Giving users a retro riding experience has been one of the winning USPs for Royal Enfield. However, days ahead may be challenging for Royal Enfield, as a formidable contender has emerged with the launch of Jawa motorcycles. Since deciding between the two may be tough, here’s a quick comparison to get you started in the right direction.
Design and styling: Royal Enfield Classic 350 has a sharply chiselled body that looks classy and sophisticated. Retro themed design is clearly evident with round headlamps, single instrument cluster and minimalistic bodywork. There are chrome accents as well, which complement its sinewy profile. In comparison, Jawa looks a lot bulkier and exudes raw power. While Royal Enfield Classic 350 does have some modernistic appeal to it, Jawa is pure retro and it gives you the feeling of revisiting the 70s. Chrome accents cover a significant portion of Jawa’s bodywork, which may appear to be a bit tacky to some people.
Engine and transmission: Royal Enfield Classic 350 is powered by a 346cc air-cooled and long stroke engine that delivers 20 PS of max power @ 5250 RPM and 28 Nm of max torque @ 4000 RPM. Engine is mated to a 5-speed gearbox. Jawa uses 293cc engine that delivers 27 PS of max power and 28 Nm of max torque. Engine is mated to 6-speed transmission.
Suspension: Royal Enfield Classic 350 has 35mm telescopic front forks and twin preload-adjustable gas charged suspension system at the rear. Front suspension allows 130mm of travel whereas rear suspension has 80mm of travel. Jawa has a similar configuration, featuring telescopic front forks and twin gas charged suspension system at the rear.
Wheels and Brakes: Royal Enfield Classic 350 has 19-inch tyres at the front and 18-inch tyres at the rear shod with 90/90 R19 front and 110/90 R18 rear tube type Ceat tyres. Front wheels have 280mm disc brakes whereas rear wheels have 153mm drum brakes. New variants have disc brakes at both front and rear. ABS variants are not yet launched. In comparison, Jawa utilizes 17-inch spoke wheels. Front wheels have disc brakes whereas rear wheels have drum brakes. Single channel ABS is offered as standard for all variants of Jawa.
Pricing: Royal Enfield Classic 350 with drum brake at rear is available at Rs 1.39 lakh. With both discs and no ABS is at Rs 1.47 lakhs. With dual channel ABS is Rs 1.62 lakh (ex-showroom). Jawa 42 starting price is Rs 1.55 lakhs and Jawa price is Rs 1.64 lakhs.
Verdict – Which one should you buy? John Abraham famously told Anand Mahindra, when the latter was still contemplating of buying Jawa – If Royal Enfield is in your skin, Jawa is in your blood. One thing is clear, people who want a truly retro experience would love to go with Jawa.
However, the motorcycle’s bulky profile may not appeal to everyone. On the other hand, Royal Enfield Classic 350 integrates the best of both worlds and features a stunning design. Jawa delivers more power than Royal Enfield Classic 350, but it may not make any major difference to actual on-road experience. Since most other features are largely similar for both motorcycles, the choice will depend on what you value most – Jawa’s pure retro experience or a retro-modern fusion that comes with Royal Enfield Classic 350.