The motorcycle industry has undergone significant changes in recent decades, particularly in India where it began with the golden era of 100-400cc two-stroke motorcycles. This was followed by the era of 100-125cc commuters and now the 200-500cc sport bikes. However, unlike today’s era where buyers have a plethora of choices, the early times offered limited options.
Despite the technological advancements of modern motorcycles, there was a certain charm to the creative and innovative advertisements of motorcycles from the bygone eras. The video features popular two-wheeler ads that were once aired on national television. The following are the commercials included in the video:
The video starts with a TV commercial for the Yamaha RX100 from the late 1980s, which was renowned for its impressive power-to-weight ratio. Despite its small 100cc engine, the iconic two-stroke bike provided a lively riding experience. Over time, the Yamaha RX100 has gained a following and become a popular choice for customizers and restorers. Even after nearly two decades since its discontinuation, many RX100s can still be spotted on Indian roads today.
Hero Honda CD100
The CD100 was one of the first motorcycles coming from the joint venture of Hero and Honda and was also one of the first 100cc four-stroke commuters in the country. The Hero Honda CD100 was the pioneer of fuel-efficient four-stroke motorcycles, much popularized by its ‘fill it-shut it-forget it’ campaign. The 97cc single-cylinder, four-stroke engine went on to power other popular motorcycles from Hero Honda, like the Splendor and Passion. This advertisement aired in the ‘90s had Bollywood actor Salman Khan promoting it.
Prior to the introduction of four-stroke scooters like the Activa, two-stroke scooters were the preferred choice for short-distance commutes. Alongside the Kinetic Honda ZX and TVS Scooty, the Bajaj Sunny was also a popular two-stroke scooter in India. Its compact and lightweight body made it popular among new riders, especially female riders. Despite its small 50cc two-stroke engine, the Bajaj Sunny claimed a top speed of 50 km/h. The advertisement for the Bajaj Sunny in this video showcased how some tribal men were impressed by the scooter’s easy-to-ride character, despite its strange appearance to them.
The Bajaj Pulsar has undoubtedly made a name for itself as a powerful commuter, but there was a time when its advertisements were focused on showcasing the true potential of the motorcycle. In the first decade of the 21st century, multiple ads featuring different versions of the Pulsar gained popularity. It all began in 2001 with the advertisement of the first-ever Bajaj Pulsar 150cc and 180cc twins. The tagline “It’s a boy” projected the Pulsar as a brand for male riders who desired a powerful yet affordable motorcycle.
The Yamaha RD350 is widely recognized as the first iconic motorcycle in the Indian market. This 2-stroke, 350cc single-cylinder motorcycle gradually gained popularity among Indian buyers, and today it is one of the most sought-after collectors’ items due to its cult status. The advertisement featured in the video showcases the performance of the Yamaha RD350, which introduced new technologies like torque induction in the 1980s.
Hero Honda, which had been catering to the masses with its economy-oriented motorcycles, sought to establish itself as a brand for the youth by launching the CBZ at the turn of the 21st century. The CBZ was the first 150cc four-stroke motorcycle in India and gained popularity among young people for its sporty design and powerful performance. The advertisement of Hero Honda CBZ shown in the YouTube video emphasizes how the stylish appearance and allure of the bike impressed the youth.