Classic Jawas Take A Beating In This Old Performance Test Video
31 August 2020 - RideApart
What goes down stairs, alone or in pairs? These CZs!
It's interesting to see how advertising attitudes have changed over the years. In 2020, a video showing quality assurance testing on motorcycles would be clean, precise, and carefully calculated down to the last millisecond. Technological innovation would be on high display, rather than some random guys eagerly riding a couple of bikes up and down flights of concrete stairs on film.
That's precisely why this old Jawa CZ testing video is so charming. It's everything that slick, modern commercials aren't. Yes, even those that purport to take you inside the super-advanced testing facilities of your favorite OEMs. While you're fully aware that it's still an advertisement, there's something appealing about seeing a couple of guys just looking like they're having the best time, regardless of whether they have tons of sponsors or not.
It's also interesting to see this video in particular, since Jawa Motorcycles—the 2020 reborn version—is the company that posted it. Surely, an OEM that has recently faced loud reliability complaints from dissatisfied customers knew that in doing so, it would open itself up to comparisons against the old Czech bikes. Sure enough, one commenter said, "wish the modern machines matched at least 50 percent of the reliability of these legendary bikes."
I mean, you're never going to please everyone, but this was clearly some type of calculated risk ... right? Maybe. We'll probably never know for sure. What we do know is that watching these old 50 to 250cc bikes traverse rough terrain and bounce through scrambles and early motocross fields is a fun sight to see. Could you do any of this on a modern Jawa? Doubtful—if for no other reason than they have pretty low ground clearance. I have no idea how many modern Jawa riders would want to ride this way, either—and that's another question that will probably never see a satisfactory answer.