After the Perak, Jawa-Yezdi released a new Bobber-style motorcycle in the Indian market called the 42 Bobber. The 42 brand is already present in India, but this Bobber has nothing in common with the retro-classic motorcycle. And while it may look similar to the Perak, the 42 Bobber gets a new design, colours, and features not seen on the first Bobber from Jawa-Yezdi. We had the Jawa 42 Bobber for a limited period, and here we bring you a first ride review of this new motorcycle.
At first glance, the new 42 Bobber may look similar to the Perak, but this new motorcycle gets a new design. The front, for example, receives a compact headlight compared to the Perak, as the 42 Bobber uses an LED unit instead of halogen lighting. Then, there is an updated cockpit that includes a fully-digital display, new switchgear taken from Yezdi motorcycles, and dual USB chargers (type-A and type-C). The updated cockpit is followed by an updated fuel tank design with knee recesses with tank pads instead of a tear-drop shape of the Perak. This allows the rider to hold the motorcycle more efficiently than the Perak. Further enhancing the comfort level is this newly-designed saddle that is two-step adjustable for better ergonomics. Meanwhile, the taillight has been repositioned from underneath the seat to the rear fender.
The Jawa 42 Bobber is available in three paint options – Mystic Copper, Moonstone White, and dual-tone Jasper Red. In my opinion, the dual-tone red is the most stylish and appealing paint option on this list. All paint themes get gloss black fenders on both ends. The styling is complemented by good paint quality, while the 42 badge on the headlight is a good design element. There weren’t any rattling noises from the motorcycle while the switchgear operated with an assuring click. The USB charging case, too, looks of good quality.
There are a few issues. The rear-view mirrors, for example, don’t deliver an efficient view of the traffic behind, and it has major blind-spot issues. The position of the mirrors causes problems while moving the motorcycle around as they tend to prod against your wrists. Further, there is no handle at the back to hold the bike, and the only option is to grab the motorcycle’s saddle while shifting it around.
There are options for accessories, too, that can be used to enhance the safety and convenience factors further. These include a headlight grille, crash guard, and a luggage rack that can be installed on the rear fender. How well does this package work?
The 42 Bobber shares its 334cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with the Perak. It also makes the same power and torque output as the Perak, and the new 42 Bobber produces 30bhp maximum output and 32.7Nm of peak torque. But there are a few tweaks here. The mapping, for example, has been updated and is claimed to deliver better low-speed driveability. Then, the six-speed gearbox benefits from an assist and a slipper clutch mechanism – a feature not available on the Perak – and this comes in handy in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
The feature list has been updated too, and the 42 Bobber gets full-LED lighting, a fully-digital instrument cluster with more information, and dual USB chargers. It does, however, miss out on Bluetooth connectivity – a feature that is available on rivals such as the Royal Enfield Classic 350. The suspension tasks are handled by telescopic front forks and a rear mono-shock, while the anchoring setup comprises single discs on both wheels and a dual-channel ABS. Lastly, the 42 Bobber rides on 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wire-spoke wheels.
Let’s start with the engine. It works well anywhere above 3,000rpm, but it starts building power smoothly above 4,000rpm at a commendable pace in the mid and the high-rev until the redline of 9,000rpm. In the sixth gear, the 42 Bobber cruises at 80kmph at 5,000revs while 100kmph comes just shy of 6,000revs with about 3,000revs still at your disposal. Now, while there is a good amount of power at your disposal, the motor doesn’t sound or feel very refined.
The vibrations are evident right from 5,000rpm, becoming more pronounced as the revs climb higher. The sound from the engine, too, feels very industrial, and that isn’t very pleasant to experience from the rider’s point of view. The gearbox isn’t something to write home about, and the unit on the 42 Bobber feels rough in traffic, although it works well when operating in the higher revs. The assist and slipper clutch mechanism gives some solace, and the lever feels much softer than the unit on the Perak Bobber.
The braking hardware, which works with ByBre-sourced callipers, feels progressive but lacks the initial bite. Then, there is the suspension setup. While Jawa says the setup has been tuned for a more pliant ride, the 42 Bobber doesn’t feel very comfortable. The suspension feels good at low speeds, say around 30-40kmph. But, as the speed increases, the setup starts to feel harsher, and it isn’t something that would not appeal to buyers looking for a comfortable ride quality. This setup, however, is useful for spirited riding. The turning radius, too, is relatively short, making it easy to filter through bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Then, there are the ergonomics. With a seat height of just 740mm, it’s effortless to mount the Jawa 42 Bobber. This makes the 42 Bobber accessible even to shorter riders. At 5’10”, I could easily flat foot with a comfortable bend in the knees. This low seat height also makes it easier to move the motorcycle around in the parking. The footpegs are relatively forward set while the handlebar is low and easy to reach, and there’s sufficient room for me to sit comfortably on the motorcycle.
The feature list, which is a step up over the Jawa Perak, works well too. The headlight, for example, is among some of the best units I have tested in the recent past. The low beam has a good spread, while the high beam packs a commendable throw, illuminating the roads in pitch-dark conditions. Then, the reverse LCD console is easy to read even in daylight. The switchgear helps toggle the information on the display, but there aren’t many features to access, and you can only toggle between trip meters and the odometer.
Should you buy it?
Let’s start with the positives. The 42 Bobber is a stylish-looking motorcycle that stands out from the crowd of vehicles, especially in the dual-tone red paint. The paint quality is commendable too, and so are the switches and the headlight performance. The engine is enjoyable too, and it performs well when riding aggressively.
But there is scope for improvement, and the motorcycle needs better refinement levels and plusher ride quality. Then, there is the single-seat setup that limits the practicality of this motorcycle. Lastly, the 42 Bobber competes in the same price bracket as the Classic 350, which works against this new Jawa. How does the 42 Bobber fare against the highest-selling Royal Enfield motorcycle? We will soon bring you a detailed comparison on Bikewale.
Photography by Kapil Angane