International Friendship Day: Partnerships That Shaped India’s Journey On Two Wheels

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  • Aug 2, 2020
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Here’s what the slam books of four motorcycle partners, past and present, reveal


It may be just another capitalist invention but Friendship Day has a good vibe to it that we can’t help celebrate. Just like all other capitalist inventions, then. However, motorcycles are a man’s best friend… said no one, ever. About time someone did, right? So, here’s us celebrating the most memorable motorcycle partnerships India has ever witnessed, but with a twist. Ever wondered what these ‘friends’ (or erstwhile friends, in some cases) would say about each other if given a chance to fill up a slam book? Yes, some of us are old enough to know what slam books are. Go on, have fun watching these manufacturers get really candid. 


Your friend’s favourite hobbies: 

Bajaj: Making fast bikes, even faster race bikes and a car that looks like anything but.

KTM: Making motorcycles with lots of spark plugs. We hear their next one has thirteen!


Your best memory together: 

Bajaj: Working on the 200 Duke. This one time, they had an accident and even built a 390 version… must be all the spicy food we’ve been feeding those Austrians!

KTM: That time when we were building a 200 Duke… and built a 390 instead. Psst! It wasn’t an accident - but don’t tell them! 



Bajaj: Lean paint inventory, futuristic engineering. Wait till you see our all-original Dominar 790...

KTM: They can even produce diamonds for the price of coal. Also, great cafeteria, nice test track! 



Bajaj: Hasn’t anyone told them to leave track racing to amateurs? 

KTM: Not-so-lean spark plug inventory, to begin with...


One thing you’d change: 

Bajaj: Here, try something other than orange… 

KTM: So you’re telling me there are only seventeen Discovers till date?



Your friend’s favourite hobbies:

Hero: Coming up with a new Activa every eight seconds.

Honda: Selling a Splendor every eight seconds. Wait, didn’t we design that sloper?! 


Your best memory together: 

Hero: The Splendor. Hey, we’re still making it!

Honda: The monthly bank deposit after they sold all those Splendors...



Hero: They can never beat our Splendor.

Honda: They can never beat our Activa.



Hero: They sell too many Activas! It doesn’t give us any Pleasure looking at our Destini.

Honda: They sell too many Splendors! Our commuter motorcycle plans are just Dreams.


One thing you’d change:

Hero: Ow! What are those blinding things on the front of the Activa? Can someone pass us our sunglasses?

Honda: How they spell Splendor. It’s the world’s largest selling typo. 



Your friend’s favourite hobbies: 

TVS: Announcing the end of the Hayabusa’s production for entertainment purposes.

Suzuki: Racing. They must really like it. Why else would they be at it for 38 years?!


Your best memory together: 

TVS: All those long hours in the cafeteria, naming motorcycles. Shogun, Shaolin, Samurai...

Suzuki: All those trophies they brought home. Hey, where are those trophies? Why aren’t we winning anything? What? Rins is broken? 




TVS: They helped us win too many trophies to be able to fit them in a museum.

Suzuki: We gave them our smallest bikes and acquired legendary status in India! How easy was that?!



TVS: Seriously? A 155cc Gixxer? And an Intruder as well? What next, a Hayabusa 155?

Suzuki: Jive? Star City? Wego? What kind of names are those?!


One thing you’d change:

TVS: Make them do that Hayabusa 155...

Suzuki: Er…Rins is broken. Can we borrow one of your eight thousand racers? 



Your friend’s favourite hobbies:

Kinetic: Didn’t someone up here say it already? Oh, yes, making a new Activa every eight seconds.

Honda: Making new friends. But they forgot - you meet the nicest people only on a Honda.


Your best memory together: 

Kinetic: Creating the Kinetic-Honda DX

Honda: Creating the Kinetic-Honda DX and falling over in a fit of laughter as Bajaj tried to outdo us with the Sunny. Should have been called the Cloudy instead, no? *falls over laughing*



Kinetic: They’re still ruling the scooter segment

Honda: They’ll stop us ruling the scooter segment with what? MV Agustas? Nice try!



Kinetic: Why did you have to leave, Honda?

Honda: It’s not you, it’s me. But hey, why did you give up on those Italjet scooters? Would have been fun to watch you try while we were giving away Activas as if they were sweets. 


One thing you’d change:


Kinetic: There are 7 billion people in the world. All of them have Activas. Can you please stop?

Honda: Hey, can we have those leftover Nortons you brought to India?

TVS: No way! They’re ours now! 



Well, that did get a bit nasty in places, but that’s how all good friendships are, right? Think we missed any? Want to add some of your own? Scribble away in the comments!

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