I guess I belong to the generation that straddles the time when gradually India opened up; shedding socialism which had spawned a generation used to travelling slow on bumpy roads that seemed to never end.
So when college started its unimaginable for kids of today that how little choice you had for a snazzy pair of wheels.
Let me just list out the choices:
1) Honda CBZ: No matter what people say it was a super sleek and mean machine. With an oil mill that was the first in the country to be mated to a 5 speed box it truly was an amazing ride. Owned one..loved it
2) Honda Karizma: It was truly the path-breaking machine. A big oil mill with an equally revolutionary front fairing it truly was a dream bike. But in those days 80 grand was a bit too much since it only had 2 wheels (nano was on the horizon;)
3) Bajaj Pulsar: well if ever a piece of engineering says a country has arrived it was the pulsar. A 180 cc oil burner pumping close to 18 horses was a real deal especially as it came in at under 60 grand. It did finally give bikers something that dint leave them with light pockets what with a mileage of 50+.
4) Honda splendor: If Uncle Jo (Stalin the dictator) ever ordered his design bureau to build a bike it would have been the splendor. I believe it was a communist bike built by the Japanese. Frugal, solid and always running no matter what the conditions it truly was a workhorse. Had a few in the main block hostel that were under third ownership but still the engine fired like new.
5) Yamaha RX 135: If ever a bike smelt like teen spirit and rode like in a trance had to be this bike. Quick, uncouth, raw it was antithetical to whatever Yam built worldwide but loved nonetheless in India.
6) Enfield: Well only if you were big, burly and had a registration plate that read PB you’d love it. Frankly it made no sense to me why a military bike was allowed to rampage on civilian streets. Just a thought.
So people its great time for you guys to be in college for owning a pair a wheels that suits your personality at every price point is a gift from uncle MMS who opened our economy. Go RIDE.
About the author: Satyam Kapoor is an alumnus of Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Batch 2003. He is a pediatrician who has completed his Post-graduation from DMC and Hospital, Ludhiana. Happy go lucky, avid reader and a mommys’ favorite Pediatrician is how he would like to describe himself.