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Old 14th January 2018, 10:42   #196
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Default Re: Looking for classic mopeds

Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
The goodbye moped before KGP exited the scene was the Pizzaz with a kick start and smaller dia wheels.It could carry two people. the engine and gearbox were the same as the old Lambretta 48.
Anyhow the this discussion is old now, but, while reading when I came across this interesting thread. I thought to share some photos of KGP Laxmi moped which I recently clicked at Pune. Very decently restored with nice colour combination!
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Old 17th January 2018, 11:10   #197
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Default Re: Looking for classic mopeds

Some mopeds from pune. Laxmi 48 cc, Mota, suzuki
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Old 1st August 2018, 08:28   #198
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Default Re: Looking for classic mopeds

Toro Jazz

My very first companion on the roads was a bicycle. At home, we had two: BSA SLRs. When I reached college, the need for a petrol-powered vehicle arose, and it was time to look for a "moped".

Most of these incidents happened in 1997. Back then, there was no internet (only the affluent had DIALUP at home). No user-reiews we could read off the internet. Word-of-mouth / advice by elders was all one could listen to. There were no mobile phones, and the "Yashica" cameras then were only for the few who could handle them well. Back then, the ungeared scooter market didn't have too many options (like we have today). The only scooter in my budget (and in my ability to handle) was the Bajaj Sunny 50cc. The Sunny Zip (60cc) was deemed too powerful, the Scooty even more so, and the Kinetic Honda - maybe sometime in the future.

Shifting to mopeds - the options there were better. The TVS had the Champ, XL and XT. XT could carry loads, Champ / XL had delightful mileage. There were some more mopeds available then, but the popular choice was TVS Champ. I had tested almost all the ungeared bikes, and felt the Champ was the one. A common refrain then was that "if you have engine trouble, you can pedal it and come". I shudder to think that is possible in today's traffic.

One day, when I was cycling home, I saw an advertisement for the "Toro Jazz". It was made by "Escorts". The same company that manufactured the "Yamaha" and the "Rajdoot". The difference was that it had a kick-starter, instead of a pedal-starter. It promised a mileage of 86 kmpl. I remember saying at home: "You fill 1 litre of petrol here, you can go all the way to Kancheepuram from Madras (Madras had just been renamed to Chennai, but the old name stuck)". After much discussion with college friends, and some relatives (who were hearing about Toro Jazz for the first time): the decision was made to go with Toro.

Another of the main factors in choosing Toro, was that the showroom was less than 100 metres from the gate. So one fine day on July / August 1997, I walked to the showroom and picked up Toro. Mine was the one in black. Back then, it was available in black, yellow, blue and red. I was informed by well-meaning-people that a helmet was a must, so I got a Studds helmet. The helmet appeared bigger than the bike. When I look back now, I see that almost all the helmets I have used have been Studds, and I'd recommend Studds any day. Back then, along with not having internet, we 90s people didn't all have mobiles. So there was no way to capture these beautiful moments (like the bike delivery). The advantage was that you could ride in the rain without fear of the mobile getting wet.

Initial ownership experience

There are many volumes that can be written about the the inital ownership experience, like the first ride, the first traffic violation, the first crash and many more. I guess I'll stick with what the bike is all about, since this vehicle can no longer be found on our roads, and was rare even back then. Many people wowed about the "kick start moped". Being a 50cc 2-stroke moped, the mileage averaged to only 60 kmpl. There were times when I used to get more, and the peak was 76 kmpl. In comparison with TVS Champ - there was no significant difference, except for the "awkward looks" and the above mentioned starter. The "Motori Minarelli Italy" sticker on the engine gave a look of class. The sound was more than the TVS triplets. However, cleaning the bike was not easy: It always had a lot of oil on the engine - way more than the Champ. When cleaned (with water and soap), it used to "sparkle", but when dirty - it was really messy. Back then: For rs 50 you could get two litres of Petrol and some change.

Growing up with Toro

Toro was a very significant part of life. I got it in 2nd year BSc, and kept it running till one year after completing MSc. Thinking about all the moments we had, times in college, shopping nearby, buying vegetables (and other household items): It really looked like Toro was part of the family. All wasn't rosy though: The vehicle did have some defects. For one, the horn was weak (non-existent would be more apt). Sometimes, the light switch would get stuck owing to overheat. Toro had a slider switch, so if you travel for > 30 mins, you cannot switch on the lights if they are switched off, and vice versa. The Champ had a different switch design that prevented the same trouble from happening. Another problem was with the "Accelerator cable winch" or something that sounds like that. The throttle had a screw-system: which used to fail many times. Whenever that happened, the yoke had to be changed. After a few changes, the part was not available. Thankfully my mechanic (who passed away in 2011) managed to change the setup and make it similar to the Champ. The functionality was that of the Champ, but the look was that of the Toro.

