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Old 3rd January 2020, 03:13   #1
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Default Our Jawa Forty Two Story

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-my-repsol-outside.jpg
The eve of the delivery, post inspection, my Repsol lurking outside

Dec 19th, 2019.
Venue: Jawa showroom, Miramar
Today is a celebratory day for us, its special as my wife bought a beautiful bike, she dreams of riding along those meandering coconut lined pathways, having the breeze caressing her, soaking in the sights and sounds that unfurl and connect to her dream.

Today is Goa liberation day and 19th is her birth date. It’s a new beginning.

This has been a journey. Twists and turns. It's about the highs that you dream of, to the lows the day could get you crashing into reality. The fight back.

It's the mind clamping down on itself and about the courage to free itself from conditioning.

Keeping a positive outlook, every step, pushing us closer to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow where we want to get to. Long way away but closer each step taken on the way.

Victory is relished best when reversed from the depths of vulnerability. And this has been our Jawa 42 story:

The Story:
(A long story, skip to 'Why Jawa and how Jawa' directly for our opinion on the bike):

I love cars. Period. If there was anything I wished from a Fairy or Santa as a child, was a car falling through the chimney straight onto bed and I in the drivers seat. I think I was programmed to love and drive cars whether I turned out a baby boy or baby girl, I wouldn’t think otherwise. So no, I don’t think I would have wanted that dream to be gender bound. Restricting based on gender is like stealing the dream. We all fancy super powers as children.

I grew up in liberal Goa exposed to a free society. Hence I also always believed a women should drive. I find it quite interesting. A women driving confidently and responsibly draws my attention. Like talking or singing it is an expression of freedom and every human has this right to expand their realms (boundaries) of natural expression, coming from middle class constrained backgrounds we tend to loose or blur those definitions to match our upbringing but one’s constant endeavor should be to revisit and redefine those boundaries as circumstances modify.

Unlike the dream I had access to a car very late as dad bought his car after retirement, he applied for his DL at 62 and in a year he was driving across states, my inspiration. That Alto was my 24x7. The road my home. Later I tried to push my boundaries when I attempted to drive from Goa to Leh in 2015. Sadly we had to leave the Ecosport in Jispa after we met with a freak accident en route and completed the trip using a rental. After returning while ruminating I came across videos Gul posted of a similar journey and I entertained myself to a steady diet of these episodes of the Mahindra sponsored Gul Panag’s off road to Leh trails with super milo, her customized Scorpio. I liked that Scorpio, in parallel I liked Gul, she was an endorsement of the definition of a super women to me, in fact so fascinated was I that I had her pic sporting a bike T shirt as my phone screen saver for as long as I used that Galaxy phone.

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Our Jawa Forty Two Story-overnight-ride-raigad.jpg
En route to Raigad fort overnight, about a decade back

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-me-tbhp-n-khardungla.jpg
Me, TBHP n Khardungla


Time moved. After having a baby I realized my wife was a super women too, she had a sixth or a ninth sense that I certainly lacked, which I presume all mothers sport. Motherhood is a full time role with no breaks. Having to spend long hours taking care of our son Shalom, was depleting her mental reserves as she didn’t have “me time” for herself. We tried those random occasional holidays but the full time role stayed. Except for a 2 day biking trip to Chickmangalur without Shalom, my wife Shisa always had her hands full. A 2 day break on a bike wasn’t really the best plan I had to replenish her energy levels and give her some solid “me time”.

Shisa enjoyed the bullet trip as much as I did as she let her motherly guard down. I realized if I could inter space her day with some activity which translates to her “me time” it would off load some stress and rejuvenate her when she diverts her focus into some activity she enjoys. It was hence a natural progression for me to turn to the idea that she driving is the excuse to be used as a meditative therapy for her.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-battle-ready-horses.jpg
Battle ready horses, galloping to Chikmangalur

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-bros-arms.jpg
Brothers in arms, err on bikes. (malgudi days)

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-bug-bites.jpg
That bug bites, Good for me, lol

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-addictive-peace-around.jpg
Addictive peace around, bikes take you that extra mile (side stand)

Having a car is a God gifted privilege and since Shisa wasn’t exposed to one in proximity while growing up, she developed fear of the road. It didn’t help one bit that after marriage I, by gods grace, then had a couple of options home but she couldn’t get around to shifting gears literally. She would shiver. Hence after re positioning finances and some back of the envelope calculations later, we picked a used automatic sedan to hone her skills and oh yeah, she took to it like fish to water. In a matter of weeks she found this new expression of freedom redefining what she was and what she could do. She found her wings and now could fly. It was redemption and though I borrowed heavily, it validated the purchase.

