It was considered a sense of pride to put on your helmet and hop onto a Yezdi or Jawa bike and zoom off. But sadly, nowadays, high-end bikes have taken over. In order to bring back the fame and glory that these old-school bikes had, BJYMC (The Bangalore Jawa Yezdi Motorcycle Club) was started in 2007. And since then, they have been celebrating International Jawa Day on July 14. On this day, Jawa/Yezdi bike owners, veteran riders and others come together with their families to celebrate a special bond.
Giving us a brief history of how this day started, marketing and communication professional Brian Ammanna, who is one of the founding members of the group, shares that he was on the lookout for like-minded people who shared his love for these bikes. “The club was started with the purpose of helping each other out as the production of these bikes stopped in 1996. Since then, the bikes on the road didn’t have any formal support like quality mechanics, etc. In 2008, our first International Jawa Day was held. It was truly an eye opener to see so many riders and their old machines come together and share stories.
The larger purpose of this gathering is for people to admire and see how the other person has built and done up their bikes. For the first time this year, we will be building up a fully dismantled Yezdi bike, which has never happened before,” he says.
Software engineer Prateek Baliga was stunned to see so many of these bikes on namma ooru roads, which lead him to buy his own. He says, “Youngsters these days are surprised to see these 30-year-old bikes still up and running. On this day, we interact with bikers and their families whom we know. We also get to talk to the old timers even if they cannot actively participate often. But on this day, they do up their bikes and join in the fun.” Prateek is quick to mention that he spends at least a day a week grooming his bike.
Watching his dad groom and zoom off on his Yezdi bike, Jose Martin was inspired to buy his own Road King. He shares, “As a participant, I did not know the effort put into organising this day and as an organiser, you take care of everything and you come to know everyone. Meeting new bikers would definitely have to be a highlight of this day. We tell stories about our bikes, share tips on how to maintain them, there’s an award ceremony and post that, we ride together to some place.”
Mahesh Kalyan Singh, also a software engineer, restored his father’s 1975 model and has been using it ever since. He shares, “I reached out to people who were talking about these bikes and they helped with a mechanic who helped with the restoration. I think the best part of the event is the brotherhood we have formed over the years. People come for the passion and the bikes.”...