A lot has been written about the comparison of technical specifications and design of both Royal Enfield and Jawa, but in this article I am going to discuss the points that are likely to influence the decision of buyers when they choose between the two legendary motorcycles.
Competing with RE is not going to be easy for Jawa as the legendary bikemaker is a force to reckon with in the Indian motorcycling scene. It takes a lot more than just a good price, a superior engine specs and a classic design to beat Royal Enfield in its own backyard.
Iconic and legendary, RE is much more than the technical specifications it offers. As an ardent Royal Enfield rider I can say this with conviction that the motorcycle has a very special place in hearts and souls of its riders and all those who aspire to own it someday. It’s a feeling that cannot be expressed in words, it can only be felt when you ride it and feel the thump of its exhaust. To sum it up, “Royal Enfield is a feeling”. I am sure that similar is the case with the ardent fans of legendary Jawa.
Jawa is not only back but back with a bang and they mean business. The launch has stirred a debate with respect to its inevitable comparison with another legend that has been ruling the Indian roads like a boss, the iconic RE. Jawa always knew that they are going to compete with Royal Enfield directly, so they have come prepared and launched, not one, not two but three motorcycles, the Jawa, the Forty Two and the Perak (Perak will be available around mid-2019) to take on the Royal Enfield Classic 350, Standard 350, and Thunderbird 350 with premium features and excellent engine specs. Perak being a Bobber has no direct competition in the market in its price and category. Perak surely is a winner at Jawa’s hand when it will be available next year provided Royal Enfield doesn’t launch a Bobber in coming couple of months before Perak becomes available… You never know.
Below are some of the factors that may influence the decision of the buyers who looking to own one of these legends.
- Royal Enfield has enjoyed a cult following in India for generations. BULLET has always been considered a symbol of machismo right from grandfather to grandsons who covet the legend and ride one with pride. On the other hand Jawa missed a whole generation of bikers who never rode it and have almost forgotten that this legend once graced Indian roads and was a worthy competitor of Royal Enfield. During all those years that Jawa lost, RE built a loyal customer base which gives it a big edge over Jawa. During all those years Royal Enfield expanded its reach, range of models and upgraded its engines, came up with merchandise and modernized its dealerships. It will take a lot of time and effort for Jawa to fill that gap.
- RE has a very wide spread network (More than 800 dealerships) that will not be easy for Jawa to match right away though they have started with 105 dealerships, out of which 64 will be operational by the first week of December 2018 as per the Classic Legends.
- Repair and availability of spare parts of Royal Enfield is not a big deal these days as in last 2 decades the company has developed a dealer networks which is spread to the farthest corners of India and can only be matched perhaps by carmaker Maruti Suzuki. Due to this, they manage to sell huge numbers of motorcycles year after year. So much so that when other motorcycle manufactures begin to feel the heat of low market sentiments RE motorcycles sell with a waiting period of 3-4 months.
- There is no doubt that Jawa is technically superior to Royal Enfield, and I give full credit to Jawa here, which beats RE engine hands down with its Engine Specifications. With its 293 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine that develops 27 Bhp and 28 Nm, which clearly gives then an edge over Royal Enfield 350 Classic that sports a 346 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled motor that makes 19.8 Bhp and 28 Nm. Jawa engine despite being lower capacity, produces more power and its torque is same as produced by Royal Enfield 350 cc engine. Jawa’s engine is Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) with liquid-cooling and a higher compression ratio of 11:1, as compared to the RE’s 8.5:1. Both motorcycle come with an ABS. Jawa sports a single-channel ABS as standard, while the Royal Enfield offers dual-channel ABS. Both the motorcycles sport classic designs but Jawa has used some modern cues in their Forty Two Model to give it an urban-retro look.
- Royal Enfield has a definite price advantage as its lower end range of Bullet Twinspark 350 starts as low as 1.20 Lac and even the Classic 350 range including Gunmetal Grey and Classic Signals 350 with ABS is very competitively priced at 1.55 lacs and comes in the same price bracket as Jawa and Forty Two.
I think it’s a wait and watch situation because it’s definitely going to be a battle of giants that is going to benefit riders. It’s good for the bikers that Royal Enfield’s supremacy is challenged as this will result in enhancements in its quality and cut throat pricing which may follow next year.