Classic Legends, which owns the rights to market Jawa Motorcycles and BSA in India, launched the Jawa, Jawa Forty-Two and the Perak bobber in India last week. The Jawa and the Forty-Two will set out to attack the Royal Enfield Classic 350. Here’s a spec comparison between the new entrants and the incumbent.
Looks are subjective. But when it comes to classic motorcycles, the aesthetics is the driving factor in choosing a bike. Classic Legends have not put a foot wrong in this department. The Jawa and the Forty-Two maintain the authentic looks of the bikes of the yesteryear. The bikes are modern yet classic. The round fuel tank, the headlight dome, side panels, large fenders and even the rear drum brake have an authentic retro feel to them.
The Jawa Forty-Two is much bolder and aggressive alright, but does not stray from the classic character. It features an off-set speedometer, short fenders and bright paint schemes in matte and metallic colours.
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 has been the giant killer in the niche segment. The design of the Classic 350 is every bit retro. The kidney-shaped fuel tank, headlight nacelle, low-mounted side panels and the twin seats are the most significant factors in its brand recall. Design is the single biggest factor in the tremendous success of the Royal Enfield Classic 350.
The Jawa, Jawa Forty-Two and the Royal Enfield Classic 350 are evenly matched here as well. The Jawa has a slight edge over the Classic 350, as it features dual-tone chrome paint job, while the Forty-Two has a semi-digital speedometer. However, the Classic 350 comes with an optional rear-disc brake.
Single channel ABS is standard on the Jawa and the Forty-Two; however, both the motorcycles feature a rear drum brake. The Classic 350, on the other hand, receives a dual-channel ABS as an option. All three bikes come with a 280 mm front disc and 153 mm rear drum brake as standard.
Jawa & Jawa Forty-Two
Royal Enfield Classic 350
293cc, single cylinder, DOHC, 4-valve motor with liquid cooling and fuel injection
346cc, single cylinder, twin-spark engine with air cooling and carburettor
When it comes to the engine department, the Jawas are chalk and cheese, in relation to Royal Enfield. Powering the two Jawa motorcycles is an all-new 293cc, single-cylinder, 4-valve, BS-VI compliant engine with liquid cooling and fuel injection. The motor produces 27 bhp of power and 28 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 6-speed gearbox.
On the other hand, the Royal Enfield Classic 350 is powered by a 346cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine that produces 19.8 bhp of power at 5,250 rpm and 28 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm, mated to a 5-speed gearbox. While the torque figures are similar, the Jawa engine is more powerful. They also feature modern tech like liquid cooling and fuel injection.
While our pointers are functional or emotional parameters in making a purchase decision, pricing is the most significant deciding factor in India. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 has had the early mover’s advantage over the Jawas and is the outright winner in the low-middleweight segment. Moreover, it is challenging to beat the Royal Enfield prices as it comes from the huge economies of scale.
That said, the Royal Enfield Classic 350 starts at INR 1.39 lakh for the base drum brake (non-ABS) model, while the Classic 350 Gunmetal Grey variant (with rear disc & ABS) costs INR 1.53 lakh. Both the Jawa bikes are available in a single-spec version. The Jawa Forty-Two costs INR 1.55 lakh, while the retro classic is priced at INR 1.64 lakh (all the prices are ex-showroom Delhi).