ICONIC JAWA MAKES A RETURN
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Jawa, the iconic Czech motorcycle brand with 90-year-old legacy, has been brought back to India by auto major Mahindra group. It launched the first range of new heritage premium motorcycles in the country on Thursday, giving bike enthusiasts a new choice, and turned the heat on archrival Royal Enfield which has ruled the roost till now.

The brand is expected to give tough competition to Royal Enfield in the country, which alone sells over 70,000 bikes every month.

The Jawa and Jawa 42 are the brand’s new torchbearers, bringing back the classic appeal of Jawa with modern fittings. The two bikes truly don a retro look reminiscent of the golden era when the brand first entered the Indian market way back in 1960.

Placed in the mid-range segment, the Jawa and Jawa 42 will retail at Rs 1.64 lakh and Rs 1.55 lakh, respectively, at Delhi showroom. Booking for these bikes will begin from November 16. A third bike, called Jawa Perak, which is a factory-custom job, will be launched for Rs 1.89 lakh at Delhi showroom. The company said the bikes give a mileage of 40 km per litre. All three bikes are BS-VI compliant.
 “The all new Jawa and Jawa 42 will be rolled out in the Indian market for sale in January-March 2019 and Jawa Perak will make its way to the roads later in the year,” Ashish Joshi, CEO at Classic Legends, told Financial Chronicle. While Mahindra has a 60 per cent stake in the company, the balance 40 per cent is held by Anupam Thareja, founder of Classic Legends, and Boman Irani, chairman & MD at Rustomjee Group.

“We don’t compete with any bike brand as Jawa brand will create its own niche category in the country,” Joshi boasted, adding that it will expand the mid-bike segment in the county.

“It is rare to get an opportunity to resurrect a legend,” Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra said. “Jawa is an authentic and iconic brand that represents the desire and yearning in all of us for freedom and adventure.”

Thareja said the company has already set up 105 dealerships across the country and may look at opening another 70 in the near future.

With three new bikes, the iconic bike maker is ready to give rival Royal Enfield a run for its money in the highly price conscious competitive premium bike market in India.

Royal Enfield on Wednesday launched the all-new Continental GT 650 and Interceptor 650 at a killer price point of Rs 2.85 lakh and Rs 2.75 lakh, respectively, at pan India showroom. The standard models are priced at a lesser price point at Rs 2.65 lakh for the Continental GT 650 and Rs 2.50 lakh for the Interceptor 650.

The new Jawa bikes built from scratch at Mahindra’s factory at Pithampur in Madhya Pradesh have an all-new 293cc, liquid cooled, single cylinder, DOHC engine nestled within a double cradle chassis. The two bikes pack 27 bhp power and 28 Nm of torque with a generous mid-range and a flat torque curve for an unwavering, consistently powered ride.

The Jawa Perak is powered by a 334cc, liquid cooled, single cylinder, DOHC engine. It develops 30 bhp power and 31 Nm of torque.

Bike experts said the Jawa brand, which was popular in the sixties along with the British brand Royal Enfield, will vie with its former competitor, which has seen no competition for many decades.

The common features across the three bikes are the constant mesh 6-speed gearbox, double cradle frame, telescopic front fork and gas charged rear twin shock. The bikes come with a 14-litre fuel tank and 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel. The Czech brand initially made its way to the Indian market post WWII, although production began only in 1961 by a company called Ideal Jawa. The brand discontinued in 1971 after Ideal Jawa started making motorcycles under the Yezdi brand.

The iconic bike maker was finally out of the Indian landscape in 1998, after it stopped productions primarily due to financial reasons.

Columnist: 
Michael Gonsalves