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Bike Profile - Posted Friday 13th January 2012

An MZ Adventure, Part Three
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On a routine trip to a Belgian Rally, first Phil Speakman suffers from sudden deflation, and then his travelling companion's Jawa loses its sparks. What next?...

After a night on the town in Ypres, including starting off the evening with a visit to the Menin Gate to pay our respects during the nightly sounding of the last post, we only needed to travel 20 miles down the road the following morning. At nearby Gullegem we were due to join in with the local 6V Club run which Tony and Phil had attended the previous summer.

However, we had to push start Tony's Jawa so it could join the run, which really didn't bode well. By the time we'd stopped for the half way refreshments, there was no sign of him and we were getting worried. Or as worried as it's as possible to be with a cold beer in one's hand, which isn't much if we're being brutally honest.

Goldie struggles to keep ahead of the mighty MZ and CZ duo...

During the run out, we had a couple of police scooters providing us with an escort for the entire journey, leap frogging ahead of us, one after the other, to stop the traffic. This allowed our eclectic convoy of old machinery to pass through junctions relatively unhindered, remaining as a loosely assembled unit; enveloped within a pale blue haze of two-stroke fumes and the occasional whiff of castor oil. However, with such a disparity of engine sizes from under 50cc to well over 1000cc, inevitably a few had become detached at some point and eventually Tony and his bothersome Bohemian finally made it to the refreshment stop accompanied by a few stragglers.

Tony sneaks up on the Flandria from behind hoping to take it by surprise and ride it home... 50cc Flandria

While enjoying the welcome break we took the opportunity to take a closer look at some of the weird and wonderful machines peculiar to this part of the world. A couple of Flandria 50cc mopeds caught the eye and an un-restored and recently recovered and re-commissioned Emva. From what we were told, having recently been found in a shed, it had only started for the first time in heavens knows how many years just the previous day. Yet here it was half way around and running well, which was more than could be said of Tony's Jawa which was showing signs of running terminally low on electricity.

Hang on aren't you 62 years late...

Both myself and Phil Frost were quite taken with the ex-Wehrmacht Zundapp 601 and BMW outfits which were fabulously turned out, complete with many period accessories.

A green Hefalump wot isn't green... Ex-Wehrmacht Zundapp 601 outfit
MZ bits on Right Now......

By the time we returned to Gullegem again and parked up, we waited more in hope than expectation for Tony's return. Eventually, after a few phone calls he was located somewhere not too far away and the rescue van of shame was sent to recover him. By the time we saw Tony again, the problematical Panelka 360 was parked in a nearby garage belonging to Ruben, a wonderfully helpful BSA Bantam riding 6V Club member, who'd put both the Jawa and the BSA's batteries on charge for the night. The theory being that Tony would at least make it back as far as the Zeebrugge ferry with two full batteries to rely on.

Tony looks for alternative transport...

As some sort of compensation, we treated Tony to a night out at the local Rusteel Brewery's restaurant and bar, which provided us with some excellent food. During the course of the evening we also worked our way through their selection of four home brewed beers, a couple of times or so, just to make sure...

Zundapp to die for... Zundap C50 Super

The next morning, I dropped Tony off at Ruben's garage, where Tony played with the Jawa for the morning whilst Phil, Dave and myself took a short trip to nearby Passendale to pay our respects at the Tyne Cot memorial and cemetery. By the time we'd returned, Tony was ready for the off, with a new set of head gaskets made and fitted and with a fresh load of electricity recently shovelled onboard.

As it transpired, the Jawa ran fine once fitted with a freshly charged battery and it even made it all the way to its Stockport home without requiring the fitting of the Goldie's battery, despite it having no functioning charging system. But I shouldn't be so surprised at that, as it's no more than most race machines manage, isn't it?

The bike has since been laid up for the winter and subsequent testing of the field coils has declared them to be dead. Tony states confidently that he has every intention of fitting a modern Vape based 12V alternator, regulator and solid state coil system before next spring. As I've similar systems fitted to my Jawa 355, Simson AWO425, a couple of Adlers and even my MZ ES150/1, I know just how good they are and how they can transform on old bike into a dependable and useful machine.

Mind you, Tony had better prove good to his word, otherwise that poor old Jawa might yet find itself being lowered into the briny ocean on the end of a chain. Especially if during our next trip, it transpires he's merely bolted a rusty old set of CZ field coils onto it, costing him a fiver. I for one, as a fellow Jawa rider, think that his 360 deserves much better than that...


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