… changes beyond what the eye can see, including a strengthened chassis and an adjustment to the preload in the front suspension

The new version of the Jawa Forty Two will be sold alongside the current bikes in the brand’s showrooms. While most of the obvious changes are style-based, there are some mechanical improvements hidden under the skin as well.

The most apparent design change is the switch to alloy wheels. These black wheels support tubeless tyres and they are available as accessories for Jawa Classic and the existing Forty Two customers. Gelling with the alloy wheels is a blacked-out theme on the engine and exhaust pipes, just like on the Jawa Perak. There are new pin stripes on the wheels and a fat racing stripe over the fuel tank as well; both details incorporate the name Classic Legends.

Those neat bar-end mirrors are standard equipment, while the headlamp grille, small flyscreen and rear metal rack can be bought as accessories. The mirrors do make contact with your hand, but they work well and do not get in the way too much while filtering through traffic. The bike has a new set of switches, including a small button to scroll through the two new trip meters. However, the tiny digital screen is quite basic and features such as a clock, gear position indicator or trip computer, are absent.

Overall, the Forty Two carries these changes quite well and the design still looks handsome, with the only eyesore being the gap between the rear fender and the tyre. The new Forty Two will be available in red, white and black, apart from the six colour options of the classic chrome-and-silver look of the original Forty Two.

What lies beneath the Jawa Forty Two

There are also changes beyond what the eye can see. Jawa says that it has strengthened the chassis in strategic points and adjusted the preload in the front suspension. Neither of those are on the spec sheet, but what catches our attention is that the new Forty Two has lost around a kilogram of weight — it is now 171kgs. This has been achieved by removing the earlier catalytic converter from under the bike and replacing it with two smaller catcons situated where the exhaust header pipes emerge from the engine.

Changes within the engine have resulted in a small increase in power — it is up by 0.8hp. This is through refinements made to Jawa’s Cross Port technology that debuted in the company’s BS6-compliant bikes last year. The Cross Port system allows the gases emerging from both exhaust ports in the cylinder head to interact with each other before they exit via the dual exhaust pipes. The latest modifications have further revised the profiles of these ports to make them more efficient.

These increments are small, but noticeable. The difference is felt in the slightly stronger mid-range, which is a welcome change over the old bike’s flat power delivery. Another upside is that the exhaust sound seems to pack a slightly deeper pulse and sounds crisper. The fun factor around corners has increased too, because the side stand has been redesigned to avoid scraping.

Jawa has also redesigned the seat pan while using a higher density foam, which has resulted in better comfort and support. The seat height remains unchanged and the Jawa still has lower body ergonomics that could dismay tall riders.

This new Forty Two will only be available in the dual-channel ABS variant and is priced higher than the standard model at ₹1.84 lakh. The new bike presents marked improvements, but the big challenge for Jawa remains its ability to meet demand and prove its reliability. This is something we hope to see from the company over the course of 2021.

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