Yamaha RX series were two stroke motorcycles which debuted in India in 1985 with its first RX series motorcycle, the Yamaha RX100.
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|Yamaha RX 100 and its other mates are with compact, simple and brisk two stroke engines that are subjected to make noise, so if you like two stroke engines and like the noise then Yamaha RX series is the place to stop.||Yamaha RX series of motorcycles were introduced when petrol in India was affordable and while buying a vehicle people were least bothered for fuel prices and fuel economy. This has changed now, fuel prices are ever increasing. 2 stroke Yamaha Motorcycle in India are used by weekenders or by those who travel short distance to their work place. Yamaha RX series is considered to be fuel thirsty.|
Yamaha RX100 in India was born when there were lesser buildings, traffic free clear roads, less people, cleaner air and when riding a motorcycle was a fun experience, every thing worked well for the two stroke powered RX in the eighties.
It was the era when biking was simple, fast, trouble free and fun as these two stroke machines gave maximum thrill what could be brought for a rupee. Let’s see what made these motorcycles so special and still today holds an iconic position.
RX 100 is a basic bike with everything placed at place where it needed to be. RX was offered with simple sports lines that bordered its slim fuel tank. What was once most styled today is comparable to only a basic commuter vehicle where most of the streets are ruled with four strokes. The instrument panel is into three panels, the central panel has a cable driven speedometer to its right and the left are turning, neutral and head lamp indicators along with key ignition. The bike used to impress motorcyclists in the 80’s and the 90’s with its chrome handle bars, front and rear mudguard, its turn indicators and silencer. These shiny parts made the RX outshine every other commuter on the streets. When we talk about these parts, Yamaha RX100 owners can still find parts in the market, local manufacturers are doing a great job by imitating original parts. And if you are too serious with your RX then you can go for used parts in better condition. Some of the places to find is “chor bazaar” in the town area and popular used parts market like CST road, Kurla etc.
When we compare the iconic Yamaha RX100 to current street motorcycles, you’ll see a lot has changed over the years in designing of a motorcycle. For instance a RX standing beside a Honda Dazzler or Yamaha FZ looks as if these new bikes have just stepped out of a gym. Most of these new motorcycles are with digital instruments and advanced carburetion system making these new age machines more sophisticated.
Before the Yamaha RX100 saw its first sunshine on the Indian roads in 1985, Escorts Limited with Yamaha Motor Corp brought a motorcycle which is rated to be the most collectable motorcycle on the Indian roads, it was the Yamaha RD350. Yamaha RD350 was with bigger displacement engine. Soon Suzuki with TVS brought AX100 which was a small motorcycle that produced 8.25 bhp. Seeing this Yamaha along with Escorts brought the Yamaha RX100 in India. RX100 had 98cc on the displacement and generated 11 Ps. This amount of power was too much from a 98cc engine in the 1980’s and the 1990’s. so why are these bikes still so popular today in between four stroke motorcycles with larger displacement? The answer lays with the two stroke engine. On a stretch the Yamaha RX100 did 0-60 km/hr in 7 seconds generating 11 ps of power. But this is what the brochure said, the engine is far more capable. In the later years Indian mechanics started understanding the Yamaha two stroke engine and then learnt the game called tuning. If a Yamaha RX100 comes in hands of an experienced tuner, the RX becomes power hungry machine. With just simple tuning, mechanics can make these simple looking bikes to furious roaring machines. Tuning includes higher compression ratio, hand polished ports, sprockets, bigger pistons, tuned gear box, modified carbs and the most important tuner exhaust systems. Having done all of these the 11ps what manual says can reach to 14ps and even a top speed of 140km/hr or more.
When we compare the riding experience the Yamaha RX100 to most of the four strokes available, the RX gives a knock free ride. RX100 can be made to crawl with speed of 10km/hr even on the fourth gear. The take off is what the RX100 is still loved for, with a little wrist twist the front of the RX is always ready to leave the ground. Once the bike is put to motion, its 2 stroke exhaust note takes over, tempting you to open throttle. RX100 came with four gears, and later models to include Yamaha RX-Z were offered with optional fifth gear.
The bike is most torquier on the first and the second gear and with third there is a burst of power and the notes from the pipe turns into gang of angry bees. The gear shifting is smooth both in forward and reverse position which added to the fun factor.
The gear boxes on these Yamaha Motorcycles were designed to be ridged to take the beating of the rider and the road. Even on bumpy roads, the gears maintained their smoothness.
Yamaha RX100 feels more reluctant to turn, as with standard, came the 18 inch tyres. The handling on the RX100 doesn’t works well with skinny telescoping front forks and twin rear shocks. On the corners the RX demands lots of planning. The drum brakes of 130 mm are not capable to stop the motorcycle quick. Many years later, RX were offered with optional front disc brakes as they couldn’t rely on drums when it has so much of power.
Yamaha RX100 in India also shared its kingdom with Yamaha RX-Z. Yamaha RXZ falls in the 135cc segment with 132cc of the displacement. RXZ is more stylish and gave a sporty look. In India Yamaha RXZ were offered till 2003 in two offerings having four gears or 5 speed gear boxes.
A Yamaha RX100 in the used two wheeler segment is offered for Rs 10,000 approx and pricing for RXZ with 5 speed gear boxes can go up to Rs40,000.
Yamaha two stoke motorcycles were made to exit from India due to emission and sound norms. Still today the Yamaha RX series has enough to offer a thrilling ride, where a 100cc ride competes head to head with 150cc four stroke segment. I have a Yamaha RXZ 135 and if you ask me what would you choose between the Yamaha and the Karizma I would go for the two stroke rocket flying on two wheels, the Yamaha RX-Z.