JAWA 50 cc model 555  - Ultra-Lightweight Motorcycle.

After tens of thousands of these machines took to the Czechoslovak roads to give very good service to their owners, in 1957 several thousands of these smallest members of the JAWA family were delivered to a number of countries to show also abroad of what they are capable. Who is looking for a reliable, comfortable and cheap machine with good performance to cover short distances, will find in the JAWA 50 Ultra Lightweight the ideal fulfilment of his requirements. If short distances have been mentioned, it was not meant that JAWA 50 would not be capable to cover also long journeys.  Of this a number of proofs is at hand. The most convincing one is the trip of three Czechoslovak journalists who undertook, on three of these machines, a journey through the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the Soviet Union, covering 6,500 miles (10,500 km) at a daily average of 136 miles, overall average speed of 22 m.p.h. (35 km.p.h.) and a consumption of 164 m.p.g. (1,7 litres per 100 km). These figures speak for themselves.

In 1958, however, there will be available the improved 555 model with a number of novel features.

These do not concern the appearance only. In respect of appearance the JAWA 50 is becoming the most elegant machine of its class. Instead of the existing front mudguard, oscillating with the front wheel, the machine is provided with a deeply valanced mudguard forming a solid unit with the front fork and offering good protection to the rider. The rear mudguard of the new model forms, together with the enclosure of the rear part of the motorcycle, an attractive whole. On its top part, behind the saddle, there is space for a luggage carrier fitted with a handle, making the manipulation with the machine easy.  Another improvement is the saddle of more graceful shape, designed so as not to cause fatigue of the rider even on long trips. The saddle is now hinged in front so that it can be lifted forwards, giving thus better access to the compartment located below.

The frame tube has been modified, particularly with regard to the suspension of the pivoted rear fork. The original suspension by a single coil spring has been replaced by two coil springs.  Both springs are protected against dirt by an easily removable cover.

Technical data



two stroke, air cooled

Number of cylinders



38 mm


44 mm

Cylinder capacity

49.5 cc

Compression ratio

7 to 1

Power output

2.2 HP

Fuel tank capicity

0.8 galls  (3.5 litre)

Top speed

37 mph (60 kph)


117 lbs  (53 kg)

Carrying capacity

231 lbs  (105 kg)


JIKOV 2912


2.5 x 16 in

The 555 model has also full width hub brakes, in consequence of which its wheels are interchangeable.

And perhaps most important of all is the fact that the improved cycle part is equipped with an improved engine.  The engine of the 555 model has an output of 2,2 HP (instead of 1,6 HP) at 5,500 r.p.m. with the consumption remaining at 175 m.p.g. (1,6 litres per 100 km).  The well known three-speed gearbox makes possible the full use of the engine power throughout its range of revolutions.

Apart from these substantial improvements a number of minor modifications has been carried out on the machine. All of them signify a decisive step forward. The JAWA 50 will accordingly be more powerful and faster, yet as safe as ever, more comfortable than hitherto, and due to its graceful lines will attract the attention of everybody.  It is a small machine, such as one can only wish.

Taken from Czechoslovak Motor Review
issue 1 1958, for:- jawamoped.com

Click for pdf version of this article.