There are a bunch of bikes that you may have never seen, or even heard about. We bring you ten such bikes, in what’s a blast from the past.
Hero-BMW Funduro 650
Did you know that Hero once sold India’s “first” real ADV bike, in the form of the Funduro 650? Yes, this bike was priced at a princely 5 lakh rupees back in 1996. By Indian standards, 48 Bhp was a lot of power that this bike put out, but it bombed. The reason is easy to see. The market simply wasn’t ready to afford a motorcycle that competed with the Maruti Esteem in terms of pricing.
Royal Enfield Mini Bullet
For those who found the 350cc Bullet too heavy, Royal Enfield came up with an alternative: the Mini Bullet. The smaller bike featured a 200 cc two-stroke engine and was intended to rival the upcoming Indo-Japanese 100cc two-stroke motorcycles that were soon to be launched. The Mini Bullet never really took off, which explains why you may have never heard of, or seen one.
The Honda Navi isn’t India’s first mini-bike. That status firmly belongs to the Rajdoot GTS, a bike that borrowed the 175 cc two-stroke engine and a 3-speed gearbox from the regular Rajdoot. The GTS acquired a sizeable fan following the movie Bobby featured it, with Rishi Kapoor riding the bike to serenade Dimple Kapadia.
Royal Enfield Explorer
Royal Enfield collaborated up with German bike maker Zundapp, for a brief period of time in the 1980s, and the Explorer was a result of this collaboration. The Explorer featured a 50 cc, two stroke air cooled engine and a 3-speed manual gearbox.
Ideal Jawa could never really match Escorts-Yamaha and its RD350, but the Indo-Czech motorcycle brand did try hard. The Yezdi 350 was one such effort from the Mysore based bike maker. The Yezdi 350 featured a two-stroke parallel twin petrol engine with 21 Bhp on tap. It was no patch on the RD350 and wasn’t really bought by those who wanted to go fast.
Bajaj SX Enduro
Bajaj used to sell a two-stroke bike called the Kawasaki RTZ100. The SX Enduro was essentially an on-road bike based on the RTZ100. However, the Enduro just featured off-road styling and didn’t really benefit from better suspension or a more powerful state of tune for the 100cc engine.
Royal Enfield Fury
Royal Enfield’s short-lived to tie up with German bike maker Zundapp saw the Indian brand building the Fury, a 163 cc two-stroke engined bike that was meant to compete with the Yamaha RX100. The Fury used a hydraulic disc brake, a 5-speed manual gearbox, and a hard chromed cylinder barrel.
Kinetic GF170 Laser
The GF170 Laser was the most powerful bike that Kinetic ever built for the Indian market. The bike was powered by a 165 cc four-stroke petrol engine with 14.8 Bhp-14.2 Nm. A five-speed manual gearbox was standard on the bike, and so were 4 valves/cylinder.
Like the GF 170 was to Kinetic, the Graptor was to LML. A flagship bike from LML, the Graptor was a Bajaj Pulsar competitor that never really took off. Oddball looks let the bike down. On the equipment front, the Graptor featured a 150cc four stroke engine with 13.4 Bhp-12.8 Nm, a 5-speed manual gearbox and a front disc brake.
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Bajaj Boxer 150
Bajaj built the Boxer 150 to sell it mainly in the African markets. To see if India’s rural and semi-urban market will warm up to it, the Boxer 150 was launched here, but it never really took off. The bike still represented the best that the Boxer brand offered.
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