Exploring India’s Fascination with the Bikes of the Yore
A decade-old scooter or a half-century-old bike boasts a Yezdi or Royal Enfield Insignia adorning the garage. Now, this is a common sight in almost every other garage across the nation.
Somehow, despite the ever-evolving engineering and modernization of machines, India has always been fascinated by the beasts of the past. We, as a nation, love to dwell in the past. There has always been a reluctance to let go. We take pride in the longevity that we can bring out from our possessions.
This has made India one of the most demanding markets to crack.
Take the example of Hero Karizma. The love the machine had received when it first launched in the country, the likes of which no other brand or bike had seen.
A vehicle and the receiving end of such adulation before Karizma were the Bajaj Scooters. Marketing also had a significant role to play in this. Remember ‘Hamara Bajaj’? Returning to Karizma, the fandom she had seen was transferred to the following two generations.
And would have continued in her lineage had the manufacturer not made a few questionable choices that ultimately led to the discontinuation of the once sought-after bike that had ruled an era on Indian roads.
This love for the yore is evident in the cruisers and bobbers ruling the roost today. People can’t get enough of the Royal Enfields, prompting a comeback from the Yezdis and the Javas.
While a section of riders has memories attached to the brand, the other area of followers is mesmerized by the design marvel of these brands and their legacy. Either way, they can’t seem to get enough of what these brands have to offer.
This has resulted in the demand seeing an exponentially upward trend and the launch of newer products, bringing about a confluence of modern technology and design language that has its roots in the past.
So the next time you stroll down the road or let the wind run up your hair on your favourite pair of wheels, the ‘jaana-pehchana’ whiff you get is the scent of nostalgia running galore on the streets.
Bajaj, Yezdi Royal Enfield and Jawa