Jawa is back. That’s the tagline Classic Legends, the company that has given a rebirth to the Jawa brand in India along with Mahindra, is using for the bikes. A month ago, the Jawa, Jawa Forty Two and Jawa Perak were unveiled in Mumbai with prices starting at Rs 1.55 lakh.
Now, about twenty bikes were offered to select media for review in Udaipur this week. These are apparently pre-production motorcycles, with actual production to start only in January sometime. We’ve cobbled together some of the reviews that were put out, to get a perspective on what Jawa is all about.
Before you read on, you may also want to check out this video discussion on whether or not a Jawa is a worthy replacment for a Royal Enfield Classic 350.
Now let’s get a take from the guys who’ve ridden the Jawa and Jawa Forty Two.
How Is The Build Quality?
While the looks of the Jawa bikes are spot on retro, one thing many people want to know is how good is the fit and finish? Bunny Punia from CarToq says the bikes are well finished and he particularly likes the matt finish on the Forty Two.
He says, “The aim was to bring back the uber-coolness of the Jawas of the 50s and 60s. Overall, the ‘retroness’ looks nice on these bikes. I’m 35 years old and I wouldn’t mind being seen on this for my Sunday rides.”
One issue he found with the bike was the hardness of the seat, especially for a large rider. He says the seat isn’t too comfortable for long rides. (That’s something that can be customised though.) The side panels have almost no storage space behind them.
Amit Chhangani of Motoroids says the overall look and feel of the bike is great. However, he points out, “Finish in some parts is not very consistent, though the officials at Jawa claim that it'll be addressed to a very large extent in the production version of the bike.” These are still prototypes.
Most reviewers agree that in terms of the design, Jawa has nailed the design. The Forty Two has a flatter, wider handle, while the Jawa has a taller stance and narrower bar.
How Good Is The Engine?
“It’s a nice and deep exhaust note. But more importantly, it’s one that you won’t get tired of hearing,” says Rishaad Mody of Autocar India.
The Jawa comes with a 293 cc single-cylinder engine (based on the Mahindra Mojo), which puts out 27PS of power and 28Nm of torque with a six-speed transmission.
“It's a well engineered motorcycle for the cruiser class, which is dominated by the RE 350s. The engine here is way better with not just more power, better technology and superior performance but tons of low end torque too. The tractability of the bike in low revs at high gears is truly commendable. What's more this engine is very refined, making the bike feel vibe free for the most part,” says Amit.
However, most reviewers observe that vibrations begin to creep in at high speeds, over 95 kmph and beyond that. That’s when the engine begins to lose steam as well. It has good low-end response and mid-range, but not much at the top. Max speed is between 135 kmph and 140 kmph, according to the reviewers.
And then there’s the sound. While it’s not anything like the old two-stroke Jawa of yore, it can be tuned in five steps from muted to loud, by adjusting the “DB cutters” or the cores of the exhausts.
How Does It Ride?
The chassis and suspension combination make the bike quite comfortable according to most reviews. The seat may be hard, but the suspension works well across surfaces. It is pretty light and easy to handle, with its 170 Kg kerb weight.
“There is no real flaw with the bike. If you want a cruiser look elsewhere, if you want a sports bike look elsewhere, if you are into long-distance touring, look elsewhere. But for your Sunday rides, when you want to forget your corporate world and want to relax for a few hours, this bike will definitely bring a smile on your face,” says Bunny.
“Point it, shoot it, it’s planted and stable,” says Preetam Bora of NDTV Car & Bike. “It has fantastic straight line stability, that’s the biggest takeaway from the bike. It’s more suited for relaxed cruising between 80-90 kmph.”
“It’s a well-built, well-rounded product. While it might not have back-slapping performance, it certainly endears itself to you,” adds the NDTV review.
The bikes will be available from January onwards, as dealerships are still being set up. We will get you a detailed review then.
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