It’s difficult to hear the soft-spoken Ravi Thirumale amid rumbling thunder on the streets of downtown Bangalore this second Sunday of July—the day motorheads buff up their old Jawa motorcycles and troop into town, bringing to life a beat from a time gone by. Thirumale, dressed in a white shirt, formal trousers and black shoes, is reminiscing about an era that many can’t forget: the mid-seventies, when he scorched up the race track at Sholavaram, near Madras. Until then, the Ideal Jawa factory team had been unbeaten and after the races, Ravi—then a 23-year-old fresh out of engineering college— was offered a job at their factory in Mysore.
“This is one bike in my entire racing career which has never let me down,” said Thirumale at the International Jawa Day last week. Indeed, motorcycle enthusiasts haven’t let the Jawa brand fade away long after the factory shut down. There’s many a youngster who still fancies one, to relive some borrowed nostalgia. Then, there’s the buzz about an impending relaunch of the brand by the Mahindra Group, possibly this year.