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Thursday, January 3, 2019

2018 Jawa 42 - Ride Impressions

The name is Jawa…ask yourself what it reminds you of?  A simple yet powerful 2 stroke motorcycle of its era that created a name for itself and changed the landscape of the Indian motorcycle industry and became a legend.

The production of the much beloved 250/350 cc Jawa came to a halt long time back but it created a cult following amongst the Indian motorcycle enthusiast. Today thanks to the folks at Mahindra and Classic Legends the Legend of Jawa is Re-Born.

Today I had the pleasure of riding the new “Jawa 42” a retro yet modern motorcycle that has come of age. Now before I share my ride review, let me inform you that the motorcycle we rode is pre-production motorcycle so there will be a few things that might stand out but we ought to understand that.

Let's start with looks, as what you see makes the biggest impression and thereby statement.



The Jawa 42 stands out, there is nothing like it in the Indian motorcycle market and it simply oozes cool. Its well built and feels tough and makes you feel like Steve McQueen “King Of Cool”. I felt the folks at Classica Legends did a good job in making sure that the Jawa name stands out…apart from the Jawa name on the tank and engine side panels you can see the name on the handgrips, headlight glass, speedo, fuel tank cap and seat..( I hope I did not miss out any other part).

This gives the motorcycle a very unique yet classic feel. The front of the 42 is unlike any other motorcycle the speed with integrated fuel gauge is located on the right-hand side of the headlight and gives it a distinctive look. The fuel tank, side panels and tail light look good and take inspiration from the original Jawa. The pinstriping just adds to the overall look. The indicators are appropriately sized and go very well with the motorcycle. The radiator is very well tucked and you get a company fitted belly pan.


While the overall motorcycle is a great looking machine, we felt there could be some opportunity when it comes to finishing. We felt that the welding on the headlight clams some on the chassis and foot pegs could have been better.

While the speedo looks good it was sort of coming apart. The paint behind the belly pan on the water level indicator was unfinished and not proportional. Well Just to remind you all that it is only a pre-production bike and we hope these things are sorted when we see the final product.



The engine felt smooth and comes to life with a nice low rumble and bass sound thanks to the twin exhaust. The unit produces 28 NM Max Torque and 27 BHP. The 293 cc engine is a liquid cooled engine and cosmetically has been designed to look like the old 2 strokes with cooling fins. The gear shifting was smooth and fuel injection did a good job with no jerks or jolts.


The way the engine is designed it gives you a good mid-range torque but as you go higher in the RMP you feel vibrations kicking in on the foot pegs and handlebar, they are not the nastiest and most single cylinders do have some vibrations that eventually creep in on certain RPM levels. The mid-range torque means as you can’t expect high speeds from the Jawa and its designed to cruise.

Ride and Comfort


The riding posture of the 42 with almost straight handler bar give you an upright riding position and makes for a comfortable ride. The motorcycle is simply fantastic to handle and I had no trouble taking it through the heavy Gurgaon traffic. The suspension is provided by Gabriel and do a good job in handling the Gurgaon potholes. The Single channel ABS upfront does a good job of stopping the legend and the drum on the back was alright.


While the suspension does a fairly good job I feel the seat could have been better. It feels hard and aches your behind. I know you all might be complaining about drum brake at the rear wheel let me inform you that Jawa has confirmed that they would be launching the motorcycle with Dual Channels ABS. That was some quick action by Classic Legends after listening to feedback.


Jawa is more than a motorcycle, its an emotion to a lot of people, no other manufacturer has offered a pre-production motorcycle for customer feedback and switching to dual channel ABS on production version post feedback in less than a months’ time is something very promising. The 42 is one of a kind and you get plenty of attention. Having said that, yes, there are some opportunity areas that every bike has and that should not stop you from enjoying one.

A big thanks to the Avtar Chahal of Chahal Automobiles for giving us the opportunity to ride the Jawa 42 and helping us feel nostalgic. The Legend is born again and is here to stay.
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Item Reviewed: 2018 Jawa 42 - Ride Impressions Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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