We did a couple of long trips soon and she faced her fears head on amidst all the trucks on the Asian highway. Its soul satisfying staring at the horizon and pushing the envelope. She even used the car as leverage to enroll for some Yoga classes. This was refreshing. I strayed back to the visual of Gul driving Super Milo and repeatedly saying “women don’t drive, apparently everyone says that”. Well my wife drives so now I definitely am off that Gul’s everyone list.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-wifey-drive-gj.jpg
Wifey driving to GJ like a pro

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-superwoman-towing.jpg
My everyday superwoman towing to HSS when my bike wiring came loose after monsoons

Raising the dream:

Everything was on track and I thought we got to where we wanted. However some interesting turn of events unfolded. The motorcycling community gathers in Vagator for their yearly pilgrimage and living in the neighborhood which is the mecca, could not influence us less. These annual events are attended by thousands of men and women from across states and the community coming together is magical. This environment can impact.

I love motorcycling for all its glory, in fact I love all forms of moving wheels and it was but natural for me to rub some of that love on my wife and one fine Sunday after noon she rolled her eyes and expressed, only if she could be part of such a community. Wait a sec, I sat up from my day dreaming, scrambled to my mental drawing board, what, my wife, will she ride, why not, she could drive but how, she didn’t even have a riding license, will she get one, she never rode a scooty, of course motorcycles are safer than scooters but what if, oops. My restrictive logic kicked in, motorcycles are the most unsafe form of transportation engineered, its 4 times as unsafe as cars and India isn’t particularly motorcycle friendly and especially confusing for a lady I suppose.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-balistic-d390.jpg
My friend from Mumbai riding down his ballistic D390 for IBW

Flip side is it also is the medium that gives the highest high and for those who experienced, its irreversible, it's a one way street, motorcycling connects you to the nature around, expands horizons and gives easy access to experience freedom like no other, it's also the more involving of addictions. So net, it must be a positive. I racked my brain but didn’t muster courage to steal that dream away from her. How can I exercise the right to steal another's expression? Gul says people believe women can’t drive, well I don’t think I want to get into that list. My wife displayed she too is a super women.

So accordingly I corrected my visual to add one where my wife now rides. But that’s just the beginning of the story. We needed to get across the tunnel to see light and so started our journey. In parallel I decided to document this for 2 reasons. One it redefined boundaries and documenting will be an easy reminder when low to the hidden super powers we possess, where we could use this journey as a reference to redefine matrix's in life, for me, mom and son and two, I wanted to preserve these moments in a pure time less fashion not subject to laptop or mobile failures, while easily referable.

Despite my debatable engineering background, I can get lost thinking ground up, it can at times be random and subject to loosely held information. On the contrary my wife once she sets sight on a goal can be single minded in approach. Plenty times she made me realize my superfluous analysis spreading out like murky oil spill where multiple variables paralyze my decision making, is inconsistent, while she would attack these factors real time, identify, isolate, tackle, move and repeat 1 to 4. The highlight of this approach being our successful drive along eastern India to Sikkim and Bhutan from Kerala / Goa spread over a 26 day holiday to celebrate our vows taken together, which if not for her clarity wouldn’t get me beyond the first few 100 kms.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-sikkim-bhutan-trip.jpg
Sikkim / Bhutan trip, pursuit of happyness

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-swifts-high-bhutans.jpg
Our Swift feeling high in Bhutan

So it wasn’t just mere words coming from a sleepy afternoon, she meant it, she would climb the ladder. I know that. I needed to find something that could associate her with a biking community. That was rule 1, I didn’t want to break that, unless me and her riding together can be called a community. The biking event next door was the cue, the result obvious.

Off I trotted down the familiar path. Now I may have missed RE's bull run on the stock market by a mile but I could visualize those bullets thundering together, thumping around the corner, the atmosphere in my neighborhood annual mega event by Enfield is electric. I arrived at the showroom. I touched and kept holding on to the Classic 350 handle bar, the sales person approached, I held my hand up in response to mean “give me a few minutes”, thoughts running amok. I was silent, confused, wondering.

The easy evaluation phase:

RE has some fantastic bikes which ooze history, drip character and now have ABS too. The brand that created a community carrying 2 and bags in ease. It has street cred and is a ticket to this club. My heart would beat but my brain wasn’t a bullet convert until the interceptor came in knocking. That bowled me. However my regular ride, a baby Ceeber and the Classic 350 stood contrast like chalk and cheese. I chose to go the Honda way for obvious reasons. What my Repsol 250 was this traditional Bull wasn’t, of course what the Classic is my Repsol isn’t either, they both nod to each other and agree to disagree. I feel bikes are always at peace with each other, but their owners, maybe...

I signaled my wife to try the TBird, with 192 kgs, my wife resembled Atlas condemned with the weight. I asked her to swing her leg over the seat and she was clearly struggling shifting balance as if faced with a yorker, she carries a diminutive stature. Its the same with the Classic. This wasn’t going any easy, I need deeper analysis. I need almonds to energize my lazy grey cells. I took the quote and walked off. But not without a second glance at the Interceptor. Stop, one more look, that tug, had to let go for now. I will be back, for me, but not today. I’ll take that in Baker Express color, thank you for this one Mr. Lal.

