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Yezdi Roadster First Ride Review


The Yezdi Roadster pays homage to the transition of Jawa to Yezdi in the past. Does it offer the best of both the brands?

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By the time you have read this review, a bunch of bloggers and other websites will have posted their first impressions–and apologies for that. While we got an exclusive preview of the revived Yezdi range of motorcycles prior to their official launch last month, we got access to the media units only in February.

With that out of the way, let's focus on the bike, the Yezdi Roadster. Yes, the bike looks like a cruiser but it's called the Roadster–a bit confusing, right?! Not really, we have found out the reasoning behind its nomenclature.

Performance
Let’s start with the engine. Just like other Yezdis, the Roadster also has a 334cc motor, but look closely and you can see that the engine case doesn't have the Yezdi boxy design but it looks similar to that of the Jawa.

Engine

334cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled

Power

29.7PS @ 7,300rpm

Torque

28.2Nm @ 6,750rpm

Gearbox

6-speed with slipper clutch. 

The first thing that you will notice on the Roadster is the urgency of the engine. The short-stroke motor loves to revv and the Yezdi Roadster is properly quick. It’s reminiscent of an energetic puppy that just wants to play and feels fidgety sitting idle. That's the same case with the Roadster, it wants the rider to have a heavy right wrist and have loads of fun. Being a short ride around the hills of Lonavala we couldn’t test the cruising ability of the bike, but the peppy nature made corner exits exciting. Another impressive bit of the Roadster is the light clutch and the slick six-speed gearbox. Also, the exhaust note is throaty and by BS6 standards, the Roadster does sound pretty loud.

But it isn't perfect. One thing that will put you off is engine vibes, even at speeds as low as 40kmph you can feel a buzz on the handlebar bar and the footpegs. Even if you keep the minor vibes at bay, the mechanical noise too is loud and the engine could do with a dose of polish. The peaky nature of the motor means that we aren't sure if it will be easy to ride and be tractable at city speeds, but we will have to wait for a proper road test to confirm the same.

Design & Features
In terms of styling, the Yezdi Roadster does look similar to a cruiser owing to classic design elements such as the round headlight, curvy fuel tank, big seat, backrest and the large mudguards. But it does have roadster elements like the black finish on the engine, exhaust and the alloy wheels. Having said that, the Yezdi Scrambler and the Adventure do manage to stand out with their styling and dimensions. However, that isn't the case with the Roadster and we feel Yezdi designers should have done a better job in this regard.

Talking about features, the Roadster gets a single-pod LCD instrument console. While the layout is clean, we wished the display was brighter as it was difficult to read it under direct sunlight. Unlike its siblings which get LED turn indicators and an USB charger, the Roadster misses out on them. Fit and finish could have been better as one can see inconsistent gaps on the switchgear, loose wires and the weld finish is poor, which doesn’t justify its retail price.

Ergonomics
The handlebar looks like that of a cruiser but that isn't the case. In fact, it's positioned lower and is wider. The footpegs on the other hand are centre set as you will find in a conventional roadster. So the above combination makes the riding stance upright and it should ideally be comfortable while touring. The wide handle bar also offers good leverage while cornering and we shall delve in its details later. Also, the 790mm seat height makes it quite low and confidence-inspiring for shorter riders.

Ride, Handling & Braking
We already talked about how snappy the motor feels and it’s the same feeling when it comes to handling. This Yezdi Roadster likes to hustle, direction changes are quick and even around the mountain twisties of Lonavala the bike was engaging to ride and inspired lots of confidence. The credit for that goes to the redesigned chassis and the MRF rubber that offered us loads of grip.This swift handling should make it easy to ride in traffic as well, but that's something we can confirm only after riding it on city roads.

Frame

Double cradle

Suspension

Telescopic fork

Twin shock absorbers with gas canisters

Brakes

Disc brakes with dual-channel ABS

Tyres

100/90-18
130/80-17

Kerb weight

184kg

Fuel tank capacity 

12.5 litres

Stopping power is courtesy disc brakes on either ends and the braking performance is likeable with adequate bite. It sports dual-channel ABS from Continental which aren’t too intrusive and don’t kick in early.

While the ergos are comfortable, the same can't be said about the ride quality. The Roadster suspension setup isn't harsh, but it isn't plush either. So on broken surfaces you can kind of power through, but you will need to cut your pace on potholes and large undulations.

Verdict
Let me be honest, when I first saw the Yezdi Roadster, I thought it’s a motorcycle that lacks focus and is a bit confusing (as a product and the name). But after having spent a couple of hours riding it, I realised how wrong I was. It is pretty quick and engaging to ride. But more importantly it has character, it wants to hustle and have fun and this makes it a proper roadster and not a cruiser. In fact, among all the six bikes launched by Classic Legends, this is clearly our favourite.

Yezdi Roadster Pricing (ex-showroom) Roadster Dark - Rs 1,98,412 - 2,02,142
Roadster Chrome - Rs 2,06,142

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