Real Budweiser transforming a real ratbike

Czech brewery organising a piss-up in a bike builder's workshop


CS Budvar bike

It's not often we come across a custom bike with a coherent, congruent back story. No offence folks. But this one is a cracker. Budweiser Budvar beer (yes, the good, strong, tasty Budweiser that gets you really really drunk) is 'teaming up' with London bikebuilder BOLT, to make a custom Jawa CZ 250 (a type 485 we think?) to feature at the Bike Shed show in May. And then they're going to ride the thing to the Budvar factory in the Czech Republic. A Czech bike, with loads of heritage and history, being ridden to the Czech brewery which also has loads of heritage and history. Can you see what they've done there?

Now, if you're not familiar with Jawas, riding one from London to South Bohemia might not sound like such a big job – it's about 1,000 miles all in. But the CZ Jawas of the 1980s were pretty basic machines even for their time. The famous 350 twin two-stroke CZ350 was probably the most popular in the UK, and it was a slow unrefined beast. This rat-like 250 single-cylinder stroker will be putting out about 20bhp we think (our specs database is a little bare here – we'll be researching more on this), so it'll be a slow 1000 miles.

BOLT is, of course, giving the ratty old CZ a major makeover for the trip though. It’s getting a new copper fuel tank, echoing the brewing tanks of the Budvar brewery, a new Bobber-style frame, and hand-tooled leather seating (brown we imagine). If it was us, we'd be putting in a new piston and double-checking the ignition timing too. And a big old decoke. And sticking a box of spark plugs under the seat. And paying for five-star AA Euro cover. We're trying to get a spin on her before she goes too – the attraction of the Soviet wheels is strong indeed for the resident tankies here at Visordown Towers.

You can see the bike at the Bike Shed London show, on May 25-27th, at the event's special Budvar bar. Then, it's heading to South Bohemia, where the brewery is, in a six-day marathon trek of blue smoke and minor piston seizures. Follow the gig at

*We're actually a bit ashamed of our lack of CZ knowledge. When they were about, we were dreaming of GPZ900Rs and CBR1000Fs, sorry. If you know more about this bike, dinnae be shy now!