1961 Jawa 350 Racer
With Phil Aynsley
Jawa was by far the most active of the East European manufacturers and raced 500, 350 and 250cc machines with a considerable degree of success from the mid ‘50s.
These were all DOHC parallel twin designs with the 350 providing the best results. They enjoyed a very successful period until 1968 when the new two-stroke designs took over competition duties.
This is a 1961 vintage 350cc machine. Riders Frantisek Stastny and Gustav Havel finished second and third in the ’61 Championship behind Gary Hocking on an MV Agusta.
The highlight of that season was a 1-2 at the German GP. Stastny also finished fourth in both the 1960 and 1962 Championships.
1960 saw a major redesign of the racing twins. The earlier bevel drive to the cams, which had been mounted on the right hand side of the motor, was moved to a central position behind the cylinders with a horizontal bevel then taking the drive to the exhaust camshaft.
Two-valve, twin plug heads were used and the 6-speed gearbox could be removed without dismantling the motor. Bikes with the oil mist catch tank under the seat (as with this bike) appeared at the East German GP in July ’61.
From late 1963 four-valve heads were fitted and, with continuing refinements, the bikes were raced until the end of the 1967 season. 46hp at 10,600rpm was the end result with a dry weight of 120kg. Top speed was 217km/h.