There was an era in the Indian motorcycle industry when the likes of Royal Enfield, Jawa and Rajdoot ruled the tarmac. Then came the Japanese in the form of Yamaha followed by Suzuki. Looking at the market today, its even hard to believe that at one point of time, there were only 3-4 bikes competing with each there for market share.
However, back in the day, print advertisements were one of the most effective way of marketing and bringing the motorcycles to public eye. The ad designs and concepts used at that time were brilliant and mesmerizing. Let’s now take a look at 10 such advertisements.
Many of you might be thinking that the upcoming 650 twins from the company are their first twin cylinder bikes, which however is not true. They had a twin cylinder bike called the Meteot 700 way back since 1952. It had a 692 cc, twin cylinder OHV engine producing 36 Bhp of power at 6000 rpm. Even a model named Super Meteor with 40 BHP arrived in those years. This range was later replaced by the Interceptor
The Mini Bullet is among the smallest displacement bikes to be made by the company. The bike gets powered by a 197cc, 2-stroke, single-cylinder air-cooled engine and sounds heavenly. It produced a maximum of 12.7 Bhp power along with 14 Nm of torque. The advertisement above shows a typical scene of a couple sitting leisurely with Bullet for company.
Another good ad by the company, this one shows a Bullet 350 taking a turn and the lines underneath stating “Why ride just a bike when you can ride a legend”. This marketing strategy is used by Royal Enfield even now which basically consists of making their bikes feel different from the herd.
This advertisement shown here is actually not from India but from the place of Royal Enfield’s origin, i.e, UK. The advert in itself is not much high on design but the lines do the magic. They read ‘These bikes make an expert look twice’ and the thump definitely ensures that it happens. To let you know, the Bullet series has the longest production rum among all bikes and is still sold today.
The TVS-Suzuki partnership yielded many good bikes during the time they were together. The one pictured here is the AX 100. It had a 100cc which was good enough for 8.25 Bhp of power, quite enough for that time. This series continued until 2008 and ended with the Max 100R. Also, the AX 100 was India’s last two-stroke bike.
Escorts made the Rajdoot bikes in India under license from Yamaha. The Rajdoot 350 as among the most popular bike of its time and is also referred to as the RD350 among the enthusiasts. It had a powerful 347 cc, air-cooled, torque induction parallel twin motor that offered a maximum power of 30.5 Bhp along with a peak torque of 32Nm. The motorcycle could hit 100 kmph from standstill in less than 7 seconds and had a top speed of 150 kmph.
The Yamaha RX 100 needs no introduction and is one of the most iconic bikes of all time. This is a very famous ad copy featuring little mater Suniel Gavaskar himself. The 96 kg bike was powered by a 98.2cc two-stroke engine that churned out a maximum of 11 Bhp power. The light weight of the bike along with enough power made it go like a rocket.
Compared to the rest of the Jawa range, the 175 iteration from the company sported a different design language or rather a more conventional styling. The bike was powered by a 175cc, air-cooled, two stroke engine which developed 9.5 bhp power and a peak torque of 14.27 Nm.
Jawa 250 Type A
This is the iconic Jawa that is loved by enthusiasts around the country. The brand is making a comeback this month on 15th and we already can’t wait to hear from the lovely engines again. It is powered by a 248.5 cc, 2-stroke, air-cooled engine producing a peak power of 12 Bhp. The engine uses a 4-speed manual gearbox for transmitting the power to the rear wheels. It was also the first bike from Jawa to come to India.
Jawa 250 Type A
This motorcycle is essentially the same as the one above, but the cool advertisement it features in made it a wild card entrant on the list. The advertisement titles Man’s best friend features the bike alongside a model and the description given seems to be addressing both of them, leaving the choice on you.