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World Motorcycle Day 2024: Iconic Motorcycles Sold in India Over The Years

Love motorcycles? So do we. Here's a quick list of the iconic motorcycles that India has seen through the years
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Published on June 21, 2024

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Highlights

  • Celebrating motorcycles on World Motorcycle Day
  • Motorcycles that made a permanent impression in India
  • From old to modern, these bikes are evergreen in every sense

From childhood memories to early motorcycling impressions, two-wheelers have been an indispensable part of our lives. From being the most economical modes of personal motorised transportation to experiencing freedom at the twist of the throttle, motorcycles have been around for more than a century and will most probably be around through the next too. That said, on World Motorcycle Day, we have listed down 10 iconic motorcycles that have made a permanent impression in the two-wheeler history books of India.

 

Royal Enfield Bullet 350 30

 

1. Royal Enfield Bullet 350

Starting with the oldest name on the list, the Bullet 350 from Royal Enfield holds the title for the longest duration a motorcycle has been in continuous production. Starting from 1948, Royal Enfield India has been manufacturing the Bullet 350 in India for over 75 years now. Holy cow!

 

Jawa 350 twin edited

2. Jawa 350 Twin

A good bunch of you would recall the old Jawa 250s and the Yezdi 250s, but only a handful would remember the Jawa 350. That’s because the Jawa 350 Twin was never made in India. Rather, it was imported by Ideal Jawa even before the 250s were manufactured at the Mysore factory. A racy bike in comparison to the Bullet 350, but it’s the next one that gave a whole new meaning to performance.

 

RD 350 edited

3. Yamaha RD 350

The hooligan bike. And also the first performance bike that India received. Introduced under the name of Yamaha Rajdoot RD350 by the Escorts Group, this twin-cylinder 2-stroker was a maniac bike in the time that was quick and fast, but poor on fuel economy and braking. Manufactured from 1983 to 1989, the RD350 saw a short yet spirited life but still managed to make a permanent mark in the two-wheeler history books.

 

RX 100 edited

4. Yamaha RX100 

Launched with the tagline “Ahead of the 100s”, the Yamaha RX-100 is a motorcycle that can be spotted even today even after its production was halted in 1996. That’s 27 years to be precise, and you can still find pristine examples of the 2-stroker as if it has just rolled out of the assembly line. The RX-100 holds a massive fan following amongst restorers, enthusiasts, racers and alike, and is still used in many forms of competition motorcycling ranging from drag racing to off-roading to autocross. 

 

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5. Hero Honda CD 100

The mileage king of the commuter world. The Hero Honda CD 100 was a commuter class 4-stroke motorcycle offered in India, and was marketed with the TVC tagline “Fill It, Shut It, Forget It”. A motorcycle utilitarian to the core, it was indestructible, immensely fuel efficient, would run on adulterated fuel and barely ask for any maintenance. Built to last forever, the CD 100 probably isn’t a collectable machine yet, but for sure is nothing less of an iconic one. 

 

Also Read: Why We Ride Motorcycles

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6. Bajaj Pulsar

If referring to an Indian motorcycle to be muscular had a beginning, the Bajaj Pulsar would top that list. The Pulsar twins, 150 and 180, redefined how entry-level performance bikes were perceived then. The beefy proportions, punchy power and torque, bikini fairing, twin spark plug tech, and more made the Pulsar a motorcycle that everyone was attracted to. So much so that the Pulsar has been one of the main pillars of Bajaj’s success as it continues to do so.

 

CBZ edited

7. Hero Honda CBZ

The motorcycle that didn’t make it to stardom, but laid the foundation for the 150cc segment of motorcycles that we know of today. The CBZ, as one could say, was a scaled-down version of Honda’s CB series, on the styling front. It was one of the first bikes to be sold in India to feature a disc brake and an electric start for the motor. It was a bike that was inclined towards performance in a time when everyone was stuck bragging about mileage numbers. 

 

R15 edited

8. Yamaha YZF-R15

Another Yamaha that redefined the meaning of entry-level performance motorcycles. The YZF-R15 was a huge jump in motorcycles as it came with tech like liquid-cooling, programmed fuel injection, sporty styling, race-derived dynamics and a lot more. It was probably the only bike in its time that let the rider do a knee down without scraping the pegs. Even today, in its fourth iteration, the motorcycle continues to be a desired one for all budding enthusiasts.

 

KTM 390 Duke

 

9. KTM 390 Duke

In our books, easily the ultimate street naked to rule the city streets. The KTM 390 Duke is a modern hooligan bike that has a striking power-to-weight ratio advantage that allows it to keep up with 600cc motorcycles. In the hands of a skilled rider, the 390 Duke is one of the best ways to have fun on a spirited motorcycle. 

 

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Accessories 2022 08 25 T09 02 10 358 Z

10. Royal Enfield Classic 350

This one might not be a favourite for many, however, for Royal Enfield the Classic 350 has been its saviour for turning around the tide of fortune. With better tech and more reliability, the Classic 350 is the modern iteration of the iconic Bullet, more colourful and flamboyant. From youngsters to adults, the Classic 350 has managed to form a cult following that has only contributed to further expanding the RE family on the whole.

 

Image Credit: 2, 4, 7

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Last Updated on June 21, 2023


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