The craze for retro-looking modern motorcycles doesn’t go out of fashion in India. You see, if you ever gossip with motorcycle enthusiasts of pre-liberalization times, you will get some insights into compelling recitals associated with the Yezdi motorcycle. Quotes such as ‘No matter how old your bike is YEZDI will always make you feel better’ will undoubtedly evoke your nerves to revisit the old times and get the taste of the bike. Well, wait for not too long as Mahindra Group-owned Classic Legends is going to make a comeback with brand new Yezdi motorcycles on 13th January this year.
Jawa motors is a Czech Republic brand launched in 1929 by František Janeček , who acquired the motorcycle division of Wanderer-Werke AG. Wanderer-Werke AG was a German manufacturing company that designed and developed motorcycles, vans, and other machinery. You see, ‘Jawa’ is the name derived from the initials of – Janeček and Wanderer.
At the beginning of the 1960s, Ideal Jawa India Ltd company was founded by Farrokh Irani and Rustom Irani in Mysore, Karnataka. They produced a licensed Jawa motorcycle and renamed it ‘Yezdi’ in 1973 to add Indian savour. The locally manufactured motorcycles had O embedded within the Jawa emblem, whereas models manufactured in Czechoslovakia had the CZ Jawa emblem on the side of the fuel tank.
One of the most popular bikes that uplifted the Jawa Yezdi brand in India was Jawa 250, designated as ‘A-type’ followed with Jawa 250 B-type, Yezdi 250 Monarch and Jawa 350 Twin. One of the anticipated launches from Yezdi came in the year 1978 when they introduced 250cc Roadking. Fun fact: Roadking was also known as “Dollar Roadking” because it was initially sold in dollars. Yezdi’s iconic Roadking was a two-stroke,250cc engine that used to produce around 15bhp of power and 24Nm of torque, paired with a four-speed gearbox. To compete with other fuel-efficient models, Yezdi also introduced 60cc Yezdi Colt in 1980, and its production lasted till 1988.
Over time, Ideal Jawa Ltd could not stand the government’s strict pollution norms. More so over, the more fuel-efficient and modern bikes gave a big dent to the company’s sales figures. The two-stroke engines were declared illegal, and thus the organization then decided to shut their operations and shop in 1996.
Jawa motorcycles made a comeback in the Indian market in 2018 by Classic Legends, which Mahindra and Mahindra own through a licensing deal with Jawa Moto. Now, in 2022 Yezdi is officially making its return with three new models catering to vast demands and likes of the Indian consumer.