Depreciation – a word that strikes fear into the minds of the owners of automobiles who are looking to upgrade their ride by exchanging in their old one. Be it a big and butch superbike or a small commuter motorcycle or scooter, prices of second-hand two-wheelers leave much to be desired. However, there are some old motorcycles and scooters in India that due to their cult-like following cost more now than they originally did when new all those years ago. We take a look at five such two-wheelers that defy the depreciation price drop.
Royal Enfield Cast Iron 350/500
Royal Enfield motorcycles, despite their big asking price, are a very common sight on Indian roads today. The price rise of the Enfield brand started after the Eicher Group took over the brand and started modernizing it in the 2000s, which bought many new riders to the brand. However, purists craved the thump of the old cast iron engines, which had become muffled with the modern Unit Construction Engines. Looking for their thump fix, these old-schoolers headed into the second-hand market and before you could say Bullet, the prices being quoted for these pre-owned Thumpers broke through the one lakh rupee glass ceiling. Older and rarer models are even more expensive to buy, especially if you get one in a fairly good condition.
The Yamaha RD350 is a legend among bikers who consider the two-stroke era to be the best time for motorcycles in India. The two-stroke RD350 pushed out 42hp in the original Japanese-spec they first arrived in. However, the later version built in India was detuned and only cranked out around 31hp. Stricter emission norms and whiny riders claiming that it had ‘more power than it ought to have’ and its price tag ensured that the RD350’s sales were not as strong as Yamaha hoped they would be.
However, with improved roads, and the availability of better brakes and tyres that can be retrofitted onto the RD350, the Japanese speed demon is now one of the most cherished classic motorcycles in India today. However, this, plus the rarity of well-maintained bikes, have driven the prices of the RD350 into the stratosphere. So if you are looking for a good RD350, online classifieds suggest you carry at least Rs 1.5 lakhs on you, to get your classic Japanese two-stroke speed demon.
Yezdi’s were licensed Jawa motorcycles sold by the Mysore-based Ideal Jawa (India) Ltd in India. Ideal Jawa started selling Jawa motorcycles in 1960 and rebranded its bikes as Yezdis in 1973. However, unlike the RDS 350s, Yezdis were built for cruising and were also a favourite among riders participating in the National Motorcycle Rally Championships. Unfortunately for fans of the Yezdi brand, labour problems at the factory and stricter emission norms forced Ideal Jawa (India) Ltd to shut shop in 1996. Thanks to the demand for the easy to ride yet full of character bikes, Yezdis remain strong to this day. However, this has also driven up the cost of second-hand bikes and prices start at around the Rs 50,000 mark for the Classic/Jawa. The Yezdi Roadking commands slightly more money in the open market.
Lambretta and Vijay Super
In 1972, the Indian government purchased Innocenti Scooter and brought its entire operations to Lucknow where they were manufactured by the government-owned Scooters India Limited. While Scooters India Limited no longer makes the Lambretta or the Vijay or any other scooter for that matter. In fact, no Innocenti scooter has been produced for 21 years, which has driven up the prices of used versions of these iconic scooters. Fully restored Lambys can fetch about Rs 50,000-80,000 thanks to interest from international markets, while unrestored examples of the Lambretta or Vijay Super are a lot cheaper at around Rs 10k but will require lots of TLC.
Yamaha RX-Z/ Suzuki Shogun
The dynamic two-stroke duo of the RX-Z and the Suzuki Shogun battled on the streets of India in the 90s and early 2000s. The Shogun and the RX-Z provided more affordable alternatives for enthusiasts compared to the larger RDs and Yezdis and are still considered to be the best small bikes to ride by those who swear by the two-strokes.
The RX-Z with the 5-speed gearbox is quite sought after by enthusiasts today and considering its rarity, well-maintained ones can set you back by at least Rs 50,000.
The older Suzuki Shogun was called the Boss by the TVS Suzuki ad-team. The Shogun easily earned its name on the streets though, thanks to its ‘punch you in the face’ style of power delivery and eagerness to go fast. Despite being less powerful than the Yamaha, this pocket-rocket announced its arrival long before it actually arrived at a spot, usually while pulling a wheelie. The lack of spares is a concern for potential shogun owners who have a hard time finding one in decent shape that is for sale.