Čezeta electric scooter revives Cold War classic - MCN reviews it

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This unique mix of Cold War design and 21st-century technology is the Čezeta 506/02. It’s an electric scooter built around the lines, the looks and the legacy of the original Čezeta, made from 1957 in the former Czechoslovakia. Nicknamed ‘The Communist’s Vespa’ and, more bluntly, ‘The Pig’, more than 120,000 were sold in the 175cc two-stroke’s seven-year life.

But today’s Čezeta opts for a cleaner, quieter life, with a 15bhp electric motor incorporated into the rear wheel and 6kWh of Panasonic lithium-ion batteries inside the composite bodywork.

There are three power modes, plus a reverse gear to help manoeuvre its 187kg. Čezeta claim a top speed of 75mph, a 0-30mph time of just 2.7 seconds and a range of 75 miles.

Čezeta charging

However, our test ride proved less optimistic: we recorded a top speed of 66mph, 0-30mph in around 5 seconds and a usable range of just 40 miles. A recharge with a standard household plug takes three to four hours.

The linked brakes are strong but lack ABS – and the calipers’ porcine outline is a cute nod to the original’s nickname. Regenerative braking (slowing the bike by using the motor to put energy back in the battery) is activated by twisting the ‘throttle’ forwards. Handling is best suited to city life, those titchy 13in wheels making the steering light in traffic but nervous at speed.

It’s a true feel-good machine though, with plenty of charming touches including the chrome-bezelled Smiths speedo, a leather wine-bottle holder, carpeted underseat storage, quality Beringer brake levers and reservoirs, plus machined Rizoma bar-end mirrors. Čezeta don’t have a UK importer, although this bike is for sale. Brand-new it would cost around £18,000, but this demo can be bought for considerably less.

Čezeta wine bottle holder

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Martin Fitz-Gibbons

By Martin Fitz-Gibbons

Numbers nerd, persistent cynic, F800GS & SV650S owner