JAWA 42 2020 Review - Prices, Specs, Technology, Features and Mileage

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Bike Reviews

By Harshit Gupta - Senior Editor Feb 01 2020 Share this blog

JAWA has entered India after a long long break and we surely missed the iconic brand. It has managed to hit the right notes with their line-up on re-entry. JAWA clings with the retro styling yet includes modern technological iterations to be at pace with the current competition.

The 2020 JAWA 42 is one such machine from the nostalgic brand and yes we are also very curious to know what the JAWA “42” means. It is evident from how the motorcycle looks that it has been designed with the younger generation in mind, with all the funky colour options and a host of rather post-millennial bits. It is the cheapest of JAWA’s line-up at Rs. 1,55,300 for the Single-Channel ABS and Rs. 1,64,242 for Dual-Channel.

2020 jawa 42

This segment is a road less travelled by well-established brands. The only player in this segment was Royal Enfield which utilized the handicap to its maximum. But now, things will change for the better with the entry of Benelli Imperiale 400 and JAWA 42, which will take on our undisputed champion’s newest entry, the Thunderbird 350X.


  • A very fine mixture of heritage and modern elements

  • Torquey engine for this segment

  • Impressive ride handling

  • Pleasing exhaust note

  • Millennial-approved design language


  • Limited dealerships means limited service reach

  • Matte paint job attracts dust and scratches

  • Low ground clearance might scrape the underbelly and exhaust

What’s New

  • A completely new and unique offering from JAWA

What powers the JAWA 42?

How loud is the "WOW" when you twist that throttle?

JAWA 42 is powered by the very potent and free-revving engine from The JAWA. Both share the same power and torque figures and so performance is mimicked here. It produces a healthy dose of 27 bhp and 28 Nm of torque which is class-leading as no other relaxed cruisers in this category chuck out performance figures of this calibre.

2020 jawa 42 engine

There is enough torque in every gear to pull you forward with ease and vibrations are nil as peak RPM creeps in, unlike some others which would shake things up! As the torque is concentrated in the mid-range, the 42 is an apt companion for the highways. No sweat taken here.



Benelli Imperiale 400

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)-Single Channel

Rs. 1,55,300



Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)-Dual Channel

Rs. 1,64,242

Rs. 1,69,000

Rs. 1,64,004


334 cc Single Cylinder Liquid-Cooled DOHC Engine

374 cc Air-Cooled SOHC Engine

346 cc Air-cooled Twin-Spark engine 


27 bhp

@ 6500 rpm

20.71 bhp

@ 5500 rpm

19.8 bhp

@ 5250 rpm


28 Nm

@ 5000 rpm

29 Nm

@ 4500 rpm

28 Nm

@ 4000 rpm

The overhead cam setup helps this engine make more peak power and torque at a lower rev range. Mahindra has strategically moved for JAWA. The experiences from Mojo have paid off. It is accompanied by another new entrance in this category, Benelli Imperiale 400 which has taken the classic appeal. RE has also upped their game with the 350X, a youthful iteration of Thunderbird.

How quick is this funky classic from 0-60?

A slight twist of the throttle is enough to propel the 42 forward and thus put a smile on your face. The acceleration is linear and calmly flowy through the rev band, without any finicky experiences. You also won’t get tired on long journeys as the motorcycle has no vibrations whatsoever and thus will keep fatigue at bay. Now, this is something that was missing from the homebred low-end cruisers.

2020 jawa 42 acceleration

Three-digit speeds come up pretty quick and you won’t feel the need for any extra gears as the gear ratios are perfectly balanced. No matter how hard you twist the throttle, the 42 stays under control and thus amplifies confidence.



Benelli Imperiale 400

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X


334 cc Single Cylinder Liquid-Cooled DOHC Engine

374 cc Air-Cooled SOHC Engine

346 cc Air-cooled Twin-Spark engine 


6-Speed Manual

5-Speed Manual

5-Speed Manual

0-60 kmph


5.06 s

5.6 s

Top Speed(kmph)




The competition is way behind in terms of quickness. Neither does any of the two instil confidence of the same intensity as the 42. It is not surprising as both the Imperiale 400 and Thunderbird 350X have a low compression engine which is rather cumbersome when it comes to power delivery.

How bitey are the brakes in JAWA 42?

Braking is impressive on the 2020 JAWA 42 and the kerb weight adds to this character extensively. The combination of lower kerb weight and disc brakes help you get a very strong grip of it. The bybre brakes instil confidence and will always stay at hand no matter the situation.

2020 jawa 42 disc brakes

JAWA has two models, a single-channel ABS one which is equipped with drum brakes at the rear and a dual-channel one which has disc brakes on both ends. But both show similar braking characteristics i.e. to bite hard and provide shorter and stable stopping distance.



