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2018 Jawa, Jawa Forty Two review, test ride

We finally get some seat time on the new Jawas and have the full first ride review for you.

The internet has been ablaze over the last few months over the topic of the new Jawas. Now, after reporting on every possible aspect of the motorcycles, apart from how they are to ride, we can finally share what they’re like away from the glare of indoor lights and out in the wild.

Eye candy
For starters, they really do look quite lovely. To quickly bring you up to speed, Jawa ‘launched’ three bikes last month, but the more powerful, bobber-style Perak won’t be ready for sale till about August 2019. The Jawa and the Jawa Forty Two, meanwhile, will reach showrooms shortly and these are the bikes you’ll be reading about here. The Jawa is a fervently faithful recreation of the original Type 353 model, and it’s instantly recognisable, right to the point that villagers on the highway in Rajasthan came up and asked when Jawa had returned. That kind of recognition of a product from people who probably have no connectivity to the internet and no real interest in new motorcycles is something I’ve never seen before.

The authenticity that leads to this comes in details like the iconic teardrop headlamp that wraps around the handlebar, a pretty chrome-sided fuel tank and dual exhausts that look like they came straight off the old bike. But some things had to change, of course, and while the curvy side panels do look similar they’ve grown in size and are now plastic instead of metal. The wheel sizes that used to be 16 inches now span 18 at the front and 17 at the rear. And most of all, the engine no longer has that unique rounded shape, but the new one really is a treat to behold, sort of like that one centrepiece that grabs the attention in a well-furnished living room.

For those of you who find the Jawa a little too blindly faithful in its design approach, there’s also the Forty Two, which attempts to add a few modern touches to the theme. This comes in the form of a conventional round headlamp, an offset instrument cluster, a slightly flatter and wider handlebar, a shorter front fender and some differences in the chrome detailing across the bike. Add in some more youthful matt paint schemes and the Forty Two finds its own identity despite being otherwise identical to its sibling.

Finish levels are quite good across, but there were some areas that could use more work, in terms of quality and attention to detail. Classic Legends, the company behind the return of Jawa, assures us that the bikes we are riding are pre-production models and by the time production begins in early 2019, these issues should be sorted out. So we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.

Overall, both bikes are undoubtedly lovely to look at, and while a majority seem to prefer the Jawa, the lower headlamp on the Forty Two appears more proportionate to me and the bike looks especially good in the glossy Nebula Blue paint scheme. Over the two-day ride, I also discovered that the lower numbers on the Jawa’s horizontally-set speedo are hard to read from the rider’s point of view, an issue the Forty Two with its inclined instruments does not have.

Mojo rising
It’s common knowledge by now that the Jawa’s 295cc, liquid-cooled, four-valve DOHC motor started life as a Mojo engine. But it has been heavily reworked, beyond the pretty outer skin. Classic Legends roped in famed engine designer Ampelio Macchi who is famed for his race engines. Macchi has been on the technical teams behind 51 world-championship-winning engines across multiple forms of racing with brand like Cagiva, Aprilia and Husqvarna. He was also instrumental behind the rebirth of Italian brand SWM, but he has since moved on.

This engine was a completely new challenge for Macchi, and where his previous focus was always on top-end power, Classic Legends presented him the task of moving the power and torque curves far towards the left of the graph – low-end and mid-range performance was the absolute priority here. The bigger challenge was that Classic Legends wanted the engine to have the iconic dual-exhaust ports and after comprehensive design work, Macchi was able to create a system where two pipes emerge from the engine, merge into a collector box underneath and the once more split into two exhausts. This visual target of two pipes sprouting out of the engine (as with the old bike) was key for the company, and while they won’t say it, I do suspect this is a case where form rules over function.

The engine also gets redesigned cam profiles and new valves among other changes and the results are easy to see. Peak torque arrives at 5,500rpm, but where the Jawa engine runs out of revs at around 7,500rpm, the Mojo hasn’t even produced its peak power yet, which arrives at 8,000rpm. On the road, this results in a remarkably flat torque delivery, with almost no noticeable surge of top-end power. Low-end and mid-range performance is smooth and punchy enough to work with in most cases.

