Popular two-wheeler ads from the 90s: Yamaha RX100 to Hero Honda CBZ

A lot of things in the world of motorcycles have changed in recent decades. When it comes to the motorcycling culture in India, it started with the golden era of 100-400cc two-stroke motorcycles, followed by the eras of 100-125cc commuters and now 200-500cc sport bikes. In contrast to the current era, when an average buyer is spoilt with choices, the initial times had limited options to choose from.

There are much more advanced motorcycles on sale now, but when it comes to creative and innovative advertisements, the motorcycles from bygone eras had their charm. We have got our hands on a nostalgic video from the years flown by, which shows various footage of video commercials of two-wheelers from yesteryears. The said video has been uploaded by ‘Gear Drive’ on YouTube, which shows video ads of a few popular two-wheelers, which used to air on national television. Following are the commercial ads shown in the video:

Yamaha RX100

The first footage in the video is the commercial advertisement for the Yamaha RX100, which used to air on TV in the late ‘80s. This iconic two-stroke motorcycle was popular for its impressive power-to-weight ratio, which made it a peppy motorcycle to ride despite its compact 100cc engine. Over the years, the Yamaha RX100 has become a cult and one of the most sought-after motorcycles by customizers and restorers in the business. You can find several Yamaha RX100s plying on the Indian roads even today after almost two decades of its discontinuation.

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.

Bajaj Sunny

Much before the advent of four-stroke scooters with the debut of Activa, there was a time when light-weighted two-stroke scooters were the choice for short-distance commuting. Apart from the Kinetic Honda ZX and TVS Scooty, the Bajaj Sunny was also a popular two-stroke scooter in India. With its compact and light-weighted body, the Bajaj Sunny became a hit among people who were new to riding two-wheelers, especially female riders. It was powered by a puny 50cc two-stroke engine, with which it claimed a top speed of 50 km/h. The advertisement of Bajaj Sunny in this video showed how a few tribal men got impressed with the easy-to-ride character of this little scooter, which looked alienating to them.

Bajaj Pulsar

While there are no doubts about the legacy built by Pulsar as a power commuter, there was a time when the motorcycle had attention-grabbing advertisements showing the true potential of the motorcycle. Multiple ads showcasing different iterations of the Bajaj Pulsar became popular in the first decade of the 21st century. It all started in 2001 with the advertisement of the first-ever Bajaj Pulsar 150cc and 180cc twins. The ‘It’s a boy’ tagline of this advertisement projected Pulsar as a brand for male buyers who wanted something powerful yet economical to own and ride.

Yamaha RD350

The Yamaha RD350 is highly regarded as the first ever iconic motorcycle in the Indian market. This 2-stroke 350cc single-cylinder motorcycle became a gradual hit among Indian buyers, and now, it ranks as one of the highest sought-after collectors’ items for its cult status. The advertisement of the Yamaha RD350 shown in this video highlights the performance of the 350cc motorcycle, which debuted new technologies like torque induction in the ‘80s.

Hero Honda CBZ

After establishing itself as a brand for the economy-oriented masses, Hero Honda tried projecting itself as a youth-oriented brand by launching the CBZ at the beginning of the 21st century. It was the first-ever 150cc four-stroke motorcycle and became popular among youngsters for its sporty styling and powerful performance. The Hero Honda CBZ’s ad, which is a part of this YouTube video, also highlights how the stylish look and aura of the motorcycle impressed youngsters.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil Nag, senior feature writer at, channels his expertise and enthusiasm into insightful car reviews and test drives. (Full bio)