Czech Motorcycle Brands

Czech Motorcycle Brands

The pre-war Czech motorcycle industry competed successfully with other world manufacturers. It is characterized by a rather smaller number of companies that chose motorcycles as their focus than Great Britain or even Germany, but it was the first of the Slavic countries to start such production. That said, in the pre-war period, its machinery successfully competed with the leading German manufacturers. After the war, when pre-war European brands began to experience great problems, the Czech company, which produced Jawa, retained a leading position in Europe for a long time and was in demand in the United States, Canada, and India.

What are Czech motorcycle brands?

The Czech motorcycle industry is underdeveloped, but before the war, it was competitive in the international market. Now, it is represented by a limited number of brands, the best known of which are Jawa, Blata, CZ, ESO, and Böhmerland.

However, the emergence of new, more successful global brands offering simple and cheap products, which was especially relevant during the post-war devastation, did not favor companies whose products continued to be based on the improvement of once-popular motorcycle models. Japanese manufacturers, who very quickly conquered the world market, also played a destructive role in this direction. This affected the Czech motorcycle industry, which failed to compete with the new products; because of this, production in the country was forced to give way to foreign companies.


Jawa Logo

The founder of the company in 1929 was František Janeczek, whose factory was originally engaged in the production of weapons. His first motorcycle was a licensed unit of the German manufacturer Wanderer. The combination of the owner’s surname and the German company created an abbreviation that became the name of the model range of Czech motorcycles – Jawa and the country’s leading brand popular in the twentieth century. But in 1937, the company had already released its own model – the 100-cubic-inch Jawa-Robot, developed by the then-young designer Josef Josef. Just two years later, just before the war, the factory produced a historic model for him, which became the prototype for all post-war motorcycles of the company that brought it world fame. In 2017, the legendary brand got a second life. The rights to its production were bought out by the Indian Mahindra.

The emblem of the brand has not changed for almost all the time of its existence. Its red color, characteristic of all models of motorcycles of this brand, is well known to amateurs and professional motorcyclists. The inner space of the emblem oval is visually divided in half. The upper half is occupied by the name of the brand – Jawa, and the lower half – is a stylized image of wings and wheels in the center, from which they emerge. Everything is simple and laconic, but the main thing is very memorable. Speed, movement – everything is in one common rhythm.


Blata Logo

One of the relatively young and still active motorcycle brands in the Czech Republic is Blata. The company, founded by Pavel Blata in 1990, immediately found a popular niche – the production of pocket rockets, or pocket bikes, with a small weight of up to 30 kg, on which are attached power units with a volume of 40 cm3, as well as electric mini-scooters with a capacity of 1, 4 kW. The company is located in the Czech town of Blansko, where it also develops its engines using modern CAD-CAM technology.

For its emblem, the company has chosen a traditional solution – the company name and a stylized letter “B” without a connecting line, in a shape reminiscent of a bicycle fairing. The design is bright green. At the same time, the text of the emblem, executed in Aachen SH Bold font, is highlighted by a frame of bright fluorescent red color.


CZ Logo

One of the oldest motorcycle brands in the Czech Republic is CZ, based on the Ceska Zbrojovka arms factory, which began operations as early as 1919 in Svatopluka Čech, 1283 Uherský Brod. In 1930, Ceset reoriented itself to the creation of vehicles and, in the same year, produced several motorcycles, the engine of which was placed on the front wheel. However, the practicality of this design proved to be very poor, leading to the development and release of a new model two years later. Throughout the pre-war period, CZ released a new model of its design every two years. But the war made its own adjustments. After its end, the brand became an integral part of Jawa.

Throughout its existence, all products of the company were marked with an emblem, which has not undergone any changes. The emblem was the abbreviation CZ, enclosed in a circle. The letter “C” repeated the shape of the outer circle but with an incomplete right part of the sector, in which there was a dot. In its central part was the sign “z” – the Czech alphabet, whose flag at the top shared the lettering of the “C.” The entire free field of the emblem inside the circle was made in a light titanium shade of color, which provided visual “illumination” of the contours of the metalized circle and the elements of the abbreviation.


ESO Logo

The famous Czech motorcycle racer Jaroslav Simandl 1949 founded his own company for the production of racing motorcycles ESO. The reason for this decision was dissatisfaction with the offers of world manufacturers of motorcycles for speedway, motocross, and ice racing. It was on the development of models for these sports and focused on the company’s activities. Having existed until 1964 as an independent brand, it, together with all its facilities, was bought by Jawa, which continued the ESO sports line in the Czech town of Divisov but already under its own brand.

Simandl labeled his motorcycles with an emblem that he developed together with his son. On the oval, made in a dark shade of red, was applied an element resembling the cap of the filler neck of the fuel tank in its outline. It bore the brand’s abbreviation, with the first and last letters smaller than the middle one. Each of the letters was separated in the middle by a black line repeating its outline. The letters and the outline of the “cap” were executed in bronze to provide an attractive and comfortable visual appeal. Around this symbol, repeating the contours of the oval in the background, the text was printed in black – “MADE IN” at the top and “Czechoslovakia” at the bottom – which indicated that the owner belonged to his state, which at that time was Czechoslovakia.


Bohmerland Logo

One of the motorcycle manufacturing brands in the Czech Republic (at the time of its existence – Czechoslovakia) was Böhmerland, which existed for only 17 years. Founded by the talented Czech designer Albin Hugo Liebisch in 1922, the brand was distinguished by models with a very long wheelbase, reaching 10.5 feet. The prototype appeared in 1922 with the support of Alfred Hille, head of Tatra. Assembly was done by hand, which added to the cost. The first five models were tested only three years later – in 1925 in Shenlinde. It was then that the brand “sounded” as Böhmerland, which translated as “Bohemia Country,” as the territory of the Czech Republic was historically called in ancient times. However, the brand’s models were not in wide demand, and in 1939 the company closed down.

Despite such a lofty name, the brand did not receive a consonant in beauty and uniqueness of the visual image. The emblem looked simple and laconic – only the name of the brand in lowercase letters, which was applied on the surface of 3000 motorcycles produced by this brand.

What country is Jawa motorcycle from?

There are now two Jawa motorcycle companies. The headquarters of one of them, Jawa Moto, is located in Prague, which is the capital of the Czech Republic. There is also a company of the same name in India, operating under license.

Do they still make Jawa motorcycles?

Yes, the Czech company Jawa and its Indian twin still exist and manufacture motorcycles. Recently, new models were presented under this brand.

What are the big four motorcycle brands?

In first place in the ranking of the largest motorcycle companies is Honda. It is followed by its closest competitor Yamaha. Then there are Suzuki and Kawasaki. These are representatives of the Japanese Big Four, which no one can get around.

Is Jawa successful?

The Jawa brand used to be successful but then fell into disrepair. The new owners are trying to revive it and turn it into a popular retro motorcycle brand with production in India.