Yamaha RX 100
The Yamaha RX100 is a 98cc 2-stroke single cylinder aircooled motorcycle. It was M/s Escorts Limited's "Bread and Butter" model for close to 12 years between 1985 and 1996. A nippy motorcycle with great handling, it was an instant hit with the masses. A great machine, all that was ever changed in the 11 year production history were the pinstriping and an upgrade to a 12 volt electrical system
Escorts Limited partnered with Yamaha Motor Corp. in 1983 to launch the "Rajdoot 350" a license produced Yamaha RD350B. Another player in the Indian 2 wheeler market was IND-SUZUKI (TVS Motor Company today) which, as the name suggests, joined hands with Suzuki to launch the 8.25 bhp IND-SUZUKI AX100 in 1984.
Taking a page out of TVS- Suzuki's book Escorts soon realised that sales success lay in smaller displacement bikes that are more economically priced and cheaper to run. Thus was launched the YAMAHA RX100 in late 1985 (Workshop Manual is dated May 1985). The first RX 100 bikes were 108-110 cc bikes which prompted another manufacturer BAJAJ to file a case against EXCORTS. Subsequently all bikes were 98cc.
The bike was originally available in Cherry-Red, Flamboyant-Blue(Peacock blue-green) and Silver. Black was introduced after 1989.
The first lot bikes (1985-1986) were CKDs and were simply assembled in India.
The gearbox covering just above the gear shift lever had the words "MADE IN JAPAN" embossed on it.
Incidentally, the speedometer casing in the early bikes had the lettering "RAJDOOT" on them as did the speedometer dial. These older meters were manufactured by Yenkay. As opposed to later ones made by Pricol which had ESCORTS and later YAMAHA casings and dials. Few parts like the 2-stroke oil pump cover which is circular, had "Rajdoot" embossed instead of the expected YAMAHA or ESCORTS.
This gives the idea that maybe, Escorts wanted to launch the bike as the "Rajdoot 100" in the same league with the Rajdoot 350. (Merely speculative).
The only major change that the bike underwent was that it was upgraded from a 6V electrical system to a 12V system. Apart from that, the pinstriping was changed 2 times. So there are 3 different decal types in all. The bike is legendary in every possible way. Two other colors (Wine red and Metallic blue) were also introduced, but the bike stayed the way it was for it's 11 year history.
The RX100 was everything for every one:
- A racy, noisy smelly 2-stroke for the power hungry
- A reliable ride for the family man
- A style statement (back then) for the youth.
A peppy little machine with great handling makes this bike an ideal commuter. The gear ratios and torque curve are so good that a well tuned bike can do as low as 10 km/h in 4th gear without engine knocking WITH a pillion rider.
The specifications are:
Engine: 2-stroke, air cooled, single cylinder gasoline.
Gearbox: 4-speed constant mesh
Induction: Reed Valve
Ignition: Capacitor Discharge Ignition
Clutch: Multiplate (4 nos) wet.
Output: 11PS @7500 rpm (As per Workshop Manual)
Chassis: Double cradle frame
Wheels: Wire spoked, 2.50" X 18" front tyre, 2.75" X 18" rear tyre.
Acceleration 0-60km/h in 7 seconds (As per Workshop Manual)
Top speed 125km/h (when engine heats up)
The bike's production run lasted from Nov 1985 - Mar 1996. Various mods like expansion chambers, Drum brakes and 5th gear.
The model was followed by the 11.8 bhp 132cc RXG, which had a faulty ignition system, which was replaced by the company at no cost.
Next came the RX135, which was essentially a rebadged RXG. The RXZ was launched with a sportier headlamp fairing.
Finally , in the year 2000-2001 were launched the 14 bhp RX135 and the RXZ (Both 5-speed with a catalytic converter silencer). These met with luke warm response.
The final variant was a 4-speed RX135 with a catalytic converter silencer, sporting a fuel gauge and speedometer with white dials which was sold very briefly in 2003.
The newest RX100s available in the market today are 12 years old. Yet, there are people who are still looking out for one. The old advertising campaign slogans "Born to Lead" and "Ahead of the 100s" are aptly justified by this mean machine.
The scream of the engine still evokes strong emotions of speed and power.
This bike is far most the best bike ever made which challenges all the new four stroke engines now.