The iconic Czech brand that used to be a star of Indian roads a few decades ago is back. While retaining its old-school styling, the new Jawa will have a modern liquid-cooled four-stroke engine with ABS and disk brakes, among other features.
Jawa comes from the stable of Classic Legends, a subsidiary of Mahindra. Classic Legends is also working on a relaunch of other stars of yesteryears like Yezdi and BSA.
The legend of Jawa
Jawa was first made by a mechanical engineer, Frantisek Janecek, in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1929. He started off by acquiring the motorcycle division of Wanderer of Germany. The name Jawa was formed by linking together the first letters of Janecek and Wanderer. By the 1950s, Jawa was one of the top motorcycle manufacturers in the world, selling its bikes in over 120 countries.
After making its entry in India in 1950s, Jawa soon developed a cult following. It stopped imports in the 1960s and set up a company, Ideal Jawa, in Mysore (now Mysuru) and started making bikes in India. Based on its Jawa 353 model, the company launched several bikes, including Yezdi. But it stopped production in 1996. Later, Mahindra bought the company.
Think about Jawa and the first image that comes to mind could be its twin exhaust pipes. Though the new Jawa has a new engine, its twin silencers are retained. The 293cc liquid-cooled engine can produce 27 bhp of peak power. The old-school design has been retained for the engine too.
The new Jawa has a throaty exhaust note. Though the new bike can’t match the note of a two-stroke engine, it does sound throaty, and reflects its original trait to some extent.
The unique kickstarter-cum-gear shift is gone. Instead, the new Jawa gets a self-starter. However, the gear lever retains it old look. Meanwhile, the four-gear transmission has been upgraded to six.
The new bike looks like as if it just rode out from history. Look whichever way, there is not much deviation from the old design. New technology like liquid-cooled radiator and others have been cleverly hidden. You do not need to be a bike lover to fall for the classic beauty embellished with lots of chrome and elegance.
While the Jawa might have a proper classic look, Jawa 42 looks more modern and muscular. With a sporty look, it is aimed at the youth. It is a bit cheaper than its sibling, perhaps owing to lesser amount of chrome on it.
One can't forget Yezdi while talking about Jawa. Though several Yezdi models were launched based on the Jawa platform, the real king among them was the Yezdi Roadking. Roadking was produced till the company downed its shutters; and it could make a re-entry soon.
Not a Czech name
The name Yezdi comes from Yazd province of Iran. It was the home town of the Irani owners of Ideal Jawa who landed in India during the second Parsi migration.