The engine remains reasonable smooth at low and mid rpms, with just a mild tingle coming through the foot pegs and bar. But when you chase the redline, things do get a bit more vibey and harsh. Still, it’s not even a comparison to the intended competition in this regard. Throttle response is mellow and well judged in most scenarios, but I noticed a hesitation on both bikes I rode while accelerating away from a partially open throttle at low revs. This isn’t something I’m too worried about – a little more time for the engineers with a laptop connected to the bike should sort it out.
Performance is certainly brisk, and if you find a long enough road, the Jawas will top out at about 135kph. This is a fair bit lower than the Mojo’s top speed and it comes as result of the new engine character as well as a reworked final drive ratio that favours rideability over top-end speed. If my memory serves me right, the Mojo’s engine does feel a little smoother and faster overall, and we’ll look out to confirm that once we get the bike for a full review early next year.

Sound of music?
What many are keen to know about is what the bike sounds like. Of course, the iconic two-stroke music of the old bike is impossible to recreate, but the new Jawas offers a nice and deep note that’s easy to like. We’ve noticed a lot of negative feedback from our walk-around videos of the bike’s sound, but I don’t think the videos do it justice and the bike sounds quite nice in person. It’s quite similar to the Mojo in this respect, but Classic Legends has revealed that they’ve designed the pipes such that the decibel killer inside can be moved forward or back, for more or less volume, by using a special tool. It can also be removed altogether, but I suspect that will attract undue attention from the authorities. That said, we’re given to understand that a lot of the sound deadening takes place in the cat-con box under the engine before the two exhaust pipes, so removing the DB killer entirely may not get annoyingly loud after all.

Frame of mind
Classic Legends started with a clean sheet for the frame and what they came up with was a double-cradle frame with a lazy 28-degree rake angle at the front telescopic fork while dual shocks handle duties at the rear.

On the road, the bike feels easy and quite nimble, which comes as a pleasant surprise considering that steering angle. What also took me by surprise was the suspension set up, because the bikes are on the firm side, but without falling into the zone of harshness or discomfort. Bad roads are handled well, and there's plenty of ground clearance. What does tend to make things uncomfortable is that there's very thin padding on the seat and the metal below becomes apparent quite quickly. On long stretches of bumpy roads, this can get rather painful, so the seat is one area that needs addressing.

When you find winding roads, the Jawas pull a treat with light and accurate handling that's quite a lot of fun. On these roads, we never encountered any cornering clearance issues and the MRF Nylogrip tyres are competent partners in the pursuit of some fun when the mood arises. Stability also deserves a mention and the bike feels planted in most situations, and never gets heavy or lazy to steer. Jawa enthusiasts will also be happy to know that the bike is quite game to take on a bit of a thrash off-road as well.

All of the above holds true for both motorcycles and they feel almost identical to ride, with the only difference being a slightly more commanding riding position on the Forty Two that has your arms stretched a little forward and spread just a bit wider.

This friendly handling characteristic is well in line with the original Jawa DNA, but what has improved massively is the braking performance. The new bike attempts to address its ancestors’ weak brakes, with a 280mm disc up front, single-channel ABS and a drum at the rear. Happily, there are no issues in the braking department anymore and the bike stops well. The rear drum works decently well too and is easy to modulate, but at this price it's completely reasonable to be disappointed by the lack of a rear disc brake.

A new dawn?
The Jawas really do aim to offer a pure and simple riding experience and that's fine, but there are some things that could have been better. The meters, for example, only show speed, fuel and odo information and I'd like to have had at least a trip meter. Further still, there's no side-stand-down indicator or engine cut off when the side stand is down and first gear is selected.

Nevertheless, these bikes are a great first effort for a brand-new company and most of the issues we found are relatively minor ones that should be ironed out with time and process control. I do think that the price is a little too high, but that doesn't seem to be having any effect on the massive interest these bikes have generated.

The first of the Jawa dealerships should open any day now in Pune and more will follow soon, with 64 of the 105 appointed dealerships already under development. Test rides will be available shortly, but we’re told that actual deliveries will only start in the first quarter of next year.

Classic Legends still has an enormous uphill task ahead in terms of proving long-term reliability and creating a premium customer experience to match the competition. But from our first impression, we can tell you that the company has done a commendable job of building a modern motorcycle that retains the identity and soul of the original.

Courtery:- Autocar

Dec 15, 2018
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Jawa & Jawa Forty Two: First Ride Review

Can Classic Legends’ Jawa and Forty Two motorcycles dish out a modern experience while drawing on the soul and charm of easier times here in the affordable mid-displacement space?

