Jawa! Now there's a name you don't hear every day. Well, I mean, nerds probably hear it every day in the context of Tatooine's mysterious nomadic desert scrappers, but motorcycle people probably haven't heard or thought of Jawa in a long time. For those of you who may not remember, Jawa was founded in Prague, Czechoslovakia (there's a name to conjure with, eh?) back in 1929 and has existed in one form or another ever since. We stopped seeing Jawas here in The States back in the 70s, but the company soldiered on and nowadays it makes bikes and scooters for Central America, Russia, and British markets.
Like Royal Enfield, Jawas were built in India for a while, but Indian Jawa production folded back in the mid-90s. In the forty-or-so years that Indian Jawas existed, the bikes gained a huge following among Indian gearheads and were Royal Enfield's biggest competitor. It was big news, then, when Mahindra Auto secured the rights to build Jawas for Indian and other, unnamed, markets back in 2016. Since then there's been a trickle of news but nothing concrete. Nothing until now, that is. Mahindra just released images of its new Jawa powerplant and it's a serious blast from the past.
This new mill is a 293cc, water-cooled, DOHC, fuel injected single that Mahindra claims will generate 27 horsepower and 20.6 pound-feet of torque. Not only was it designed to look like an old-school two-stroke, but it was also apparently designed to sound like one as well thanks to a specially tuned exhaust. I'm not entirely sure how Mahindra will pull that off, but I'm willing to go along with it. Speaking of exhaust, you notice how it's a twin exhaust setup on a single? I'm curious about the engineering on that.
There's no word yet on the actual bikes this engine will power, but if Mahindra designs them too look as good as the engine does then I reckon they'll be quite handsome.