Bristol Veloce 500 becomes Jawa RVR500, will it come to the UK?

Jawa is putting the finishing touches to its largest and most modern-looking model yet with the Bristol Veloce 500-based Jawa RVR500


The revived Jawa marque has revealed the latest addition to its range - the Jawa RVR500 - based around the existing Bristol Veloce 500 [pictured above].

Representing its largest and most modern-looking model yet with its 471cc engine and neo-cafe appearance, the Jawa RVR500 could form the basis for the firm’s potential move into the UK market when sister brand BSA arrives next year.

While spy shots of the RVR500 raised rumours Jawa - which is owned by Mahindra - had used the Bristol Veloce 500 as inspiration for its latest model, it would appear it is instead part of a badge engineering deal between itself and the Philippine firm.

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Despite the anglicised moniker, Bristol actually isn’t one of the many European-origin brands revived for a modern audience in Asia. Instead, Bristol Motorcycles is a relatively new company formed in 2018 to capitalise on the popularity of retro-themed roadsters and scramblers that are manufactured in Manila. It also offers a suspiciously Suzuki V-Strom-aping ADV.

Despite Bristol’s old school leanings, the Jawa RVR500 [image below] arguably represents a modern shift for the Czech-turned-Indian firm with a design template that borrows heavily from the Honda CB650R with its angular body work, brushed aluminium and muscular silhouette.

This make it stand out among Jawa’s more traditional Royal Enfield-rivalling existing range - the Perak and Forty-Two - while its China-sourced 47bhp, 471cc parallel-twin engine also makes the RVR500 the biggest and most powerful model it has released too.

Could the Jawa RVR500 come to the UK?

A name that can trace its roots back to the 1920s, Jawa was originally formed in the former Czechoslovakia and enjoyed success globally over the ensuing decades.

After folding in 1997, Jawa was picked up by Classic Legends - in turn owned by Indian conglomerate Mahindra - for an Indian market relaunch in 2018. 

Since then Mahindra has acquired the rights to the iconic BSA nameplate and unveiled plans to both construct and sell new models in the UK, with its first model - believed to be a Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 rivalling roadster - tipped to be unveiled by the end of the year.

Through this, Jawa and another revived Czech-origin brand - Yezdi - could come to the UK as part of the same distribution chain with models like the larger engine RVR500 likely to be more in-tune with buyers here.