Though I was initially skeptical, my laziness overtook logic and hence went the easy way. But now Shisa was at sea with the Thunderbird and I was at sea with "now what”. I didn't want to take a gamble with a newb rider. I prioritized only having ABS as the filter, okay maybe low end torque too, but it wasn’t as simple as that. Life hasn’t allowed me easy choices. However Jio allows me unlimited access to Google. Thank God for Ambani, Page and Brin.

I crunched specifications and relied on previous riding experiences. I ask fewer folks than Bezos in his 2 pizza meetings but my lazy self analyses all data available online such that I could reproduce information like Siddharth Patankar. I evaluate the following choices based on google and showroom visits:

Electric bikes: A self professed devoted Musk fan can never be away from this thought but the Indian industry is still nascent and the initial years will yield proven guinea pigs. Govt promises notwithstanding, infrastructure is sparse and though I have the option to postpone this purchase by a few years, my wife may lose the golden period to etch wonderful experiences.

Scooters: I like the Aprilia more and NTorq less but again it breaks our cardinal rule: no probable biking community. Not fun.

Imperiale 400: Ticks all regular boxes and is what a well made classic 350 would aspire to be, maybe good for a lot of folks, but not on my wife’s list. Its taller and heavier than Thunderbird. Impractical.

Intruder: My wife liked some bits but disliked some more bits. I like Suzuki's motors, smooth players, way better than Bajaj's. But this was on the fringe to start with and was brushed aside.

Preowned Apache: I'm a huge fan of pre owned after that compelling article by GTO. Now most of my vehicles are pre owned. I like the Apache 200 ABS, great bike, nice set up and I thought this is my chance to save precious money, my South Indian brain jumped. My wife wasn’t particularly excited, her dull response faded its chances.

This left me with what I thought appropriate:

Avenger street 220: The ABS factor was enough to include it and I showed my wife how both variants look, my impression being, this would be perfect. Height, check. Weight, check.

I tell her this is perfect on paper, but Shisa looks unimpressed, she surprises by revealing she likes the looks of only 2, not Avenger, nah. If a bike, its Jawa and R15 v3 (gosh, V3 is drop dead gorgeous).

The committed R15 not practical (else Duke 200 springs in equation), that leaves me with Jawa, it was in sorts the predestined winner, Shisa loved it, the classic formula and flat low seat meant it had what could choke my analysis to look no further.

A long test ride later I am a convert. We were convinced and biased when we walked in, the test ride was to defend our analysis, she was right, this bike is right.
Weight check, Yes. Height check, Yes.

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Old 3rd January 2020, 04:15   #2
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Default re: Our Jawa Forty Two Story

The following strengths gravitated us towards Jawa, playing as fine tasteful music:

The 10x (+2) factor:

1) Classic looks: Shisa thinks this looks the best and its precisely so. It’s well sculpted. Blending old school with new beautifully. The build also is good. The Jawa of yore was the heart beat of the young and my little time in the showroom revealed those young then who now have successfully retired have kept that heart beat alive with this new launch. It grabs attention, though not too prominent in presence. Now that we have one, a handful of oldies and a couple of Europeans have stopped to ask me about it, one elderly gentleman said it would cost about 20k back then, didn't ask when. The young appreciate it from the sidelines.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-thing-beauty-joy-forever.jpg
As they say, a thing of beauty is a joy forever

2) Linear torque: The Mojo engine designed for a long distances is now tuned beautifully to deliver decent pull at low speeds. Very useful for every day riding. Mojo’s plant displayed excellent touring credentials and I am positive the Jawa will carry them forward.

3) Six gears: Eventually plan to experience the cultures, sights, flavors and food on offer in this diverse India, which means lots of highways where your tryst with sixth is fixed, this also is the Jawa's preferred habitat.

4) Refined, Liquid cooled engine: aaha, having an oven between your legs in hot Goa is not friendly biking, it just makes me stop and adds to both my hunger and thirst, not for a happy camper. It’s hot and humid around. If Shisa has to sustain biking; vibration, heat and the resulting ‘numb’ will turn me dumb defending a biking trip. Sensory overload. The car keys are in standby.

5) Dual channel ABS: Very, very important. Period. VVIP.

6) Low CG: In comparison the 42 feels lighter on the handle and does not feel top heavy when balancing. The rear bias helps balance and is easy on shoulders.

7) Easy maneuverability: Wide handle bars add to the leverage effect. Pure physics at play. Compact dimensions help.

8) Relatively lighter weight: At 170 kgs, its 25 kgs lesser than the nearest Bull. My wife is no Hercules but this she said is just manageable. I hope too.

9) Mr. Mahindra: Anand also is a reason for me who observes the direction a CEO takes, he comes across dynamic, savvy and suave, pushing boundaries, he is the ambassador of his brand and Jawa has his endorsement. An Indian taking Indian products global, I take pride. I knew I would someday own a Mahindra, happy it turned to be a bike.

