Jawa is coming back. Sort of.

Technically, the Czech brand never left, still churning out motorcycles for the U.K., Central America, the Russia. Outside of those regions, Jawa has essentially been defunct for years but it is now poised to return, with the backing of Mahindra.

The Indian conglomerate secured a license to use the Jawa brand in India and other markets through it subsidiary, Classic Legends. Jawa has a long history in India, and the brand retains a strong cult following to this day. It’s unclear, however, what other markets Mahindra has secured for the Jawa brand. Classic Legends also recently secured the rights to the BSA name, and it’s likely we’ll see that brand return in similar fashion for international markets, with Mahindra retaining the Jawa name for its home market.

If this whole arrangement sounds confusing… well, it is. But it’s not without precedent. Royal Enfield followed a similar path, with an Indian company securing the brand license in the country in 1955, before eventually supplanting the original company. At one time Jawa and Royal Enfield were direct competitors in the Indian market, and the revived brand might reignite that rivalry.

The Mahindra-backed Jawa motorcycles will be powered by a retro-looking 293cc Single. From the outside, the powerplant looks like the classic Jawa two-stroke engines of old, but beneath the air-cooling fins is a modern, Italian-designed four-stroke liquid-cooled fuel-injected DOHC engine, claiming 27 hp and 20.6 lb-ft.

The new engine doesn’t just look like an old Jawa engine, it may also sound like one too, as Mahindra says the exhaust note was tuned to sound like a two-stroke. We’ll reserve judgement for when we actually hear one fired up.

While we don’t yet know what the new motorcycles will look like, but looking at the engine, we assume they will also draw inspiration from Jawa motorcycles from yesteryear. We’ll find out when the new bikes are revealed on Nov. 15. As for a new BSA, we’ll likely have to wait a bit longer as Mahindra focuses on launching Jawa for India before tackling western markets with BSA.

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