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In 1975 there were a host of Japanese entries into the highly competitive motocross market. Czechoslovakian brand CZ responded with a machine that closely resembled the “works” bike that Jaroslav Falta had “almost” won the 1974 250cc World Championship with.
He “almost won” because at the final round of the 1974 250cc World Championship in Wohlen, Switzerland, Russian KTM rider Gennady Moiseev held a slim 16-point lead over Falta. In what appeared to be a plot, Russian riders Pavel Rulev, Viktor Popenko and Evgeni Rybalchenko attacked Falta mercilessly, culminating in the infamous “Popenko T-Bone!” Amazingly, Falta fought back to win both motos, but the Russians protested the results, saying that Falta had jumped the starting gate. The FIM jury sided with the Russians and relegated Falta to second place for the race. He lost the 250cc World Championship by six points.
The 1975 Falta model featured the key components of the factory bike and also satisfied CZ’s core values of performance and indestructibility. Standard features included the alloy-bodied air shocks, magnesium hubs, lipless alloy rims and a handmade leather belt that secured the aluminum fuel tank. With the single downtube red frame and improved styling, the Falta ditched the agricultural look that CZs were know for. The 1975/76 CZ 250 and 400 Falta Replicas were nearly identical. It can be argued that the Falta Replicas brought the company back to the forefront in motocross, but by 1977, CZ, along with the other European manufactures, was no longer competitive with the Japanese manufacturers.
WHAT THEY COST At a suggested retail of $1490, the Falta was several hundred dollars more than most of the Japanese offerings. A nicely restored original CZ Falta will sell today for around $6500.
In 1975 and 1976 there were two models: the Falta 250 (Model 980.5) and the Falta 380 (Model 981.8). The 380 was often called a 400, but the 82mm x 72mm bore and stroke gave it 380cc.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
The Early Years of Motocross Museum’s 1975 CZ 250 Falta model shown here has a Mikuni carb, Gunnar Gasser throttle, aftermarket bars and levers, special fork crowns, and plastic fenders. These are common mods for racing, but lower the value to the collector.
Contact Bertus CZ/Jawa at (626) 330-2326. Bertus has an extensive inventory of parts for CZs.
For more info on classic bikes go to www.earlyyearsofmx.com