Welcome. Jawa Motors (pronounced ‘YAH-vah’) is a Slovakian producer of motorcycles that also produced mopeds. Founded in 1929 by František Janeček, the company name is a combination of the first letters of the founder’s name and the first two letters of their motorcycle product, the Wanderer.
Povážské Strojárne is the company that made Babetta (Jawa) mopeds. In 1983 they had 3500 employees making mopeds, and 10,000 employees making mainly large ball bearings for cranes and weapons.
ZVL is the parent company, with 64,000 employees in 1983, that produced bearings, weapons, and military aircraft engines, and other machinery products.
Babetta was a line of mopeds made in Slovakia (formerly C.S.S.R or Czechoslovakia). Babetta is a girls name from a popular 1960’s Czech song. The domestic models were called Babetta, while most export versions were called Jawa. Before 1986 the production was at Povážské Strojárne (PS) (Povaska machinery company) near the city of Povážské Bystrica in north-central Slovakia. After 1985 production moved to the town of Kolárovó (Gúta in Hungarian), in southern Slovakia near the Hungarian border. As a result of that move, quality issues plagued many of those mid-to-late 1980’s Jawa mopeds. Later in the 1990’s back at Povážské Strojárne, production restarted with the Puch Korado, made by Manet, with a Puch remake engine. The full Jawa Babetta history is told by Edgar Uher, the German importer of Babetta mopeds in the 1990’s, with the help of long time Babetta engineer Jan Sujansky, who lives in Povážské Bystrica and also worked at Kolárovó for many years: http://www.jawamoped.com/html/history.html
American Jawa Ltd. was the US importer, located at 185 Express St, Plainview, New York 18803, and 18408 Laurel Park Rd, Compton, California 90224.
Motokov was the Czechoslovakian importer/exporter of automotive products. They were the sole exporter of Jawa mopeds.
Motokov Canada Inc. was the Canada importer, located at 7600 Trans-Canada Hwy, St. Laurent, Quebec H4T1A5.
These are European models, with smaller lights, no horn, no brake light.
There was the Transistor 40 (40 km/h = 25 mph), and Transistor 25 (25 km/h = 16 mph).
These are US models, with front and rear side reflectors, brake light, electric horn, and bigger lights.
The “Babetta” and “Transistor 40” stickers were in use from 1975 to 1978. In 1978, starting with frame number 211000, the model number changed from 207.011 to 207.111. The big red “tranzimo” electronic unit became a small black box and a separate coil. The engine stop rotary switch on the top of the headlight was eliminated. There is no engine stop switch. Instead the right thumb operates the decompression lever, that says “engine stop”. The white fenders became chrome. New 1978-79 model names were 50C, 50DL, and 50DLX, but the bikes were labeled with only JAWA on the tank sides.
Until now the highest speed version was 25 mi/h (40 km/h). In 1979-80 the 50DL and 50DLX models had Bing 1/12/167 or 1/12/325 (12mm) carburetors, instead of Jikov 2909 (9mm). These were rated to go 30mph. You can tell these from a distance by the grey flat top air box that points forward just above the spark plug. That air box was originally rear-facing, for 1950’s-60’s Sachs 502 series mopeds. See more in Bing Carburetor. Scroll down to “Bing Jawa”.
In 1980-81 the 30mph models went back to a Jikov carburetor, but a bigger Jikov 2912 (12mm). New model names and specs:
X30 (207.385), 30mph, 13T, 2.3 hp, $460
X25 (207.385), 25mph, 12T, 1.8 hp, $430
X20 (207.377), 20mph, 11T, 1.5 hp, $430
Trans. 25 (208.450), 16mph, 10T, 1.5hp
The Jawa model 210 came out in 1983-84. It featured a redesigned frame and engine, with more torque for faster starts and better hill climbing. For 2 or 3 years, the engines were two-speed. Later years had one speed engines. The one-speed engine came in 20mph (210.120) or 30mph (210.130) versions. The 210.230 two-speed 30mph engine had three automatic clutches, one to start the engine, one to get going from a stop, and one to shift gears. The 30mph “210” versions (210.130 and 210.230) produced 2.1 horsepower (down slightly from 2.3).
In 1985 the production plant was moved from Povážské Bystrica to to Kolárovó, Slovakia. Not all of the equipment and expertise survived the move. There were some quality issues after 1985. There are many 1986-88 one speed models (210.130) but not many two speeds (210.230). So it seems like they made 210.130 models mostly during the first year or two at the new plant.
1989 American Jawa Product List
210.130 (1-s 30mph) $503
225.120 (1-s 25mph) $535 (kick start)
210.230 (2-s 30mph) $535
210.230 (2-s 30mph) $680 Breeze
210.130 (1-s 30mph) $633 Sport
210.220 (2-s 25mph) $670 Cat
210.230 (2-s 30mph) $670 Alley Cat
Velorex Sidecar 562 $1100
Velorex Sidecar 700 $1300
CZ motocross 250cc $1800
CZ motocross 400cc $1900
Until now all Jawa mopeds had pedals because they were motor asisted bicycles. But as Germany dropped the pedal requirments for mofas (25 kmh) in the early 1990’s, other countries and states followed. To satisfy the demand for “mokicks” aka “nopeds”, Jawa introduced the 225 model in 1990-1991.
This 1991 sales brochure lists all the 210 models, including 215, 225, 226. They are all one speed engines, with different power levels, except for the 215.000 and the US model 210.211. Here is the link: jawamoped.com
By the 1990’s all Jawa mopeds all had CDI ignitions. No more thyristors!
Notice how the 1992-1995 Jawa mopeds have white powder coated rims, rails, handlebars instead of chrome. That is a way to hide flaws or rough textures, and is easier and cheaper than chroming.
One of the last dealer price lists of American Jawa had 3 Jawa’s and 1 Puch. The Puch Korado was made in the old Povážské Strojárne (PS) (Povaska machinery building) near the city of Povážské Bystrica in north-central Slovakia. At the same time, 1994-95 Jawa Sport, Supersport, Ultrasport were made in the small agricultural town of Kolárovó. While the Puch Korado was made with Piaggio top notch equipment and modern methods, the last few years of Jawa’s were made using obsolete, worn-out equipment with not enough expertise and concern for quality.
Starting with the fall of socialist economies in 1990, and the privatization of industries, Kolárovó faced increasing costs, and decreasing market demand, as Slovakians were free to purchase from outside the country. In 1993 Czechoslovakia was split in half. Suddenly Kolárovó’s exporter, Motokov, was in Czech Republic, a foreign country, as well as some suppliers. All of these things combined to cause the bitter end of Jawa Babetta mopeds. Read the full history on John Woods awesome website, jawamopeds.com.