Jawa 42 Bobber first ride review

Christopher Chaves Updated: November 29, 2022, 02:57 PM IST

If you think the Jawa 42 Bobber looks just like the older Jawa Perak, you're quite right. In fact, the 42 Bobber is heavily based on the older bike. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, because it still looks quite outstanding and very eye catching, but there's a little more to it that just that.

The stretched out laid back vibe to it with that big 18-inch wheel up front, the bars that are bent backwards, the barn end mirrors, the floating single-seat, the slick swingarm and curvy tail end. It's a Perak with an element of modernity to it. The Bobber gets livelier paint schemes, LED lighting all around, and there's no retro analogue speedo and fuel gauge, instead, the Bobber gets an all-digital single pod cluster that's borrowed from the Jawa Roadster model. And there's some other bits thrown on there as well which alter the bikes ergonomics.

42 Bobber is slightly different from the older Perak in terms of the riding position and ergonomics, too. The tank isn't tear-drop shaped but gets recesses for your knees with some tank pads slapped on. The footpegs are slightly more forward set, which alter the rider triangle when you get to the bars, the seat is of a different shape, and the rear suspension has been softened to take on bumps a little better, but how does that translate out on the road?

The riding position will have your arms and legs stretched out forward, which may look really cool to onlookers, but isn't the best over longer stints in the redesigned, two-step-adjustable saddle. This coupled with a 1485mm wheelbase means it isn't a very agile handler. In true bobber fashion, ride quality is stiff, which means that bike can get quite choppy over terrain that isn't ultra smooth. Even small bumps send shocks through the seat, which many Indians won't really appreciate, given our poor road conditions. Also, ground clearance is low and you'll be scraping the pegs the moment you take on a corner with even a little bit of gusto. Which brings me to the engine…

The engine is the same 334cc, liquid-cooled single cylinder motor as the one found on the Perak, and it comes in the same state of tune, producing 30PS of power, 32Nm of grunt and comes mated to the same six-speed gearbox. The engine still sounds and feels rough around the edges. It feels strained even around 4,000rpm and that's when the fun starts with the motor. Vibrations kick in as low as 4,200rpm in 6th when you're doing about 80kmph, which wouldn't be very nice over long-distance rides. Low down, torque is just borderline adequate and you will be prone to stalling if you're not in the right gear when you slow down and try to pull away quickly. Mid-range is nice and strong here, but the party ends at 8,000rpm which is a thousand rpm below the redline. Also something I found a bit odd was the fact that with the main stand down, you can't start the bike in idle. It'll only start with the side-stand up.

I like the fact that Jawa is listening to its customers. They were told that the seat was uncomfortable, so Jawa opted for a different textured fabric, they were also told that the Perak's tail lamp, which was positioned under the seat, the light couldn't be seen by rod users tailing the bike once the luggage rack accessory was mounted on the rear fender. The ABS and the rear suspension were altered to improve the ride quality as well. But has this made the 42 Bobber altogether better than the Perak? Unfortunately, no it hasn't. The level of fit and finish leaves a bit to be desired. Although the paint quality is good, we've previously seen rivets and bolts which I've seen fly off a Jawa before and there's evidence of it occurring again with this one. Which isn't very reassuring.

The 42 Bobber, in this paint scheme will set you back by Rs 2.10lakh. And in short this bike is a slightly better version of the Perak. Yes it offers a little more in terms of features and then there are some functional aspects to it as well. But at the end of the day, it still is a tweaked Perak without a lot of its issues ironed out. There are still some build quality issues where bolts keep rattling off the bike. It's not something you'd expect from a motorcycle you spend over Rs 2 lakh on. There are a lot of issues that Jawa still have to sort out with this bike.

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 1,94,500
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)