Jawa is expected to launch its first motorcycle on its comeback in India before the end of this fiscal and is reported to use Mojo’s 300 cc engine platform
Jawa Motorcycles have a special place in the history of Indian two-wheeler industry and along with Yezdi, they formed a lethal combo of performance bikes when many manufacturers had second thought over releasing one. They had phenomenal road presence as well but due to the stricter emission standards and competitors catching up with new breed of motorcycles, the brand faded away into distance by the middle of ‘90s.
However, Mahindra’s acquisition of controlling stakes in Classic Legends last year reinvigorated the iconic Jawa brand. The company currently holds brand license agreement of Jawa that will be used for the Indian market while BSA’s global appeal will likely restrict it to just overseas markets. The Czechoslovakian brand was introduced locally in 1950 under Ideal Jawa India Limited, based in Mysore with production starting in early ‘60s.
In its just over three-decade run, the brand created several iconic models including Yezdi 250 ‘B’ Type, Jawa 350 type 634 Twin and Yezdi 250 Monarch and they are revered for their cult status and have become vintage collector’s items. Back in the day, Jawa’s retro charm was indispensable and it will revive itself to compete primarily against the top-selling range of Royal Enfield.
The new Jawa motorcycles will come equipped with new technologies and features but the retro attentiveness will be there to boast about. They will be locally manufactured in India and earlier reports suggested that Pithampur facility will be operational for the brand’s comeback. Since Mahindra’s two-wheeler sales have hit a rock bottom, it can rely on Jawa to revive back its fortunes.
With the first Jawa machine expected to arrive before the end of this financial year, over the months, we have had speculations over their form and function. The initial range is expected to share the 300 cc platform with Mojo tourer and it could be modified to suit the requirements of Jawa. While the basic elements will remain the same, technologies such as liquid cooling and fuel injection could be incorporated into Jawa motorcycles.
Since the platform is already in use, it will considerably reduce the time needed during development phase. The Mahindra Mojo’s 300 cc engine has been reliable and it forms a perfect base for Jawa’s engineers to build on whether increasing or decreasing the capacity depending on their market strategy. The existing fleet of Jawa ranges between 50 cc and 650 cc and last year the 350 OHC and 660 Vintage were unveiled.
It is yet unknown whether Mahindra is developing an indigenous Jawa model for India or not. Rumours of an existing model making its way to India could not be ruled out either. With the return of Jawa, Mahindra has a strong case for shining in the lifestyle motorcycle segment. More importantly, a prominent retro rival for Royal Enfield is expected to finally come back on business!