The story of  Jawa motorcycles started in 1929, when very ambitious business man Frantisek Janecek discovered a potential in motorcycle manufacturing. It ended soon after a "Velvet Revolution" in early 90's when communism fell in Czechoslovakia. Jawa in these days still produces motorcycles, however the time, when this motorcycle brand dominated the world is long time gone...

The beginnings..

Frantisek Janecek

František Janeček started the company after working several years in the armament industry. Although he didn't have any experience with motorcycles, he was familiar with production techniques. Janeček chose between the Austrian double piston two-stroke motor of Puch, the Berlin two-stroke of Schliha, and the new Wanderer 500 cc. Janeček chose the Wanderer. Because of the collapse of the German motor industry, Wanderer had already decided to stop the production. This is because they didn't think it would be profitable to directly compete with BMW. The first model was introduced on October 23, 1929. This was a 500 cc 4-cycle engine with 12 kW of power (18 hp) and fuel consumption of 6 liters per 100 km. Although priced highly, through the first years (and several constructional fixes) this motorcycle was successful and was considered reliable. 



The first success..

First prototype of Jawa 175 Viliers

Due to the economic recession of the early 1930, a cheaper and simpler motorcycle was needed. Year 1932 marked the introduction of JAWA 175, with its 3.6 kW engine. This light (70 kg) machine was capable of speeds up to 80 km/h and fuel consumption of 3.5 liters per 100 km. This motorcycle was still equipped with Viliers engine. The first year of production was an immediate success, selling over 3000 of the JAWA 175, almost three times the number of the 500 cc model over three years of production. Over the years total of 27,535 units of the JAWA 175 were built. One year later Jawa introduced their own motorcycle Jawa 175 Special, which had a Jawa factory built motor. 


1934 Jawa 350 SV

In 1934 jawa started manufacturing brand new Jawa 350 SV , which was the first Jawa designed motorcycle, at the same time Jawa was producing model Jawa 250 Special.

 1937 was the year, when Jawa introduced their first automobile jawa Minor I. First "pedal equipped" motorcycle Jawa 100 Robot was manufactured and became very successful for it's simplicity and affordability. This model was made in the year of 1936. In 1938 JAWA was the first to offer test rides during exhibition show.


1939 - 1945 World War II production


Jawa 250 Perak prototype in SS camouflage color. Painting this bike as "SS motorcycle" was the only way to test ride the machine with out being suspicious to German Wehrmacht patrols

Occupying German forces established their superiority in Czechoslovakia and all the manufacturing industry was redirected to help to build items needed for Germany's war machine. Jawa was assigned to build bomb carriers and engines for electric generators. Any civilian production was prohibited at that time. However, Jawa designers  knew, that war will be over one day, and they wanted to have a new motorcycle ready to be manufactured. So during that time, several different prototypes were built secretly. The one that changed the history of the motorcycle industry was Jawa 250 , later known as "Perak". In June 6th 1941 Frantisek Janecek dies as a result od long term sickness...


After the end of WW2, Jawa started a mass production of Jawa 250, model 11, which became famous as "Perak". This model was the workhorse of Jawa factory, until it was replaced by modernized model 353.





1954 Jawa 250, model 353, was the next generation after famous Perak

Motorcycles produced in the 1950s include the 250/350 (Model 353/354), the 50 Pionyr and Jawetta mopeds. A powerful 2-stroke motorcycle known as the JAWA 250/350 with the compact engine, rear wheel suspension and many other innovations was exported to more than 120 countries worldwide. It was one of the most successful models of JAWA.



Jawa 500 OHC

Jawa's first four stroke machine was introduced. Initially it was made strictly for a local law enforcement to be able to outperform all motorcycles used in Czechoslovakia. Later was this motorcycle offered to general public as well. Jawa 500 OHC was born.



  • 1962, Amalgamation with ESO in production of JAWA speedway motorcycles
  • 1963, Closure of JAWA plant in Prague – Pankrác
  • 1964, Start of production in new plant at Tynec nad Sazavou
  • 1964, Production of millionth JAWA brand motorcycle
  • 1965, Start of production of JAWA 350 Automatic motorcycles
  • 1966, Start of production of JAWA 350 Californian (type 362) motorcycles
Jawa 350, model 362 Californian
  • 1967, Start of production of JAWA 90 (cross, trail, roadster)
  • 1967, Start of production of JAWA 50 Mustang (type 23)
Jawa 50, model 23 Mustang


  • 1970, Start of production of JAWA 350 Bizon motorcycles
  • 1974, Start of production of JAWA 350 (type 634) motorcycles
  • 1976, Production of two millionth JAWA brand motorcycle
Jawa 350/363 Bizon


  • 1984, Start of production of JAWA 350 (type 638) motorcycles
  • 1987, Production of three millionth JAWA brand motorcycle



  • 1991, Start of production of JAWA 350 (type 640) motorcycles
  • 1994, Start of production of JAWA 250 (type 593) motorcycles
  • 1994, Start of production of JAWA 50 (type 585, 586) motorcycles
  • 1997, Founding of the company JAWA Moto spol. s r. o.
  • 1998, Start of production of JAWA 125 Travel motorcycles
  • 1998, Joing with MOTOUNION, take-over of bike MUC 125 Dandy production
  • 1998, Start of production of JAWA 125 Dandy motorcycles
  • 1999, Start of production of JAWA 100 (type 587) motorcycles


  • 2004, Start of production of JAWA 650 (type 836) and JAWA 650 Classic motorcycles
  • 2005, Start of production of JAWA 650 Style motorcycles
  • 2006, Start of production of JAWA 650 Dakar motorcycles
  • 2008, Start of production of JAWA 250 Travel motorcycles


  • 2011, Start of production of JAWA 660 Sportard motorcycles (successor to 650 Dakar)
  • Start of production of JAWA 350/634 Retro motorcycles
  • Developing of JAWA 1000/1200 motorcycles