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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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New Toyota Camry Hybrid review, test drive

Toyota will launch the all-new Camry Hybrid in January. We go down to Thailand to get a first drive of the tech marvel headed here.

New cars, that’s what we are all about, here at Autocar India. Often, however, new cars aren’t strictly new. This is because, in today’s world, the term ‘new car’ can be stretched and distorted sufficiently to accommodate even cars that have just been majorly updated. A new bonnet, a new nose a new interior, new tail and, hey presto, it is an all-new car.

But is it any wonder that carmakers do this? The cost of development gets halved, the already-stretched engineering department saves years and years of development time, and then evolving and working with an entity you already know is much easier the second time around. Clever. 

The car I’m sitting behind the wheel of, however, is clearly new – of this, I have no doubt. No, the new Camry hasn’t suddenly turned into a corner-carving BMW 5-series, and nor has Sport mode turned it into a track star. It’s just that this new car feels so much ‘tighter’ and so much more comfortable at speed, even at first acquaintance, it’s clearly a big step ahead in driving manners. Where the previous-gen car felt like the chassis was made of tightly bound spaghetti, and it flexed and squirmed every time it was presented a challenging situation, this new car feels so sure-footed and confident, it’s truly bodes well for Toyota’s all-new TNGA platform. But is it really as good as this brief first impression? I have to get more of this.

As luck would have it, I stumble on the perfect road, an as-yet-unopened section of elevated freeway that snakes and weaves its way through some suburbs near Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Yes, there is some light traffic on the first bit due to an early off-ramp, but after that the road just goes on and on.

Lap one is more a voyage of discovery, an exercise in restrain; I don’t want to run into a carelessly discarded concrete block around a blind corner. So I tippy-toe through the tighter bits, and don’t carry much speed at all. But again, the car feels so much nicer to drive, even at these speeds. The steering has more weight in ‘Sport’, it actually feels like it is connected to the front wheels (finally), and some communication even filters through to my fingers when the front wheels load up in a corner. Yes, it does roll when I go faster and it does feel like it is 5m long, but, there’s plenty of grip and the Camry just hangs on gamely, even when I start to push harder. Wow.

Just how has Toyota managed to take such a massive leap forward? Well, to begin with, the torsional rigidity of the car has gone up by a huge 30 percent on this new TNGA platform. The company has even dipped into its deep pockets and pulled out enough money to pay for an independent rear suspension. The steering system has clearly been designed with drivers in mind.
There’s sufficient grunt from under the bonnet as well. In ‘Sport’, combined power from the petrol-and-electric hybrid powertrain is 211hp, and this comes flooding in when I lean hard on the right pedal. You first get a serious hit of torque from the electric motor, the 2.5-litre motor seems to have a nice strong mid-range and though there’s no tachometer and the eCVT automatic isn’t the sportiest gearbox around, the Camry even accelerates hard all the way to redline if you use the paddles behind the steering wheel. And while performance isn’t huge, it still is brisk; expect a 0-100 time of around 10sec. Also, please remember, this new car will deliver between 16-18kpl, even in real-world conditions.

The previous Camry was all about comfort, while this new car rides extremely well too. In fact, over bad roads, where the previous-gen car would get tossed around a bit, this one feels much more absorbent and much less reactive. It even rounds off bumps better, taking the edge off nicely. Even the brakes are very reassuring; there’s plenty of bite earlier on, and when you squeeze harder, retardation increases in a linear manner. It’s just that at low speeds, in start-stop traffic, the brakes tend to grab a bit, making you unnecessarily pay more attention to them.

We hit a patch of traffic; and it’s here that the new Camry finally begins to run in pure EV mode. It has a less powerful e-motor, but truth be told, I can’t tell the difference. What I do notice is that the car is even more silent and refined. Insulation is significantly better, there’s no real whine from the motor, and when the engine finally does kick in, the integration of the two powertrains is much more seamless. When traffic is light, I quite enjoy driving in this mode. The torque from the motor makes cruising along feel effortless and there’s even enough grunt to overtake with just a tap on the accelerator. Unfortunately, the Camry’s pure-EV range is negligible.

While weekend warriors are sure to enjoy driving the new Camry more than the current version, in India, this new car will be more about travel in the rear. So eventually I stop, jump out and get into the back. Here, I’m once again impressed by the reclining rear seat, super lower-back support and width of the cabin. The seat is placed a bit low, but once I stretch out, comfort levels are quite high. There’s even a good amount of support for your thighs and the seat cushioning seems just right; not too hard, not too soft.

What I also really like is that the elbow rest has a screen and feather-touch controls. From here, you can control the rear air-con, the seat-recline function and the audio system. And, as earlier, you can electrically adjust the front passenger seat for more legroom too. The new Camry also has an electrically operated rear sunblind, manual side blinds and a pair of conveniently located USB ports below the rear air-con vents. Legroom is a bit more than the current car’s, but there’s still no competing with the Skoda Superb, which clearly seemsto have been engineered with basketball players in mind.  

The seats up front are even more comfortable. Built on massive frames, good enough to keep most XXXL-size American drivers comfortable, they offer fantastic support for the upper and lower back, and good shoulder and thigh support as well. The seats are also cooled, and finding a comfy driving position is also easy as the power-adjustable steering has a wide range of adjustment. What also helps is that visibility has been improved. The A-pillar has been made slimmer, the side mirrors have been moved to the door and, as a result, the blind spot is much reduced now.

