Jawa vs Royal Enfield: Who will win?

Resurrection of Jawa

Launch of Jawa after 22 years

Bringing back a strong nostalgia from the 50s, the legendary Jawa motorcycles are all set to rule the market (and, the roads) again.

On November 15, 2018, after being out of production for nearly 25 years, Jawa made its much-awaited return. For now, three motorcycles have been rolled out for the Indian market- the classic Jawa, Jawa 42, and the Jawa Perak, the last one being made available for sales in 2019. Will the long-sung old hero rule the new-age users’ heart as well? Let’s find out.

The history of Jawa

While being fairly popular in the country, Jawa is in truth, not an Indian brand. It was founded in Prague, Czechoslovakia (1929). Within a couple of decades, it had already become one of the top motorcycle manufacturers in the home country, its exports going to as many as 120 countries.

Nearly 30 years later, the company first stepped into the Indian market. It didn’t take long before Jawa had a boast-worthy cult following to itself. The production took place in Ideal Jawa Indian Ltd in Mysore.

Return of Jawa after 22 years

After the long dry spell, the first good news for fans of the motorcycle came in 2016. Mahindra & Mahindra, among India’s big names in the automobile industry, acquired the license for production and sale of Jawa. Mahindra & Mahindra will now sell Jawa motorcycles in India and other East Asian countries.

With the motorcycle officially back into the market, the pre-bookings have already started. While Jawa and Jawa 42 are already open for sales, Perak is expected to be on sale at a later stage. The company is all set to open 105 Jawa outlets around the country, with 64 already being developed.

Jawa vs Royal Enfield

Ever since the news of Jawa’s revival first hit the stands, people’s eyes naturally turned to the one obvious competitor- Royal Enfield.

“The oldest global motorcycle brand in continuous production”, Royal Enfield has been manufacturing motorcycles since 1901. An Indian brand, it currently sells its products in over 50 countries around the world. In 2015, Royal Enfield even surpassed Harley-Davidson in global sales 2015.

So, will the emergence of Jawa pose a threat to Royal Enfield, who has been enjoying a comfortable supremacy in the market for quite some time now? Many believe there is a real chance. The price segment of Jawa and Jawa 42 matches with that of Royal Enfield Classic 350. Let’s see how the three fare against each other.

Technical Specifications

Specifications Jawa Jawa 42 Royal Enfield Classic 350
Engine 293cc 293cc 346cc
Power 27.37 PS 27.37 PS 20.07 PS @ 5250 rpm
Maximum Torque 28 Nm 28 Nm 28 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Transmission 6 speed 6 speed 5 speed
Fuel tank capacity 14 litres 14 litres 13.5 litres

Things to note:

a. In the retro cruiser segment, Royal Enfield enjoys a fairly comfortable hold over the market. Jawa, a name with a good reputation, now entering the market again will naturally pose a challenge for the former.

b. The two motorcycles launched: Jawa and Jawa 42 are both priced at Rs 1.64 lakh and Rs 1.55 lakh respectively.

c. Royal Enfield Classic 350, the model most of compared to the Jawa duo, is priced at a lower Rs 1.47 lakhs.

d. Because of the DOHC liquid-cooled engine in Jawa and Jawa 42, combined with the 6-speed transmission, Jawa and Jawa 42 are expected to be a smoother ride as compared to the Classic 350.

e. The Classic 350 can experience uncomfortable vibrations when driving beyond the 80 kmph speed.


Looking solely at the numbers, it seems that a superior performance can be expected out of the Jawa duo. However, the real showdown will only begin when the new entrants hit the roads, and their real-time performance can be measured.

There are certain features in the new bikes that seem to be dominating over the Classic 350; such as the more accessible seats. Moreover, both Jawa and Jawa 42, despite having a slightly larger fuel tank, are significantly lighter than the Royal Enfield model. The duo comes built with a weight of 170 kg, while the Classic 350 weighs 192 kg- a difference of 22 kg!

While the Jawa motorcycles have a lot to offer, one cannot look away from Royal Enfield and its charm. The company has been in the market for over a century, and with good reason. Its quality and design have carved a niche for itself over the decades. Hence, to truly say that Jawa will takeover Enfield in the market, one can only wait for when the retro giant hits the road again.

Till then, motorcycle enthusiasts can celebrate as the “retro champion” rises again. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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