If you’re from the India of the 80s and 90s, images of loud, fast, 2-Stroke motorcycles will be very much alive in your head. Well, 2-Strokes back then meant JAWAs, Yezdis, Yamaha RDs and RXs. While 2-Strokes aren’t coming back, the iconic brand JAWA is. Mahindra & Mahindra just announced that they now own the rights to sell JAWA motorcycles in India and South East Asia.
M&M is on an international acquisition spree what with their recent purchase of another iconic British automobile and cycle brand, BSA.
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JAWA was founded in 1929, by Frantisek Janecek in Czechoslovakia (now The Czech Republic). While Janecek didn’t have any previous experience in motorcycles, he used his know-how from the armament industry to build the first 500cc 4-cylinder 18 BHP model the same year.
Over the years, the brand expanded rapidly and by the 1950s, it became one of the big names in the motorcycle manufacturing world. At its peak, JAWA exported to over 120 countries. The brand started to decline after 1990 and in 1997, a successor brand was formed that continued to use the name JAWA Moto.
The company entered India in the 1950s and quickly gained a cult following in the country. The production of the JAWA motorcycles was carried out in Mysore by “IDEAL JAWA India”. The sturdy motorcycles were sold with the tagline “Forever Bike, Forever Value” and till date there are many JAWA models that are found in working condition across the length and breadth of the country.
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The brand shut its doors in 1996 but not before they sold some brilliant models in India. Some of their most famous models were the JAWA Classic, the JAWA 350 and the Yezdi Roadking. All three bikes have become collectors’ items now.
The good news for India is that the JAWA brand of products will be made in India at Mahindra's Pithampur plant and work for this is already underway. We will see the first product come out of this plant within the next two years, so, yes Mahindra might be looking at the 2018 Auto Expo as a deadline to showcase its first JAWA product, while the launch will happen later.
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