Benelli Imperiale 400

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X

Front / Rear

Disc/Drum or Disc



Front Rotor Size(mm)




Rear Rotor Size(mm)




Kerb Weight




80-0 kmph




ABS (Single or Dual Channel)




While the competition comes in dual channel ABS option only, JAWA provides the 42 with either a single channel or dual channel. But both provide similar braking experience, it should be noted that the dual-channel one has a tad bit more bite due to disc brakes on both ends. The added kerb weight of Imperiale 400 makes it a sluggish stopper. Thunderbird 350X holds on with its dual-channel disc setup.

The million-dollar question, how much is the mileage?

The 42 returns impressive mileage for a motorcycle that has 27 bhp of power. This is due to the linear power band which helps keep the engine relaxed and doesn’t need a surge of power unless you want to. The fuel efficiency is enough to tackle any "Kitna deti hai?"

Precise fuel injection and four valves make sure you don’t compromise on performance while banking on fuel efficiency. The liquid-cooling is also a major reason for good mileage figures as it keeps the engine at the optimum working temperature to give you the best numbers.



Benelli Imperiale 400

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X













Fuel Capacity(Litres)




None of the competitors provide us with the level of sophistication which the 42 has. The added cooling system and efficient power delivery makes sure that you get the best fusion of performance and efficiency. Royal Enfield steals the show here as the carburettor setup and low power output results in better mileage.

How well does the chassis handle stress?

How well connected would you feel to the bike?

The 42 handles like a piece of cake as the lower centre of gravity and grippy MRF tyres makes sure you get the confidence boost required to ride on and on. You flick to one side and the 42 follows instantaneously, and cornering is unreal as the grip from those tires allow you to follow the line confidently. Just take care not to indulge in it for steeper angles, as the low slung dual exhausts would get scrapped.

2020 jawa 42 dual exhaust

The handlebar is short and you don’t have to muscle out for directions. The telescopic front forks and twin gas canisters at the rear provide enough dampness to take on our roads with ease. Don’t you worry about vibrations kicking in and spoiling the ride as its double cradle tubular frame takes care of that so that you can enjoy those backroads without any hesitation



Benelli Imperiale 400

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X


Double Cradle Tubular Frame

Double Cradle Tubular Frame

Single-Downtube with engine as stressed-member

Tyre-Wheel Size(Front)




Tyre-Wheel Size(Rear)




Front Suspension

Telescopic Hydraulic Fork

Telescopic Forks

Telescopic Forks

Rear Suspension

7-Step Adjustable Mono Shock Absorber

Preload Adjustable Twin Shock absorbers

Twin-Shock Absorbers with 5-Step Adjustable Preload

Royal Enfields are synonymous with vibrations in this class as the motorcycle tends to lose over 4000 RPM. But the others have been cautious and with its upgraded chassis have eliminated it. The wider tyres of JAWA 42 also play an important role in improving handling and MRF has done it gracefully here.

How comfortable will the rider be on JAWA 42?

We wish JAWA would have done better with the seats. It is well padded but can only stretch on for short city rides. It is rather narrow for a motorcycle focused on touring and becomes very uncomfortable for two people.

2020 jawa 42 seat

The rider’s triangle is perfect on this one as your hands are relaxed and sit upright. The footpegs are not aggressively placed and thus provides the perfect stance to munch kilometres on. Let’s hope that JAWA tweaks the seat in its next iteration which we believe is not far away!



Benelli Imperiale 400

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X

Seat height(mm)




Ground Clearance (mm)




Kerb Weight(Dry)(kg)




JAWA has the lowest seat height of the lot which gives it aslightly bobber-type stance, not much but yeah, you get a feel of it. On paper, it has 10mm more ground clearance than the Thunderbird 350X but the one that suffers here is the 42. This is because of its low slung dual exhaust which is angled towards the road.

How well does this classic flaunt "funky"?

How does the JAWA look in its new form?

JAWA has nailed it this time as it has infused retro with modern tech and it has turned out rather well. At first look, you will feel it to be a plain simple retro motorcycle which looks great but it’s after you ride it that you understand that there is more to the 42 than just sheer looks. The headlights sit much lower in the 42 due to the offset positioning of the instrument cluster. This also alters the frontal stance as well.

2020 jawa 42 tank

The funky colours and bright halogen headlamps will make it an easy spot on our busy roads. The huge radiator at front makes sure your 42 gets enough air to keep its heart functioning optimally. Now, don’t you think that 42 is a rather odd name for a motorcycle? You might think it to be a lazy naming idea but there’s more to it. 42 stands for “the ultimate question in life!” 

