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Jawa 42 Review: The ultimate answer in the world of modern retros

TechLekh

TechLekh

Jawa 42 Review: The ultimate answer in the world of modern retros

By offering more than Jawa Classic at a much more affordable price, Jawa 42 might just be the ultimate answer in the world of modern retro motorcycles

Agni MotoInc Pvt. Ltd., the authorized distributor of Jawa bikes in Nepal, recently made their entry in the Nepali market with two Jawa bikes: Jawa 42 and Jawa Classic.

We reviewed the Jawa Classic a while back. Honestly, we fell in love with the Jawa Classic despite its few imperfections. Today, it is not about the good-old-days. It is about living in the present while still preserving the history of yesterday. It’s about the Jawa 42!

Before we begin, Jawa 42 price in Nepal starts at Rs. 620,000 (Single-channel ABS) and Rs. 648,000 (Dual-channel ABS).

To sport an affordable price tag, there is major part-sharing between the two Jawa brothers. Does the design play a factor in overall handling? Will it offer the same or improved experience?

Today, we find out!

Modern undertones 

Jawa 42 comes with a classic design with a modern undertone. It resembles the Jawa Classic’s 1970s inspired design. Interestingly, Jawa found a way to make 42 feel original and more contemporary. On the front, it gets the same rounded headlamp matched with halogen bulbs all around the motorcycle.

The handlebar is separate from the headlamp housing. It is a blacked-out single-piece handlebar, topped with an off-set inverted analog-digital instrument cluster. Jawa 42 comes with a more muted design, less chrome finishing, and eye-popping colors. Sleek lines and graceful curves are less noticeable, especially with the muted styling.

Design changes

If Jawa had copy-pasted everything from the Classic, then 42 wouldn’t be… 42. While the components are shared between the two siblings, it is visually different due to simple design change. These unique design elements include smaller front fenders, exterior fender guards, and a rear saree-guard.

Jawa 42 is available in six different colors: Nebula Blue, Comment Red, Starlight Blue, Lumos Lime, Halley’s Teal, and Galactic Green.

Refined engine

Jawa 42 gets a BS6-Compliant Engine which is a 293cc, Single-Cylinder, 4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, Fuel Injected DOHC engine. It can generate a max power of 26.51PS and max torque of 28Nm. Moreover, it is mated to a 6-speed transmission.

Both Jawa 42 and Jawa Classic are powered by the same engine. While Jawa 42 misses out on “FI features” like the Side-Stand Engine cutoff, it still comes with an advanced 300cc engine with Liquid-Cooling, Fuel-Injection, and DOHC.

Braking performance

Jawa 42 is available in two braking options: Front Disc only and Dual Disc. For the review, we had the Dual Disc variant. As expected, the dual disc improves the overall performance considerably! Moreover, the braking experience is precise and confident inspiring.

City riding suspension

Jawa 42 gets a front Telescopic Hydraulic Fork and a rear Twin Shock Hydraulic with Gas-Charged Canister. The suspension shines best on good roads like the highways, comparatively lesser so on rough terrains. Obviously, it is much due to the less suspension travel, putting the experience on a stiffer side.

Same old seats

I think a well-cushioned seat could have helped improve the ride quality. Both Royal Enfield Classic 350 and Bajaj Avenger 220 ABS sport a similar short-travel suspension setup. However, the experience is made more comfortable with the comfort-focused seating cushion. Unfortunately, the Jawa 42 comes with a well-designed seat, but it isn’t much for comfort. Furthermore, the lack of comfort is mostly noticeable in a long-distance trip.

Fuel tank capacity and mileage

Jawa 42 comes with a 13-liter fuel tank capacity. Based on our test, we average mileage between 35-38 Kmpl. Since the Jawa is powered by a Fuel Injected engine, the mileage is more accurate and consistent.

Other features

Jawa 42 includes retro-fitted elements like the Halogen Bulbs and an offset Inverted Analog Instrument Cluster with Digital Odometer. For the modern undertones, Jawa went with the blacked-out finishing.

In any case, the halogen headlamp does the job well. Both high beam and low beam provide good visibility on darker roads for improved night-time visibility. I still prefer an LED over halogen, but it is passable for a retro motorcycle.

Again, an off-set inverted analog cluster looks cool. However, it is fairly difficult to read while riding a motorcycle. Jawa motorcycle went out of their way to include a digital odometer

With that being the case, Jawa 42 could have featured an additional digital trip meter to boast its contemporary undertones.

 

My experience with Jawa 42

Refined performance

Jawa 42 features the most refined engine in this segment, putting vibrations at a down low.

However, it isn’t completely absent though. It seems like the vibrations go hand-in-hand with the RPMs. Higher the RPMs, the higher the vibrations. Eventually, the vibrations do kick in. But it always starts from the footpegs moving all the way to the handlebar.

Like the Classic, there is a slight delay when the torque kicks in, a more linear feel. So, the rider must always pull hard on the throttle to fully experience the pickup. For making it one of the most fun experiences, you should ride it in a higher gear at mid RPMs.

Improved handling

Like my experience with the Classic, the motorcycle initially looked intimating. After riding it for almost a week, Jawa 42 comes across as a fun motorcycle, with a good sense of practicality.

Forty-Two even managed to further improve the good handling of the Classic. Despite sharing a 165mm ground clearance and 170Kg Kerb weight, the motorcycle feels more practical and easier. I did not expect the low handlebar to make this much of a difference. It is even easier to maneuver through bad roads, traffic, and tight corners.

Conclusion

Jawa 42 offers itself to be a unique motorcycle. In that regard, it offers everything Jawa Classic does and then some more. Perhaps, that’s why Jawa came up with the name 42.

As author Douglas Adams puts it in his book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” the answer to the ultimate question to life, the universe, and everything is 42. By offering more than Jawa Classic at a much more affordable price, Jawa 42 might just be the ultimate answer in the world of modern retro motorcycles.