Yezdi Roadking

Yezdi Roadking

Infobox Motorcycle

boxcolor = darkgreen
name = Yezdi Roadking
manufacturer = Ideal Jawa
production = 1978 - 1996
class = Road Bike, can be Cruiser and Motocross
platform = Jawa
engine = 250 cc Air-cooled, two-stroke cycle, single piston, twin port exhaust, kick start 16 bhp
transmission = 4-Gear
starting = kick start
ignition = CB points (till 1992),later CDI Electrinic
length = 2000mm
width = 750mm
height = 1100mm
dry_weight = 134 kg
wet_weight = 144 kg
wheelbase = 1350mm
tires = Tyres 3.25 x 16" x 4 ply (front & rear ), Rims :1.86 x 16" (front & rear )
fuel_capacity =16 Litres
suspension = Front: Telescopic - Hydraulic Travel - 130 mm ,Rear: Hydraulic Shock Absorbers Travel - 100 mm
brakes = Front 160mm Twin Cam double leading shoe type ,Rear 160mm Single Cam Single leading shoe
turn_radius =
predecessor = 1974 Jawa CZ 250 []
successor =
aka = Roadking
factory Specification = 'C' Type
related = Yezdi Classic,Yezdi Deluxe, Yezdi CL-11, Yezdi Monarch
similar =

The Yezdi Roadking was a model of motorcycle produced in India by Ideal Jawa Ltd, Mysore from 1978 to 1996. The bike was based on the CZ 250 ridden by rider Jaroslav Falta to the runner-up spot in the 1974 motocross world championship. It was sold under the brand name Yezdi - Roadking. The bike won several Indian rallies and road races in India. The bike had a 250 cc engine with twin exhaust ports and an semi-automatic clutch. The power was 16 bhp with a top speed of 125 km/h.


The Yezdi Roadking was originally based on 1974 CZ,where the original bore x stroke of 70 mm x 64 mm [] was retained as it was, but with less power than its Motocross original. The engine block is smaller and different from the Yezdi Classic in appearance. Also the CZ original had the famous Porcupine Head while the same was used only in initial models, later reverted to regular straight fin design. The cylinder block (Type 980.5) was from CZ.

Chassis frame

The chassis frame is single frame of motocross origins and was built out of square tube. The fork was more pronounced with a higher rake angle and came with adjustable shock absorbers. Rims were 16 inches. The motocross and ice racing origin frame and proper weight balance made handling very easy and agile compared to its rivals in India.


The cylinder block was from CZ which had an over square bore x stroke. Carburetors were either Jikov (tickler choke) or Pacco (press type choke) of which the earlier was exclusively for Roadking, while the latter was used for Classic models. The spark plugs were of cold type and the bike also featured a semi-automatic or auto clutch, where a cam inside the gearbox housing automatically activated the clutch through a cam which is unique to this and other Yezdi models in India. The familiar Jawa-CZ twin exhaust ports made the unmistakable sound when the exhaust flute mufflers and end-cores were removed. Another unique feature of the bike was that the kick-starter and the gear shared the same rod as with all Yezdi models. Once the gear rod is reversed it doubles as a kicker and once started it automatically returns to the original position.

Models and types

CB unit models

The bike was silently launched in India in late '70s by Ideal Jawa and was a rare sight even in those days. The bike had a prominent petrol/fuel tank and the colour was Jawa Maroon and sometimes in black and gold pinstripe, priced slightly higher than the best selling Classic and CL II models. The troublesome contact breaker ignition was later replaced in 1993. Till 1989 the RoadKings had a provision for adjusting the front fork dampers.

Oil King

During late 70s another model known as Oil King was also launched which featured a oil pump for the 2T mix with petrol but later production ceased. The prominent protrusion of the left hand side gearbox housing was the original location for the pump. Though the model was discontinued the engine casing found its way into the Road King and hence all Road Kings have this protrusion even though the oil pump was not housed there anymore.

Cdi unit models

In 1993, in an effort to increase fuel efficiency and to solve starting problems the CB or contact breaker ignition units were replaced with Cdi electronic ignition units. The electrics were changed to 12 volts from 6 volts.The livery was also changed with some new graphics. The fuel efficiency was increased by 30%, but still its competitors were getting better and with rising fuel prices the sales plummeted down until finally it ceased operations in 1999.


In 1996 Auto Expo Yezdi displayed a model which used the Yezdi 350's twin frame, Roadking engine and a sleek but uninteresting fueltank. The rims were 19 inches as opposed to the regular 16 inch. However, it sold only few numbers. Although some attribute its low sales volume to the company's need to get rid of the additional Yezdi 350 frames that remained in the factory after the twin model was stopped. However this is disputed.

Sale on Premium

This was the only bike in India to sell on premium for foreign currency, you would get a bike only if you paid $300 in american dollars and not even if you paid the equvilant in Indian rupees.

In Indian motorsports

In road races at Sholavaram, it ran in its own 250 cc class while in the Indian open class category its main rival was Enfield Bullet and later the much more powerful Rajdoot 350. Power was usually increased to 25 plus bhp or beyond for Group E categories where the engine was bored up till 300 cc and the engine was over-engineered in stock trim. In track racing the most famous was C.K.Chinnappa and Somendar Singh.

In rallies the rallyist couple Jagat and Anita Nanjappa and Thirumal Roy won several victories before switching to Rajdoot Yamaha RD350. Later, in 1991 both the bikes were banned from rallying, but the ban was briefly lifted in 1996, when Rajdoot 350 went out of production. During those later seasons TVS Suzuki had its own factory team with Supra and Shogun, while Team MRF had several Escorts Yamaha RX 100's in the fray. But still one or two privateers took it to as high as second position during the events and setting some fastest stage times.

World Record: First, Fastest over six continents

Deepak Kamath (25) and G.H.Basavaraj (34) of Bangalore covered 42,038 kms over six continents on their Yezdi Roadking motorcycle in an expedition called "The Yezdi Castrol Continental Ride". Their expedition began on 8th October 1994 and ended on 3rd Feb 1995. Though the total number of days was 119 days, the actual riding time was 47 days. Thus they became the first to circumnavigate the globe in the shortest period of time.

In Powergliders

The Roadking engines were a favorite among the Powerglider manufacturers in India. One Coimbatore based manufacturer headed by late motor racing legend S.Karivardhan manufactured and exported several Powergliders using Roadking engines with aluminium heads, K & N filters and sleeved bore.

Further developments

As a result of power glider efforts, Somendar Singh in 1996 developed a refined engine with aluminium engine with increased power and fuel efficiency and was featured in "Car & Bike" magazine. But the design was never put into production even tough it ended up with Ideal Jawa.

tatus today

The bike attained a near cult status with an enigmatic tag even when in production, but it was sometimes overshadowed by Rajdoot Yamaha RD350. Also it attained its popularity for being notorious in offroad events. Today the bike has its own club and few years of oblivation is now slowly getting to roads in a classic bike status. Many new Indian bike riders haven't still experienced the taste of riding one as its market was regionally concentrated to places like Bangalore, Mysore and Coimbatore.


* [ Official Ideal Jawa site]
* [ Technical Speecifications]
* [ Czechoslovakian cousins]
* [ Jarasalov Falta's 1974 season ]
* [ Owner and rider reviews]
* [ Annual Jawa/CZ/Yezdi Day Gallery]

Yezdi clubs and groups

* []
* [ Yezdi Jawa Club Page]

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