2020 jawa 42 side storage

Yes, It is a reference form the first novel for comic science fiction series called “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” wherein a supercomputer was developed to answer the biggest question of existence- What and why is Life, the Universe and everything? It gave the answer “42”. If you take the reference, JAWA wants its 42 to be the ultimate answer for all the questions of your life. How cool is that!

Aesthetic Features

  • Unique Matte paint job

  • Modern design bits

  • Dechromed components including front fork cover and rearview mirrors

  • Off-set Instrument Cluster

  • Bar-end mirrors

  • Position of horn is near to the radiator



Benelli Imperiale 400

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X

Length (mm)




Width (mm)












Kerb Weight




The bar end mirrors gives 42 a sleek look upfront and the dechromed treatment gives it a distinctive look as well. We believe that the 42 is one of the best looking motorbikes in this category with clean curves and a lot of classic retro cues which will surely take you on a nostalgic ride. The thunderbird has been around for too long and thus has lost its oomph factor. Benelli is all out retro and so it will find its keepers as well.

What are the technological features onboard?

JAWA has equipped the 42 with halogen headlamps all round except the taillights which are LED. It lights up the road ahead well and keeps you going in its darkness. It gets an electric start only and the instrument cluster is a fusion of digital and analog that gives it a neo-retro look.

2020 jawa 42 instrument cluster

The spoke alloys add to the retro look and JAWA’s iconic strips on the tank are painted gold. The Gold treatment also continues on the side panels and fenders as well. Single and Dual Channel ABS both provide a safe riding haven as well as make it flexible for buyers in a tight budget to own one. The wider array of audience JAWA manages to please is due to the fine balance of retro design and modern technology it offers.



Benelli Imperiale 400

Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X

Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)-Single Channel

Rs. 1,55,300



Ex-Showroom Price (Delhi)-Dual Channel

Rs. 1,64,242

Rs. 1,69,000

Rs. 1,64,004


Fuel Injected engine

Pure retro styling on fuel tank

Utterly comfortable uni-seat

Off-set instrument cluster

Split seats

Blackened alloy wheels

Dual nostalgic exhaust system

Dual-Channel ABS 

Shorter handle-bar

Quad-LED taillight

Tank grip cladding

Beefed up front suspension

Ceat sourced tyres

TVS sourced tyres

Michelin sourced tyres

Upside down speedometer

Exposed front forks

EFI Fuel Injection

Funky colour options

Front and rear disc brakes

Dechromed engine

What are the safety features in the 42?

The unique looks have not diverted safety standards for 42. JAWA has invested well in safety features and adds an updated bundle to help you ride the motorcycle with ease.  Disc brakes and dual-channel ABS help keep the motorcycle and the rider safe in varying situations. Single-Channel ABS also provides the same safety quotient as well.

2020 jawa 42 abs

The LED taillights are bright and can shine for a longer distance thus warning following motorists of the unique ride up ahead. The liquid-cooled setup helps keep the engine cool and thus adding to motoring safety. And don’t you worry of not being noticed by fellow motorists on the road as, if the body colour doesn’t attract attention, its sweet grumpy exhaust note surely will.

How does the Competition add up?

JAWA 42 vs Benelli Imperiale 400

2020 benelli imperiale 400

Benelli found out that the low-end cruiser segment is a hot spot and is surely a spot to make the mark. So they have thus pitched in the Imperiale 400 to take on 42. Imperiale 400 takes the safe and rather cliche route with retro styling and technology to match it. It surely has a 374 cc engine but is air-cooled and not as powerful as the motor from JAWA. The 42 has its edge here as it provides us with a neo-retro motorcycle and an engine to boost its oomph factor. For Rs. 5000 less you get a much better package and won’t have to be tensed about service as well!

JAWA 42 vs Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X

2020 royal enfiled thunderbird 350x

The big daddy of this segment has been on the throne for too long now and that is due to the lack of worthy competition. JAWA’s 42 is the much-needed competition that hits on the Thunderbird 350X hard that will start having existential crisis! JAWA has packed the 42 with a fine blend of performance, retro cues and the good old JAWA persona which is tough to overlook. The more advanced engine also adds to its boon. The nostalgic JAWA is our choice of the two.

Whom does JAWA target with the 42?

JAWA took long enough to get back home but the wait was well worth it. The extra time was well utilized to build a fine line-up, of which the 42 takes on the younger generations liking with the same old vibe of JAWA. We would recommend you to go for the 42 if neo-retro packages are your liking. If you want to have a bite of this nostalgic cake, The 2020 JAWA 42 is well worth the long delivery period.