10) Potential bikers club: The dealership mentioned they organize regular rides, this is important from the intended meditational, recreational purpose. Parent Mahindra organizes some of the best get together experiences so those lessons can be easily passed / incorporated.

11) Throaty dual exhaust: I am told one can enhance levels depending on your sound affinity, but you got to wait long. I love that it has twin exhausts like a Bonnie, goes well with the classic look.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-cool-twin-silencers.jpg
A la Bonnie, I love dual exhausts for both cars and bikes

12) Ice cool color: Haley’s Teal in matt. We both agreed to agree on this one. All metal chunky surface promotes the color, brings the richness.

A delight from Mahindra and Classic legends. It had to be the 42 dual ABS. A modern classic take just like Thar. We chose the 42 over the Java Classic just because of maneuverability.

Interesting that the hitchhikers guide reveals 42 as the answer to those probing and here I was, looking at one so named. Maybe that's what she told Mahindra.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-42-answer.jpg
42, the answer. Jawa labelled seat

Now the bike decided, my wife needs to learn and get her license, of course not a walk in the park. We book the bike in Oct and are told that the Haleys Teal color can be delivered inside 2 months as its least in demand, interestingly Mahindra maintains that’s the favorite among women. Shisa spends busy days juggling her classes and Shalom. Meantime 3 biking events take place opposite my house. Shalom wants to get across to each event and we watch it all from the perimeter fence.

With the delivery approaching, I complete the advance payments to close the loop. Shisa likes the bike each time she sees it in person. There aren't many on the road so the novelty factor plays possibly. In a matter of few days she will be having her own Jawa 42. Two year old Shalom learnt to climb onto the bike in the showroom though his choice of color is different we suppose.

The Boomrang effect and fight back:

When we were on a high about the whole skill empowerment exercise, disaster struck at the very root. Bang! Damn, a cops Wagon R trailing my wife's old City misjudged and crashed into her car, the impact damaging the bumper but more, crushing her gingerly held morale to the depths. We called other cops to be on record. Shisa was so upset with the accident and the tedious legal process that followed, she blurts in helplessness and that throws me off balance. "I don't want to drive, cancel the bike too. This isn't helping at all, we had to face the brunt. This is too stressful". I was like, uggh not now, please don't decide or conclude you’ll not drive or ride again. Control! Everything was so fragile, the whole idea felt hollow, it could fall apart having come so close. Frustrating.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-morale-dented.jpg
Not just car, morale dented

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-tedious-grey-laws.jpg
Tedious grey laws, the interpretation varies per case

This had to cool so I could explain to her the importance of being anti fragile, broaden the skill range.

I reasoned with her this is a backward step. Why sacrifice your potential super powers for some one else’s mistake. Think quietly. She accepted my logic. For once it worked. Relief, back on track.

This victory is important as this journey is not stand alone, as reference giving up in these will intertwine with other journeys that she may take along the unknown, maybe entrepreneurial, maybe something else, takes courage, needs conviction, build up confidence. That victory will be an accumulation of the small victories accomplished along the way, the morale boost necessary.

All journeys are a sine wave. We go ahead with the purchase and welcome it home for Christmas.

The entire journey from booking to purchase was uneventful positively and usual stuff, Jobbin my representative at the showroom assured me that this special color I can get easily. He also allowed me multiple test drives of about 5 to 6 kms to satisfy me.

After spending few days, our initial experience with the Jawa 42 is what I’ll decode here.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-taking-delivery.jpg
Taking the baby home to add a flavor to Christmas

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Old 3rd January 2020, 13:10   #3
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Default Re: Our Christmas Java 42 story

Why Jawa and how Jawa 42:

Initially many factors crossed my mind. What should the parameters be that define this purchase. Just to commute or enjoy every moment. This would have to sort of be a companion.

Moreover should it be a non geared scooter or a light city bike, should it double up for shopping errands and for fun runs or long highways. Contrasting roles, and there is no bike that transforms to do it all.

And hence we went back to the primary purpose defined.

The whole idea was to introduce the fun side of biking, the bike the medium.
The community the catalyst.

After some careful thought I settled on additional parameters to filter.
It should weigh at least about 150 / 160 kgs, one, I feel 150+ kgs usually provides decent highway manners, stability is optimized and two, people usually don’t move heavier bikes around when parked in public, I dislike that. Still it should be height and weight friendly.

Secondly, should be around the 200 or more cc capacity. Not to go fast but to have power in reserves. You should either be able to safely brake or power out of situations. Dual ABS default.

Thirdly should have a probable community at least in the making. The machine hence should evoke emotions.

As mentioned above some options I wished to consider:

Of the bikes I enjoyed riding, the baby Duke is up on that list, I am wary of the 390 for its extraordinary heat generation capabilities, it burns the road literally, however the 200 satisfies me easily for the pull and sharp handling the small motor offers, only if my wife could ride one. I could not use this opportunity as an excuse, this bike is tall for her.

