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The Yezdi Madmen – The Motorcyclists That Kept Yezdi Alive For Decades

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We are all aware that the charm of the Yezdi motorbike has captivated individuals of all ages across the country. 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. Since then, a lot of people have devoted their entire life to this magnificent motorbike.

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While few of them people are no longer with us, but many of them are and we’d like to express our gratitude to these Yezdi Madmen for their contributions to the legend’s continued existence.

The SAS Trio: Satish Ganpathy, Stanely Rose and Arun Khadse took Yezdi to the foreign shores — first to the United States and then to Australia. The trio drove for 18,400 km ride spanning 32 states, they encountered a thunderstorm, which quite literally knocked the wind out of them while riding in a heavy downpour. The bikes though showed no signs of slowing down and cruised through the storm.

Sadhguru, the Yezdi enthusiast spiritual guru: Jaggi Vasudev, also called Sadhguru, is a spiritual leader and the founder of Isha Foundation. Not many people know that he is a passionate biker and still enjoys riding motorcycles. His first motorcycle was Yezdi Roadking, which was his home for almost five years. On average, he used to travel 60,000 km on India roads every year.

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Uncle Chinni, the living Yezdi Legend: Yezdi became quite a force to contend with in various racing circuits with legend like C K Chinnappa, who won 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.

Chronicling a road trip around the Globe; story of the dynamic duo: The Yezdi Castrol Continental Raid, which began on October 8, 1994 in Bangalore (now Bengaluru), wasn’t just a road trip; it was the first effort to cross six continents on a two-wheeler in the lowest amount of time. Deepak Kamath and GS Basavaraj, explorers, tourers, and die-hard motorcycle aficionados, were in the saddle gave the expression of “taking the bike for a spin” a whole new meaning.

The magnificent seven: If there was ever a narrative about the quest for adventure and knowledge from faraway lands, it has to be the saga of Akhil Pandey, Naresh Bahadur, Dicky Mody, Suren Rao, Durga Dutta Pathak, Rajendra Sachdev, and Saket Sinha, who rode around 20,000 kilometres on four Yezdis through the Arabian Desert, Eastern and Central Europe, and back in 1979! This was a time when travel information was limited, and even GPS and maps couldn’t help much. What’s even more interesting is that the seven people managed to complete the journey on a shoestring budget of $5 per person per day.

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