Guns or butter? I think I would choose guns. How about guns or motocross bikes? That’s a tougher choice. Find this 1975 CZ 250MX for sale somewhere in Western Washington for $2,450 via craigslist.
Česká zbrojovka Strakonice or CZ started as a manufacturer of small arms in the early 1900’s in Czechoslovakia. After World War One, the arms market took a downturn and CZ began production of motor driven cycles. It was back to arms production when the factory was taken over by the Germans during World War Two and then back to motorcycle production when hostilities ended. CZ became the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe and was very successful with off road two stroke bikes. In the 60’s they won six world motocross titles and the International Six Day Trial a few times. By the 1970’s the Japanese were writing on the wall pre-Facebook, and CZ’s days were numbered. The 250 here was one of their last gasps before going under.
The 250 featured a 250cc (really?) air cooled two stroke producing an estimated 31 horsey-power. The head featured a unique fan-shaped cooling fin array. The cooling was said to be so good that serious motocrossers could grind down every other fin to save weight and still not overheat the bike in competition. The bike also featured a new Czech 32mm Jikov carburetor. Prior to this bike the old Jikovs they used would flood the engine if you happened to get tossed on track, and you could forget about completing the race.
A contemporary test in Cycle World called the rear shocks rotten, and advised you toss them and replace them with Konis. They said they made the bike seriously unstable in the rough and downright dangerous in really bad stuff. They also complained about the bike being overweight, but on the plus side said it had plenty of power, fine brakes and a transmission described as a masochist’s delight. But how can you not like a bike with a coffin shaped tank held in place with a leather belt!
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