Custom Legends, the motorcycle arm of the Mahindra Group, gave us the opportunity to relive the days of iconic motorcycle brands Java and Yazdi. They are now transforming the classics we loved as kids into modern classics that the current generation can love. In the process, they introduced us to the cheapest bobber in the country – the Java Pirak. While Perak was a hit and miss, it was well received by fans. To keep the Bobber spirit alive, Custom Legends now gives us the Java 42 Bobber, which is cheaper than the Perak but equipped with a better kit.
Let’s dive deep and see what this new modern classic low-sling bobber has to offer.
Right off the bat, the design is a huge improvement from the Perak and one will appreciate the way this motorcycle looks. I’d like to go out on a limb and say that this is indeed one of the best-looking motorcycles this side of the ₹3-lakh mark. The new round headlamp with full LED lighting is not only modern but also looks great. DRLs also add to the overall look of the motorcycle even when riding during the day. The suspension forks are nice and chunky and integrate into the spoked wheels with chunky tires.
The engine bay has a blacked-out radiator, behind which you’ll find the engine finished in chrome. The exhaust pipes are blacked out like other components of the bike and both the side and rear of the bike look attractive. The single seat sits on mono suspension and the setup makes the bike look gray from the rear. The tail lamps sit on the rear fender and are paired with LED turn indicators. Chunky rear tires complete the Bobber look. It looks stunning from any angle and is sure to grab a lot of eyeballs.
Also Read: The New Java Prok – Five Hits and as many Misses
The 42 Bobber is powered by a 334 CC engine that churns out 30.6 PS of power and 32.7 Nm of torque mated to a 6-speed transmission. The Bobber is also equipped with a slipper and assist clutch. Throttle response is much better than it was on the Perak and power is sufficient for regular highway cruising. It’s a high-revving engine that requires you to work the gears to keep it in the torque band. It’s not as maneuverable as we’d like it to be and you need to go down at low speeds to avoid knocking and stalling. On the plus side, a slipper and assist clutch makes quick work of downshifts. Upshifts are also smooth but not as slick as downshifts. I found that the changes were a little too slow at times. Heat is also managed very well. The bike tends to get hot in traffic conditions, however, so the fan does a good job of keeping the hot blast of air away from your legs. On the highway though, the engine purrs happily when you’re cruising in 6.Th Gear at 90-100 kmph.
Ride quality and handling
The 42 bobber is a heavy bike but its low height makes the bike easy to handle. The handlebar though is not wide enough that you won’t be able to handle it in city traffic. You can still make your way through small intervals between vehicles. I would only be concerned about the bar end mirrors that extend beyond the handlebars. They will have to consider their presence in passing traffic. On the other hand, the suspension is not meant for rough roads. Don’t even think about taking it off-road.
The ground clearance is also low and you have to be careful on uneven bumps and speed breakers, as there is a chance that you will scrape the bike’s belly. Well, that’s one characteristic of bobbers, they’re low and have a long wheelbase that makes them sit close to the ground. If you’re an enthusiast, you already know this and won’t complain about it. 42 Bobber comes into character when you show him a set of highways.
The straight line stability is amazing and if you like cruising, you can make it all day on this bobber. Corner engraving. Well, it’s a Bobber, you don’t buy a Bobber to take on the twisties. You will enjoy riding the bike on highway trips and smooth city roads.
Although we weren’t able to do a comprehensive fuel consumption test, a few hundred kilometers of travel gave us a fair estimate of the mileage. In the city you can expect a mileage in the range of 25-28 kmpl while on the highways expect a healthy 32-34 kmpl. Average performance should be in the range of 27-30 kmpl which is quite respectable for this engine size.
The 42 Bobber is equipped with all LED lamps including turn indicators. The seat is adjustable by two steps for you to get a comfortable riding position. You also get a full LCD instrument cluster with a full digital readout. The LCD display is clearly visible even in bright sunlight.
The quality of the switchgear has also been improved and they feel like they will age well. The bike is also equipped with dual channel ABS. Another safety feature when the sidestand is fitted is the engine cut-off which for some reason does not allow the bike to start even when it is in neutral. The bike also gets a USB charger that supports both USB-A and USB-C cables.
Price and color
The Java 42 Bobber price depends on the color you choose. Mystic copper costs ₹2.06L, Moonstone White costs ₹2.07L and the flagship Jasper Red costs ₹2.08L. All prices are ex-showroom. This makes the 42 bobber even cheaper than the Perak.
If you’re out to buy a Bobber, the 42 Bobber has only its cousin, the Perak, to compete with unless you’re on a budget and want to get your hands on one of the Harleys. Between the two, I’d put my money on the 42 Bobber as it offers more value, features and a better looking bike while saving me money on fuel for my next trip.
Bobbers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Only enthusiasts will be able to appreciate the true qualities of the bobber. That being said, if you’re someone who wants a low-slung bike for your weekend highway, you can definitely give the 42 Bobber a shot. You’ll also be delighted with the number of eyeballs you can catch while riding this single-seated beauty. Also, considering the price, it is well priced. If you are looking for something that stands out from the Royal Enfields, TVSs and Hondas, then the Java 42 Bobber could be your choice.
On a side note, the motorcycle has a capable chassis and the Java should take advantage of that and build a high-capacity engine. It will be a much more fun bike to ride.