1972 CZ 125 MX
1972 CZ 125 MX
In 1918 at the end of World War 1, Czechoslovakia (now called the Czech Republic) established itself as an independent country. In 1919 Karel Bubla an architect founded the CZ Arms Factory in Strakonice, Czechoslovakia as a means to produce small arms to help protect their newfound country.
In 1930 they expanded production to bicycles, followed by motorized bicycles 1930 and motorcycles in 1932. By 1959 motorcycle production exceeded 100,000 units per year, shipping to over 112 countries around the world. In the 1960s, top European motocross riders such as Joel Robert, Roger DeCoster, and Jaroslav Falta were riding and winning on CZ motocross bikes. Early American riders such as Brad Lackey and John DeSoto were doing the same here in the US.
By 1972, CZ advertisements claimed they had won over 32 off-road World Titles on stock bikes (Six-Day, MX, and Speedway). At that time, they had 379 dealers in the US and 50 dealers in Canada. The infamous "Yellow Tank" CZ motocross bikes were produced for three years, from 1970 – 1972. In addition to the 250 and 400cc MX models, the 125 MX was CZ's first production 125 motocross bike. However, it's my understanding that 1971 was the first year the 125 MX was imported into the US. The CZ ID designations for the 125 MX were 984.1 – 984.3 (1970 – 1972). The 125, 250, and 400 all utilized many of the same components and were virtually identical looking with the exception of the cylinder size, rear tire size, and pipe.
Based on CZ's American advertisements for the 1971 and 1972 125 MX models, the 71' claimed 23 hp and a dry weight of 225 pounds, while the 72' model claimed 19 hp and a dry weight of 208 pounds. From what I understand, the 71' had a longer rod, different cylinder, head, and piston, and was horribly slow. How the 72' lost 4 hp, I don't know. I believe the 72' model also utilized an improved frame and conical hubs, possibly accounting for the 5-pound weight loss. Both utilized a 5-speed gearbox and came equipped with CZ's own Barum tires and proprietary chain with the CZ logo stamped on each link.
1972 was the final year of the "Yellow Tank" era, as in 1973, they introduced the gray coffin "Grand Prix" style tank, red frame, radial "Sunburst" head, and fiberglass front fender.
CZ took great pride in the fact that they were the only manufacturer that dyno'd each bike as it came off the assembly line and then physically tested it on an actual motocross track before providing the final stamp of approval. They were so confident in their craftsmanship that they were the only manufacturer that included a 1-month or 4-race warranty on every CZ motocross bike!
New 1972 CZ 125 MX
This is a NOS 1972 CZ 125 MX. It has a couple of scratches from sitting in a collector's warehouse for a couple of decades, but otherwise is spectacular, from the nubs on the original Barum tires and perfect unscratched pipe to the original wire ties CZ used on various bolts.
Aside from the paint flaking off the number plates, everything else was like (but very dusty) new when I acquired this bike. All that was needed was a thorough cleaning, treatment of the rubber, and painting of the number plates.
I acquired this bike from Robert Borg in Utah around October 2011, seven years after I purchased my Falta 125 from him. Bob had acquired this bike from a collector in Nevada many years prior.
It's amazing to think that possibly the only person to have ever ridden this bike was the tester at the CZ factory in Strakonice, Czechoslovakia, when it came off the production line over 40 years ago.