Zooming back to the past

Zooming back to the past
His father once owned a Bajaj Chetak back in the 80s but had to sell it for an upgraded version. Soon enough, he realised the worth of owning something like that and desired to possess a vintage bike once again. That’s when Faiz Atir and his four brothers saved up some money and surprised their father on his 50th birthday with a classic Lambretta 1971 model. This scooter was the first in Faiz’s collection of 14 classic and vintage bikes. “Slowly, different types of bikes started making their way to our home and the collection started growing. Before I knew it, my hobby to collect these bikes turned into a passion. All of us started saving up a little and investing on some or the other vintage or classic motorcycles,” says Faiz.

Among the 14 bikes he owns, the Rajdoot GT175 (which is one of the rarest bikes) and the 1969 model of Suvega Moped from France are two of the most unique and one-of-a-kind bikes. Faiz also has a Bullet made in England which he considers to be a prized possession. According to him, each bike he owns has a different story to tell.  To own these bikes, he says one should have a good mechanic who understands their value and has great knowledge of vintage and classic bikes. “These bikes have a tendency to rust very easily as we take them out for a spin only once or twice a month. To restore these bikes to their original form and then maintain them throughout is the toughest part. One needs a trusted mechanic who can give utmost care and servicing to the vehicle. Thanks to Fayaz ‘bhai’, who has been there to help me with all my motorcycles. From the restoration of the parts to the painting, he has taught me a lot about these bikes in the process,” adds Faiz. 

He says that the kind of admiration his bikes get when he pulls them out on the road gives him a sense of pride and satisfaction. “Like it’s said ‘old is gold’, owning a vintage vehicle always gives one a sense of achievement and the feel of a good ride. In fact, when I take my bikes out for a spin, it is not just the young people who admire them but even the older ones go down memory lane. The first thing they want to know is the model and the kind of mileage it gives. These bikes are treasures and will always have a richer value than a modern hi-tech vehicle,” says Faiz.

While picking up a classic or a vintage bike, he always looks at the originality and whether the bike is modified or in its original state. He says that seeing how genuine the parts are is one of the most important things, as many people tend to change the parts and the chassis to avoid rusting. He says that since most of these parts are made in Italy, Czechoslovakia or France, finding them here can be a challenge.

“My favourite among all the bikes is the Suvega Moped. The fact that one can ride it like a cycle if it runs out of fuel is the characteristic that attracts me a lot. All the bikes we have are in perfect running condition and I make sure to give them for servicing and get the painting done annually to avoid rusting of the parts. I am planning to add two more to my collection. The ones I am eyeing at present are the Yamaha RD 350 and the Norton Motorcycle,” he says.

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