The Jawa name made a comeback last year in a modern avatar. However, the first licensed Jawa bikes were sold starting from 1960 by Ideal Jawa before the brand’s name was changed to Yezdi in 1973. In spite of being out of production for nearly 22 years, Jawa and Yezdi bikes are still popular among motorcycle enthusiasts in India. At that time, they were sold under the catchphrase, ‘Forever Bike Forever Value’. Here is a look at 10 Forgotten Yezdi and Jawa models.
Jawa 250 Type A
Among the various Jawa bikes sold in India, the Type 353/04 was the first one to come here. The bike brought in a new design language to the country which is iconic to even this day. The Czech motorcycle was powered by a 249 cc two-stroke, air-cooled engine that churned out 12 hp @ 4,750 rpm. The engine was mated to a 4-speed transmission. In India, it was called the Jawa 250 Type A and is one of the most sought-after vintage bikes among collectors in India. Well kept or well-restored examples hold great value and often fetch very good prices at auctions.
The Yezdi Roadking was a rival of the Royal Enfield Bullet in the 90s and became very popular back in the day. The Roadking was powered by a 248.5-cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine that churned out 16 Bhp of power along with 24 Nm of torque. Compared to the Royal Enfield Bullet, it was a better performer and had faster acceleration thanks to its low weight of 140 kilos.
The Oilking, as its name suggests, was a Roadking with an oil pump. Because its oil pump used to fail quite often, therefore people generally would run this bike without any oil in the oil tank at all. The Jawa Oilking was powered by a near 250-cc engine which was present on the Roadking as well. This engine was mated to a 4-speed gearbox and churned out 16 Bhp of power and 24 Nm of torque.
The Monarch was built on the chassis of the Yezdi 175 but drew power from the same engine as the Roadking. The Monarch’s engine produced 16 Bhp and 24 Nm of torque and was mated to a 4-speed gearbox. Many regarded the Yezdi Monarch as an upgraded 175 and, with its 136 kg weight, it was rather brisk off the line as well, which made it appealing to riders.
The Yezdi Classic was a cruiser motorcycle from Ideal Jawa that competed with the Bullet, with its ability to cruise for long distances. It’s old school design still looks appealing today and it was the first bike marketed by Ideal Jawa under the slogan ‘Forever Bike, Forever Value’. The Classic was powered by a near 250-cc single-cylinder two-stroke petrol engine that produced 13 Bhp and 20 Nm of torque. A well-restored Classic these days can fetch upwards of Rs. 1 lakh with ease.
Yezdi Classic CL-II
The Classic CL-II was actually a better and upgraded version of the Jawa Roadking. It was powered by a 248.5-cc engine that produced 13 Bhp of power and 20 Nm of torque. It was quite a light bike as it weighed just 131 kg. This allowed for a claimed 0-60 km/h time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 110 km/h.
The Yezdi 175, as its name implies, was powered by a 175-cc single-cylinder 2-stroke engine that produced 9.5 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 14.27 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The Yezdi 175 had a claimed top speed of 95 km/h. The peppy fun-to-ride Yezdi 175 was a more affordable offering compared to its larger 250 siblings and commands a hefty price tag in the used motorcycle market today.
The Yezdi 60 was targeted at teenagers and women riders and had a step-through design for enhanced convenience. The mini-bike from Jawa was launched here as a successor to the Jawa 50. This interesting looking bike was powered by a 60-cc two-stroke, air-cooled engine that produced a mere 3.6 bhp of power at 6000 rpm and the engine was mated to a 3-speed gearbox.
The Yezdi 350 was often referred to as the poor man’s Yamaha RD 350 (Rajdoot). The Yezdi 350 actually did not challenge the Yamaha RD 350 as it was quite less powerful than the Japanese icon. However, it had a very peppy 2-stroke engine which made it fun-to-ride. Despite being cheaper than the Yamaha bike, it did not turn out to be a big seller and hence commands a heavy price tag in the used motorcycle market today.
Last in the line is the Yezdi Delux, which is a popular model among collectors today. The Yezdi Delux shared its engine along with a lot of other components with the Jawa Classic and Roadking models. This included the suspension and braking set-up among others. The 248.5-cc engine on this motorcycle churned out a good 13 Bhp of power and 20 Nm of torque. It was a pretty lightweight bike with just 131 kgs of mass on it and hence was quick bike off the line. The Deluxe is a popular model among collectors today.