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|Predecessor||1974 Jawa CZ 250|
|Engine||250 cc (15 cu in) Air-cooled, two-stroke cycle, single cylinder, twin exhaust, kick start|
|Ignition type||CB points (till 1992), later Electronic CDI|
|Suspension||Front: Telescopic - Hydraulic Travel - 130 mm, Rear: Hydraulic Shock Absorbers Travel - 100 mm|
|Brakes||Front 160 mm Twin Cam double leading shoe type
Rear 160 mm Single Cam Single leading shoe
|Tyres||Tyres 3.25 x 16 x 4 ply (front & rear), Rims :1.86 x 16 (front & rear)|
|Wheelbase||1,350 mm (53.1 in)|
|Dimensions||L: 2,000 mm (78.7 in)
W: 750 mm (29.5 in)
H: 1,100 mm (43.3 in)
|Weight||134 kg (dry)
144 kg (wet)
|Fuel capacity||16 L (3.5 imp gal; 4.2 US gal)|
|Related||Yezdi Oilking, Yezdi Monarch|
The Yezdi Roadking is a 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. The bike won several Indian rallies and road races in India. The bike had a 250 cc engine with twin exhausts and a semi-automatic clutch.
The Yezdi Roadking was the successor of the not-too-successful Yezdi OilKing.The OilKing was the first motorcycle in India to attempt to move away from pre-mixed fuel to a separate oil lube system via an oil pump.The box like shape on the left hand cover housed the oil pump.Unfortunately this system had a very high failure rate resulting in piston seizures.This resulted in the dis-continuation of the OilKing and the birth of the Roadking.The Roadking, though, still had (has) the box on the left hand side of the engine that housed the oil pump in the OilKing. The Yezdi Roadking was originally based on 1974 CZ, where the original bore and stroke of 70 mm × 64 mm (2.76 in × 2.52 in) 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.Just like in the older Ideal Jawa or the Ideal Yezdi,the Roadking too came with an original Tesla (Czechoslovakian) headlight bulb as standard.
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 former 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. The lever has an internal cam which engages/disengages the clutch when the gear is shifted thereby precluding the need for a hand-clutch.
Models and types
CB unit models
The bike was silently launched in India in the late 1970s 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. Until 1989, the RoadKings had a provision for adjusting the front fork dampers.
During the late 1970s, another model known as Oil King was also launched which featured an 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 volt from 6 volt. 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 1997.
In 1996 the Auto Expo Yezdi displayed a model which used the Yezdi 350's twin frame, Roadking engine and a sleeker fueltank. The rims were 18 inch 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. One of the finest engines ever made in the history of Indian motorcycling.
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 Royal 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 N.Jagadeeswara Reddy won many rallies during 1972 to 1980. Then rallyist couple Jagat and Anita Nanjappa and Thirumal Roy won several victories before switching to Rajdoot Yamaha RD350. During the early 1990s FMSCI, the sporting federation of India banned two wheelers above 120 cc into rallying thus ending its run with motor sports.
The Roadking engines were a favorite among the Powerglider manufacturers in India. A Coimbatore based manufacturer headed by late motor racing driver and constructor, S.Karivardhan manufactured and exported several Powergliders using Roadking engines with modified aluminium heads, K & N filters and sleeved bore.
As a result of power glider efforts,during 1996, Somendar Singh, a former Ideal Jawa racer and rallyist in 1996 developed a refined engine with aluminium engine with increased power and fuel efficiency which was featured in Car & Bike magazine. The design was never put into production even though it ended up with Ideal Jawa.
Also these motorcycles were used by various police forces around the world, examples being Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Turkey etc.