In 1950s, Jawa motorcycles were been imported to India from Czechoslovakia. When the Irani brothers planned to set up a factory for license production of Jawa motorcycle in India, they first choose Pune to setup a factory. This news reached the then King of Mysore Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. The founder of the Ideal Jawa (India) Ltd, Farrokh Irani, was very close to Maharaja. Sources claim that The Maharaja insisted that they begin an engineering industry in Mysore and even helped the owners of this company with the project. In 1961, Ideal Jawa (India) Ltd started commercial production of motorcycle under brand name “Jawa” and later “Yezdi” with technical collaboration with Česká zbrojovka Strakonice (ČZ).
The company was built on a total area of little over 26 acres. The Administrative/Production blocks cover an area of 33,468 square meters while the Utilities/Services Blocks cover an area of 35,846 square meters. The factory was housed in two buildings. The older factory, set up in 1960, has facilities for manufacture of components for 250cc motorcycles and its assembly. The second, houses the facilities for manufacture of components for the 60cc and the 350cc motorcycles along with their assembly lines.
Irani brothers were originally from Yezd (presently know as Yazd) city of Iran. So, they lovingly named the brand as “Yezdi”.
- Jawa 250 Type 353/04 Kyvacka called ‘A’ Type (under licence)
- Jawa 50 Jet ‘A’ Series known as Pionyr Type 555 in Czechoslovakia (under licence)
- Yezdi 60 Jet ‘B’ Series
- Yezdi 250 ‘B’ Type
- Yezdi 250 Oilking (CB Points and Oil Pump) ‘C’ Type
- Yezdi 250 Roadking (CB Points) ‘C’ Type
- Yezdi 60 Jet ‘C’ Series
- Yezdi D250 Classic ‘D’ Type
- Yezdi 250 CL II ‘D’ Type
- Yezdi B250 Deluxe ‘D’ Type
- Yezdi 250 Deluxe ‘D’ Type
- Yezdi 250 Roadking (CDI) ‘C’ Type
- Yezdi 60 Colt
- Yezdi 60 Colt Deluxe
- Yezdi 175 (CB Points)
- Yezdi 175 Deluxe (CDI)
- Jawa / Yezdi 350 Twin (typ 634)
- Yezdi 250 Monarch ‘C’ Type
- Yezdi 250 Supersprint (never released)
Ideal Jawa (India) Ltd also exported many of the above models to over 61 countries around the world including Turkey, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Egypt and others. Yezdi Roadkings was supplied to Guatemala with custom white color for their Police forces. A model exported to Venezuela was called the Yezdi 250 MT (Mountain Terrain).
Among all the models, Yezdi 250 Roadking was most successful and was produced from 1978 to 1996. The bike was based on the CZ 250 ridden by rider Jaroslav Falta to the runner-up spot in the 1974 motocross world championship. The bike won several Indian rallies and road races in India. With 250 cc engine, 25 bhp, twin exhausts and a semi-automatic clutch – Yezdi 250 Roadking became a legend in Indian Motorcycling History.
The Roadking engines were a favorite among the Powerglider manufacturers in India. A Coimbatore based manufacturer headed by late motor racing driver and constructor, S.Karivardhan manufactured and exported several Powergliders using Roadking engines with modified aluminium heads, K & N filters and sleeved bore. During 1996, Somendar Singh, a former Ideal Jawa racer and rally icon developed a refined engine with aluminium engine with increased power and fuel efficiency which was featured in ‘Car & Bike’ magazine. The design was never put into production even though it ended up with Ideal Jawa.
End of Production:
In late 1980s, Japanese motorcycle manufacturers entered the Indian market changing the scenario completely. It was not just about two-strokes giving way to four-strokes, they introduced the new dimension of fuel efficiency, which had gained ground after the oil crisis in the late 1970s. With decrease in motorcycle sale, increasing labor trouble and levels of pollution control norms Ideal Jawa (India) Ltd was forced to shut down on , it was producing the 175, Monarch, Deluxe, Road Kings and CL II. The main reason for the company’s collapse was which were making the two stroke bikes that the company produced obsolete.
A rally is held on the second Sunday of July every year. The International Jawa Yezdi Day is celebrated to mark the start of production of Jawa motorcycles in India back in the 1960s. There are many Jawa Yezdi clubs across India organizing group rides, events and rallies. Yezdi transformed itself into a cult and even today, a Yezdi RoadKing in good condition will easily fetch more then a hundred thousand rupees.
The actor Jeetendra corralled villains on a Jawa in Humjoli (1970); Amitabh Bachchan rode a Jawa 250 in Parvarish (1977); and Farooq Shaikh romanced Deepti Naval on one in Chashme Buddoor (1981).
Good News for Jawa lovers:
Mahindra & Mahindra have acquired the licensing right for JAWA brand for India. Work already underway at Mahindra’s Pithampur plant as Mahindra might be looking at the 2018 Auto Expo as a deadline to showcase its first Jawa product, while the launch will happen later. The bikes will carry on their heritage and there will be no Mahindra badging. Jawa will boast of separate dealerships in India considering the lifestyle element the brand carries with it.