Jawa Motorcycle’s History-Iconic Legend

Jawa Motorcycles History, a bike which had a cult following back in the days, something which the Royal Enfield privilaged now. But things changed post 90’s globalization as more and more two-wheeler manufacturers, especially those from Japan stated eyeing India as a potential market. These big, bulky, shiny and iconic motorcycles were replaced by compact, frugal and easy-to-use scooters and bikes. Only Royal Enfield survived the paradigm shift in the industry.

Indian conglomerate Mahindra and Mahindra acquired the British held the licence to produce and sell Jawa Motorcycles in Indian subcontinent in 2016. Things went cold again for 2 years before something unexpected happened. Anand Mahindra, Executive Chairman Mahindra Group tweeted the comeback of iconic Jawa brand in India by 2018 and yes now we have the cool classic Jawa bikes such as Jawa, Jawa42 and Jawa Perak.


Jawa 500

František Janeček While serving on the Italian front during World War I, he developed a flurry of designs, patenting over 60 inventions – including an improved hand grenade which became standard issue for the Czech Army.

1929- How the name formed ?

Instead of starting from scratch, he purchased the motorcycle business Wanderer from German manufacturer Winklhofer & Jaenicke, along with the design and tooling for the new Wanderer 500 motorcycle.

Combining the first two letters from “Janiček” and “Wanderer”, the first Jawa motorcycle was conceived – the Jawa 500 OHV

1930 – Finding a Light and Economical motorcycle

To serve the masses, Janeček knew he needed a lightweight and economical motorcycle.So he recruited G.W. Patchett – a renowned British engineer with prior racing experience – to lead this initiative. From 1930 until the outbreak of World War II, Patchett served as the chief designer for Jawa.

1931 – Jawa 175

Patchett’s first step towards a universal motorcycle was using the 175cc Villiers two-stroke engine. By 1933, the new model the Jawa 175 became the most popular motorcycle in Czechoslovakia. Subsequently, Jawa discontinued production of the 500cc OHV.


Janeček developed the Jawa 350 SV four-stroke in partnership with Patchett. The same year, Jawa motorcycles participated in consecutive Isle of Man events.

1939-45 Jawa Perak

The outbreak of World War II put a pause on the production of Jawa motorcycles – but not their development. His next line-up of motorcycles would famously go on to be called the Jawa “Perak”.

1960-71 Jawa to India

Founded by Rustom and Farrokh Irani, the firm Ideal Jawa began importing Jawa motorcycles into India. Recognising the demand, Jawa established a factory in Mysore in 1961 with support from the king at the time, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar.

Between 1961 and 1971, Ideal Jawa manufactured the 250 Type 353/04 under licence. Jawa motorcycles quickly earned a reputation for being rugged, simple, and unbreakable.

Fariborz Irani, CK Chinappa, and Somendar Singh were a few of the household names who made the brand famous racing these motorcycles on all kinds of terrain. By 1971, the Ideal Jawa company manufactured and sold the new motorcycles under the name “Yezdi” with technical assistance from Jawa.

Also See : Best Cruisers Under 3 Lakhs – Overview With Pros/Cons


By 1971, the Ideal Jawa company manufactured and sold the new motorcycles under the name “Yezdi” with technical assistance from Jawa.


Chained by export restrictions under the communist regime, Jawa fought back, eventually outlasting it. To this day, Jawa motorcycles continue to be manufactured in several parts of Europe. However, Indian operations were shut in 1996, with brand going defunct.

2018 – Comeback of the legendary motorcycles

Jawa Motorcycles Launch

Jawa Motorcycles marked their return to the Indian market on November 2018, with the introduction of three new motorcycles: Jawa, Jawa 42 and Jawa Perak. Among them, the ‘Jawa’ and Jawa 42 were launched at Rs 1.64 lakh and Rs 1.55 lakh, respectively. Meanwhile, the Jawa Perak  launched at a later stage for Rs 1.89 lakh all prices being ex-showroom.

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