There was one instance where Toro helped us a lot, and I don't think this can be forgotten. My uncle in Kerala passed away in January 2000. When we heard the news: it was around 10:30pm. My mom's sister's family had come over to my place (they stayed around 10kms away). They took the last bus to reach us. In that day and that age: there were no trains / buses available to travel from Chennai to Kerala at 11pm. The only hope was a private travels which would be open: but that was also 10kms away. During that time: Toro had been out of action owing to a puncture. The puncture had been fixed only the previous day. We decided to take Toro and go all the way to the travels: Myself and another uncle. Toro started fine, but after not running for 2 weeks, he had trouble pulling our combined weight (50cc two-stroker without travelling for two weeks pulling two relatively heavy people). However, we managed to reach the travels, and got the last van before they shut down. My uncle went in the van to pick up the others, and I rode Toro home - alone. Since the uncle who passed away was very interested in automobiles, it was poignant that Toro was accompanying me on that ride, when I got memories of childhood, and roaming arounnd Kerala Ghats in the ambassador inhappier times driven by my uncle. Thanks to that ride by Toro, we could reach Kerala the next day, instead of after two days.


As the years went by, Toro slowly started losing its sheen. I was to blame for some of the trouble: bad maintenance. We 80s/90s kids were blessed with a lot of good vehicles which we did not realise then, and today they have gone on to become classics. After finishing college, there was no need for Toro to be used, and he just sat there waiting for the occasional trip to the market. There was one long ride to slightly beyond Tambaram: when I got the peak mileage. Sometime in 2002, I had to leave India for a brief period. Then - it was decided to give Toro to my brother's classmate as a gift. He went away happily riding the bike. However when I came back to India after 8 months - the bike was not in a condition to be rode again. We brought it home on a cart and it stood inside the garage for two years.

Sale and rebirth

When I first started working, there was a cab pickup and drop. Toro was completely forgotten. After a while, it was time to get a new bike. It was decided to get a Hero Honda Splendor+. After learning to control the Splendor, I took it (Splendor) one day to the mechanic for a minor repair. He asked about Toro. After some discussions, it was decided to sell Toro to a person known to the mechanic for a sum of just 500 rupees. The deal was done, and Toro was carried away to the mechanic's place. A few days later, I was informed that it took another week to restore Toro to running condition. It was now being used as a delivery vehicle. Since parts weren't available - he had to make do with parts from various other mopeds. It was at best a functional fit, not an aesthetic fit.

One day, I was riding the Splendor, somewhere near Mount Road, Chennai. All of a sudden, I heard the sound of a moped going ahead, and was shocked to know that it was good old Toro. He was running fine. The original headlamp was completely removed, and a makeshift headlamp (maybe the Champ's or the Hero Puch's) had been bolted in place. All the parts had been changed, but the enging was the same old Motori Minarelli. I rode beside the new owner and told him that it was my old bike he was riding. And he said it runs very good. By the time the signal changed, and as I went off, remember telling him "It is a very good vehicle, take good care".

After this incident too, I have seen that fellow riding it around the area (apparently he stays close to where I stay). Then, the sightings grew rare and stopped. It was time to move cities from Chennai to Bangalore. After the move, I have never seen Toro. But I wouldn't be surprised if we meet again, and I'm sure he is continuing to run.

Since I do not have pictures in good condition, I will try to add some pictures from the internet.

Thank you for reading this long review.

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Old 15th September 2019, 08:24   #199
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Default Re: Looking for classic mopeds

Guys, a Yamaha Toro Rosso is for sale on OLX Bangalore:

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Old 15th September 2019, 20:47   #200
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Default Re: Looking for classic mopeds

Originally Posted by condor View Post
Guys, a Yamaha Toro Rosso is for sale on OLX Bangalore:

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This was marketed by the makers of Avanti Garelli mopeds, not Yamaha. Toro Jazz as it was called was a jazzed up version of the Avanti Garelli moped (introduced sometime in 1987-88 or so), which sold due to it's fuel consumption claims being quite justified. Moreover, it's Italian roots made it a tough commuter. As it was becoming dated, the makers must have decided to spruce it up and offer a refreshed version. So came the Toro Jazz by the mid- 1990's . This never really sold well and very few may be remaining at this moment. It will surely become a rare piece as the years go by.

The Yamaha's brand name here must have been used by someone who could be ignorant of the fact.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 15th September 2019 at 20:55.
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