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Czech Motorcycles

Walter Motorcycles of Czechoslovakia

A Brief History of the Marque

The Walter marque appears in the annals of Czech motorcycle history for almost five decades, the first being completed by Josef Walter in Prague in 1902 after two years of development.

The company details for the early years are listed as Josef Walter, Výroba motocyklů a automobilů, Smíchov (Bohemia)

Founded as a bicycle manufacturer, motorcycles entered production in 1905, continuing until 1912 when the firm switched to the automobile industry. They also built motor-tricycles using 500cc V-twins with power transmission to the rear wheels by shaft.

At the Prague show of April 1905 they displayed three singles and two twins. The twins entered production in 1907. That year two Walters, a Model A single and a Model B twin, were ridden from Prague to Trieste and back without incident, not even so much as a flat tyre, an astonishing accomplishment. The Model B had adopted roller chain drive to the rear wheel.

By 1910 they were also producing tricycles with engines of up to 1020cc. Some 900 Walter tricycles were built before WWI, and exported to Russia, the Balkans and other neighbouring states. During this period they experienced numerous successes in competition.

According to Tragatsch, motorcycle production resumed in the mid-1920s when, with his sons Jaroslav and Jan, Joseph produced a SV 496cc single. In 1938 Jaroslav designed a 250cc engine first as an ohv and later as an ohc version. This proved very successful and was raced by many great Czech riders including Horak. After the war they continued production until the factory was absorbed by JAWA under the communist regime.

Jaroslav became chief engineer for sports and racing machines at CZ.

A 1909 Walter Model B 1022cc machine is on display at the National Technical Museum, Prague.

A 250cc OHC Horak Walter is in the collection of the Solvang museum, California.

There is no relationship to Walter of Germany.

There is also a Walter sidecar made in Germany; see the page on Sidecars

Sources: GTU Oldtimerservice, Tragatsch p294, 3wheelers.com, cs.wikipedia.org, et al.




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