Jawa named their motorcycles Jawa, 42, Perak for a reason – Do you know why?

The names Jawa and Perak seem normal, but ‘forty two’ does intrigue your mind, as it seems quite odd and mysterious. Why is the first motorcycle of Jawa called Jawa, and the second motorcycle is called 42?

What’s in a name, eh? Well, if you ask the creators of Jawa Motorcycles, the names certainly matter to them. Jawa has launched three motorcycles – Jawa, Jawa Forty-Two and Perak. The first two are up for sale whereas bookings for Perak will open at a later date. So why the names Jawa, Jawa 42 and Jawa Perak?

For the first, Mahindra is calling it just ‘Jawa’, because the first ever Jawa motorcycle was also called ‘Jawa’. So in a way, this new Jawa pays tribute to the original Jawa, and hopes to create the same magic as its predecessor. Second is Perak. Perak derives its name from Jawa’s legendary bobber styled motorcycle that was produced at the time of World War II. This was explained by Mahindra at the launch of Jawa itself. What was not revealed, was ‘why 42’ for the second Jawa. Jawa 2, Jawa 300, etc makes sense. But 42? Well there is a reason, and it is as amazing as the motorcycle itself.

Jawa forty two, however, had no such straightforward explanation for its name. The mysterious 42 created quite a buzz among motorcycle enthusiasts, who wanted to know what 42 is all about. The twitterati got talking after a tweet asking the reason for 42 was posted by Twitter user Rakesh Kumar. A request was made @jawamotorcycles, @reach_anupam, @anandmahindra to reveal the real reason for using 42. Soon, the thread was flooded with various replies, providing the possible reasons for using 42 as a name of Jawa motorcycle.

Some reasons were quite interesting whereas others were just wild assumptions. One person said that it has been 42 years since the original Jawa stopped production. Another said that the code of Czech Republic (the home country of Jawa) is 42, and that is why Jawa 42. These were very interesting answers, and could have been right. But guess what, none of them are right.

Jawa dealership poster in Chennai. Image – Raghavendran Janardhanan / Jawa Owners Forum on Facebook.

After a lot of wrong guesses, one user finally got it right, when he linked 42 to ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘, a popular comedy science fiction series created by Douglas Adams. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy started as a radio broadcast in 1978. Later, as it gained popularity, it was used in various formats such as comic books, stage shows, video game, TV series, and a movie with the same name.

In the series, there’s a character who wants to know the secrets of life, universe and everything else. To answer the questions, a supercomputer is deployed. However, answering the questions proves quite tough for the supercomputer also, as it takes 7.5 million years to find the answer. As if that wasn’t comical enough, the answer the supercomputer outputs is just the number ’42’. And that’s how Jawa forty two got its name.

The name seems appropriate, as Jawa motorcycles are all about freedom and enjoying the great outdoors. ‘42’ is essentially telling people that finding the secrets of life and universe doesn’t really matter. What matters is the present moment where you can have all the fun and the most wonderful experiences. Jawa forty two is one of the many things that can make it possible for you. So, Jawa forty two is essentially the answer to all the questions you have in mind.

Jawa 42 comes with a price tag of Rs 1.55 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). It has a 293 cc engine that delivers 27 hp of max power and 28 Nm of max torque. Engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Front wheels have disc brakes with single-channel ABS as standard whereas rear wheels have drum brakes. It rivals Royal Enfield Classic 350.