I like the Duke 200 for the punch it packs in all those gears and the sporty genes it carries. True to the caption, its ready to race, always. All its sporty traits can be explored by ordinary riders. Except for the height everything else would work fine for her and I could use it often but to be safe, height mattered. Goa doesn't have areas to explore top end, the lower end whack is what matters. I might still look out for a pre loved one for me. It brings a smile each time.
Duke 200 is raw, precise, edgy, sharp, makes you feel like a super man riding one, uncontrolled addiction.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-galloping-horse-history.jpg
Galloping horse and heritage, did I say I love them both

The Apache was a 75% fit resembling the baby duke which worked fine for me cos it is fun (who doesn't love cheap thrills, (Sia) (in reference)), due to that tractable practical motor and predictable handling. And if new, it has fancy mobile connectivity features that shares fun data for that weekend analysis (the next version may record heart beats while cornering) or I could also find one in the pre loved residual market. But here too it was a tad tall and hence ticked off.
Of course the unsaid rule always was it should not be exorbitant. That's why I lingered longer around the Apache, its sheer VFM. Bam!

We already have a baby Ceeber, it hence had to be a different bike. Also this 250 machine protests two up as the weak low end becomes strongly obvious. My 61 kgs it carries briskly and is total fun single seat. The CBR 250r feels good if the combined weight of both rider and pillion is inside 100 kgs, if more its initial torque can't handle that weight too well when riding slow or in city. By contrast the CL 350 produces positive torque from standstill and after it gets moving tapers off. No wonder its everyone's mule for those slow long heavy hauls.

Though I love the CBR for the riders comfort and poise. Shisa finds hoping onto the saddle an acrobatic exercise as she can't swing her leg around and she isn’t comfortable sliding on the riders seat either. Also its front heavy while steering. And due to its weak low end, there's too many gears to shift.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-shalom-loves-bullet.jpg
Shalom loves Bullet, riding shotgun with dear friend Mukesh

If I didn't have to pick an independent bike for my wife, for us two up it would be a used Classic 350 to experience motorcycling together. Moreover I recently found Shalom loves the bullet most for its relaxed thump. He wants a ride on all the Enfields he can hop on so we now have a hard time trying not to concede to his whims. From the pillion’s perspective this one's better and can easily lug baggage of two. Shisa is vocal that the pillion experiences better comfort on the CL350 than CBR or Jawa. The lesser preferred Thunderbird should offer even better comfort I suppose.

But the idea was she rides separately. Not as pillion experiencing motorcycling through my filters.

She should experience it, independent.

Riding impressions of Jawa:
I won't go through specs as its everywhere online, its the feel I'll refer to.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-count-goes-.jpg
The count goes on, 100 not out, hurray

The Mojo derived 293 cc motor has decent pull from start all the way up to road legal speeds, its linear, nothing staggering, in fact coming from a CBR the power, though better at initial delivery, surprisingly, didn't surprise me so I guess it’s a positive from Shisa's angle due to its mannered behavior. Moreover this mill too is supposedly quite reliable and should last the distance.

The baby Duke in comparison is always in a tearing hurry. Ready to sprint away. Its desirable in a unique way. The launch of the Pulsar / Karizma then the Duke twins and recently the RE 650 twins are significant milestones on the Indian motorcycling calendar in these 2 decades.

The Jawa does not have the initial torque of the CL 350 from stationery but it outshines the Classic soon on the move. Importantly the motor is refined, not as much as a CBR but miles ahead of the Classic. No undue vibrations are felt on the foot pegs, seat, handlebar or mirrors, in contrast the mirrors on the bullet is utterly useless, a white car following is equal to white tooth paste smeared on the mirror surface, due to the blur neither can the car be guessed nor the distance judged. Also Jawa offers better pull in city riding than a CBR, though the CBR obviously revs better to produce power higher up.
However with the Jawa you can ride on higher gears than CBR, which is always a gear or two lower in be brisk. I tanked up twice but did not take stock of any efficiency calculations yet, will wait for more miles to pile up.

The gear shifts on the 42 could be better, the throws are longer than the CBR, but it slots right. It’s much better than the Bullet or Avenger. Somehow the bike stutters when its ridden too slow for each respective gear but downshifting sorts it to run free. I think Honda’s are better with their fueling systems. Also though overall the bike feels well built, actually a commendable job, few areas is inconsistent, where finish could improve, especially chassis weld lines and side panel fit, no 2 Jawa's have it alike.
They didn't have a black leg guard available and that's the second accessory coming onboard.

