2019 Jawa Forty-Two First Ride Review

14 December 2018, 12:03 PM Vikrant Singh



This is the more affordable, younger-looking, and as its maker likes to say, open-chested version of the Jawa. It shares the engine, gearbox, cycle parts, and, in fact, almost all of its body work with the standard Jawa. We have already ridden and written about the new Jawa on BikeWale.

So, what's different?

While the Forty Two shares its tank, side panels, rear fender, lights, switchgear, levers, and even the clocks with the standard Jawa, it does get a different front fender, a different head lamp casing, an offset instrument pod, and a wider handlebar. The latter is what has led the company to call it 'open-chested'.

Jawa 42

Jawa 42

  • Displacement293 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)27 bhp
  • Kerb Weight170 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,58,388


So, the two bikes do look tellingly different, especially when you consider that the Jawa is only available in traditional gloss paint hues, while the Forty Two can also be had in matte as long as it is some shade of either blue or green. The seating ergos, thanks to the wider bar, is slightly different as well. For me, at five nine, the Forty Two seating was more upright compared to the standard Jawa.

Does it ride any different?

Not really. Yes, the wider handlebar changes how you work the steering around bends, but, it's not glaringly obvious. 

The rest is the same as the standard Jawa. So, the Forty Two continues to be a quick-steering, planted, and fun to ride machine around twisties. It still has a go-over-anything-with-poise-and-control front suspension setup. And, it still has rear coil over damper units that can cause the rider some discomfort over badly broken surfaces.


Braking continues to be good with a disc upfront and a drum at the rear. And, it still only gets a single channel ABS. The engine - built on the same platform as the Mahindra Mojo powertrain - is smooth up to 80kmph in top gear;  it has decent pull in the mid-range; it can cruise at 100kmph all day long; it has a nice sounding exhaust note; and the 6-speed gearbox it is coupled to, has crisp shifts. Which again, is identical to the standard Jawa.

What does it compete against?

Now, the standard Jawa is in a class of its own. But, the Forty Two is more mainstream. It is priced at Rs 1.5 lakhs ex-showroom. And that puts it in the same space as the Royal Enfield Classic 350 as far as modern classics go.


Then, of course, there's more modern competition with digital clocks, monoshock, disc brakes on both wheels, and design elements that will appease the digital generation more than the old boys. There's the KTM 200 Duke, the Bajaj RS 200, and to an extent, the Yamaha R15 that the Forty Two must contend with.

Jawa Jawa or Forty Two?

Let us give you some facts before we answer that question. As far as official bookings go, the Jawa Jawa is winning the race, and handsomely at that. And not just that. It's the traditional Jawa maroon which has the lion's share of bookings as of now.

Now to answer the crucial question - Jawa or Forty Two? As we have told you through the course of this article, both these motorcycles are near identical when it comes to ride, handling, performance, or even comfort or ease of riding. And even though the Jawa is more expensive, it doesn't get any additional features or tech.


But, it does get more chrome. And that costs money. The chrome you see on the tank and even on the fuel injection cover, isn't a cheaply done item either. Add to it the gloss finish, and the Jawa parked next to the Forty Two does look richer, more upmarket, and more desirable. 

The Forty Two then, is for those who want a younger, more hep looking motorcycle. And, of course, don't believe all that chrome is worth the additional monies.

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi


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