Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Top Five 21st Century Game Changers: The People's Vote

The top 5 bikes that shaped the Indian 2-wheeler space in the 21st century according to you, the people

Top Five 21st Century Game Changers: The People's Vote

Last week, we posted a poll of 10 bikes and asked you, the enthusiasts, to vote for 5 bikes. Bikes you thought revolutionised the Indian two-wheeler space in the 21st century. You delivered in spades and here is the list. A list of 5 game-changing bikes voted by the people.

4. KTM 390 Duke (first-gen):

A bike that gave enthusiasts a proper taste of performance. The KTM-Bajaj alliance was a masterstroke as well, allowing KTM to offer amazing value for money and being affordable to maintain as well.

4. Hero-Honda Karizma (first-gen):

Interestingly, both the 390 Duke and Karizma garnered an equal number of votes. That despite being launched more than a decade apart. While the KTM offered performance, the Karizma offered a premium big bike feel. It became the aspirational bike of its time.

3. Royal Enfield Classic 350:

While earlier Enfields catered to a more mature audience, the Classic 350 reached out to the younger yuppie crowd. It was not just influential in India but also abroad, where it made a strong case for entry-level retro bikes. Arguably, Royal Enfield's most successful product, it made retro bikes cool.

2. Bajaj Pulsar 150/180 (first-gen):

Performance for the masses. That's the first-generation Pulsar in a nutshell. While the CBZ can be credited with providing a serious alternative to 2-stroke performance, the Pulsar’s brilliant pricing made it affordable to the masses. It opened doors for performance bikes in India.

1. Yamaha R15 (first-gen):

A bike that taught enthusiasts that you don't always need higher-capacity bikes to enjoy yourselves. India’s first liquid-cooled bike, the R15 convinced other bike makers that there is a market for technologically advanced bikes in India. It has been so successful that eight years later, the first-generation still sells in good numbers, alongside the third-generation R15 -- so much has its impact been on society.


5. Royal Enfield Himalayan:

The Royal Enfield Himalayan garnered the sixth-highest number of votes. It is the bike that kicked started the entry-level ADV segment in India. And this was not a hack job but a proper built from the ground up bike that could have ADV bikes twice its price break a sweat.