock utilized giving a maximum of 13.4" of wheel travel. Marzocchi forks were still being used at the front. Drum brakes were still being used, but the front brake featured twin leading shoes.

CZ 250cc Works Bike 1983

1983 CZ 250 water cooled prototype

1983 CZ 250 water cooled prototype

Developed for use in the 84 GP season, the water cooled CZ 250 never saw action in the moto-cross world championships. 1983 turned out to be the last year that the CZ factory competed in grand prix moto-cross. An era had come to an end.

1983 CZ 250/400 moto-cross (typ 513/514)

Introduced in 1983, the typ 513 and 514 looked similar to the works CZ's of 1978. Unfortunately they lacked the performance of their earlier works bike cousins. Again the captive market of eastern Europe assured that most of these bikes never had to compete against the state of the art production motocrossers of the time. The typ 513 and 514 remained in production into the early 1990's. Some of these bikes were brought into the US around 1987 by Bertus Jawa-CZ. Later they were imported by American Jawa, sold as play bikes, and promoted with the brochure shown.

CZ typ 513 (1984 250 Moto-cross)

1988 CZ 250 pre-production prototype?

CZ typ 520 (1988 CZ 250 pre-production prototype)

I have little information on the bike pictured at the left. This picture appeared in the November 1988 issue of Czechoslovak Motor Review, and no information accompanied the photo. I will speculate that this was the pre-production prototype for the new 250 moto-cross. Sadly this motorcycle never went into production. If CZ could have introduced a bike like this in 1982 the company might still be building motorcycles today. This motorcycle is rumored to be in the hands of a collector in the southern United States.

1989 CZ 125 Moto-cross (typ 519)

CZ's last gasp. The typ 519 125 moto-cross was fairly advanced with hydraulic disc brakes, liquid cooled power valve engine, and a dry weight of 195 lbs. It appeared to be patterned after the Yamaha YZ 125 of the time. A few of these bikes made it the United States in the early 1990's. These motorcycles had limited success, mostly in the 125 beginner classes.

CZ typ 519 (1989 125 Moto-cross)

2000 prototype demonstration bike

2000 CZ 250 Prototype

In 2000 a few employees at the CZ factory decided to build a 250cc moto-cross prototype as a demonstration that CZ could still produce moto-cross motorcycles. The CZ factory still builds roller chain, automobile transmissions, and coordinate measuring equipment. This prototype was photographed by Mike Tillman on his trip to the Czech Republic with Brad Lackey in the fall of 2000. It is not known what ever became of this prototype, but I know there are many CZ fans out there that would like to see CZ start building motocrossers again.


CZ revolutionized the sport of moto-cross in the 1960's. Riders on 250 CZ's won more grand prix than any other brand in that decade, and the 360 CZ brought an end to 4-stroke domination in the 500 class, (until the early 1990's that is). The sport of moto-cross would not be the same today without CZ. European moto-cross legends like Joel Robert, Roger DeCoster, Paul Friedrichs, Vlastimil Valek, Jaroslav Falta, Victor Arbokov, Guenady Moiseev, Gaston Rahier, and many more all began their careers with CZ. In the United States, MX champion's Brad Lackey, Tony DiStefano, Jimmy Weinert, and Rick Burgett all rode CZ's early on.

Varity made moto-cross interesting in the late 1960's and 70's. One could see a dozen or more different brands of motorcycle at a typical moto-cross event. These days, with the exception of color, all moto-cross bikes just seem the same. Luckily vintage moto-cross is alive and well, and also alive and well are the classic motorcycles of CZ, Husqvarna, Maico, Bultaco, Montesa, OSSA, BSA, Rickman, AJS, Greeves, and all the other brands that made moto-cross what it is today.

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

Thank you to Philippe Maitre of the FIM Results Department. Also thank you to Larry Garcia, Jiri Starec, Martin Kratky, and Mike Tillman for contributing pictures used on this page.