India that happens to be the world’s biggest two-wheeler market sees an overwhelming demand for bikes and scooters every year. The country is a home for some of the leading manufacturers across the world that have been offering products for not only the most basic segment of the population but also, enthusiasts and almost every age group. And in the process, some two-wheelers have turned out to be a hit in the market so much so that their popularity didn’t refuse to slow down over the years. So, in this story, let’s take a look at some of the longest-running two-wheelers in continuous production in India that are currently on sale even today. Also, do let us know if you still have the first generation model of any of these!
The Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is proudly the world’s oldest motorcycle in continuous production and it is certainly a matter of pride that it is an Indian motorcycle. Launched for the first time back in the year 1932, the Bullet 350 has been very well known for its iconic thump that has been cherishing the Enfield loyalists and people alike worldwide for decades now. Another highlight on the bike includes the hand-painted pinstriping on the fuel tank and the same is done only by a family that has been doing it for years now. The first-ever 350cc Royal Enfield Bullets though rolled out from the company’s Tiruvottiyur plant in the year 1956. Prior to that, the RE Bullet was originally made by Royal Enfield in Redditch, Worcestershire but these are now manufactured by the company in India at its Chennai plant.
The TVS XL100 is currently the only moped on sale in the country today. The humble-looking two-wheeler that has just completed 40 years of its journey got a new special Winner edition earlier this year only. The TVS XL100 is currently one of the lightest two-wheelers in India with a kerb weight of just 89 kg. Despite this, the moped has an impressive payload capacity of 130 kg that makes it a perfect option for carrying goods, and hence, it is particularly popular in rural areas. The moped got a 100cc engine in the year 2015 and sales have crossed the 4 million mark this year only.
Hero Splendor is currently the highest-selling motorcycle in India and in the last fiscal only, the bike registered a whopping 24,60,248 unit sales. The immense popularity of the Splendor can be judged by the fact that the second two-wheeler in this list was over 5 lakh units behind. The Splendor was born in the year 1994 and was called Hero Honda Splendor, thanks to the association of Hero and Honda back then. The bike was the successor to the CD100 and received an electric start in the year 2011. While the Splendor has received multiple feature and engine updates over the years, its core design language and engine displacement remain largely the same over the years. Truly, a darling motorcycle for us Indians!
The list of longest-running two-wheelers in the country also includes a scooter, which is also India’s best-selling one. Honda Activa started its life back in the year 2001 and it soon achieved the throne of India’s best-selling scooter with the first 1 million sales coming in just 55 months. The Activa brought with it some of the very first features over the years and these include Tuff up tube and Combi Braking System. Last year only, the Honda Activa completed 20 years of its journey in India with over 2.5 crore customers. A unisex design that has remained unchanged over the years, reliable performance, and decent fuel efficiency remain some of the success ingredients for India’s darling scooter.
Just like the Activa, Bajaj Pulsar also started its life in the year 2001. For the 90s kids, ‘if you remember the tagline – “Definitely Male”, then your childhood was awesome’. Meme statements aside, the Pulsar brand was launched for the very first time with a rounded headlamp in 150cc and 180cc versions, better called the Pulsar Classic. Over the years, the Pulsar has certainly cherished millions of youngsters and college-goers and it also brought multiple segment-first features that were also seen in India for the very first time. These include an all-digital instrument cluster, self-cancelling turn indicators, spit-styled LED tail lamps, and more.
We wish many more successful years to these two-wheeled icons!
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