The vintage British and Czech brands are making a comeback

While we know that the Indian auto major Mahindra purchased the iconic British biker BSA and rights to the Czech JAWA brand, it would take at the least a couple of years to see their first iterations of what is touted as ‘The grand revival’.

But that has not stopped rendering artists across the globe who have already started letting their imagination run wild. They say that ’Imagination is a place where all the important answers lies’ and I guess we have started to get ours.

An Italian artist who goes by the name Oberdan Bezzi and is also famously called as OBIBOI has sketched some impressive looks of concepts which might be expected from the Mahindra stable in the future. They include desert runners, scramblers and street build concepts. Let’s have a look at these:

1. BSA MX 355 concept

OBIBOI plays with JAWA and BSA renderings Drawings
- image 769327

BSA made motorcycles that could go on all roads or no roads at all. There made a mockery of sorts towards other motorcycles when it came to getting off-road. We hope Mahindra could bring in the same quality of sharpness and calibration, typical of the British motorcycle of a time that was!

This 355 gets the street scrambler-esque treatment with the classic round headlamp and instrument dials along with solo saddle, long suspension, spoked wheels, knobby tires, high raised handlebar, foot pegs, all of which are evitable design cues very much towards an off-roader. It is shown to get a modern liquid cooled, four stroke, single cylinder 300cc motor. Yes, four strokes.

We also see a high rise exhaust outlet, USD forks at the front and gas charged rear suspension unit, making it crawl over any obstacle without a bother. The bike also gets modern Brembo braking system with steel braided lines gripping on a single steel disc. Overall, a well-structured motion of dimensions, excellent overall performance, quality components and neat construction will be expected.

2. BSA Victor 355 concept

OBIBOI plays with JAWA and BSA renderings Drawings
- image 769325

Giving due to the original BSA motorcycle that was the Victor, is this Victor 355 Concept. Victor was a bike which was directly related to BSA’s World Championship motocross success. Although it was a machine never intended to racing, it carried the motocross charm that was evident for 40 years before its inception.

The concept rendered here is a more practical version of the MX 355 having an extended saddle for pillion ride and a rear handlebar. It supports similar design and engine specifications with only the front fender being shorter, unlike the MX. It gets a slightly bigger headlamp unit to light up the streets well. Hence, this could be the highest selling BSA in countries it is planned to be sold.

3. BSA Desert Sled 355 concept

OBIBOI plays with JAWA and BSA renderings Drawings
- image 769326

Desert sleds are motorcycles stripped of its street bike essentials and modified for off-road riding and racing, sled riders modified the bugs out of these machines. Being the ingenious types, the purpose-built BSA Hornet sled may become a reliable tool for high-speed desert work. Taking this to the modern world is the Desert Sled 355 concept.

It is supplied without headlights or taillights cluster nor the rear view mirrors. It gets the high raise fender, USD front forks, spoked wheels and a tough bash plate to protect the engine from the tough terrains.

Expect altered gear ratios and twin carburetors for sprint acceleration on the desert surface. The exhaust unit will feature ’straight through’ exhaust pipes without mufflers.

4. JAWA Californian 351 vintage concept

OBIBOI plays with JAWA and BSA renderings Drawings
- image 769324

Reviving itself to be a lifestyle brand, in the next couple of years, Mahindra will manufacture Jawa bikes at its Pithampur plant and will then export them to our shores (although, no official word is out on this). It is said to be showcased at the 2018 EICMA and should hit the roads post that.

This concept rendered showcases a retrofit design on a modern day chassis and running on the modern engine too. It features a stylish yet maintaining the iconic JAWA figurine with the tank build. Classy round headlamp with twin analog instrument clusters adores the front fascia. Shallow front fenders and swept back single unit saddle reminds us of the 80s’ and 90s’ designs taking major share here.

The motorcycle rendered is powered by a 300cc single cylinder, four stroke engine with a typical transmission and exhaust unit. USD forks at the front and gas charged spring load hydraulics at the rear handle the suspension while what looks like a four pot JAWA braking unit handles the stopping prowess. Wide rubber gives a pompous look to the overall silhouette.

5. JAWA Californian 351 Scrambler concept

OBIBOI plays with JAWA and BSA renderings Drawings
- image 769328

Derived from the Mojo model, Mahindra’s current and only flagship motorcycle in production, this 300cc single cylinder showcases a better temperament to be a scrambler than the Mojo tries to. Bringing in a significant update in capability and style to the iconic Czech Company, the Scrambler builds on the California’s position as the fun and accessible machine and vies for top honors at the crowded segment which every motorcycle manufacturer is going collectively mad over.

The stripped back custom styling includes distinctive scrambler features such as long travel suspension, aluminum rear rack, removable pillion pegs, adventure style front pegs and bash plate. Comes equipped with knobby tires and has a higher ground clearance than the other two versions. It also gets a bash plate to protect its underbelly, and the high mounted exhaust unit allows the bike to wade through high water bodies without a sweat.

We don’t know if Mahindra will take advantage of the acquisitions of history’s iconic brands that are famous by the fans but virtually unknown to the general public. Mahindra has a tall order to build a new range of prestigious motorcycles and not to adhere to the kinds already in many catalogs across manufacturers.

Of course, we hope for a true "renaissance" here, perhaps with tapping the opportunity to re-enter the market with due seriousness and quality that the brand deserves and give enthusiasts joy of owning a legendary brand and becoming a part of both BSA’s and JAWA’s rich history. Only time will tell us if Mahindra can actually revive these brands to its original glory, given the fact that two-stroke motors will never return. Sad

Sagar Patil
Sagar Patil
Motorcycle industry expert since 1997! -
Over the years, a deeper conscience of machines moving body and soul has given him a crisp grasp over the concepts of motorcycling. A sucker for details and common sense, he loves getting his hands dirty every once in a while. His love affair with motorcycles ushers in the specialist skillset making Sagar our go-to expert for everything on two-wheels.  Read full bio
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