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Jawa, Yezdi & Chetak: Why auto companies are resurrecting old brands

Defunct icons have been revived in order to cash in on their brand appeal and nostalgia for the good old days.

October 20, 2022 / 04:21 PM IST

Kshitij Iyer, a stills and motion films production manager residing in Mumbai, wanted to buy an adventure touring bike for long-distance as well as short-distance rides. After shortlisting the Royal Enfield Himalayan and a host of other bikes in that category, he eventually bought the Yezdi Adventure in March for Rs. 2.55 lakh (on-road price). His primary motivation: the bike took him back to the era when he was a toddler watching his father rule the road with his Yezdi Roadking, a 250cc beauty with a distinctive fuel tank and an unforgettable roar.

It was a time when big Bullets, Jawas and Yezdis were pretty much the only bikes on the road, with the odd Rajdoot and the powerful Rajdoot Yamaha RD350. The advent of the Japanese 100 cc bikes (Ind Suzuki, Hero Honda, Kawasaki Bajaj and Yamaha RX), launched through joint ventures with Indian companies in the early 80s, wiped out Yezdi/Jawa and Rajdoot and almost threatened the Bullet’s existence.

“My dad used to ride a Yezdi Roadking in the mid-80s. So, I thought of continuing the legacy. Also, I wanted an adventure bike that had a robust suspension to tackle potholes without making the ride cumbersome,” says Iyer.

Yezdi isn't the only iconic brand that is making a comeback in India. Auto companies are reviving defunct icons such as Jawa (forerunner to the Yezdi, originally from the erstwhile Czechoslovakia), BSA, MG, Luna, Contessa, Jeep, Vespa, Chetak and LML, in order to cash in on nostalgia for the good old days.