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The two-stroke era in India saw some amazing motorcycles plying on the country roads. While the most famous among them was the Yamaha RD 350, simply due to its raw and savage power. There were other motorcycles which did not quite get the limelight.
One of them was its sibling, the Rajdoot 175. Although not as powerful as the RD 350 it did produce exceptional low torque figures at that time. Which resulted in the Rajdoot 175 getting the tag of a workhorse.
More history about the motorcycle later in the article. Now, we have the chance to look at a fully-restored Escorts Rajdoot 175 motorcycle, which was brought to the attention by the Weekend On Wheels #Wow YouTube channel.
The video showcases a completely restored two-stroke motorcycle in its stock condition. Starting with the looks, it features a dual-tone 11-litre fuel tank with chrome-finished panels placed on either side of the tank. There is a separate key to open the fuel-tank lid on the motorcycle.
It also uses the stock instrument cluster that just indicates the speed and the ODO meter. In front of the instrument cluster is the ignition key slot. The design of the Ignition key is different and has three positions: when it is placed at the centre the entire motorcycle is switched off.
Turning the key to the left position will switch on the full ignition including the electric supply to the engine. When the key is turned to the right position, the supply only goes to the right-hand switch combination which can be used to switch on the lights when the motorcycle is parked.
Although the headlamp cowl is rectangle in shape, the headlamp itself is a round-shaped unit and features halogen bulb for high and low beam.
The tail lamp has a unique design to it along with round-shaped turn-signal indicators at either end.
It also features the unique side body panel that covers most of the motorcycle, a saree-guard finished in chrome, a single exhaust placed on the right side, and finally the most used part of the motorcycle which is its chrome-finished luggage rack.
It also features a single-piece seat for the rider and pillion. Another unique feature is that the kicker for starting the Rajdoot 175 and the gear lever is present on the same left-side on the motorcycle.
Speaking about the other mechanicals of the motorcycle, it features a similar suspension system at either end, which is the Earles Fork suspension unit. It also comes equipped with spoked wheels and drum brakes at both ends.
The Rajdoot 175 in the video also retains its original engine. It is powered by a 173cc, single-cylinder, two-stroke air-cooled engine with Mickcarb carburettor system. It produced a maximum of 9bhp at 5,000rpm and 13.5Nm of peak torque at 3,500rpm. The engine came mated to a three-speed gearbox.
The power and torque figures might not be overwhelming now, but it was being produced at the time when we saw Doordarshan as Netflix. It is also among the most simple and easy to maintain a two-stroke motorcycle that was sold in the country. This made it especially popular rural areas for its ease of ownership.
Escort Group began production of the Rajdoot 175 motorcycle in the early 1960s in the Indian market. It was essentially a Polish SHL M11 175cc that was rebranded for the Indian market as the Rajdoot.
The motorcycle was produced until the year 2005 in the country before it was discontinued due to Euro II emission regulations. In the period, Escort Group sold a massive 1.6 million units of the Rajdoot 175 motorcycle in the market.
Thoughts About The Escorts Rajdoot 175 Fully Restored To Stock Condition
The Escorts Rajdoot 175 is a special motorcycle, as it brings back fond memories for most of them. The older generation might have owned or ridden one, while the younger folks might have sat on the fuel tank of the motorcycle taking a ride.
The owner of the restored Rajdoot 175 would have put in a lot of time sourcing parts and working on the motorcycle getting it to stock condition. The title of the video seems to be perfect, as the Rajdoot 175 will never go out of fashion!