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Old 13th February 2012, 23:07   #1
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Default Which New Age Two Wheelers have the inherent characteristics to become a Classic?

We have seen many older two wheelers metamorphose to be now recognized as classics and vintages.The list is endless and some that were not given a second look have also now come to be regarded in the favoured categories.Time plays the greatest role in transforming these machines from zero to hero (sorry heroine as these are she's).
Take the case of Lambretta scooters among the many examples.Till the Quota Raj was in vogue, Lambrettas (the Li 150) commanded premiums and waiting lists of up to 8 to 10 years.The build quality and the components were excellent in the older ones, but soon after 1965, the deterioration commenced. The later scooters were prone to rust, nuts and bolts when even slightly, excessively tightened would damage the threads.The reliability was suspect and starting trouble was a rule. I can personally vouch for these minuses, as we had three of them and I learnt most of my DIY jobs on these.When the bookings ceased, API landed into a cesspool and had to eventually quit the scene. Now these are classics.
Back to the topic, I would add a few names of two wheelers that are likely to become classics sooner or later:
(1) Yamaha RD 350- costs Rs 100,000 plus now. Remember enquiring about it for Rs 18,000 in a showroom around 1985.
(2) Yamaha RX 100-own one
(3) Bajaj Chetak - the original ones meant for export
(4) Peugeot Sportif- the moped with a self starter (showroom priice Rs 6500 in 1984)
(5) Vespa XE- attracted very long booking lists followed by cancellations!
(6) Royal Enfield Bullet 350 - the original black ones, which from the older era already are.(Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Chhodenge (Sholay) and Zindagi Ek Safar Hain Suhana (Andaz) fame). Royal Enfield has named two of its models as Classics (350 and 500cc), but that does not give these the licence to become classics.
(7) Vespa PL 170- joke was that the Bajaj Super after a bout of malaria had become frail !
The additions to this list by friends should be preferably from the list of mass produced two wheelers and not imports like the BMW F 650 that was once launched with fanfare but bombed.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 13th February 2012 at 23:14.
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Old 13th February 2012, 23:49   #2
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A very interesting thread.
Well, I would like to start by pointing out to the fact that becoming a classic would mainly depend on the longetivity of the vehicle considered. Most of the present day vehicles are awesome in term of their performance, with due regards to the price at which these are available, but most of these won't see the light of the day after say 5-7 yrs of their discontinuance. This is because of the technology and the complex spares that go in making them. After a vehicle is discontinued, finding spares after 5-7 yrs becomes a nightmare. If the vehicle dint sell numbers, even aftermarket spares won't be available and they would end up in the scrap yards.

Compare these to say the endield and the matchless and triumphs. The technology was pretty basic and mechanical in these. Not too much of electronic parts used. Hence, even after so many many years, these still live on, mainly because, even if the part isn't readily available, it can be made to order. some parts were so basic, they used to fit every bike of that era. I do not see that happening to the modern day vehicles.

Based on the above mentioned reason, I feel, following vehicles have the potential of becoming classics
1. Bajaj scooters - sold so many numbers that getting parts would not be a problem.
2. Kinetic Honda - basic technology, especially the 2 stroke one's.
3. RE models with Cast iron engines - were available brand new till 2009. RE has sold these engines for close to 50 yrs I guess without changing much in it.

Edit: P.S. - I have a 2002 palio and sometimes feel scared for the availability of its spares, esp the electronic ones like say the rpm sensor, without which the car won't even start. Hence such cars may become classics on papers, but may not live on the road say maybe after 5 yrs.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 13th February 2012 at 23:57.
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Old 13th February 2012, 23:57   #3
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Default Re: Which of the New Age Two Wheelers Have the Inherent Charecters to Become A Classi

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
(6) Royal Enfield Bullet 350 - the original black ones, which from the older era already are.(Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Chhodenge (Sholay)
sorry if I am nitpicking but its not an RE.

