Two years after the formation of Classic Legends, which had acquired the rights for the Jawa brand in India and ASEAN markets, the iconic marque has made a comeback to India. Classic Legends is a venture spearheaded by Anand Mahindra, Anupam Thareja and Boman Irani with Mahindra holding a 60 percent stake. Mahindra took this route after witnessing unpromising sales figures from its own two-wheeler offerings. These new Jawa motorcycles are developed with inputs from various international teams (as well as Classic Legend’s own Indian team) and are set to be manufactured in Mahindra’s Pithampur plant in India. Jawa has also said that apparel and accessories will play a significant role in the overall experience.
The three motorcycles unveiled today are the Jawa (Rs 1.64 lakh), Forty Two (Rs 1.55 lakh) and Perak (Rs 1.89 lakh). The Jawa has been named after the first-ever offering from the brand that was simply called the Jawa. The company believes that it is a motorcycle that loyalists will love since it is heavily inspired by Jawa’s popular 250 Type A. The Forty Two, meanwhile, is slightly more affordable and has a more urban and modern theme with matte-black elements replacing some of the chrome bits. It also does away with the retro headlight dome for a regular unit with an offset instrument cluster. The Perak looks very different from the other two models. It’s got a low and long stance, and its bobber styling cues look unique. The bike also ditches all the chrome for a matte-black treatment. The Perak was showcased as a single-seater and features a very different toolbox design. The bobber-like styling elements include a floating seat, bar-end mirrors, chopped fenders, and stubby exhaust mufflers.
They will be quick
Powering the Jawa and the Forty Two is a 293cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine that develops 27hp and 28Nm of peak torque. However, the Perak uses a larger 334cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine which makes 30hp and 31Nm of torque. It uses a bigger bore with the same stroke of the 293cc engine. Both motors come paired to 6-speed gearboxes.
While the engine on the Jawa and Forty Two started life as a Mojo engine, Classic Legends claims that it will be a better performer. It should also be noted that the Mojo has a heavier kerb weight. The higher power-to-weight ratio is likely to give the bikes a faster 0-100kph time than the Mojo – which was no slouch itself and was capable of a 0-100kph time of under 10sec. With this in mind, the Jawas are expected to have a performance level in a different league to the comparative Royal Enfields.
The engine in the Perak will be stronger still – but the third bike is currently still in the final stages of development and will be launched later in 2019.
Quality fit and finish
In the brief time we spent with the new Jawas, the quality fit and finish left us impressed. The paint finish, lack of exposed wires and welds gave the bike a neat appearance. The Jawas are simple and quite like the new Royal Enfield twins in that respect, albeit better put together. The bikes that were displayed also had well-controlled panel gaps and good-quality chrome. However, a closer look also revealed slight alignment differences in the rear indicators and the front and rear fenders. We hope to see a similar or higher level of finish on the bikes that go into production.
Availability and competition
Bookings for the Jawa and Forty Two have already begun through the company’s website. Meanwhile, dealers will open doors in the first week of December 2018. Jawa claims it has already appointed 105 dealers of which, 64 are currently under development. We believe these dealerships are situated in tier-I and tier-II cities. The company aims to start deliveries of the Jawa and Jawa Forty Two by early 2019, with operations getting fully underway within the first quarter. As for the Perak, expect to see it 5-6 months after the other two models.
(All prices ex-showroom, Delhi)