Jawa Motorcycles Return, Prices Start at Rs 1.55 Lakh at Launch

Jawa Motorcycles Return, Prices Start at Rs 1.55 Lakh at Launch

Car and Bike

Video Editor: Md. Ibrahim

Jawa Motorcycles is making a comeback in India. The Czech brand that was taken over in 2016 by Mahindra has unveiled its first three motorcycles. The standard Jawa is a classic 300 cc bike priced at Rs 1.64 lakh. The cruiser is called the Forty Two, priced at Rs 1.55 lakh and then there's a bobber that will come a little later called the Jawa Perak, priced at Rs 1.89 lakh.

These bikes are being brought in by a company called Classic Legends, which was formed by Anand Mahindra, Boman Irani (from the original Ideal Jawa family) and investment banker and entrepreneur Anupam Thareja. The company wants to invoke the feeling of nostalgia in its buyers, as it was a popular motorcycle brand in the 1960s and 1970s in India.

So what are the bikes and the brand all about? Here’s a quick history, before we get to the bike.

The Jawa Perak (left), Jawa (just Jawa in the centre) and the Jawa Forty Two (right). 
The Jawa Perak (left), Jawa (just Jawa in the centre) and the Jawa Forty Two (right). 
Photo: The Quint

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Blast from the Past

The Czech brand first officially set foot in India in 1961, when the Irani brothers (Farrokh & Rustom) started a company called Ideal Jawa in Mysore. They manufactured a single cylinder 2-stroke, 250 cc motorcycle (type B) under the Jawa brand until 1971, when the licencing arrangement expired.

Ideal Jawa then rebranded its offerings under the Yezdi brand, with a range of motorcycles being made with 2-stroke engines. Most of them were 250 cc models like the Yezdi RoadKing, Yezdi 250 Classic, CL II and Monarch. There was a 175 cc and 50 cc model as well, while a few rare twin-cylinder 350 cc bikes were also imported and sold.

However, by 1996 the company had to shut operations due to financial troubles as sales steadily began declining in the mid 1980s. The decline started after the Indo-Japanese bikes came into the market. These included bikes from Ind-Suzuki (later TVS Suzuki), Hero Honda (later Hero MotoCorp & Honda separately), Kawasaki-Bajaj (later split into separate offerings) and Rajdoot-Yamaha.

Meanwhile, its erstwhile competitor in the cruiser segment – Royal Enfield grew from strength to strength. But now, the brand is back and is hoping for a chunk of the pie, with backing from Mahindra.

That’s me (Roshun), with the Yezdi 250 Classic back in 1996. Notice the design similarity. 
That’s me (Roshun), with the Yezdi 250 Classic back in 1996. Notice the design similarity. 
Photo: The Quint/Roshun

The New Jawa 300

I’ve had the pleasure of owning a Yezdi 250 Classic back in the mid 1990s during college and early work life. That had a two-stroke, air-cooled, 250 cc single cylinder engine with twin exhausts that put out about 14 bhp of power. It had a single lever on the left that was a kickstarter cum gear shift, with a 4-speed transmission.

The new Jawa 300 has a completely modern engine. It is powered by a 293 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected motor. However, the engine has been styled in such a way that it looks quite like the old air-cooled motor in form. It has electric start and a six-speed transmission. The motor has been built from scratch using the engine of the Mahindra Mojo as a base. It puts out 27 bhp of power and 28 Nm of torque.

The Jawa retains its classic looks. 
The Jawa retains its classic looks. 
Photo: Jawa

The bike has a disc brake in front with single-channel ABS, while the rear is a drum brake. The styling of the bike is almost true to its original Jawa Classic 250 form. It has the traditional looking “egg-shaped” headlamp and flat seat. It also has the dual-exhausts that the Jawa design was known for. In short, it looks quite like the original Jawa 250 Classic.

The 293 cc, liquid-cooled single cylinder DOHC engine that powers the Jawa. 
The 293 cc, liquid-cooled single cylinder DOHC engine that powers the Jawa. 
Photo: Jawa

Jawa has set up 105 dealers across the country. Bookings have opened for the bikes and they will role out at dealerships from 5 December. It will be ready for deliveries in early January onwards across the country.

Jawa Motorcycles Specifications:

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