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Jawa 500cc scrambler unveiled, but it's not what you think

17th Jul 2021 7:00 am

It’s made by the original Czech manufacturer Jawa, and has no relation to the Classic Legends-owned Jawa operation in India.

Jawa has unveiled a new 500cc twin-cylinder scrambler based on its European RVM 500 adventure bike.

  • Powered by a 471cc parallel-twin engine
  • Overseas model only, will not be available in India
  • Bears an uncanny resemblance to the Bristol Veloce 500

The Jawa story

Let’s preface this article by giving you a little background about Jawa Motorcycles. It's originally a Czech company, and it has been operating independently as an active entity long before Mahindra-owned Classic Legends bought the rights to the Jawa brand in India a few years ago. Classic Legends has rolled out the 300cc models you see in Indian showrooms today, but the original company has remained active as well, with an entirely different model lineup that it makes and sells in other parts of the world. These overseas models have nothing to do with Classic Legends, and are not sold in India.

The bikes spoken about in the rest of this story belong to the original Czech manufacturer, Jawa.

Jawa RVM 500 scrambler

About a year ago, Czech Jawa introduced an adventure bike called the RVM 500, powered by a 471cc parallel-twin motor. To mark the first anniversary of this bike being on sale, the company has now unveiled a scrambler-style motorcycle that you see here. It’s based on the same platform as the adventure bike, and seemingly (and confusingly) also called the ‘RVM 500 by Jawa Scrambler’.

Bristol Motorcycles similarities

Jawa from the Czech Republic seems to have some sort of agreement in place with Philippines-based brand Bristol Motorcycles, because its RVM 500 adventure bike is near-identical to the Bristol Venturi 500, and the RVM 500 scrambler is near-identical to the Bristol Veloce 500.

If the two scramblers are as alike underneath as they are on the surface, then the new Jawa gets a 471cc parallel-twin engine churning out 47.6hp at 8,500rpm and 43Nm at 6,500rpm. The plot further thickens when you examine the similarities between these numbers, and the 500cc twin-cylinder Honda lineup (of which the CB500X has been recently introduced in India). All three engines (the Bristol, the Jawa and the Honda) share extremely similar architecture.

The 471cc displacement figure, 67 x 66.8mm bore and stroke numbers, 10.7:1 compression ratio and even the power and torque outputs are all absolutely identical across all three engines! All this is far too serendipitous for it to be a mere coincidence, so either Jawa and/or Bristol have reverse-engineered the Honda motor themselves, or (and this is the more likely scenario), they are building and using it under license from Honda.

Interestingly, there is also some similarity to the 500cc Benelli twin-cylinder engine that powers various models in India. It also has an identical stroke length of 66.8mm, but the Benelli engine seems to be bored out by 2mm to 69mm, resulting in a 500cc displacement figure. Power figures are neck-and-neck too, with the Benelli motor producing just 0.1hp less at the exact same rpm (47.5hp at 8,500rpm), though its displacement advantage shows in its 46Nm torque figure.

Whether the Benelli similarities are mere coincidence or not, we’ll probably never know, but with China increasingly becoming a global hub for motorcycle production, badge-engineering and rebranded global products, chances are this isn’t a sheer coincidence.

Jawa RVM 500 scrambler: India plans

As far as India is concerned, like we said, the overseas Jawa model lineup is entirely independent of what we get here, so neither the RVM 500 adventure bike nor the scrambler are likely to hit local showrooms anytime soon.

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