Now that you can have a brand new Jawa and a Perak (well, at least you will, in 2019), Classic Legends may get you daydreaming of all-new Roadkings and Monarchs as well. On the sidelines of the launch of the new Jawa Motorcycles, Classic Legends has announced that it is working on a Yezdi comeback as well.
In an interview to Autocar India, Anupam Thareja, Founder, Classic Legends confirmed the ongoing development of a new BSA motorcycle, while also stating that the legendary British brand’s resurrection will be more export-focused. Thareja went on to add that Classic Legends’ current focus is entirely on Jawa, although a new-generation Yezdi, which will certainly hold tremendous appeal, is not going to be a rebadged Jawa and will demand independent and wholesome development. To us, that means that as with the old Yezdis, the underpinnings may well be shared with the Jawas but styling and perhaps some engineering effort beyond that will help distinguish the new age Yezdis.
Historically, the Yezdi brand was the brainchild of Mysore-based Ideal Jawa founded by Farrokh Irani, with the motorcycles being based on existing Jawas but with distinctive mechanical architecture and design. Some of the prominent models produced in India under the Yezdi nameplate were the Roadking, Monarch, CL-II and the 350 Twin. Other noteworthy entries in the Yezdi stable were the Jet and the Colt, which were 60cc step-thrus derived from the Jawa Pionyr and Jet. While the Jawas were more elaborately styled and generally perceived as prettier, the Yezdis featured boxier lines but won favour with the youth and particularly those with motorsport inclinations. Yezdis prominently headlined the road racing and rallying acts of their time and are revered for their performance among loyalists to this day.
The 250cc, 2-stroke Roadking is perhaps the most instantly recognisable name of the Yezdi family and it enjoyed a legendary status for its performance and design, to say the least. Based on the CZ 250 motocross bike, the Roadking featured a semi-automatic clutch and also a twin-port layout. It’s this very model that Classic Legends would do well to revive given its strong sentimental value. A modern-day adaptation of the Roadking could well be an enduro-styled motorcycle with, perhaps, some technological advancements in the form of a semi-automatic clutch – but that’s just us daydreaming, alright? The 350 Twin, which was derived from the Jawa Type 634, enjoys a reverential status among Yezdi fans today but a modern adaptation of this model will entail having to venture into the twin-cylinder space, something Classic Legends may not want to rush into given the development costs and the relatively smaller market size at the moment.
For one, Classic Legends has proven its ability to go the whole hog in terms of recreating Jawa’s old world magic – at least visually, although our final verdict banks equally on how the motorcycles are to ride – so a similar approach to Yezdi isn’t a big ask. However, it remains to be seen if Classic Legends goes properly down the neo-retro way with Yezdi, something it steered clear of with Jawa. The Yezdi brand may allow Classic Legends to take more liberties in terms of modernisation given its youthful, racing-bred DNA, although it’s unlikely that the all-new Yezdi will be entirely detached from the yesteryear models given how crucial the appreciation of purists is and, equally importantly, how fast-growing the retro motorcycle market is.
At the moment, Classic Legends hasn’t revealed a timeline with regards to Yezdi’s comeback. With its priorities at hand being dispatches and, subsequently, establishing a reputable after-sales network for Jawa in the first quarter of 2019, leading on to the full-scale development of the new BSA motorcycles, it is likely that we will see the rebirth of Yezdi becoming a reality only by 2020. In the mean time, do let us know your take on what a new Yezdi motorcycle should be all about in the comments below.