The Hindu : Metro Plus Hyderabad / Lifestyle : Romancing the bike
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Old 14th February 2012, 10:58   #4
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Default Re: Which of the New Age Two Wheelers Have the Inherent Charecters to Become A Classi

All old two strokes are alreay in the path of becoming classic.
Enfield Cruseder, Ind Suzuki, Yamaha any two stroke(people are spending over 60K just for restoring RXZ 5 speed), BSA Bond, Vicky, Rajdoot prior to 1970's model, Jawa, Bobby Rajdoot, Rajdoot Ranger, Suvega list is big but very few of us have the courage to retain and restore them.
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Old 14th February 2012, 11:15   #5
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Default Re: Which of the New Age Two Wheelers Have the Inherent Charecters to Become A Classi

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
We have seen many older two wheelers metamorphose to be now recognized as classics and vintages.The list is endless and some that were not given a second look have also now come to be regarded in the favoured categories.Time plays the greatest role in transforming these machines from zero to hero (sorry heroine as these are she's).

(1) Yamaha RD 350- costs Rs 100,000 plus now. Remember enquiring about it for Rs 18,000 in a showroom around 1985.
(2) Yamaha RX 100-own one
(3) Bajaj Chetak - the original ones meant for export
(4) Peugeot Sportif- the moped with a self starter (showroom priice Rs 6500 in 1984)
(5) Vespa XE- attracted very long booking lists followed by cancellations!
(6) Royal Enfield Bullet 350 - the original black ones, which from the older era already are.(Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Chhodenge (Sholay) and Zindagi Ek Safar Hain Suhana (Andaz) fame). Royal Enfield has named two of its models as Classics (350 and 500cc), but that does not give these the licence to become classics.
(7) Vespa PL 170- joke was that the Bajaj Super after a bout of malaria had become frail !
The additions to this list by friends should be preferably from the list of mass produced two wheelers and not imports like the BMW F 650 that was once launched with fanfare but bombed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
A very interesting thread.
Well, I would like to start by pointing out to the fact that becoming a classic would mainly depend on the longetivity of the vehicle considered.

Compare these to say the endield and the matchless and triumphs. The technology was pretty basic and mechanical in these. Not too much of electronic parts used. Hence, even after so many many years, these still live on, mainly because, even if the part isn't readily available, it can be made to order. some parts were so basic, they used to fit every bike of that era. I do not see that happening to the modern day vehicles.

Based on the above mentioned reason, I feel, following vehicles have the potential of becoming classics
1. Bajaj scooters - sold so many numbers that getting parts would not be a problem.
2. Kinetic Honda - basic technology, especially the 2 stroke one's.
3. RE models with Cast iron engines - were available brand new till 2009. RE has sold these engines for close to 50 yrs I guess without changing much in it.
Anjan and VM,

Very valid points you have put forth and am inclined to go with what VM has parred down but add couple more from the Yamaha/Escorst stable

I would add RD 350, not because I own one but as its a world two wheeler calssic - making most of the all time greats top 10. We did have it in production run for about 10 years.

I would retain Lamretta as well for almost similar reasons as above

Another one I would like to consider is Yezdi/Jawa 250

So my list would be as follows:
  1. Yamaha/Rajdoot RD 350
  2. Yamaha RX 100
  3. Bajaj Chetak
  4. Royal Enfield Bullet 350
  5. Lambretta
  6. Kinetic Honda
  7. Jawa/Yezdi 250
Best Regards & Drive/Ride Safe

Ram
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Old 14th February 2012, 11:27   #6
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Default Re: Which of the New Age Two Wheelers Have the Inherent Charecters to Become A Classi

^^Good thread. And I agree with the above. I would definitely add the Yezdi 250 to the list. I probably was the last one to purchase a showroom fresh Roadking in 1996, and they quit the scene a few months later I guess. It was such a rare machine even then
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Old 14th February 2012, 11:28   #7
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Default Re: Which of the New Age Two Wheelers Have the Inherent Charecters to Become A Classi

I'd like to suggest a bike that hasn't been discussed at all : the Hero Honda CBZ.

The styling, esp. the trapezoidal headlights, completely revolutionalized the entire 2-wheeler industry in India.

Post-CBZ, suddenly people woke up to a bike other than HH Splendor and Kawasaki Bajaj.

Suddenly, bikes were about style and sportiveness too and not just FE. CBZ gave India the first sports-like bike and yet at a decent price.

