2022 Yezdi Roadster, Scrambler and Adventure Reviewed!
A legend has been been brought back to life! The Yezdi brand has been revived by Classic Legends, following in the footsteps of Jawa not too long ago. The history of the brand is something we’re familiar with — an Indian company manufacturing and selling motorcycles licensed from Jawa from the ’60s to the ’90s. Now, come 2022, Yezdis are back in the market! Three motorcycles have been launched to start with — the Roadster, Scrambler and the Adventure. And their names pretty much explain what these motorcycles are all about. However, these motorcycles are more that just identical platforms with different styling cues to make them look different. There is genuine work that has been done to the suspension, engine and geometry to ensure these motorcycles feel and behave differently to each other!
2022 Yezdi Roadster
The Yezdi Roadster is the most affordable of all three motorcycles here — and is a good place to start to set context about what these motorcycles are about. For starters, these Yezdis share their engines with the Jawa Perak — the 334cc, liquid cooled motor. But the internals are different, it gets an updated crankshaft, con rods, piston, camshaft and cylinder head just to name a few. Yezdi has also tuned all the engines differently, while the radiator is new as well. The Roadster is the only engine of the three to retain the twin exhaust ports from the Jawa. Meanwhile its styling and chassis components make it obvious that this is a road-going motorcycle only. It has got typical retro-cruiser styling cues like the kicked out front fork, the round headlamp, the simple tank followed by the split seat that sits on top of the rear fender. It gets an 18-inch front wheel with an 17-inch rear — alloy wheels at that, with tubeless tyres. You’ve got tech which is on par for the course as well with the LED headlamp and LCD instrument cluster.
How does it ride? Well the engine has certainly got punch, making 29.2bhp and 29Nm. It revs out quickly and gets the motorcycle moving with intent straight off the line. The Roadster isn’t particularly light at 184kg, but it is worth noting that it is the lightest of the lot. In terms of its characteristics, the engine makes all of its power high up in the rev range — it really starts getting a move on past 6000rpm and peak power comes in at 8000rpm. That means, you can’t ride it like you would a Royal Enfield, by just relying on the power low down, it doesn’t like being too low in the revs and it does judder a bit. You need to wring the most out of the engine to get it moving along fast. When you do, the revs climb quickly and it does pick up pace impressively. NVH, though, isn’t its strong suit — vibes are well contained at the handlebars but you feel a lot of it at the pegs and the tank.
In terms of the way it handles, it is typical of a cruiser — it has a long wheelbase and a relaxed steering angle and that gives it a slightly lazy, but stable characteristic in the corners. You’ve got to put a little bit of effort to get it tipped over but once it is, it remains stable throughout the rest of the corner. It is sprung slightly on the stiffer side but this isn’t a dealbreaker on the Roadster.
In terms of ergonomics, the Roadster reminded me a lot of the Harley-Davidson Street Rod. It has a low seat of 790mm and that should make it accessible to a lot of riders. The seating position doesn’t have the pegs kicked forward like a typical cruiser, but slightly backward set giving your lower body the sensations of being on a slightly sporty motorcycle. The ’bars are comfortable to reach for my 5’10” physique and could get comfortable on it easily. However, I didn’t like the positioning of the bar end mirrors — when you apply full lock on the motorcycle, they bite in to your wrists and make it slightly uncomfortable.
In terms of rivals, the Roadster has plenty. Within the Classic Legends umbrella itself, the Roadster has competition from the three Jawas in the 42, Perak and the Jawa. Royal Enfield and Honda have offerings in the Classic 350 and the H’ness 350. Benelli even has the Imperiale 400 in that space. So the Roadster (priced at Rs 1.98 lakh ex-showroom) certainly has its work cut out for it, though I must say that it does have its own unique charm and character. It may not be as polished as some of the other products out there, but it has the attitude, that’s for sure.
2022 Yezdi Scrambler
The second motorcycle from the line-up is the Scrambler. And what I like about it is that its a genuine Scrambler — not a street naked with knobby tyres. Yezdi has put in the work here with tuning the engine and suspension to make it feel like a completely different motorcycle. There’s the styling as well. It has a beak up front, the upright (braced) handlebar and that tuck and roll seat lend it a proper scrambler vibe. It has a 19-inch front wheel and a 17-inch rear (spoked!) wheel coupled with long travel suspension that make it look really purposeful — they give it a really nice stance. When pictures of the three bikes first came out, it was the Scrambler that caught my attention the most. Will the motorcycle live up to my expectations?