Huge expectations surround Classic Legends’ Jawa Motorcycles. Why? Combine Jawa’s pedigree, ageless style, modern mechanicals, and sensible pricing and you get a ride that will, and has, riders banging down the showroom doors. But, when you walk through the door and hop onto the saddle, will the Jawa live up to your expectations?

Classic Legend

The magic of the Jawa, for me, is in its stance which has been inherited from classic Jawas. Like a sculpture depicting strength and grace, the Jawa’s design flows from a nonchalant face to a purposeful chest, before tapering off into an athletic rear. It also exudes history in the way of logos used on the tank, the side panels, on the horn and the plain lettering on the headlamp glass. The gorgeous engine, the cooling fins (on a liquid cooled engine!) and the crankcase cover make it look properly old-school! To make the modern Jawas as clean and classy as possible, the handlebar lock is tucked away under the triple-clamps and the ignition switch is under the tank. Classic Legends claim that the decision to use a rear drum brake, for now, was also dictated by the same reason.

Undoubtedly, it is the Jawa (Jawa - Jawa, yes) that takes its ancestry very seriously. In the maroon and chrome combination, you would be forgiven for thinking it is the classic! However, a choice of smashing colour options gives this purist lots of spunk. The younger and bolder looking Forty Twoswaps the Jawa’s large valanced mudguard for a tighter design. It heightens the aggression by cloaking the chassis, fork covers and headlamp brackets in black. The smaller headlamp, as the speedo pod isn’t integrated into it, makes the face less bulky too. The speedo pod sits offset to the right, but shares the layout with the Jawa. This includes a digital readout for the odometer and two trip meters, an analogue speedometer and fuel gauge. Interestingly, the speedo needle sweeps downwards from the 3 ’o'clock position! The biggest change on the Forty Two is the flat and wide handlebar that is also finished in matte black.

If you are looking to size up the Jawas versus the Royal Enfield, the Jawas will look lighter and more athletic. This is despite the specs being closely matched. For instance, at 1369mm, the wheelbase is on par with the Classic 350!

Fancy bits?

Clearly, the Jawas aren’t trying to wow you with brochure-boasts as the feature list on both the motorcycles is fairly basic. The bikes won’t be available with a main stand as standard. There are no LED headlamps, DRLS or turn indicators. The instrument cluster doesn’t have real-time fuel consumption, gear position indicator or a clock. What you get is switchgear that looks and feel much like units we have seen on other quality mass market motorcycles. There are smart spoked wheel and there is a single-channel ABS with the 280mm Bybre disc at the front. That’s it.

In terms of quality, the pre-production prototypes we rode were a massive step up from the bikes shown at the unveiling. However, some ungainly welds, tacky looking needles on the speedo and fuel gauge, less than perfect pinstripes could be seen on these bikes too. But, Classic Legends say that the fit and finish of the production bikes will be significantly better. This is promising because the quality of finish for the paint and chrome bits was impressive on these motorcycles. Most importantly even these pre-production bikes emanated a sense of sturdiness.

Lost its Mojo?

Yes, the engine used on the Jawas is derived from the Mahindra Mojo. Hence, the combination of dual-overhead camshafts in a four-valve head, 293cc of displacement and the 27PS of power sound all too familiar. But ride the Jawa and it becomes clear that there's been a transformation in character. From an engine that had to be redlined to get any job done, the Jawa engine has solid low and mid-range torque. By changing the valve lift and valve timing, the engine now breathes very differently. The peak valve lift is reduced but the duration is increased. As a result, the engine makes its 28Nm of peak torque at around 5000rpm and has lots of it on tap under that too. Both the Jawas share the same mechanicals, so if your riding primarily consists of trips to the office or college, either of these will make for able companions.

These rides will be more enjoyable because of the exhaust note. There is rumble from the finely tuned exhaust that will make heads turn as the Jawas pass by. Interestingly, Jawa claims that the flutes in the exhaust are adjustable by five steps, allowing riders to turn up the boisterousness of the exhaust note without having to actually change the exhaust!

Also, the designers have taken pains to get the exhausts to look right. Using dummy shields, they have disguised the two-one-two exhaust layout to make them look like two straight-out pipes. They really do look striking.

Towards the sunset!

