The Indian motorcycle scene is becoming quite interesting for the enthusiasts. With the arrival of affordable, high displacement powerful bikes in India, bike lovers are having a good time. But there were many more interesting bikes that were available in the past. We bring you eight such bikes from that past that can be relatively easy to maintain, and source parts for. Some of the bikes may need extra care and money with parts coming from the foreign markets but if you have both, you sure can have the time of your life.
Royal Enfield Cast Iron 500
Even though modern Royal Enfield motorcycles are very close to the motorcycles they have evolved from, a lot of things have changed. The modern Royale Enfield motorcycles do not have the charm of the older models like the cast iron Bullet. Many Royal Enfield enthusiasts and purists still swear by the cast iron Bullets.
The right-hand side gear shifter was one of the unique characters of the Bullet and it always took a veteran to ride the Royal Enfield properly. The cast iron Bullet also had the steel monogram of Royal Enfield and also has few immaculate, properly nerd-only features like CB point ignition. Even though the cast iron Bullets are not as sturdy or dependent as the modern ones, they sure have a charm that can’t be replicated with the new generation of Royal Enfield motorcycles.
Yamaha RD 350
The Yamaha RD 350 is considered as India’s first performance bike that was easily accessible. It was launched much before the RX100 and was initially known as the Rajdoot 350. The RD 350 was powered by a parallel-twin, two-stroke motor that made 28 Bhp in Low Torque variant and 31 Bhp in the High Torque variant. The bike became a rage in India due to its performance.
The motorcycle still adorns many enthusiasts garages in India and its price has increased by multiple times than the original price. Yamaha did cost-cut for the Indian market like the omission of disc brakes but it did not stop enthusiasts from getting their hands on the bike.
Yamaha launched the RX-Z in India after the RX100 became massively popular. The bike was launched in 1990 was based on the Yamaha RX-135. Power came from a 132cc, air-cooled, 2-stroke engine same as the RX-135 and RXG but it produced more power in RXZ. The high revving engine churned out around 14 Bhp at 7,500 rpm and 12 Nm at 6,500 rpm. It could go up to 120 km/h.
The bike offered low resonating exhaust mufflers, disc brake at front and telescopic suspension at the front and dual shocks at the rear. The bike was considered as a scaled down RD350. The five-speed transmission allowed it to cruise at high speeds while returning a decent fuel economy.
The Roadking came as a powerful, 2 stroke alternative to the Royal Enfield Bullet in the early 1990s. The bike offered a good performance and had a good handling too. The Roadking was powered by a 250cc two-stroke engine that generated a maximum of 16 Bhp – 24 Nm. The power enough was enough to make the 140 kg bike go quick off the mark. The bike was one of the most powerful 2-stroke bikes available in India and gained even more attention after the Yamaha RD 350 was discontinued. It could reach a top speed of 120, which was appreciable in the 90s. Parts can be sourced from various enthusiast and old garages in India.
The Yamaha 350 was quite expensive even in those days so the Yezdi 350 became the choice of budget-conscious buyers. The Yezdi 350 was much cheaper but at the same time had lower power output than the Yamaha. The bike was powered by a 2-stroke parallel twin engine that did not become as famous as it should have been in that era but it has become an icon in the modern world. If you ride one of these, you will get appreciation from the pure bike lovers who know a little about history.
Yamaha launched the RX100 to tap into the budget conscious enthusiasts. The 96 kg bike was powered by a 98.2cc two-stroke engine that churned out a maximum of 11 Bhp. The quick acceleration of the bike made it pop wheelies even in the second gear. It was one of the few bikes that could 100 km/h in those days. The bike also featured a CDI ignition system, which was much more reliable. RX 100 in the present day have many modified versions and the parts are not that difficult to source.
Bajaj Pulsar 180
If you are from that era, you will remember the “Definitely Male” advertisements that took over the television. In 2001, Bajaj launched the Pulsar 150 and the 180 and it became extremely popular in the market. The 180cc variant was quite popular in the market because of its performance and the way it looked. The 178cc engine of the bike produced a maximum of 14.8 Bhp and 13.2 Nm, which made it one of the most powerful four-stroke bikes in the country.
The Jawa 250 is a beautiful looking motorcycle but it still turns head on the road, even if they do not know about the bike. The Yezdi 250 featured a 250cc two-stroke engine. The engine was quite uncomplicated and many enthusiasts keep it for its unique feature. It had a side-kick that doubled up as a gear-lever. How cool is that? The bike has a legendary status among the bike collectors.