Fire the engine up to life and get moving, and you will notice that the engine feels different. The Scrambler has been tuned to have a flatter torque curve and so it makes more torque at lower revs, though it peaks lower than the other motorcycles here. In terms of outputs, it makes 28.7bhp and 28.2Nm which are the lowest outputs here. That said, the engine feels more entertaining because of the torque lower down. At lower revs, it feels slightly more responsive. The meat of the power is still concentrated in that 6-8000rpm band but you have a little more leeway here than with the other two motorcycles. Unlike the Roadster, it also has a single port exhaust which then splits in to twin exhausts. That said, vibes are still intrusive and especially so when the engine starts pulling strongly.
That said, the Scrambler is plenty of fun to ride and ride hard. The ergos are brilliant — you sit upright and with the kind of rider’s triangle I really like. Out on the road, it feels nimble and enthusiastic. I didn’t feel like I was getting enough feedback from the front on tarmac and so I refrained from pushing it too hard but it felt sorted on road. The suspension is set up a little stiff so undulations in the road do rattle you slightly. I wasn’t expecting it to be so the first time I hit a bad patch, and expected the long travel suspension (150mm front / 130mm rear) to be more cosseting. But you do get used to it. And once you’re comfortable, stand up on the pegs and you can hammer through everything.
Off road, the Scrambler is a peach. Since it isn’t particularly large, you can have fun with it without being intimidated by its bulk. The engine’s delivery keeps things lively and once you’re up on the legs, the suspension deals with trails agreeably. There’s an off-road mode for the ABS that allows you to turn it off at the rear and hang the tail out as well.
The Scrambler (Rs 2.05 lakh) was my favourite of the lot. It has the most spunk. It feels like an easy-going do-it-all motorcycle that you can commute on in the week and go trail / corner hunting on the weekends. Its a blend that works well for India. And the best part? It has no direct rival. The Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 may come close but its essentially a street naked styled as a Scrambler. Yezdi has found a nice niche for itself here, and I see the most potential with this motorcycle.
2022 Yezdi Adventure
I know what you’re thinking. It looks very much like the Royal Enfield Himalayan. And to be fair it does. But then again, the Himalayan has done a great job of capturing the entry level ADV space and why not take inspiration from the best? The Yezdi Adventure looks incredibly purposeful with its tall stance, there’s a definite link to the rest of the Yezdi family while looking like a proper off-roader.
Again, the same story here. It shares the same engine but makes different outputs — 29.7bhp and 29.9Nm — the most of this bunch. And it needs it, because it is the heaviest of this bunch at 188kg. Sans fuel. On the go though, it does feel quick. The only real point of reference here is the Himalayan and this makes more power, and that’s something you can feel off the line. Again, the meat of the power is higher up in the rev range and you get the best out of it when you rev it out fully. On the highways, you can get up to triple digit cruising speeds fairly easily though you of have to contend with the vibes while getting there. Off-road, you’ve got to know what you’re doing because the lower torque figures means you have to keep the motor spinning a little higher in the revs and ensure you’re always in the right gear.
As for the suspension, it is way more compliant than the Scrambler but still feels a little firm, especially when you look at the set up on other ADVs. And that firmness can be felt on the road where it isn’t ironing out everything in its path. Sharper bumps do give you a bit of a jolt but again you can feel smaller undulations in the road. Off road as well, the motorcycle doesn’t feel like it is floating over trails but instead you feel a lot of it where you’re standing. I didn’t feel very confident with the front off-road, it seemed to skip over bumps and rocks where it should have felt more settled. The on-road handling is impressive though. The steering is a bit heavy and you have to put a little bit of effort in to get it leaned over but once its there, it feels confident and stable.
The Adventure does have some interesting bits going on though. Like the others, it gets a digital dial but this is combined with another dial that can give you turn-by-turn updates when linked to a Kogo-powered app. This cluster’s housing is movable by 15 degrees, a neat touch to personalise it as you see comfortable but I doubt you’l be adjusting it every time you get on your motorcycle. The ABS is switchable as well.
The Adventure sits in an interesting space, neck in neck with the Royal Enfield Himalayan. At Rs 2.1 lakh, it is marginally more affordable that the Himalayan but its not like the Rs 5000-10,000 difference is going to make a difference to most people. Does it do things differently? Well it certainly has a different, less laid back character with the punchier, more modern engine and enthusiastic on-road dynamics. But it doesn’t feel as complete a motorcycle. The Himalayan had its issues at launch and has been refined in to a very competent package over the years. The Yezdi doesn’t better that formula but it certainly comes close.