The Jawa and Forty Two feel a bit different. The former offers a more relaxed ergonomic setup because of its raised bars while the lower ‘bar of the Forty Two has riders leaning forward ever so slightly. Show these bikes an open road and you realise that the city friendly state of tune has compromised on punchiness. From standstill to 100kmph, the progress is sufficiently quick, and an indicated 120kmph turns up as you hit fifth gear. But revving it hard or shifting up does little to nudge the speedo needle further. For an engine with such weighty specs, more punch was expected.

At high rpms there was some buzz from the bar and seat, but the overall refinement levels were acceptable. Changes to the gear selector drum and shift-forks have made the shifts precise and positive. We wouldn’t complain about working the gearbox on these bikes!

So if you really want to enjoy a weekend stint on the highway, remember to stick between the 90-100kmph zone. At this pace, the Jawas will march on tirelessly. The only hiccup currently is that the fueling is a bit inconsistent, which makes throttle response just a bit lumpy at times. Ridden at a more sensible pace, the 14-litre fuel tank should stretch the stops between fuel-ups significantly. That means as you ride even after the sun has set, like we did, the ride won’t slow down thanks to the strong headlamp.

Be it day or night, a couple of adjustments are required. First, six-footers will find the Jawas seat them in a fairly knees-up position. Then there is the seat. It might seem a bit counterintuitive, but this plank-of-wood-excuse-for-a-seat will prove to be less bothersome than softer seats on longer journeys. On our ride, the aches didn’t increase even after hours in the saddle. However, the brand new dual-cradle frame, which is ably supported by the well-tuned telescopic forks, can take some credit for this too.

Do the Jive

A sense of agility and involvement dawns on you when you steer the Jawa Jawa into a corner. Handling superiority isn’t the most sought-after aspect on laidback retros, but it is a welcome bonus. So fluid and confident were the Jawa’s manners that I started dragging the pegs through corners by accident. Steering the Forty Two requires some learning and adjustment as the wider handlebar makes it feel a bit too responsiveness when being steered into a corner, and mid-corner adjustments end up feeling clumsier still.

Confidence from the MRF rubber and ABS enabled 280mm Bybre disc at the front allowed me to ride harder still. However, the lack of ABS on the rear wheel requires you to keep a check on impulses when making emergency stops. Carve up a corner or raise rubble on an unpaved road, the Jawas are unfazed by either. A 165mm of ground clearance only strengthens their ability to tame bumps and shocks on dusty trails without breaking a sweat.

VerdictWhile the Jawas we tested weren’t perfect, they have impressed. More performance would have widened the Jawas’ appeal significantly, but they have enough on offer to satisfy the bulk of buyers looking to commute in the city on weekdays and holiday on the weekends. The quality and fueling aspects heighten our desire to see and experience the final production specification motorcycles to give you a definitive verdict. But even in this guise, the Jawa leaves you impressed as much by its mechanicals as its appeal. So, if that sounds promising enough to you, you had better get ready to wait a bit longer as Jawa deliveries are slated to begin in March 2019. It seems, a credible alternative for riders is finally here.


Dec 15, 2018
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Royal Enfield Launches Thunderbird 500X ABS At Rs 2.13 Lakh

Recently spotted at various dealerships, the ABS-equipped Thunderbird 500 X has finally been launched by Royal Enfield at Rs 2.13 lakh.
  • Royal Enfield launches Thunderbird 500 X with ABS.
  • Price is Rs 14,000 more than the non-ABS variant of the bike.
  • Royal Enfield is likely to discontinue the non-ABS Thunderbird 500 X.
Royal Enfield has launched the much-anticipated Thunderbird 500 X ABS at Rs 2.13 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This represents a price hike of a little over Rs 14,000 over the non-ABS version of the motorcycle. Moreover, the launch of the Thunderbird 500 X ABS likely means curtains down for the non-ABS version.
The Thunderbird 500 X is a factory-made custom version of the Thunderbird cruiser. The 500 X features several styling elements that help it differentiate itself from the standard Thunderbird. The most prominent among them are the bright-coloured tank, colour-coordinated rim stickers and 9-spoke alloy wheels shod with tubeless tyres. The cruiser sports a black-themed bodywork that contrasts well with the two colour options (Getaway Orange & Drifter Blue) it offers.

