As three new outlets of Jawa from Mahindra were opened in the city recently, bike enthusiasts are on a happy high as they test drive the bikes and make plans to purchase one.
The showrooms are opened in Koramangala, Rajajinagar and Basavanagudi. They have the Jawa and Jawa 42 on display.
Post test-rides, customers can book bikes for a token amount of Rs 5,000 at the showroom or online.
There are impressive walk-in numbers at the showrooms, say dealers.
A team lead from Jawa Motorcyles Square Auto, Koramangala, observes that there are around 120 walk-ins every day. “We provide test drives to anyone who walks in,” he says.
There are 200 bookings, including online and in-showroom bookings, since its launch in November.
“There is a demand for both the Jawa and the Jawa 42. The Jawa 42 is more popular because it is available in six colours.”
Ravi Chandran, CEO of Atrie Technology, who owns around 12 Jawa bikes, feels that it is hard to gauge the real feel of the bike unless the test rides are longer.
“When the ride is not too long, one doesn’t even change gears. It was great to ride the bike, but I want to wait for some time to check if there is availability of proper service centres and parts from Mahindra,” he adds.
Manoj K, an IT employee and member of the Bangalore Jawa Yezdi Motorcycle Club, owns a Jawa 1969, which belonged to his grandfather. He plans to co-own the new Jawa with his cousin.
He says, “It was exciting to get a hands-on experience of the bikes. It is interesting how one can raise the speed from 0 to 80 in a few seconds.”
Bike aficionados like Deepak R, a four-wheeler consultant, who has owned several Jawa and Yezdi bikes, wishes to own the new one too.
“I bought the bike from the landlord of a farmhouse on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border for Rs 35,000 and spent more than Rs 65,000 restoring it. Mohammed Dastagir and his son Shamsheer (see box) helped restore the bike; we got parts from Coimbatore, Ahmedabad and across the country and it took four months to fix it,” he says.
Ramanand K P, a senior regional sales manager of a pharmaceutical company, is impressed with the new versions.
“Legend has been revived with these bikes. The best part about the bike is that it is a four-stroke engine, is more powerful compared to many contemporary bikes. The best part is that the automobile brand has brought out the new version of the classic bikes for the ones who have loved Jawa for decades. I think the Jawa 42 is for the young, experimental lot,” he opines.
Ramanand, who owns a Roadking 1996, plans to buy the new Jawa. “My wife loves the colour of the bike, and I love the retro look of the bike.”
‘Spare parts are still a difficulty’
Shamsheer Ahmad, works with M D Auto garage, Mysuru, which was set up by his father Mohammed Dastagir around 45 years ago. He says that finding spare parts for restoration or repairing Jawa bikes is a challenge.
Around 50,000 bikes have been restored at the shop. “My father was working with the Jawa factory, which closed down in 1996. Later on, he set up this shop. Our clients are from Mysuru, Kerala, Delhi and Bengaluru. Around 50 percent of our business comes from riders in Bengaluru, who bring models like Yezdi Roadking, Jawa Classic, Yezdi and Jawa 350 and even imported models from Czechoslovakia,” he says.
For the last four years, it has been hard to find spare parts for the bikes. “We either make a replica of the parts or import them which becomes costly due to customs duty.”
He adds that Mahindra had assured that some rare spare parts would be more accessible, but no action has been taken yet.