Two Stroke Tuesdays E15 : The Two Stroke Itch
Vijay Krishnan July 22, 2019
Two Stroke Tuesdays puts the Two Stroke enthusiast under the microscope and try to understand the pull that Two Strokes have on the young and old alike. Part 1 of that quest sees us trying to grasp the drug like effects these bikes have on enthusiasts. An effect so addictive you just can't get enough of it.
We shall be talking to people with multiple Two Stroke motorcycles or having a growing collection and try to gauge why the itch remains to keep getting that 'one more bike'.
We come from Nashik this week and we shall be talking to Yash who is your typical 2 stroke nut with a garage big enough to classify him as collector. We talk to him about his motorcycles and the never ending passion for them.
Tell us about who you are
My name is Yash Sukenkar. I am doing my B.Com presently. I am currently in my second year and I have a textile business as well. I love Two Stroke Motorycles and Iam currently the proud owner of four classic Two Stroke Motorcycles.
What is the story with your Jawa?
I have a friend who owned an old Jawa and I have been fascinated with them ever since I heard it fire up and run for the first time. Forget the bike turning over, I remember falling in love just with the looks alone. He dealt with buying and selling these old motorcycles so I asked him to find one for me immediately. I still remember constantly calling him and asking him whether any Jawas were up for sale in a condition I desired. He showed me a bike that was up for sale and I pounced on it immediately. So I ended up buying it, although it took a whole 8 months since I first started looking for one. I have been the proud owner of the Jawa ever since.
When I got the bike, it was in very good condition. One could even say the bike was in bone stock condition except for a respray that the owner had done. After picking up the bike, I worked on the engine and made sure she ran perfectly fine because I planned to use it regularly. It has been three years since I picked it up and it has been my go to weekend motorcycle since. In fact, I take it out on rides every weekend and have put good number of miles in her. We have a very tightly knit community or kommuniti as Jawa would have it.
Why the Jawa?
I fell in love with the Jawa purely for it looks. I still can’t put a finger on the perfect word to describe its appearance. Its neither retro or vintage. It is, for me, in a class of its own when it comes to pure aesthetics. Everything on it is oval shaped and one can’t find straight likes or box shapes on it. The Jawa for me is just a timeless piece of Motorcycle design. It still looks relevant after all these years. I absolutely love it.
As far as actually riding it goes, the experience just adds to its charm. Its all simple mechanics when it comes to the Jawa and the sound it resonates is just so distinct and such a rush to your senses. It is not exactly slow also as I have gone at 110 kph on the Jawa. It is just a gift that keeps on giving.
How did your love affair with Two Stroke Motorcycles begin?
Although I have had an inherent interest in Motorcycles and Cars since I was a child, this love affair with two stroke bikes started off with the Yamaha RD 350. A couple of guys in my old neighbourhood had them and they used to ride them really fast around there. I could hear the sound from miles out and that kind of left a big impression on the kid in me. This was when I was in the 4thstandard. I used to hang out a lot around this bike as I had fallen completely heads over heels in love for the RD. I was fascinated by every facet of the bike. It was just so cool in every way. It was fast, loud and it looked absolutely gorgeous.
I eventually ended up befriending the same guys from my childhood and I rode the exact same bike on which I used to drool over in my 8thstandard. I know it was ballsy and dangerous to take reigns of a Motorcycle, let alone an RD 350 at that age. I still remember the first time I rode the Yamaha RD 350. I went full monty on the throttle, probably keeping a scooter in mind and I ended up doing a short wheelie. That was my first experience on the RD and I remember it scaring the living daylights out of me that day. Looking back at how casual I was with the throttle that day, I still feel relieved nothing sinister happened. I clearly had no idea what the bike was capable of and the age factor added to my neglect.
However, that experience served to only add to the mystique of the bike to me. I now knew what it could do and I gave it due respect since that day. It has been basically my dream motorcycle since day dot. It is the one Motorcycle I yearn to own and one that would be the final piece of the Two Stoke jigsaw that I dream to complete.
Tell us about your motorcycles
When I was looking to get my first Motorcycle, the RD was well out of my reach. My first bike therefore was the next best thing to the Yamaha RD 350. I picked up a 1986 Yamaha RX 100. It was from the first ever lot of Yamaha RX 100’s to be sold in India by Escorts group, years before Yamaha actually officially arrived in India. It is a CKD Motorcycle and every one of its parts are made in Japan.
The speedometer said Rajdoot instead of Yamaha like for the later models and it has now become the most sought after model years for the RX 100 owing purely to them being manufactured in Japan. It too was in good nick when I picked it up. It ran well and the paint was nice. I can easily use it for 6-7 years without even thinking about a need for a restoration. In fact, I still use the RX as my daily driver and I still love every second I spend riding it.
Apart from the 86’ RX 100 and of course the 65’ Jawa, I also own a 66’ Lambretta and a Rajdoot Bobby that I recently purchased. I owned an old Rajdoot 175 and a Yezdi classic 250 at one point but sold them both off because it had become a bit too much work keeping all of them running. I had to part with a few Motorcycles and I chose these two as they were the least rare among my Motorcycles.
If you could only save one of your bikes?
If there is one bike in my garage I would not let go at any cost, it would have to be the RX 100. Purely for being my first ever Motorcycle and also because I absolutely adore it.
What is your future plans with the motorcycles you own?
The ultimate dream for me would be to restore every one of them and keep them in bone stock mint condition. It does not imply that I would be using them less though. I have seen people restoring their Motorcycles to an absolute virgin state and not using them enough for fears of ruining the shiny appearance. They shine them now and then, go to meets and shows and that would be that. I intend to use my Motorcycles as much as possible and I am not scared of it getting a stone chip or two.
Why Two Stroke motorcycles?
I love Two Stroke Motorcycles purely for the feel they offer when you ride them. I know its something that has been said over and over again, but it is something only a true Two Stoke enthusiast would grasp. Like in the case of the RD, I love the the sound, the vibrations and the Tail of smoke.
How is it like to ride your Two Strokes around the hometown?
As for how it is to ride Two Strokes where I’m from, It is very lovely. Nashik is known for its pleasant weather and it is very beautiful here. Moreover, it is much less crowded on the streets when compared to Mumbai or Pune. So it is an absolute joy and you get a clear pass to ride around here.
Check out Yash on Instagram @2_strokerider