Modern-retro motorcycles have invaded the town and are attracting attention from every kind of motorcyclist there is. One of the most formidable names in the lower spectrum of the game is Jawa Motorcycles. Classic Legends, a subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra resurrected the Jawa brand and how! Although in the beginning of its second innings, Jawa was riddled with a lot of problems but they seem to be taking hold of them now. With the arrival of the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 and the Honda CB 350, it was pretty much inevitable that Jawa Motorcycles, under Classic Legends’ name, will retaliate.
And that’s exactly what has happened with the Jawa 42. Jawa recently launched the 42 2.1 in India at INR 1,83,942 (ex-showroom Delhi).
First up, there are three new colour options: Orion Red, Sirius White and Allstar Black. Also, the new bike receives a Stealth Black theme and alloy wheels that make it look sportier. Other visual elements include bar-end mirrors and an off-set racing stripe. Jawa is also offering accessories such as a smoked windscreen, headlight grill, engine guard, saddlebags, and a grab rail. The switchgear has also been redesigned and has controls for two trip meters. The seat foam is now denser for added comfort during long hours on the saddle. In addition, white-coloured rim stripes have been added to both the tyres, along with ‘Classic Legends’ and ’42’ written on them.
The tubed tyres from the previous bike have been replaced with tubeless units on the 2021MY 42. Jawa also claims that it has strengthened the chassis in strategic points and also adjusted the preload in the front suspension. While the 42 is an existing Jawa bike in the country, the older version will continue to be sold alongside the new and updated model.
Engine and performance
On the mechanical side, the bike is powered by the same 293cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled motor as seen on the previous bike. However, Jawa engineers have managed to extract slightly more power with the powerplant now delivering 27.33PS compared to the 26.51PS by its predecessor. It continues to sport a 6-speed transmission. Performance is one aspect where the Jawa 42 2.1 smokes all its rivals. Couple that with a kerb weight of 172 kg and you have a potent performer at your hand. What is worth noting here is that, the engine which powers this retro cruiser is the most modern of the lot. Liquid-cooling coupled with 4 valves and DOHC configuration, makes sure that it doesn’t run out of steam.
It might be an able performer and the fastest of the lot but we feel that the low-end torque could have been a little better. The engineers have done a commendable job in masking the vibrations and they only exist when you near the redline.
Ride and handling
What makes the Jawa 42 2.1 stand out from the rest of the lot is its agile handling which is further assisted by its wheelbase. Jawa has reworked the suspension and has made it even better than before. It might not provide you with a magic carpet ride but it more than compensates for it as you approach a set of twisties. One aspect where Jawa could have pulled off a better job is the rubber department. The tyres give up earlier than the motorcycle and we feel that a better pair of shoes is going to make the Jawa 42 2.1 shine even more!
Talking about ergos, the Jawa 42 is relatively comfortable and one can undertake long highway jaunts on it. We do believe that the pillion seat could have been a little better. Its 765mm seat height translates to the fact that even the shorter riders won’t find it difficult to mount on it.
Although the Jawa 42 ticks a lot of right boxes in its latest iteration, it does miss out on a few important bits. For instance, there isn’t any provision of connecting your mobile phone through Bluetooth. The pillion seat too, could have been better. The bar-end mirrors do add to the overall swagger but when it comes to utility, they aren’t that great. Another factor where the Jawa 42 loses out on is the lighting department as there are no LEDs.
Jawa Motorcycles is trying hard to carve a place in a segment that is currently experiencing some stiff competition. And we are happy to report that the efforts are showing. The Jawa 42 2.1 might lose out in some departments but it certainly shines in others. It has a potent motor, an able chasis and looks to kill for! What serves as a cherry on the top is its pricing. At INR 1.83 Lakh, it is more affordable than the RE Meteor 350 and the Honda CB350. So if you are looking for a retro motorcycle that goes fast and handles well, the Jawa 42 2.1 makes a strong case for itself.