Jawa motorcycles, the only worthy challenger to the long dominance of Royal Enfield is finally back in India with a bang. The company has launched three new bikes namely Jawa, Jawa Forty Two and Jawa Perak. The range starts with the Jawa Classic 300 that has been named just 'Jawa' at Rs 1.55 lakh followed by the Jawa Forty Two and Perak that can be yours for Rs 1.64 lakh and Rs 1.89 lakh respectively (ex-showroom). The Jawa, being a pure retro classic offering is a direct rival to the Royal Enfield Classic 350. Interestingly, a lot of polls on the internet suggest that the Jawa wins by a huge margin when compared with the Royal Enfield Classic 350. With that being said, time to put the two on the paper head to head to see if the newest contender in the retro classic cruiser territory can actually spell trouble for the Enfield or not.
Jawa vs Royal Enfield Classic 350 - Design and Styling
The Jawa gets an old-school classic retro styling and the bike bears a heavy resemblance to the company's offering from the past. Elements like front and rear fenders, chromed out fuel tank and the golden coloured pinstripes will definitely take you decades back, giving a nostalgic feeling. On the other hand, Royal Enfield Classic 350 looks a bit modern compared to the Jawa but still has a retro classic appeal. The widely accepted design has remained unchanged for years now that is one of the reasons behind its selling prowess.
Jawa vs Royal Enfield Classic 350 - Engine specifications
The newly launched Jawa gets power from a 293cc, liquid-cooled engine mated to a six-speed transmission that is good for developing respective power and torque outputs of 27 bhp and 28 Nm. The engine is already compliant to BS-VI emission norms that will be kicking in 2020. The Royal Enfield Classic 350, on the other hand, is powered by a 346cc, air-cooled engine that produces a lesser power output than the Jawa at 19.8 bhp while the peak torque is identical at 28 Nm. The Enfield also gets one lesser gear than the Jawa as it gets a five-speed transmission and hence, the Jawa clearly takes the lead in this area.
Jawa vs Royal Enfield Classic 350 - Braking and Suspension
Both Jawa and Royal Enfield Classic 350 get a 280mm disc brake up front. While the Jawa gets a single channel ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) and misses out on a rear disc even as an option, the Classic 350 gets a rear disc brake and a dual-channel ABS as optional. The suspension set up on both the motorcycles is the same as the two come equipped with conventional telescopic forks up front along with twin spring gas-charged shock absorbers at the rear.
Jawa vs Royal Enfield Classic 350 - Price in India and Our Take
The Jawa can be yours in India for a price of Rs 1.64 lakh while the price of the Royal Enfield Classic 350 in India begins at Rs 1.39 lakh. The Classic 350 is also offered with Redditch and Gunmetal Grey versions that get a rear disc brake and are available at respective prices of Rs 1.47 lakh and Rs 1.48 lakh. The Royal Enfield Classic 350 Gunmetal Grey also gets a dual-channel ABS as an option and is the top-of-the-line model in the Classic 350 line up, costing you Rs 1.54 lakh. All prices being ex-showroom, Delhi.
All said, the Jawa looks promising and can definitely steal a chunk of RE's market share. The bike offers a more powerful engine than the Enfield and one extra gear while the RE has an edge in terms of features as it gets a rear disc and dual-channel ABS. So, if you want a decent performance from your motorcycle, the Jawa should be the pick for you. On the other hand, if you are a Royal Enfield fan and features are your top priority, the RE should be the pick for you. The exact performance of the two bikes in real-world conditions can only be revealed when we get to ride the Jawa in the coming weeks and hence, we save the final verdict for the comparison shootout.