Yezdi. A name which immediately takes middle-aged motorcyclists into the realm of nostalgia. Memories harking back to the days of sitting with one’s dad on those heavy metal stallions. Motorcycles have never been simple machinery. Motorcycles are an emotion. And bikes like the Yezdi troika play on those emotions. Welling you up with days long gone.
After the buzz created by the Jawa series of bikes, launching a bunch of motorcycles with the Yezdi sticker made a lot of sense. Yezdi shares not just the thought but the platform as well with the Jawa bikes. With that thought let us delve into this holy trinity of the Adventure, Scrambler and Roadster.
We were provided these motorcycles for short durations and here are our initial impressions.
An adventure beckons
First up is the flagship product, the Yezdi Adventure. A motorcycle which unapologetically targets the Royal Enfield Himalayan. So much so, that the design looks a little too similar. One can argue, that most ADV bikes have a similar silhouette. Even taking that into account, it is still going to be a task to differentiate the two motorcycles from a distance.
We believe that the company missed an opportunity to design a bike which looks different from its immediate competition.
Looks aside, the bike sports a 334 cc mill which churns out a healthy, but not heart stopping, 30.2 hp and 29.9 Nm. Giving it adequate grunt to tackle the terrain it is built for. The gearing is almost spot on, with only second gear appearing to not have the perfect ratio. Engine refinement has scope for improvement, as we could ‘feel’ it, at low and high RPMs.
The Adventure impresses more with its handling and suspension. Ground clearance is a comforting 220 mm, as it is equipped with a 21-inch wheel at the front and a 17-inch wheel at the rear. Front fork travel is 200 mm, while the rear monoshock gets 180 mm. This translates into a plush ride on asphalt, while maintaining its composure on gravel. We want to put the bike a bit more through its paces before giving a verdict on its off-road capabilities.
ஒட்டுமொத்த விகடனுக்கும் ஒரே ஷார்ட்கட்!
Brakes on the Adventure have decent bite and feedback. But it does need a firm hand by the rider. The bike also gets dual-channel ABS, which can be changed to allow the rear to break free in the dirt.
This machine sports a digital instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity and navigation assistance. The cluster fit and finish is acceptable, but does leave you wanting more.
At a starting price of INR 2.1 Lakh Ex-showroom, the Yezdi Adventure is a good option. But it needs a lot more going for it, to get prospective buyers to switch from a Himalayan to the Adventure.
Scrambling the market
Second in the Yezdi hierarchy, the Scrambler is far more likely to turn heads, rather that its more expensive sibling.
The Yezdi Scrambler has new found competition in the market with the Royal Enfield Scram 411 (read about it in this issue). Yet, it is fresh concept at this price point of INR 2.05 lakhs. Motorcyclists harking back to their Yamaha RX-100 days, will surely eye this attractive piece of kit. It oozes all the fun and frolic which a Scrambler should. The bike is young, sporty, ready to tackle everything and a hoot to ride.
The 200 mm of ground clearance promises you routes, which you might have otherwise avoided. This machine also gets full LED lighting, which is somewhat par for the course these days. It also gets 3 ABS modes and a USB socket for charging your phone. It doesn’t get Bluetooth or navigation, which the more expensive Adventure gets.
The engine on all three Yezdis is the same 334 cc unit. But the Scrambler runs it at a different state of tune. 29 ps of power and 28 Nm of torque are the claimed figures. The motorcycle does seem to have more bottom end torque compared to its siblings, which would make it easier to ride in the urban environment.
The Scrambler shines on the riding front, with good manners both on asphalt and dirt. The 21-inch front wheel helps with riding the rough stuff, while the wide handlebar gives adequate leverage for manoeuvring at slow speeds. Chuck the bike fast into a corner and you feel planted. Which is surprising considering the big front hoop.
Overall, the Scrambler is the Yezdi which shines the most from the trio. Opening up the Indian market with a genre which previously didn’t exist.
Harking back to its roots is the new Yezdi Roadster. The motorcycle which embodies all the pent of nostalgia of Indian motorcyclists.
The Roadster much like its Jawa Forty Two cousin, has a classic design, with the genes of the original workhorse. The most affordable of the Yezdi offerings, the Roadster is likely to have the most takers with its more conventional retro styling.
From some viewing angles, the bike looks like the motorcycle from the 70s. From other angles, the bike looks a bit like a cross between a Royal Enfield Standard and Thunderbird. This doesn’t detract from its aesthetics, but it does give the bike a long wheelbase of 1440 mm. Which in turn dictates its handling.
The raked out steering and long wheelbase, gives the motorcycle the handling something more akin to a cruiser. The bike is extremely stable on a straight road. This comes at a cost of manoeuvrability. You have to heave a lot of the handlebar to steer it into a corner and then hold it through. Spirited canyon carving this motorcycle hasn’t been designed for. It is perfect for sedate riders, who enjoy the open road and like to munch up the miles without breaking a sweat.
This iteration of the Yezdi also runs the same engine as the Scrambler and Adventure. But with a different state of tune. The engine is tuned to complement the sedate chassis.
All that retro looks, doesn’t change the fact that it is a modern motorcycle at heart. It sports an LCD console, LED lighting, liquid cooled DOHC engine, and ABS. Giving you the best of both worlds.
This bike has a lot going for it, and we believe it has the potential to do well. With one small caveat. Its biggest competition will be sitting in the same showroom in the form of the Jawa Forty Two. An extra option for the potential customer, could turn into cannibalising sales for Yezdi.
We can’t wait to these three motorcycles out on longer rides to get to know them better and share our thoughts with you.