The slight rear bias and the wide street friendly handlebar makes it easily maneuverable. Its 170 kg heft disguised once moving, the weight below acting like a magnet, the bike sticking to the road on straights. The lower CG helps tackle slow turns offering wonderful stability, you can crawl and maneuver in 1st gear. However the weight is easily felt when physically pushing around, but there are easy grab handles to hold. This is a heavy motorcycle for the uninitiated. Positive is this bike doesn’t feel flimsy. Everything from top to bottom feels robust. The circular rear view mirrors offer okay coverage and aren’t as brilliant as the CBR’s but go well with the looks. On the 42 they are black and on the Jawa Classic, its chrome.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-hoping-she-enjoys-biking.jpg
Hoping she enjoys biking, her legs touch either side, on Avenger easily though

The riders seating triangle too is right for her 5.2 height, I think it works well for folks inside 5 feet 5 inches. Taller riders may have to look elsewhere, Imperiale maybe. The foot pegs below you allow one to rise slightly when riding over rough patches. Also the triangle allows your spine to remain erect and the back muscles holds you up which is preferred to the arched position on a cruiser (eg. Avenger).

Having ABS is always a boon, for these bikes it’s essential. Though the CBR’s handle and forward bias aids higher speed control, the 42’s higher handle is easy and practical. The front brakes have good progressive bite but the lever response is better on the CBR. The front responds well to braking with those beefy telescopic shocks. The front dive is predictable and controlled. The rear brake lever too has more play than the CBR's but has adequate stopping capability, I'll check with the Jawa service folks on the lever movement.

The Jawa’s dynamics is good but the GC plays spoil sport, since the bike is still in run in phase, haven’t pushed it too far but initial feel is its taunt due to the stiffer ride and double cradle chassis and the bike leans quickly due to its low CG and wide handle, however there's little scope to experience lean angles on sharp undulations as it bottoms easily, especially two up despite the stiffer rear. Alone, possible to carry some speed into a corner.
The bike rides firm and comfortably flat, thanks to those rear gas dampers. Note it protests when it strays off smooth tarmac by scraping its underbelly or silencer on protruding surfaces when riding double. Since it cannot be a corner carver the MRF's shod feel adequate for what this bike is designed for. I am inclined in due course to switch to Michelins or Pirelli like my CBR's, if available to improve the road feel and hence exploring options. I feel the rubber will give way before the bike does. It's slightly under tyred, especially front should go one size broader.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-branded-footpegs.jpg
Branded Foot pegs, vibration free

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-projectors-maybe.jpg
Subtle branding, future projectors maybe. Does that cap on top conceal a screw, nice touch

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-nice-handle-grips.jpg
Nice Jawa grips, vibe free mirrors. Raise hands for light switch

The short but wide seat is comparable to a bench in the park, additional padding will help. Not generous for 2, not for those long runs. Need to research options. It tapers in the front so the shorter folks can sit right at the tank edge to stretch their legs to the ground. The handle grips are super comfortable and the ergonomics and controls easy to adapt to. I love the subtle Java branding on the grips and foot pegs, in fact it also appears on the headlight glass, tank lid and seat.

The horn is usual fare. The classic has it in front and 42 at the side. The quality of the switch gear is good and unlike many locally manufactured fibre fairing bikes there is no worry of plastic discoloration as there is little to none around the console. That brings me to the instrumentation. In line with the retro theme I realize the instrument design will be conservative but I expect a better spread in this digital age. For instance the missing RPM meter is glaringly obvious, more so since the speedometer is offset to the right, which is cool but RPM dial still is a must. The Imperiale has it better, valuable points to the Benelli.

The heat the bike emanates is manageable both in traffic and highways. Good option for those who want a sedate version of a short and retro styled Harley minus the heat. Of course, the CBR does a much better job but credit to Mahindra, its controlled. The fan makes its presence felt but not as much as the big Duke. You can touch the silencer even when the bike has covered miles but the enlarged crankcase near the foot peg is very hot when the insides of your ankle touches, shifting to press the rear brake, this one needs shoes with ankle support.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-lock-ignition-slot.jpg
Fumble in the dark when you want to rush, those weld lines aren't similar for 2

Though not a deal breaker but what I dislike are the two separate slots for the ignition and handle lock, I realize that’s how these type bikes are styled but I prefer just one slot rather than fumble in the dark for the lock, takes longer if I am in a hurry. Secondly the fuel gauge has a mind of its own, it works only when standing straight, so you need to turn the key again, a quirky ritual, an aberration I'll learn to live with. Also the Fuel lid comes entirely off and you've to hold it in hand while refueling.
Thirdly I don't understand why I had to pay Rs 1800 to purchase the bundled main stand when it should be all inclusive, we are clear this isn’t a sports bike. And I feel the bike's a bit overpriced. Also the rear mudguard is a tad behind by a few inches, the rear wheel could go back a little to fill the gap.

