Classic Legends, the motorcycle arm of Mahindra Group tasked with the revival of two iconic brands — Britain’s BSA and Czech Jawa has got off the ground with the latter.
Last week, in an impressive launch ceremony held at the famous Mehboob Studios in Mumbai, three production ready models were introduced to a packed crowd. The brand is all set for a reintroduction in India 22 years after its operations ceased in the country back in 1996.
Jawa will restart their India operations with Classic Legends. Two years ago, Mahindra acquired the brand licence to produce and sell Jawa motorcycles. The Czech brand is almost 90-years old and in its peak days had won the hearts of motorcyclists all over the world with its durable, sporty and easy to maintain machines. Jawa also earned accolades in motorcycles sports like off-road trials and speedways in particular.
Three variants were introduced, Jawa, 42 and Perak. The first two pay homage to the orginal 353 model in styling and yet are equipped with state-of-the-art four-stroke, liquid cooled 293cc single-cylinder dual exhaust port BS VI compliant engines. Jawa also gets a single-channel ABS unit in the front. The bored out to 334cc Perak was presented as the country’s first factory customised motorcycle. The 42 was presented as the model that could have been if the original maker had continued to build motorcycles.
The engines have been co-developed by engineering teams in in Italy and India. Noted Italian motorcycle engine design guru Ampilio Marci was roped into to provide the engineering guidelines and specifications which included reliability, strong lower end torque and overall efficiency. Acoustics engineers were also involved to get the engine note healthy and as close to the original machines, said Ashish Joshi, CEO, Classic Legends.
Styling wise the Jawa (with no-pre fix or post fix) replicates the original styling complete with its stance, proportions, side panels, tool boxes, round fuel tank with chrome plating, dual seats, retro gauges and waterfall tail lamps.Modern touches include disc brakes and electronic ignition.
Jawa 42 is the cheapest at Rs 1.55 lakhs (US$ 2,150), Jawa is priced at Rs 1.64 lakhs (US$ 2,275) while the Jawa Perak custom bobber is priced at Rs 1.89 lakhs (US$ 2,625). All prices are ex-Delhi. Jawa will be available in 3 colour options (Black, Maroon, Grey) while the Jawa 42 (Hally’s Teal, Galactic Green, Starlight Blue, Lumos Lime, Nebula Blue, Comet Red) will be available in 6 colour options.
To begin the business, 105 dealers in major cities have been appointed and more will be added. The dealerships will begin booking from December 5 onwards and deliveries are scheduled to begin end January or early February.
Chained by export restrictions under the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, Jawa fought back, eventually outlasting it. To this day, Jawa motorcycles continue to be manufactured in several parts of Europe. The India operations were founded by Rustom and Farrokh Irani, the firm Ideal Jawa began importing Jawa motorcycles into India. Recognising the demand, Jawa established a factory in Mysore in 1961 with support from the king at the time, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar.
By 1971, the Ideal Jawa company manufactured and sold the new motorcycles under the name “Yezdi” with technical assistance from Jawa.Between 1961 and 1971, Ideal Jawa manufactured the 250 Type 353/04 under licence. Jawa motorcycles quickly earned a reputation for being rugged, simple, and unbreakable. In 1961, Jawa entered the Indian markets. At that time, Jawa motorcycles were exported to 120 countries across the globe. Indian operations were shut in 1996, with the brand going defunct.