Make way for the Lambrettas, Vespas, Javas, Yezdis, Aerials and Nortons.
These vintage bikes and scooters are back in demand in Bangalore following a huge demand for them in the West. Such two-wheelers, which until recently only had scrap value, are now being sold for anything from Rs 40,000 to Rs 75,000. Ads for these vehicles are flooding the internet.
Sudhakar, a 32-year-old resident of Ulsoor and a collector of these vintage bikes, explains that the demand for these vintage two-wheelers is something new and exciting for Bangaloreans.
Now, with some of these vehicles being valued close to Rs 1 lakh, Sudhakar’s excitement is quite understandable. His fascination for these vehicles dates back to his college days. He used to get these old scooters painted attractively and turn heads in college to counter the rich guys who would ride the latest bikes.
After buying a Lambretta scooter for Rs 30,000, Sudhakar spent close to Rs 15,000 for painting and spares. He now plans to sell it for Rs 60,000. Except for tyres, nothing is Indian in his scooter. “Though it is bulky to push and pull, once you kick off, it is almost like flying in the air,” he adds. He says the company has reopened in the West and is buying all the models. Sudhakar plans to sell his 1972 Lambretta Roller, made in England.
Sudhakar is not the only one. Nazeer Ahmed is also among those Bangaloreans cashing in on this new-found love for vintage bikes and scooters. This resident of Kodandaramanagar near Pulikeshinagar (Frazer Town) recently sold his Norton 500 cc to a German automobile showroom. He is now ready to sell his 40-year-old 48 cc Italian made Lambretta Moped. “I bought it (moped) for Rs 2,000 nearly 28 years ago. The first bike I got was when I was 12 years old. As we ran our own workshop and iron fabrication industry, my inclination towards these bikes was natural. A few months ago, I was told that there has been a great demand in Germany for these mopeds, which were so widely used during World War II.
Some showroom owners bought it and today they have displayed it in their showroom. Nobody but me touched that bike,” claims Nazeer. He uses his single-seater 1960 Lambretta Moped occasionally. Even today, its mileage is 45-50 km per litre and it can reach a top speed of 70 kmph. It can be compared to the present day Hero Puch. Unlike Puch, it does not have a kick start but can be started by pedalling.