The layout of the dash, however, is typically Toyota – and, truth be told, a bit boring. The touchscreen and the buttons around it work well, as do the buttons and knobs. But we’ve seen this theme on so many Toyotas, a degree of fatigue has set in now.

And while the touchscreen works well, the interface is outdated. A software upgrade is long overdue here. There is, however, a nicely executed colour screen in between the dials, and what’s impressive is that the driver gets a head-up display.

Quality levels on the inside are clearly improved as well. The doorpads are solidly constructed, the buttons and switches on the steering have a quality feel to them, the gear lever and its leather shroud are beautifully put together too. There’s even a feeling of solidity in the cabin. This is especially true of the leather-covered lower half of the dash and the vents that feel built to last. Even the door shut is quite impressive. However, some plastics, like the buttons on the right of the steering wheel and the cupholders, aren’t impressive and I’m not a big fan of the faux-whitewood finish, either.

The Camry in this HV Premium trim comes loaded with kit. Not all of it will be available to buyers in India, as the focus will be more on rear-seat passengers, but you can expect it to come with paddleshifters, wireless charging, a sunroof, traction control, stability control (ESC) and brake assist.

The car in Bangkok also gets cross-traffic alert at the rear (it helps you reverse out of a parking lot safely), blind-spot monitoring, dynamic radar cruise control, lane-keeping assist and even pre-collision brake intervention. It also comes with phone-based features like geo-fencing (that sounds an alert if your car goes out of a pre-designated area), parking alert, Find My Car, vehicle tracking, and in-car WiFi.

Nicer to drive, more comfortable to sit in, more efficient, and blessed with Toyota’s halo of reliability and dependability; thenew TNGA-based Camry Hybrid has a lot going for it.

Toyota is set to launch the new Camry here in January at an expected price of Rs 39 lakh. This high price is sure to limit appeal. What a shame that FAME 2.0 – the scheme in support of hybrid cars – never really took off.

Courtery:- Autocar

Dec 15, 2018
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SCOOP! No AWD for Tata Harrier

Packaging constraints posed by the combination of the Fiat diesel engine and Land Rover platform mean Tata’s flagship will not get an all-wheel-drive system in the near future.

If you're an off-road enthusiast and have been waiting for the launch of the Tata Harrier, we have some bad news for you - Tata's new SUV will not be offered with all-wheel drive, at least not in the near future.

As you may know, the Tata Harrier is based on Land Rover's L550 platform, and will be powered by a Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine. It’s learned that packaging the Fiat engine for an all-wheel drive setup in the Land Rover platform would require major re-engineering – specifically, modifying the position of the propeller shaft. Given the high costs involved with making such a change and the low demand for all-wheel drive SUVs in the segment, Tata Motors has no immediate plans to launch an AWD version of the Harrier.

The front-wheel drive Harrier will, however, get a Land Rover-like Terrain Response controller with multiple modes for the ESP system. Tata has also revealed teaser videos of its SUV being tested in tough conditions, so the promise is that the Harrier will, at the very least, be more capable than its fellow front-wheel drive rivals.

However, at some point during the Harrier’s lifecycle, an AWD version could be developed if there is demand for it, especially in export markets. The most likely possibility is a sporty variant of the Harrier, powered by JLR’s 2.0-litre Ingenium engines, in which case the packaging of the entire powertrain and AWD drive system would not be a problem.

Of the other details we can confirm, the Harrier will get a hydraulic power steering rather than a costlier - if more efficient - electric power steering.

The Tata Harrier will be launched in mid-January 2019, and is expected to cost between Rs 16-21 lakh (on-road).

Courtesy : Autocar

Nov 29, 2018
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New Honda Passport SUV revealed

New five-seat SUV slots in above the CR-V; gets a 284hp, 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and optional all-wheel-drive.

Honda has revealed a new five-seat SUV at the ongoing LA motor show, called the Passport. The new model, which revives the nameplate in the US market, will slot above the CR-V in the Japanese carmaker’s range.

Based on a monocoque chassis, the new Passport gets a single engine-gearbox combination – a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine making 284hp and 355Nm of peak torque that is mated to a 9-speed torque convertor automatic transmission. While drive is sent to the front wheels as standard, customers can also spec the SUV with Honda’s i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system. The all-wheel-drive system can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s output to individual rear wheels and comes with four modes including sand, snow and mud. If specced with the standard front-wheel-drive layout, the Passport gets two drive modes – normal and snow.

The cabin of the Honda Passport is claimed to be class leading due to its larger size and five-seat layout. This also means that boot space is excellent with 1,167 litres available, which expands to 2,206 litres with the 60:40 split folding rear seats down.

In terms of features, the Passport SUV is quite well kitted. A 590-watt audio system comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen (on the higher-spec models), which gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Lower trims get a 215-watt audio system with a 5.0-inch display. Honda has provided a number of driver assistance systems across all variants including emergency auto braking and forward collision warning, lane departure alerts and lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise, cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree camera.

Honda in India has recently launched the fifth-gen CR-V at Rs 28.15-32.75 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The carmaker has not revealed plans to bring the Passport SUV to India.

Courtesy : Autocar

Nov 29, 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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