Royal Enfield has been ruling the mid-scale retro-classic motorcycle space for a long time now. And in the last few years, the company has tasted huge success with almost every product it has come up with in our market. Also, recently the company launched the new Continental GT 650 and the Interceptor 650 in the Indian market at an unbelievable price tag starting Rs 2.33 lakh (Ex-showroom, Karnataka) for the Interceptor 650 and Rs 2.49 Lakh (Ex-Showroom, Karnataka) for the Continental GT 650. But the elephant in the room is the Jawa Motorcycles which have been re-introduced in the Indian market under the Classic Legends banner. Jawa launched three models the Jawa, Jawa Forty Two, and the Jawa Perak. Prices of the same starts at Rs Rs 1.55 lakh (ex-showroom) for the Forty Two, followed by Rs 1.64 lakh (ex-showroom) for the Jawa, and the Rs 1.89 Lakh (ex-showroom) for the Jawa Perak.
Out of all the three models, the Jawa and the Jawa Forty Two are ready in the final product form and will be seen on the Indian roads very soon. The company hopes to commence the deliveries to the customers by early 2019. While the Jawa Perak is still under final tests and will be available for the deliveries by mid-2019.
Basically, the bikes compete head on to the Royal Enfield Classic 350 but it’s the Jawa Forty Two which sits closest to its rival product, the Classic 350.
The Jawa Forty Two has a modern appeal which has been synced well with its old-school attributes and classic designing. While the Classic 350 has been using a similar retro-classic design language since its inception. Both the bikes have a similar appeal and uses an analogue instrument cluster, but the Classic 350 misses out on fuel gauge which is surely a bummer.
The Jawa Forty offers bar end mirrors as standard and is available in six different color options, the Classic 350, on the other hand, features seven glossy combos along with two matte color options (at a higher price tag).
Engine and Gearbox-
The Jawa Forty Two runs on a 293cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine that delivers 27hp of maximum power and 28Nm of peak torque. While its competitor, the Classic 350 utilizes a 346cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine developing the same amount of torque at 28 Nm while almost 9 horses less at 19.8bhp.
Even if the power figures are not taken into consideration, you simply can’t ignore the fact that the Jawa utilizes a liquid-cooled engine with Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) configuration. Also, the Jawa engine comes mated to a 6-speed transmission while the Royal Enfield uses a 5-speed transmission.
Jawa hasn’t made the rpm numbers official but the fact that it has a compression ratio of 11:1 makes us believe that it is supposed to be a higher revving engine compared to the Royal Enfield which uses 8.5:1 compression ratio.
Features and Cycle parts -
The Classic 350 uses a single downtube frame which has been suspended on front telescopic fork and twin shock absorbers at the rear. Its rival uses an all-new double cradle frame using a similar telescopic front fork and twin shock absorbers with gas-charged canisters at the back. Both motorcycles are also similar in term of using spoke wheels and tube tyres.
Now, what’s different is the wheels size as the Forty Two uses 90/90-18 wheel up front and 120/80-17 wheel at the rear. The Classic 350 uses a different setup in the form of front 90/90-19 and a rear 110/90-18 section wheel. Since both the bikes use different wheel size it already makes them two distinct motorcycles in their ride and handling behavior.
The Jawa Forty Two features a wheelbase base of 1,369mm, while the Royal Enfield Classic 350 measures 1,370mm. Since the numbers are almost similar, the bikes are expected to have similar straight-line stability and balance.
Fuel Capacity –
The Jawa Forty Two has a bigger fuel tank as it accommodates close to 14-litres of fuel once brimmed up while the Classic 350 has a 13.5-litre fuel tank.
India is a highly price sensitive market, and that is one reason why automakers lay a special stress when it comes to pricing their products right.
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 has been priced at Rs Rs 1.47 lakh (Ex-showroom, dual disc variant) and Gunmetal Grey at Rs 1.53 lakh (Ex-showroom, dual-channel ABS). The Chennai based motorcycle company also has an extensive dealer service network of 805 showrooms across the country but the same can’t be said about its rival brand, as of now. The Jawa Forty Two retails at Rs 1.55 lakh (Ex-showroom) and hence sits in the same price bracket as its rival but its dealership network is getting started from scratch and might take some time for complete establishment.