I understand the safety aspect but I am not a fan of the lights always staying on as I am paranoid the battery may drain if left ignored, of course when the engine is turned off, only the parking lights stay on, it’s just that since the ignition slot is below I tend to cut the engine using the kill switch and leave the ignition on forgetfully.
Also the low beam spread is decent to potter but the high beam throw isn’t great for breezy speeds on single carriageways, I wish we had projectors, maybe I ask too much, a set of auxiliary lights will help those long night runs. However if my demands are acceptable, Classic Legends, please include back lit switches too, Pulsar spoilt me there.

I like that the clutch needs to be engaged to thumb the motor to life, safe when Shalom is along fiddling, moreover the clutch action is predictable and smooth. The bike has a decent busy bassy growl on firing, similar to the Apache’s but the Apache 200 is pleasantly deeper and boomier. Also even after locking the bike the radiator fan stays on for a short while to expel the heat, good.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-one-nature.jpg
Getting one with nature, well positioned gear foot lever

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-27-hp-1-camel-power.jpg
Shalom shifts from HP to Camel power, on our 1st interstate ride to Shiroda beach

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-beautiful-engine-pannel-design.jpg
Beautiful engine and side panel with extension design

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-snug-radiator-engine-guard.jpg
Snug Radiator cover and engine guard

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-beautiful-rear.jpg
Beautiful rear, but the wheel could come back a little, maybe yes/no

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-tank-stripes.jpg
Beautiful yester year tank stripes, also inconsistent fit of the seat edge to its left touching tank,
also right foot touches very hot crank case when shifting to brake, need some guard or projection / restrictor

Classic gets bronzed cap, 42 in chrome

What I absolutely love is the gorgeous looks, unbeatable, like a pretty lass in swimwear and sun shades on a beach day. The twin silencers, the radiator and the sump guard, the sculpted side panels, the all metal body, the matt (gloss) paint, the painted stripes, the engine casing, the chrome spokes and rims all are a work of art, if frozen in a rock, it’s a sculptor's masterpiece. My other top favorite is the Interceptor and I admit I like the Jawa's looks more. It’s funny how spoke wheels and metal look cool today in the sea of plastic body and alloy bikes when they weren’t so cool a decade and a half back.
With this matt color, Haley’s Teal, Mahindra targets the fairer sex. The most popular color as per the dealer is the Nebula Blue then Galactic Green and Comet Red close then Lumos Lime then Starlight Blue and Haley’s Teal the least, so my wife’s bike will remain special on the road for a longer time, I take that as positive.


My wife didn’t think twice she loved the color, whether it’s the color or the looks I am not sure but she looked no further. Overall it’s a wonderful fun machine with very few dislikes and a lot more to like. Suits us to the T.

That’s why the Jawa 42. It’s been the answer from the time she saw it. Despite its heritage, in our case we’ve no nostalgia, no history to fall back on, we picked it purely on its merits, a purchase in its 90th year, its competent by virtue. Here’s wishing my wife miles & smiles of happy motorcycling and hope she enjoys bikes as much as I do.
Need everyone's prayers and blessings. Please share simple, useful motorcycling trips and tricks that will help her learn quickly and safely.
Thank you for going through this patiently. Will revert with fresh updates. A wonderful and happy new year 2020 to all.

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-90-years-heritage.jpg
We are part of the beautiful Jawa story after 90 years, 2019

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-worth-its-salt.jpg
Worth its salt, or weight in salt (short seat for reference)
Wasn't aware of a govt salt inspector. Tumne kiska namak khaya hain, dispute

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-quenching-souls-thirst.jpg
Quenching souls thirst
Spokes of 90's with today's ABS

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-freedom-across-river.jpg
Freedom across, taking me there

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-places-beyond.jpg
To places and beyond

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-my-kid-his-joys.jpg
Not wanting to get off, using every minute. Well damped Gabrial front shocks with Brembo's

Our Jawa Forty Two Story-happy-jawa-onwers-awaited.jpg
More happy Jawa owners awaited

A huge Thank you to Crazy Driver and GTO for their support in getting this presentable.

Last edited by s_pphilip : 4th January 2020 at 01:50. Reason: Uploading photographs, thank you crazy driver and GTO
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Old 4th January 2020, 07:37   #4
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Motorcycle Section. Thanks for sharing!

Great report - your bike is going straight to our homepage .
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Old 4th January 2020, 09:04   #5
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Originally Posted by s_pphilip View Post
Today is a celebratory day for us, its special as my wife bought a beautiful bike, she dreams of riding along those meandering coconut lined pathways, having the breeze caressing her, soaking in the sights and sounds that unfurl and connect to her dream.
Congrats s_pphilip to you and your better half. Fabulous start to 2020. Wishing her many many miles and smiles on the Jawa 42.

Enjoyed your write-up and the accompanying photos.

It would be nice to hear her perspective also. Next goal for you would be to get her to sign up here and share her views in first person.

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Old 4th January 2020, 11:12   #6
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Jawa seems to be the preferred choice for women, spotted a first time motorcyclist at the 2019 xBhp ISG2G riding the same but of a different colour. She rode all the way to Yercaud from Chennai if I'm not wrong.

