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Bike Profile - Posted 24th May 2010

Jawa 350 Classic Solo
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Jawa still build a traditional torquey two-stroke roadster with considerable classic cred. It's available in the UK and Ireland, and Ger Duhig has just bought one...

As an owner of a number of East European machines Jawa, CZ and MZ I was thrilled to see a Jawa Dealer opening again in Ireland after many, many years. I have owned different Jawa models; 634s and 638s, but the only new one I ever had was a 638, which I bought from East End Motorcycles in Belfast back in 1988. When I heard Jawa Ireland were selling the Jawa 640 I became really interested. After doing plenty of research and after various phone calls and emails a deal was struck for the new bike. I went to collect it from Jawa Ireland in Blanchardstown in Dublin.

Although it's 350cc, the model designnation is 640... 2010 Jawa 350 Classic Solo

As I pulled in I was welcomed by the owners, Pavel and Jana. They had the bike beautifully prepared. It was gleaming. I selected the Classic model with electric start and oilmaster. The colour I chose was black, with a Puig screen fitted, chrome mirrors, racks with 21-litre Givi boxes and rear carrier with Givi top box. It was all finished off with white classic stripes.

After a mug of coffee I was invited to try it out around the business park to see if I was happy with everything. Happy I was and off inside to hand over the cash. All the paperwork was prepared in advance and all in order. It was as smooth a transaction as I have ever done. The bike was loaded up in my van and tied down ready for my journey south, home to Dungarvan in County Waterford.

And here it is from the other side... 2010 Jawa 350 Classic Solo

As I pulled in at home the welcome party were soon out to express their satisfaction with the bike.

Even though I was anxious to hop on and head off, I relented and decided to hold off until the morning, as I wanted to do a tightness check and inspection on everything. The following morning was dry and sunny and I began to look over the machine. I found only one loose nut on the rear mudguard. Jawa have used nyloc nuts where possible.

Digital speedo with time clock...

The bike is fitted with the new style digital speedo/ rev counter with (at last) a time display! The front forks are very nicely finished and come with chrome caps on top. The forks are also height adjustable. The large chrome headlight really looks well and more importantly is very good at night. Stopping power is provided by the big 300mm front disc brake as fitted to the Jawa 650 models and at the rear, the very dated 160mm drum brake. The two-stroke oil tank is situated under the saddle near the rear tail light and tubed down to the metering pump at the left hand engine side case. The bike is fitted with a Vape Electronic ignition system and Czech made Brisk (formerly known as Pal) NR 15C Spark plugs with, nicely snug fitting, rubber coated plug caps to keep out the dreaded dampness.

The exhausts are upswept but the baffles are riveted in place as opposed to bolted. This was an idea of Pavel's. He wanted to remove the hex head bolts, which protrude from the side of the exhaust, to give it a cleaner look. This means for cleaning the rivets will have to be drilled out and riveted again. The twin rear shocks are adjustable and have five settings. Jawa in their wisdom have stuck with the brilliantly designed fully enclosed rear chain. The saddle is lockable and underneath is stored the tool kit.

Panniers, topbox and screen are all optional extras...

Chrome spoked wheels are fitted with the Czech made Mitas Tyres. By the way, Mitas are the largest motorcycle tyre manufacturer in Europe. The front tyre is an exact replica of the Barum tyre. Whether Barum are concentrating now on tyres for four-wheel vehicles or not I am not sure but both companies are doing very well for themselves. The overall paint quality and finish of the bike looks very good. So with the inspection over, it was time to take it for a spin around….

Sooo clean. But for how long?... 2010 Jawa 640 Classic Solo; twin cylinder 350cc two stroke
Alternative MZs on Right Now......

Fuel on, choke lever up, press on the start button and the engine fired first time. What a great addition this electric starter is. As you get older, kick starting becomes tedious (the gear lever still doubles as a kick-starter if required, which has been a feature on Jawas for many years. The gear lever can be pressed inwards about 6mm and then turned up and used then to kickstart the machine).

I waited a few seconds, choke off and the engine started ticking over nicely with that familiar Jawa two-stroke tone. First gear was selected with the same Jawa clunk and the clutch released and away I went. The clutch appears nice and light. As I accelerated away I looked in the rear view mirror, guess what, no blue smoke! Maybe this is down to the fact I am now using fully synthetic two-stroke oil and it is being pumped in at 50:1or the fact that on my 634, I mix in the tank at 33:1 plus a bit for good luck! I am not sure…

Acceleration is smooth up through the gears. Driving along the bike felt really good. The seat is comfortable and the dreaded vibration, which I witnessed first hand from the 638, is no more. As the bike is new I keep the revs low as I accelerate up through the gears. The rear view mirrors are very solid and the view is excellent. In front of me is the Puig screen that I had fitted as an extra and it is well worth the €85 I paid for it. I drove along getting a feel for the bike.

More hole than disk?...

The front brake is superb but the back I would describe as only adequate. The bike handles well throughout the gear range and the ride is comfortable.

My first trip covered a total journey of 70km and as I returned home I was very happy. I pulled the bike up on its centre stand and I had a quick look around for anything loose or any oil around the engine or gearbox and all was good. I removed one of the spark plugs and noticed it was a nice sandy brown colour. So after the first ride out I was pleasantly surprised and very happy with the bike. It is after all a 1990's bike with very few changes.

The following day I brought my good wife Margaret for a spin, as I was keen to see what the bike was like two-up. With the Givi box behind her back she was nice and snug. The bike pulled away nice and clean with the two of us up and handled really well. On some of the bumpy roads the bike bounced up and down a bit, which probably suggests an adjustment to the rear shocks, is required for two-up. After returning home again with approximately 70km done Margaret felt that the bike was very comfortable and she enjoyed it.

If Jawa were to change one thing on the bike I would suggest that they swap the rear drum for a rear disc brake. This is very doubtful of course as time must surely be running out for this model, even though I believe they sold over 1500 of these last year, mainly to countries like Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, Iraq and some of the North African countries.

For the time being I think I will give the original brake shoes a bit longer to bed in to see if they improve. If they don't I will replace the original brake shoes with a set from EBC. This should improve things as I use these on my Jawa 634. One other minor complaint is the indicator switch that still has to be returned to its centre position by pushing left or right after each use.

Other than that it is thumbs up all the way -- delighted with it so far!

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Note the fork gaiters... 2010 Jawa 350 Classic Solo - UK Model

In the UK, the sole importer for Jawa motorcycles is based in Oxfordshire. See JAWA Motorcycles or phone 01295 712900 after 2pm


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