Vijay Krishnan April 30, 2019
The Yezdi-Jawa bikes were stand-out motorcycles in a market flooded with way too many ‘regular’ bikes. Apart from being the go-to hero bikes in the 70's and 80's, they were just beautiful pieces of machinery that made a sweet and distinct ramble that is synonymous with the mark. So much so, that they are now sought after prized possessions among motorcycling enthusiasts.
This week's Two Stroke Tuesdays is exclusive to Kaustubh Thengodkar, a person so obsessed with Two Stroke bikes, and Yezdi-Jawa bikes in particular. He is so fond of his bikes that he literally lives in with his motorcycles, which serve as home decor apart from being his constant companions on journeys.
Kaustubh Thengodkar, or KT has been an avid connoisseur of Yezdi-Jawa motorcycles since 2000 and a true Two Stroke rider since day one. Born and brought up in Mumbai, he is a production engineer turned entrepreneur. His obsession with the mark began like that for most motorcycling enthusiasts, with the acquisition of his first ever motorcycle, a 1978 Yezdi Model B.
How many motorcycles do you have?
Let's just say at this point, I don't tell the exact number to anyone. But I can tell you I own three each of Jawas and Yezdis. These are :-
- 1962 Jawa 250
- 1974 Jawa 250 (the last that Jawa made before Yezdis)
- 1979 Jawa 350
- 1978 Yezdi Model B
- 1981 Yezdi Roadking
- 1983 Yezdi Classic
I'm more of a Yezdi-Jawa collector. I feel Collector also is not the right word as I ride these motorcycles regularly. The rest of the motorcycles I have are in my home, but I never use them. So there's always been this inclination towards Yezdis and Jawas.
So, when it comes to Two Strokes or Motorcycles in general, the numbers don't mean anything. Even if a guy offers me one more two stroke today, I wouldn't mind having it. I don't feel that numbers do justice to a rider.
If you could only save one of your motorcycles…which would it be?
I would have to say that it would be my 1974 Grey coloured Jawa 250. It's different from others in terms of how she rides, the way she sounds, the manner in which i tune with her. This is the bike on which I have done most of my solo riding and is the bike which connected me to so many friends. This is the bike which changed my life. This is certainly the bike which I would take to my grave too.
A lot of effort have been put for each of the bike in terms of time spent in searching for parts, getting them fixed to my liking, tuning the bikes to perfection. On an average each bike took at least a year to restore to the condition they are in now.
What was your earliest memory of a Jawa/Yezdi?
The first memory would be of my 1st bike, a 1978 Yezdi Model B parked beautifully inside the previous owners house. She was just standing there for 3 years without being used. There were only 3 things in the entire room - the owner, his chair and the bike in front of him. For me, this pretty much showed his affection towards the bike and I wanted to pick it up immediately.
The bike was completely dry and all it needed was some fresh fuel and oil. After a few pumps, the bike started in the 2nd or 3rd kick. That sound of a 2 stroke, the smell of that 2T oil is still very fresh in my mind. Ever since then I have been pretty much connected to Yezdis or Jawas exclusively. It's the way they ride, the comfort they offer, the small niggling troubles - I just love them all!
I would love to however, the current delivery time quoted is too long! Patience is one virtue I have never had in my life.
What is the most faq about your bikes by people you meet on your journeys?
There are many but the most common one is how do I manage to keep them so neat & sparking clean?
Definitely, it has changed me as an individual. I was an introvert at one time but now these bikes help me connect with people easily. They act brilliantly as an ice breaker and instantly grabs the curiosity of people.
Times Now had featured KT as the rider in the first edition of their Story of a Rider :-
Check out KT on Instagram - @muqaddar_ka_sikkandar
If you have a Two Stroke story to tell, e-mail it to us at :- firstname.lastname@example.org
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