Although Clutch and Chrome doesn’t focus on scooters, like the riding community in general, we do love the colorful history of riding. With this in mind, how could we not report on a distinctive scooter making its way through Europe and eventually North America?
In Czechoslovakia between 1957 and 1964, one scooter came to symbolize fun, freedom and adventure for young Czechs. The distinctively long torpedo shape, long seat and running boards of the Čezeta not only caught the eye, they made room for lovers riding pillion. Over 100,000 were quickly sold and many still survive today as a timeless celebration of beauty, individuality, and the pursuit of pleasure.
Even for its time, the original design of the Čezeta was unique among scooters. At 2 meters, it was unusually long for a two-wheeled vehicle. Add in the distinctive torpedo-shaped body with its long seat and you have the makings of an icon.
Looks aside, the Čezeta grew in popularity from how practical it was. The long seat lifted to reveal a substantial luggage compartment, using space that in most scooters is occupied by the fuel tank. On a Čezeta the fuel tank was positioned above the front wheel, with the headlight fitted into a recess and a luggage rack on the flat top surface. It was a common joke amongst Čezeta riders that the exposed front tank with built-in headlight formed an explosive warhead and detonator for the torpedo, though in practice the Čezetas proved no more likely to catch fire than any other motor scooter, even in serious collisions.
Another unique stylistic design, the front mudguard is fixed to the body and fully streamlined into the leg shields.
The scooter was driven by the 175cc ČZ two-stroke single-cylinder motorcycle engine, giving a top speed of 55 mph and economy of 3.2 liters/100km. The engine was modified for the enclosed scooter by having a drive pulley on the crankshaft driving a fan by means of a Vee belt with riders able to make their way through four foot-operated gears.
The scooter was so popular, a three-wheeled utility version was built starting in 1960.
It should be a modern motorcycle mantra that no good legend is left untouched and the Čezeta is a great example of this. Building off the iconic Čezeta 1950s design and on the occasion of its 60th Anniversary, the legendary bike is back, this time as a luxury electric scooter.
Developed and built entirely in the Czech Republic, it delivers a mighty 11kW output giving a top speed of 120km/h and 0-50 km/h in only 3.2 seconds. Other new and original technologies include the 2-way Sway throttle and the Dynamics torque selector, providing exceptional control in all riding conditions. In keeping with the simple and usable philosophy of the original Čezeta constructors, all functions of use and charging have been 'fully-automated to produce an effortlessly addictive motorcycle'.
As with riding a scooter, the comeback for the Čezeta will be done carefully. Up to 600 Type 506s will be hand-built to order to customer specifications at the Čezeta Motors facility in Prostějov, eastern Czech Republic in 2017. The press release is quick to point out that this limited production run makes the new scooters ‘rarer than a Rolls Royce’.
Those production numbers will need to increase however, from 2018, the company has plans to expand production and distribution of the 506 beyond Europe.
“We are the start of a revolution in motorcycle manufacturing,” said Neil Eamonn Smith, CEO of Čezeta Motors s.r.o. “Using a perfect combination of technology, craftsmanship and aesthetics, our goal is to become the world’s most desirable scooter.”
Interested riders can learn more about getting their gloved-hands on this scooter comeback on the company’s website.