Coffin Tank – 1973 CZ 400

In Off-Road, Race by AbhiLeave a Comment

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The CZ 400, also known as the Model 981, was the best open motocrosser to ever come out of the country of Czechoslovakia. Though on the heavy side, this bike was extremely reliable, with well blue-printed engines. These bikes could be difficult to ride, as power delivery was abrupt, and there were heavy vibrations. But the payoff came in high speeds and excellent suspension behavior, despite the excess weight. The easiest way to tell the difference between model years was the tank – the steel coffin tank identifies this example as a ’73.

Racers of the time considered these bikes to be tanks, capable of clutchless drops into first gear with the throttle pinned open. This was a benefit due to the starts of the time – known as the salute start, where you had to keep your hand on your helmet until the green flag was waved. Skipping the clutch action would often save you the precious time to gaining your holeshot, though it was a skill that required plenty of practice. For more on the CZ 400, check out this article on Motocross Action Mag.

This example pairs a ’73 frame with a ’74 swing arm, and the seller says that it’s ready for the race season. It’s got lots of recent work and new parts: Full Circle rims, Bridgestone tires, Ikon rear shocks, 36mm Mikuni carb, electronic ignition, Renthal bars, and PFR exhaust. The motor was rebuilt with a new top end, new rod kit, new piston, and all new bearings. Interesting, the tank is described as “new hand built”. Find this CZ for sale in Greeley, Colorado with a BIN of $8,000 or best offer

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