Forever Bike, Forever Value was not just a catchy strapline - it was the inception of a narrative that captured the minds and hearts of millions of motorcycling enthusiasts in India. In 1969, it proclaimed the launch of the Yezdi motorcycle in India. Its unique design, inherent ruggedness and raw power made the Yezdi a symbol of reliability and resilience in the Indian market.
The Yezdi motorcycle had a profound connection with the JAWA motorcycles from the Czech Republic. The JAWAs were the sweethearts of the motocross and rallying circuit in Europe, and subsequently all over the world. The Czech bikes have an illustrious place in the sport’s history and were invincible. The Yezdi was a beautiful Indianisation of the JAWA built to greater standards of ruggedness and last forever.
Yezdi enhanced the rich racing history, passion, and invincibility to speed racing the motocross and rally circuits in India. Owners and mechanics came together and made modifications to introduce the Yezdi motorcycle into the racing arena. The Yezdi became quite a force to contend with in various racing circuits with legends like C K Chinnappa, Somendra Singh, Jagadeeswara Reddy, Thirumal Roy, Jagat Nanjappa, Rustom Hormuzdi, B S Shinde and Anita Nanjappa winning many races and rallies. The unrelenting tracks of Sholavaram, Pune, and Kolkata saw many hard fought races, whereas the high altitudes in the Himalayas and winding roads of the South saw the Yezdis win many rallies.
The Yezdis' sporty nature and nimble handling created a cult following, and the proof remains in the vast numbers of riders who continue to ride it across India. Yezdi was the darling of Bollywood. Jeetendra fought off villains in Humjoli (1970); Amitabh Bachchan used one in Parvarish (1977), and Farooq Shaikh romanced Deepti Naval on one in Chashme Buddoor (1981).
Thousands of motorcyclists in India who had grown up with the bike or grew up wanting one ensured that the brand rode on. Together with a loyal ecosystem, they have kept the bikes on the road with a zeal that is unheard of among other brands. Be it the Yezdi Day held on the second Sunday every July or the long expeditions that the various clubs organize all across the country.
This sleeping giant has now rubbed its eyes and is now waking up... the ride will be a lot more fun once again.