Looks apart, the 500 X shares its underpinnings with the normal Thunderbird. This means the ABS-equipped Thunderbird 500 X is powered by the same 499cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine as before, producing 27.5PS of power and 41.3Nm of torque. The engine boasts of fuel-injection and comes mated to a 5-speed transmission. Braking duties are handled by a 280mm disc at the front with a 240mm disc doing duty at the rear.

By launching the ABS variant of the Thunderbird 500 X, Royal Enfield has taken the fight to the Perak, Jawa's own interpretation of a factory-custom bobber that it unveiled recenty alongside the Jawa and the 42. More importantly, Royal Enfield is now one step closer towards equipping its entire range of motorcycles with ABS as the Classic, the Himalayan and the normal Thunderbird series of motorcycles have already received the life-saving feature. The Bullet is now the only model from Royal Enfield yet to receive ABS.

Courtesy : Zigwheels

Nov 29, 2018
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Is The KTM 125 Duke Right For You?

With KTM bringing the 125 Duke to India, we help you figure out if this is the right motorcycle for you.
The KTM 200 Duke has been the gateway into the Austrian manufacturer’s range in India ever since its launch in January 2012. For almost seven years, the bike gave us our first taste of what to expect from KTM. It brought in a new wave of motorcyclists who were wowed by the way she went like the wind. Bikes which offered similar performance were nearly double the price. However, seven years later now in the last few days of 2018, KTM has launched the ABS version of the motorcycle at Rs 1.60 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The entry point was becoming a bit too costly for many to swallow, especially considering that the bike is virtually unchanged from 2012 apart from some minor tweaks. KTM India needed a bike to step in and again occupy that sweet spot of Rs 1.15 lakh-1.20 lakh that the 200 originally retailed at. Enter the 125 Duke.
Let's just get a few facts about the 125 Duke out there to get you up to speed. The 125 Duke looks just the 200, with near-identical specs. It gets a small 125cc heart that makes 14.5PS and 12Nm. The rest of the chassis as well as components such as the MRF Revz rubber, WP USD forks, single-channel ABS and lightweight alloy rims, remain the same as the 200 Duke and thus weighs only 148 kilos wet. It has got a phenomenal power to weight ratio and will surely give the likes of the 160cc motorcycles a good run for their money. It has an introductory price of Rs 1.18 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi.

Getting to matter at hand, who will the 125 Duke be best suited for? For starters, since the 125 Duke is the cheapest KTM in India, for those who want the brand’s racy and sporty aura but weren’t willing to shell out over a lakh and a half rupees for it, this would fit the bill just fine.
The performance is not going to be ridiculous. It might be peaky but the small motor makes an honest 14PS. It is a nice way to get used to what a KTM can do, should you have aspirations of owning a bigger KTM sometime in the future. It will act as a great learner’s bike for the budding enthusiast. Getting to grips with what a performance-oriented motorcycle can do (in terms of power delivery, handling and more importantly braking) will be better learnt on the 125 Duke. 

It would also be an easier way to for the college-going kid to convince his parents to buy him a KTM which does not have manic power. Also the point that it would be more convenient in a cash-strapped situation would please most kids as well as parents alike.

Courtesy : Zigwheels

Nov 29, 2018
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Updated Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin Disc to be priced from Rs 96,300 (on-road)

As with the refreshed Pulsar 150 Classic, the new-gen Pulsar 150 Twin Disc will now also get cosmetic tweaks.

Bajaj is all set to bring out an updated version of its Pulsar 150 Twin Disc, with the new model having already reached a few dealerships. Said to be priced from Rs 96,300 (on-road, Pune), the 150cc motorcycle costs about Rs 1,500 more than the present model.

The bike maker has given the 150 Twin Disc new body graphics in two colour schemes. The new Pulsar will be available in dual-tone black-and-red and black-and-blue colour options. The other addition on the motorcycle is an underbelly panel in front of the engine.

For this update, the Pulsar 150 Twin Disc will continue with the 149cc, single-cylinder, twin-spark motor that puts out 14hp at 8,000rpm and 13.4Nm of torque at 6,000. It is mated to a 5-speed gearbox and gets, as its name suggests, disc brakes on both tyres.

Bajaj also recently updated the Pulsar 150 Classic with new colour schemes and has priced it at Rs 65,500 (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The Bajaj Pulsar 150 Twin Disc competes against the Honda CB Unicorn 160, the TVS Apache RTR 160 and the Hero Xtreme Sports in our market.  

Courtesy : Autocar

Nov 29, 2018
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