Jawa motorcycles take new avatar

By S Ben Raja Published on Jul 31, 2018 12:16 PM IST

It was like a dream-come-true for motorcycle enthusiasts when Mahindra Group executive chairman Anand Mahindra recently confirmed on Twitter that Jawa motorcycles will be launched this year.

The once fierce rivals for Royal Enfields and other classics of yesteryear, Jawas and Yezdis offered a lot of fun with their powerful two-stroke engines. Their revival after decades is sure to do good to the Mahindra Group.

While Anand not only confirmed the motorcycles' unveiling, he also indirectly revealed the brand's aim of capturing the lifestyle-tourers who are predominantly under the fold of Royal Enfield.

He recently tweeted, 'We all know about the advice to ‘Dance in the rain...’ But with Jawa’s imminent resurrection you can’t blame me for pushing this avatar of the quote: Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It's about learning to ride in the rain.’

Jawa is a motorcycle manufacturer based out of Prague, Czech Republic. Founded in 1929, the brand became popular in the 1950s and exported its motorcycles to over 120 countries with India being one of its prime markets.

Mysore-based Ideal Jawa India Ltd licensed the brand's motorcycles and began sales 1960. Although these motorcycles were a success in their time, they couldn't cope up with the increasing regulations on emissions with their large two-stroke engines. Their inability to shift to less polluting engines ultimately led to their demise.

While Royal Enfields filled their void with continuous production even to this date, what was missing was the adrenaline-pumping performance of the Jawas and Yezdis which had a top speed of 125 kmph in that era itself. Coupled with their unique cruiser stance, they are sought after by enthusiasts even today.

Royal Enfield being the only player in the lifestyle segment is selling over 50,000 units of its Classic 350 alone every month. Getting to know about the huge potential this segment has on offer, Mahindra Group completely bought both Jawa as well as BSA last year.

The brand, via Classic Legends, signed an ‘exclusive brand licensing agreement’ with Jawa. With Classic Legends already holding all stakes in BSA, Mahindra got all the rights to use these two brands. Now, after a year, the brand has confirmed Jawa's re-launch in India.

Jawa motorcycles’ re-entry alone won't be the big news but the engines which they will be sporting this time will be the deal-breaker.

According to sources, Mahindra is currently working on plonking their Mojo's engines on to the upcoming classic bikes. If things go this way, the Jawas will turn out to be one of the most powerful and technologically advanced classics in the country.


The 300 cc single cylinder engine has five years of rigorous testing gone into it. The touring-friendly mill has excellent torque lower down the rev range with the dual exhausts make it one of the best sounding bikes in the country today. The bassy and punchy motor is also refined and will surely make the Jawas much more desirable.


One of the reasons why Jawas are famous even to this date is they are unique. Their build, design and operation is totally different from the rest of the motorbikes.

For example, unlike other motorcycles, in Jawas there is only one rod which acts as both kick-starter and gear lever. Other bikes have one-down-three-up gear-shift pattern, Jawas have the exact opposite.

Thirdly, unlike other bikes, the front and rear wheels of a Jawa motorcycle can be interchanged during emergencies. The list goes on...


The idea of making classic vehicles modern has met with great success not only in India but throughout the world.

The Royal Enfields, Harley Davidsons, Triumph's Bonneville range, Kawasaki Z900 RS, etc., are best examples of brands capitalising on classic bikes with modern technologies.

Even car-makers like Mini and Volkswagen have found great success with their Clubmans and Beetles which are classic cars with modern technology.