The styling, exhaust note, the feel, the front disc brake - the first time I saw CBZ, I lusted for it until I finally had one in college!

IIRC, it was the 1st ~150cc bike in India and opened the floodgates for the Pulsars, Karizmas and R15s.

It remains quite a trend-setter.

It's quite a pity Hero Honda (and now Hero) have ruined the brand with CBZ Xtreme.
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Old 14th February 2012, 12:36   #8
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Default Re: Which of the New Age Two Wheelers Have the Inherent Charecters to Become A Classi

Without getting into the various hair-splitting arguments the world over about what actually counts as a Classic / Vintage versus just simply Old / Forgotten, I have a simple rule of thumb.

If a generation that wasn't biking when the bike was still being sold commercially, still wants to own and work on and restore and ride the bike, then it is a Classic.

Even better if that spills over to beyond our own shores.

My take on such that qualify:

1) The Lambretta

3) The Jawa / Yezdi

4) The RD350

5) The RX100 (and the Shogun to a lesser extent)

6) The Bobby

7) The Suvega (and to a lesser extent the Luna)

Ones that do not qualify yet but will definitely make it to the above list, given enough time:

7) The CI Bullets - 350 and 500 (the LB500 will too)

8) The M80 (India's Cub!)
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Old 14th February 2012, 12:37   #9
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Default Re: Which of the New Age Two Wheelers Have the Inherent Charecters to Become A Classi

I see people having a lot of interest in mopeds like TVS Express, Mofa Moped, they sure are very rare and is a future classic.
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Old 14th February 2012, 13:59   #10
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Default Re: Which of the New Age Two Wheelers Have the Inherent Charecters to Become A Classi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajaybiz View Post
BSA Bond,
Wow BSA Bond, would you have any literature on that please? Guess those days BSA Bond & Falcon were supposed to be hot birds.
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Old 14th February 2012, 15:39   #11
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Default Re: Which New Age Two Wheelers have the inherent characteristics to become a Classic?

To me, there is only one that stands tall and way over every other 2-wheeler; the Yamaha RD350

I believe it's already a classic in the west. The legend's sheer brute is still unmatched...nearly 30 years since introduction! What an engine. The prices that they trade hands at suggest there are a good number of bikers craving for one.
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Old 14th February 2012, 15:56   #12
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Default Re: Which New Age Two Wheelers have the inherent characteristics to become a Classic?

Quote:
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To me, there is only one that stands tall and way over every other 2-wheeler; the Yamaha RD350
+1 to that. No other 2 wheeler beats the Yamdoot when it comes to sheer charisma and undying, timeless cult status.

The RX 100 too has a following and is a classic but is nowhere a match to the Yamdoot.
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Old 14th February 2012, 16:29   #13
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Default Re: Which New Age Two Wheelers have the inherent characteristics to become a Classic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
To me, there is only one that stands tall and way over every other 2-wheeler; the Yamaha RD350

I believe it's already a classic in the west. The legend's sheer brute is still unmatched...nearly 30 years since introduction! What an engine. The prices that they trade hands at suggest there are a good number of bikers craving for one.
GTO,

I fully second that.

Another one that stands on its own as a classic is Honda Night Hawk 750 (CB 750). The true blue unadulterated performace of the uncomplicated in line 4s, is real music to the ears and a emphatic push in the rear (nothing like the kick a_s of RD 350 though)

Best Regards & Drive/Ride Safe

Ram
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Old 14th February 2012, 18:25   #14
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Default Re: Which New Age Two Wheelers have the inherent characteristics to become a Classic?

This may sound a little weird to the list but has all potential to be a classic in sometime... The 'Honda Eterno' this is the only Honda, hand geared, partially side engined scooter in the world! made exclusively for the Indian market!
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Old 15th February 2012, 22:05   #15
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Default Re: Which New Age Two Wheelers have the inherent characteristics to become a Classic?

Thanks GTO for encouraging poor RD owners like me.
I have three RD's
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
To me, there is only one that stands tall and way over every other 2-wheeler; the Yamaha RD350

I believe it's already a classic in the west. The legend's sheer brute is still unmatched...nearly 30 years since introduction! What an engine. The prices that they trade hands at suggest there are a good number of bikers craving for one.
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