Probably the most famous photograph of a man fence-jumping on a motorcycle is that of Steve McQueen in The Great Escape (on the Triumph TR6 Trophy). But show that photo to any grown-up daddy cool—the author describes the breed as the one that rode Jawas and Yezdis during 1960s-1980s—and the likely answer would be: “We have been there, done that.”
Jawa was a Czech brand, brought to India by Farrokh K Irani and Rustom S Irani. Yezdi was an Indianisation of the Jawa brand, built to greater standards of ruggedness. The sporty nature of these motorcycles and their nimble handling created a cult following; they were cool, quick and easy to maintain. In Jawa: The Forever Bike—A Definitive History of Ideal Jawa and Yezdi, Adil Jal Darukhanawala—journalist, author and a motorcycling genius—describes not only how these Czech machines came to India, but also how they became Everyman’s dream bike and how the brand got resurrected.
The book reads like a historical account of a modern, getting-industrialised India: the first four chapters describe not only the journey the two Parsi gentlemen (Irani and Irani) undertook to Czechoslovakia in 1949 to bring the Jawa to India, but also how the country lacked a two-wheeler manufacturing ecosystem and so it was a field wide open. Moreover, Indians needed cheap mobility solutions, and for companies such as Bajaj Auto (that tied up with Piaggio of Italy), Automobile Products of India (that brought the Lambretta to India) and Madras Motors (that started assembling the British Royal Enfield), there was no place better to look at than war-ravaged Europe—which was developing similar solutions for its people and had the technology.
An aside: the Iranis had an agency by the name of Ideal Motors in Bombay and used to import BMW and Sunbeam motorcycles in small numbers; they made the trip to Europe because they wanted to be bigger players rather than mere importers. They started by becoming distributors of CZ (also a Czech brand) and Jawa, and manufacturing followed.
Chapters 5-24 are all things Jawa and Yezdi—how Ideal Motors transitioned to Ideal Jawa India Ltd (with help from the Maharaja of Mysore) and then to Yezdi (there is an interesting story how the name was arrived at) and, finally, how it all ended for Ideal Jawa in 1996 when the company shut operations; rising oil prices, new emission norms and the wave of Indo-Japanese bikes killed it.
It has come to our notice that many fraudulent websites are operating by offering Jawa dealerships & products in lieu of money. Some of these websites are registered in the domain name *.com* and *.in* and the *dealer* or *dealership*, such as -
It is therefore advised NOT to visit the above mentioned fraudulent websites or make any payment related to Jawa dealerships & products. For allocating a new dealership, we will never ask you for a up-front payment. To apply for a dealership or book your Jawa motorcycle, please visit the official website of Jawa Motorcycles (Classic Legends Private Limited) i.e. https://www.jawamotorcycles.com.
Note - Classic Legends Private Limited does not take any responsibility for the payment made to such fraudulent websites (including people) and shall in no event be held liable for the same.
Classic Legends Private Limited