2023 Praga ZS 800 is a Czech throwback bike to 1928


If the name Praga in the motorcycle world is unfamiliar to you, don’t worry, we were wondering the same when we laid eyes on the Praga ZS 800. Hailing from the Czech Republic, Praga is a low profile maker of exotic machinery like the RM5.7 million Praga Bohema road-legal hypercar, the R1 race car and Praga Alfa multi-purpose, STOL performance aircraft, as well as a range of go-karts.

Taking the Kawasaki W800, Praga has created the ZS 800 in a retro tribute to the 1928 Praga BD 500 motorcycle designed by Jaroslav Koch in Prague. The original BD 500 featured a four-stroke DOHC engine designed by Koch and some 1,800 units were made during its seven-year production history.

Moving to the modern day, the ZS 800 will be a very limited run model, with only 28 units to be made worldwide at a price of 86,000 pounds sterling (RM446,670). Deliveries of the ZS 800 is expected to being in mid-2023 with the first unit going to a client in Dubai.

Modern engineering and manufacturing techniques is used extensively in the ZS 800, including unique hand-woven forged carbon-fibre wheels complete with spokes made from the same material. The sculpted front fork is made using five-axis machining and chrome molybdenum steel, housing a fully-adjustable Ohlins shock absorber with titanium spring.

With a hardtail frame, rear suspension for the ZS 800 consists of a Ohlins TTX air shock absorber mounted under the single seat. 11.5-litres of fuel is carried in the tank, itself a billet machined chunk of aircraft grade duralumin alloy clad with carbon-fibre tank covers.

Titanium is extensively used throughout the build of the ZS 800, comprising of almost every screw, axle, nut and bolt of the chassis and engine. Similarly, the exhaust system is made from titanium, constructed using 3D printing and weighing just 4.8 kg.

In keeping with the vintage retro style of the ZS 800, hydraulically actuated drum brakes are fitted, eschewing the use of discs. The Praga ZS 800 tips the scales at 142 kg dry, some 60 kg less than the W800 it takes its engine from, and boasts of a perfect 50:50 weight distribution between front and rear wheels.

The air-cooled parallel-twin from the W800 stays stock, producing 47 hp from 773 cc with 65 Nm of torque. Chief designed of the Praga ZS 800 says, “these futuristic materials and Praga sports division’s latest production facilities have enabled us to transfer those elegant historical design elements to the present day, and to build a motorcycle with contemporary driving characteristics and a unique feel.”

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