A while ago we brought you 10 forgotten bikes of India. Here are 10 more such bikes and scooters that are real rarities on Indian roads.
The Rajdoot RD175 is a very simple and rugged motorcycle that still enjoys a fan following in rural and semi-urban India. Known as the Doodhwalla bike, the RD175 featured a single cylinder, 175 cc two stroke engine and a 3 speed manual gearbox. Simple to fix, the bike motor put out 7.5 Bhp.
The Jawa 250 was the precursor of the Yezdis of this world. While the motorcycle did feature a 250cc two stroke engine, it was a more ancient, simpler unit than the one on the Yezdi Roadking. The bike did have the legendary gear lever that doubled up as a kickstarter though.
Royal Enfield did sell a diesel version of the Bullet by combining the Bullet’s chassis with a Greaves diesel engine. Extremely frugal, this engine delivered about 65 Kmpl. Performance was very relaxed though, with the bike making just 6.5 Bhp.
BSA Brigand 50
The BSA Brigand was the off road version of the Bond 50. It featured the same 50 cc two stroke motor and the monoshock rear suspension, but taller mudguards and a higher exhaust. Like the Bond, the Brigand was meant to do well off the road too.
Royal Enfield Fantabulous
Royal Enfield wanted a pie of India’s scooter market, and the odd-ball Fantabulous was born. The scooter never really took off though, and few know about it. The Fantabulous featured a 175 cc Villiers 2 stroke engine with 7.5 Bhp on tap. It also got a self starter.
Automobiles Products of India (API) acquired the license to build and market the Lambretta range of scooters in India, from Italian company Innocenti. After a while, the Indian government bought out the equipment used to build Lambrettas and established Scooters India.
TVS Motors was one of the first companies to get out of the gate and begin producing affordable and reliable 100 cc Indo-Japanese motorcycles in India. The Ind-Suzuki AX100 was the first such vehicle. Then, the Yamaha RX100 came along, promoting TVS to bump up outputs of the AX100. The Supra was born, with the same 100 cc motor making 11 Bhp, the same as the output of the RX100.
Brooke Bond tea continues to sell in India, but the bikes that this tea maker made a few decades ago are consigned to history books, and memories. The BSA Bond was a light, 50cc motorcycle that featured monoshock rear suspension. The Bond went on to win a few laurels on the motocross circuits of India.
Royal Enfield Mofa
Did you know that Royal Enfield also built mopeds? Well the Mofa was more of a motorized bicycle that even dispensed with suspension. Powered by a 22 cc two stroke engine that put out only 0.8 Bhp, the Mofa was considered a bicycle than a moped, for riding it didn’t need a license.
The Vijai Super was a scooter that was built upon the Lambretta 150, after Scooters India acquired the rights to build Lambrettas from Automobile Products of India, the company that used to assemble and sell Lambrettas in India. The Vijai Super featured a 150 cc two stroke engine, and a design similar to the Lambretta 150.
When the Adreno was launched in 1999, it came as a stylish offering from LML. It had a 100 cc 4-stroke engine producing 8.5 Bhp and 7.5 Nm. The engine was mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The Adreno later got an elder brother in the form of the Adreno FX which came with a larger 110 cc engine. Sadly, neither of them did very well. It was one of the first few bikes to come with any sort of fairing.
The Caliber when launched in 1998 was in collaboration with Kawasaki. It came with a 112 cc 4-stroke engine making 7.5 cc and 8.1 Nm. The engine was made in collaboration with Kawasaki and was a very reliable motor. It also got a larger sibling after sometime which was marketed as the ‘Hoodibaba bike’.
The Samurai, when launched in 1994 was a popular bike among the youngster as well as the older people. It had the same 98.2 cc engine as the Max 100 did. Power figures were a decent 7.5 Bhp and 9.8 Nm which isn’t bad for a city commuter. It came with 4-speed manual.
TVS Fiero F2
The Fiero F2 was the sibling of the Fiero FX, the only difference being aesthetic changes. It was launched in 2003 and was powered by a 147.5 cc 4-stroke engine making 12 Bhp and 11.3 Nm. It had a 4-speed manual gearbox. Sadly, even with such a strong brand name, the bike didn’t set the sales charts on fire and eventually had to be discontinued.
The Beamer was launched in 2004 and was based on the LML Graptor. It was redesigned to take on the Pulsar, the Apache and the CBZ. Power came from a 150 cc motor making 14 Bhp and 13 Nm. Being a newer bike, it came equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox.