Depreciation hits hard, especially if you’re the kind who keeps changing cars/bikes often. But on the bright side there are bikes whose value just keeps growing with each passing year. We look at them and try to decipher the reason behind the rising values.
Royal Enfield Bullet
Once British – and now more Indian than ever – the Royal Enfield Bullet is one of the most coveted bikes ever. The cast iron engined versions are revered among enthusiasts because of their characteristic thump sound and huge touring capabilities. With newer technologies adopted, especially those of packaging in the form of UCE (Unit Construction Engine), the Bullet might be more modern now but it does the enthusiast wanting for more thump. And that’s why the older versions still command a lot of money. Far from antique, a regular RE Bullet is valued more than a new RE Classic.
Want retro looks, characteristic two-stroke noise, and the ability to travel long distances without necessarily gunning it all the time? The Yezdi’s the one for you. With production stopped in mid 1990s (which began in 1960s), there’s been a consistent growth in demand among the enthusiast crowd. The 350 is rare and commands a lot of money, but the more common Yezdi-branded ones like the Classic can be bought for relatively less money. But that’s not to say they aren’t expensive. A good, restored Yezdi can set you back by 50-60,000 at the very least. Expect to pay upwards of a lakh for rarer items.
Or Rajdoot RD350 as it was called at the time of launch. The Indian version might have been detuned to make about 31 hp (and further down by another 5 hp or so), but that for a growing market like ours was huge. In fact, the bike is as much a maniac as it was back in the day. The two-stroke, twin-cylinder 347 cc engined bike’s production didn’t last very long. And hence, even with multiple high-performance motorcycles around, the RD still makes for a great buy. Enthusiasts love its addictive power delivery, and considering it’s not the most docile bikes out there, the challenge makes it all the more interesting. If you’re looking for a mint-condition RD, expect to pay as much money as you would on a new R3.
The RX100 wasn’t as much of a misanthropist as other two-stroke bike of the past but with about 11 hp available at the flick of the wrist, it was no less capable. Launched in the mid-80s, the bike was signaling towards a more economical approach – small engine, to start with. With most commuters becoming boring to ride, it’s bikes like the RX that bikers yearn for. And that’s why finding one for cheap is almost impossible today.
Being one of the very few faired bikes to go on sale in the country, the RXZ was a cut above the rest. Two-stroke mechanicals ensured it was addictive to ride, and with distinct styling, it went on to become one of the coolest-looking bikes on sale in India. A five-speed gearbox, a factory-fitted disc brake, and of course, the same engine as the RX135 completed the RXZ. Want one today? A little more money than the RX100 and the headache of importing/sourcing parts, and it’s all yours.
Before hipsters attack the scooter scene, it’s important to keep those Lambrettas safe. Originally from Italy but made in India, the Lambretta scooters were sporty to look at, fun to ride, and had a charm that other brands couldn’t manage. Finding one today isn’t going to be easy, but if you happen to own one, expect to get decent resale value. The only thing is why would you want to sell something that looks so great. The earlier examples can fetch about a lakh and a half while the more recent ones are listed for about Rs 50,000.
Leave the rather recent re-entry or the LML innings before that, the Vespa has been around for longer than that. It all started with Bajaj making Vespa in India, followed by a deal with LML to do so, and then an eventual re-entry. But while the new Vespa continues to be sold in 4-stroke avatars and the LMLs are yet to find the cult audience, the original Vespas continue to rule the classic-enthusiast market. Prices are similar to Lambrettas’, and so is the charm.