Five bikes and scooters that don’t know what depreciation is

The general notion is that as soon as you buy a product, its value goes down. So much like other consumer devices (phones, laptops… you name it), automobiles also depreciate badly. But all that ends as soon the cars/bikes start getting vintage status or even an increased interest from a niche market. We look at five such bikes, which cost more than what they originally did, when launched.

Royal Enfield

1970 Royal Enfield Bullet Std 350

As the company found its way back to glory (in the 2000s), the prices of the used Royal Enfields were increased massively. What further catalysed the process was the inclusion of a new type of engine (Unit Construction Engine) by the company. While it was certainly better than before in more than one aspect, the purists craved for the thump – the sound the old engines produced. And before anyone knew it, the old Bullets were changing hands for about a lakh or more. The vintage models’ prices continued to rise further, too.

Yamaha RD350

RD350 Yamaha

As far as legends are concerned not a lot of bikes can come close to the RD350, in neither appeal nor performance. The two-stroke monster of a bike produced about 42 hp in original Japanese spec, while the Indian versions were detuned to make about 31 hp. Stricter emission norms and riders claiming it to have ‘more power than it’s ought to have’ ensured the sales were never strong. The market finally understood its worth when most bikes had gone a bit too soft. With better roads, improved riding gear, and retrofit disc brakes and wider rubber available for the RD, buying and cherishing the bike is one of the must-do things for bikers in the country. Also, don’t forget to carry a lot of cash when you go RD shopping. Online classifieds suggest prices start around the Rs 1.5-1.8 lakh mark.

Yezdi

Yezdi-Classic

Another two-stroke but this one was more about cruising than indulging in traffic light GPs. As the Karnataka-based firm started producing Jawa bikes under license as Yezdi in India, it gained a wide fanbase. In fact, even after the company shut down and Yezdi was discontinued, there’s still a huge demand for the bike. It had a lot of character, looked really well, and you could endlessly enjoy that two-stroke engine forever. The Roadking version successfully upped the bike’s style quotient as well. Used bike prices start at about 45-50,000 for the Classic/Jawa while the Roadking is a bit more expensive.

Lambretta and Vijai Super

Lambretta

Manufactured by Scooters India Limited (SIL), the Innocenti scooters were one of the finest and the best looking ones out there. The company might be far away from its scooter roots, but there’s an increasing demand in the market. Restored examples fetch about 50-80 thousand rupees, and with the interest for the vehicle rising in markets abroad, sourcing parts isn’t going to be as problematic. Also, is there a cooler way to follow retro-fashion? We think not. Unrestored examples are available for as little as 10k but mint-condition/restored ones are priced at about Rs 50,000.

Yamaha RX-Z/ Suzuki Shogun

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The smaller of the two-stroke legends might not have used as much space on the road but they sure were (and still are) fun indeed. The RX-Z, particularly with the 5-speed gearbox and not the earlier 4-speed unit, is a favourite among enthusiasts these days. They aren’t as abundant and most of the good ones seem to have found home in South India. Asking price starts from around Rs 50,000 onwards.

The Shogun, on the other hand, came before the RX-Z but is full of character. Called The Boss (blame/credit the TVS-Suzuki’s ad-makers for that), the bike is easily one of the best ways to burn (use) fuel. Lack of spare parts is a concern for the Suzuki, and so is finding a neat example.

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5