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 Jawa - 500 GP type 15 Z
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Photo ou archives : D. Ganneau

Capacity : 500
Model : GP type 15 Z
Production : 1951 - 1961
Category : (R) Racing


500 Z-15 Grand Prix- 1955

When the Czechs led the world

This 500cc racing Jawa, built in the Fifties, shows clearly that in the years immediately after World War II, Czechoslovakia was still a major industrial power. The same year, Jawa launched the "15," an excellent roadgoing bike with a single overhead camshaft engine derived from the dohc Z-15. A year later, the "15" picked up its own dohc.

The Z-15's Finest Hour

The Z-15 enjoyed great success, particularly at the national level. and was seen both as a solo machine and with a sidecar. Its rivalry with the other great Czech name in cycling, CZ, resulted in some classic races. On its first time out, in the Czech Grand Prix of 1950, the Z-15 was ridden to a third-place finish by Jan Novotny. But its finest hour came 11 years later when the extensively remodeled 350cc Z-15s of Frantisek Stasny and Gustav Havel took second and third places in the World Championship behind the uncatchable MV Agusta of Gary Hocking.

Last of the Line

Unfortunately, the last Z-15 had left the factory three years earlier, so Jawa gained little from this victory. This magnificent line of parallel rnrins was the final generation of Jawa four-strokes; since 1966, the firm has devoted itself exclusively to two-strokes, with which it enjoyed some success during the Eighties.


Engine: air-cooled 488cc (65x73.5mm) vertical-twin four-stroke

Power Rating: 55 hp @ 8000 rpm

Valves: shaft-driven double-overhead-cam

Fuel System: dual 30mm Amal GP carburetors

Transmission: 4-speed gearbox

Suspension: (front) telescopic fork; (rear) swinging arm

Brakes: (front/ rear) drum

Wheels: 16 or 18 in wire


On the race track, the Z-15 hid its magnificent motor be-neath the fashionable "dustbin styling" of the Fifties. Completely surrounding thefront wheel, these aluminum shells favored speed at the expense of side-wind stability.

Le fichier Moto Passion réalisé par François-Marie Dumas réunit près de deux mille photos accompagnées d'un historique très complet des machines présentées.
Il sera progressivement mis à jour ici et toute information complémentaire est la bienvenue sur info@moto-collection.org.

Cette documentation unique, qui constitue sans doute l'encyclopédie la plus exhaustive jamais écrite sur l'histoire de la moto, a été réalisée avec l'assistance de nombreux spécialistes dont principalement Didier Ganneau, Christophe Gaime, Mick Woollett, Jean Goyard, Bernard Salvat, Christian Rey, Yves Campion, Helmut Krackowizer, Michael Dregni, Michel Montange, etc. que je remercie ici.

Disponible sur demande :
- Les fiches originales sur papier
- Les photos et archives signées de mon nom en haute définition ou les documents originaux.
Me contacter sur info@moto-collection.org pour les conditions et droits d'utilisation.