JAWA 350 twin suitability for sidecar?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Paradox Pete, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. Paradox Pete

    Paradox Pete Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Inland Wash. state near Can. border
    A neighbor has and old JAWA 350 twin with a frozen engine and a fairly well-enigineered hack.
    I know there were a fair number of JAWA twins with Velorex sidecars at one time.
    Any firsthand riding impressions so I can figure out whether or not this combination is worth resurrecting?
    Adequate power?
    Reliability?
    Ease of maintainance?

    Paradox Pete
    #1
  2. hairsmith

    hairsmith Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    224
    Location:
    Nacogdoches Texas
    That sounds like an interesting find.
    But your going to be dealing with a 25-30 year old bike that was designed and manufactured with third world countries in mind. I had one of the last Jawa TS 350's sold by the Jawa importer in the late 1980's. It was an interesting bike and I was able to ride a few of them set up as hacks with the Velorex sidecar.
    At that time they were very underpowered for a 350, but what power they did make was loads of midrange tork. Even as underpowered as they were the brakes were less than adequate. The bike was softly sprung and rode great, and the frame was strong and super stiff.
    No I don't think the Jawa would hold up to modern use, but as a queer relic from the past (they Look like a mid 60's jap bike) it would make a fantastic addition to a stable.
    I wish I still had mine !
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    #2
  3. Egads1

    Egads1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    Georgia
    I currently own a JAWA 350 with a Velorex sidecar. It is easy to maintain and fairly reliable. However I would not take it on any highway with a speed limit greater that 55 mph. The bike has good torque in 1st and 2nd gear but loses it quickly in 3rd and 4th. If you live in a flat area that is no problem but if there are any hills you have to ride like a trucker drives--build speed going downhill and try to maintain that speed going up the next hill. Just a short hill will have you in 2nd gear and at 25 mph.
    #3
  4. Andy-Gadget

    Andy-Gadget Any bike can go anywere

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,369
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    At Stonehenge in Western Queensland '93, note the "Power dome", red nose day, truck size, covering the hole in the sidecar for feet to fit.
    [​IMG]

    Same bike sans sidecar at the side car rally on the Murray River last year.
    [​IMG]
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    #4
  5. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    4,055
    Location:
    Middleburg, Pa. (Snyder County)
    The jawa/Velorex sidecars were actually originally intended for the 350 Jawas.
    #5
  6. Threewheelbonnie

    Threewheelbonnie Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,018
    Location:
    Yorkshire UK
    Love the pictures.

    I'd say a Jawa/velorex is a great outfit so long as you don't mind the odd bit of service work and a cruising speed that's not going to be fun on the motorway. Personally I'm an MZ rider and therefore used to a different set of weird components, but ones as good as the other.

    My Dad used to work with a chap who had one. Yogi, as a true Jawa/CZ/MZ bodger had developed the fine art of welding cocoa tins to patch the exhaust. I've even seen this guy weld coke cans at a push (not as good as Cadbury's tins) to keep the beast alive.

    Andy
    #6
  7. eastbloc

    eastbloc comprador bourgeois

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,366
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Cool! I had both a 250 and a 350 Californian, both circa 1970.

    The chrome is atrocious on these bikes, I'm pretty sure it was invented purely for export markets. It's the thinnest veneer of chrome imaginable. But they're simple and reliable strokers.

    I had my only two motorcycle accidents ever on the 250, within five minutes of each other. They don't stop as fast as a minivan apparently :eek1

    If it's cheap, and you can live with its limitations, it's gonna be a fun (and smelly, and loud) outfit to fart around on :thumb
    #7