Scooter fans looking for an alternative to the classic Vespa-style design have another option with the rebirth of a classic Czech brand as a British ex-pat is reviving the torpedo-shaped Čezeta.
The original Čezeta (pronounced Chuh-zeh-tuh) Type 501 was introduced by CV in 1957, with its signature design that has been compared to the shape of a torpedo or a pig. The 501 was followed by the Type 502 and Type 505, before production ceased in 1964.
Fast forward to 2008 when a Brit named Neil Eammon Smith moved to Prague and bought a vintage Čezeta scooter. Smith started restoring Čezetas before experimenting with electric conversions. With help from the electrical engineering faculty at the Czech Technical University, Smith refined his electric powertrain and decided to go into business as Čezeta Motors with the new Type 506.
The Type 506 maintains the original torpedo shape. While the original Čezeta mounted its fuel tank in its snout above the front wheel, the Type 506 has its lithium battery (using the same Panasonic 18650 cells used by Tesla) housed in the main body.
Čezeta will produce two versions: the 506/1 and the 506/2. The 506/1 uses a 4 kWh battery and claims to produce 10.7 hp from its rear wheel hub motor. With a claimed top speed of 52.8 mph and range of 50 to 62 miles, the 506/1 claims performance similar to a gas-powered 125cc scooter. The 506/2 uses a larger 6 kWh battery with a (claimed) expanded range of 75 to 93 miles and a claimed output of 14.8 hp and top speed of 75 mph.
The battery can be charged via a standard electric outlet with Čezeta claiming two hours to gain an 80% charge on the 506/1’s battery and three hours to reach 80% capacity on the 506/2. Čezeta also incorporated a variable kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) with its patented two-way “Sway” throttle. The throttle rolls back as expected for acceleration but rolling the throttle grip forward activates KERS mode with electro-mechanical engine braking. The left handlebar has a selector to choose between three modes, full, city and rain, as well as reverse.
The suspension system consists of a leading-link fork and dual rear shocks. The Type 506 uses a combined braking system with a pig-shaped front brake caliper as a nod to the the Čezeta’s shape.
The Type 506 has a 30.7-inch seat height and runs on 13-inch wheels. While the original Čezeta scooters’ bodywork also served as its frame, the Type 506’s shell hides a steel frame. Čezeta claims a weight of 302 pounds for the 506/1 while the larger battery bumps the 506/2’s weight to 324 pounds.
Čezeta will produce a limited run of 600 units in 2017 with distribution across Europe. The Type 506/1 is priced at 6700 euros (US$7,144) while the Type 506/2 is priced at 8300 euros (US$8,849). Čezeta plans to increase production in 2018 with distribution expanding beyond Europe.
while the the 506/2 uses a 6 kWh battery. The 506/1