Anyhow Kudos to Shisa for her achievement and make sure to ride safe and always wear a helmet and that too a full faced one at it.


Last edited by ashwinprakas : 4th January 2020 at 11:14.
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Old 4th January 2020, 12:43   #7
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Nice bike. Hope it lives up to your requirements & expectations.

BTW, couldn't stop myself mentioning this - That Forty Two sticker on the rear : reads as "Farty Two", at least to me when I first glanced at it :P
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Old 4th January 2020, 14:43   #8
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Excellent report, Philip. We would love to read your wife's perspective on the experience
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Old 4th January 2020, 17:12   #9
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Excellent writing skills in giving the background for purchasing the bike and the detailed review as well! Ride safe, hope to see you around Goa someday!
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Old 4th January 2020, 18:53   #10
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Hope this story inspires more people to open up to the idea of women bike riders.
Very well written and really inspiring post.
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Old 4th January 2020, 23:09   #11
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That's a brilliant piece of writing. Wish her long and peaceful meditations on the 42!

Coming to the machine, would love to hear from you about the after sales service. Also, I personally felt the heat to be a tad higher during my city rides (on a borrowed Jawa). Please publish reports on long rides. The high end torque is definitely better than Classic.
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Old 4th January 2020, 23:40   #12
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Thank you Rush again for helping with our Java 42, A bike love story. . Despite my interest I'm guilty of not contributing enough due to my lazy bones despite regular escapades. Hope to contribute positively to this community. Cheers to all.

Thank you LeoChakraborthy, fast n Curious, Maverick 5490, Lambydude, Null, Ashwinprakas, Uday.ere. for the encouragement and brotherly support. The strength of this community is this Love.

It's a selfish motive too, I can easily abandon guilt of riding alone in future if she rides along.

This journey is only half complete. My wife needs to get her riding licence. Do share your learning experiences and advice so she can use everyone's cumulative assessments to climb the learning curve. I'm not the best rider around, I'm damn sure of it as I've seen some good riders real close, I won't live in that false illusion hence. My friend Kunal from Mumbai riding that D390 for instance can magically recover a front wheel skidding bike. I don't know how he does that. Real quick reflexes. Same time I'll be sprawled on the tarmac.
So all tips and tricks are valuable as this community will help her learn more than what I convey to her. I hope she enjoys and learns motorcycling soon. This bike is entirely her choice, my miserly brain was hesitant to move beyond Apache or Bullet as I turned to go the pre owned route initially.
She loves it.

I live right behind the Anjuna police station which is the landmark to cross to get to whatever festival is held next door. So hope to see you too Maverick.
And yes Null, that's some font. Lol. Funny now you brought that to my attention, I can't undo it.

And Leo, the heat is okayish high but I've felt insane levels of heat from other similar bikes, instance D390, A 5km ride is enough to tandoor. But say compared to commoners like classic 350, yes the heat is higher.

Hope to find more women riders riding whatever they like Ashwin and fast n Curious. Each will inspire the other.

I'm sure in due course yes, Uday and Lambydude. Once the blood in her veins carry fuel for drives/ rides. She'll be refueling on TBHP.

Last edited by s_pphilip : 4th January 2020 at 23:54.
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Old 5th January 2020, 01:31   #13
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All of us hide brilliance under the garb of laziness because we are taught from young to respect fear as it's real deal and that fear is overcome only when you are exposed to the right elements in the environment else you think of it as your normal self. Else we experience idea paralysis.

Most clues around when growing and constantly recalibrating just helps build additional fear as the easiest thing to do is pass that fear to another in what ever form, it's contagious and clouts reasoning and proper judgement.

However this community is here to inspire and break those mental barricades and that's what I hope for, hence documented this journey as my wife with encouragement from like minded people around will be able to climb those mountains we dare not look at due to past conditioning.

As a society we don't usually think from first principles. We are rewarded to conform which is fine in many areas but need not be mandatory approach. Our mental models is largely borrowed from someone else's experience.
I know it from all my missed chances. Hopefully my wife gets her riding licence soon and rides with a free spirit and a song on her lips.
You are an average of the 5 you communicate with. Sometimes I don't want her to be as strong as the weakest link, Me. Why supress the potential to be great. Everyone can. It's easy too.

Last edited by s_pphilip : 5th January 2020 at 01:51.
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Old 5th January 2020, 12:07   #14
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What a wonderful write-up sir! It was such a delight to read the entire ownership review, specially the prologue part. I felt connected- I felt like a part of the entire buying process.

And I will admit that I'm inspired by you, in a way I felt that this would be my story, I would love to see my other half riding something like a Himalayan and then both of us are exploring our beautiful country.
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Old 5th January 2020, 23:00   #15
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Awesome writeup S_pphilip.

"Ran-ragini" in making.

Wishing her many more miles with the wonderful machine.

And what an initiation to the world of biking for your son Shalom.

It can't get any better than this.
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