The first anniversary meeting of the Bangalore Classic Scooter Club saw fond owners swapping tales of the two-wheeled tempters

Barely 24 years old, Karthikeyan on his '87 model, Bajaj Cub, was the first scooter to putter in, to the meeting point of the Bangalore Classic Scooter Club. Begun in 2009, this was the first anniversary celebration of the club with its 45 plus members. Standing under the massive tamarind trees near the Central library in Cubbon Park, Karthikeyan, a software engineer said he had fallen in love with his dad's scooter as a young boy. After his dad passed away, Karthikeyan got the scooter serviced and repainted. “The bike had a lot of memories for me.” One of the founder members, 30-year-old Siddarth Naidu, a tech writer, reveals that his dad rode a '71 model Lambretta, which he later began to ride as, “it was natural in those days to progress to a scooter after riding a cycle. I have always been fascinated with scooters and so bought this Lambretta LI 150 series model which is the most common in our club. Today my dad feels proud to see me riding the same model scooter that he had as a young man.”

A gleaming maroon Bajaj Super 150 with a fancy side car swung into the meeting area. Ridden by Suri who is an art director, the scooter is a '76 model, and one of his collection of five. “I bought it in Bangalore for Rs. 18,000 five years ago and since I am in the business of restoring antique cars, scooters too figure high on my list of antique must-have's.”

Another Lambretta LI 150 belonging to Vathsa is ridden only for the meetings. “It is an original Italian import and is no trouble.” “The reason why Siddarth, Yatish and me started this club is because we wanted to share knowledge of where to get spares etc. So we initially started a Face Book site which got us a great response. That's how the idea of a club and meeting up once a month began. I like riding a scooter because it turns heads on the streets and I get a lot of older people coming up and talking to me about their scooter which was similar, or they want to show their grand kids what they rode,” reveals Gokul.

“My Vijai super scooter was stolen and I wanted to replace it. I was finally able to buy this '82 model off the net from an Army major who was scrapping it. It is no trouble to maintain and I get all the spare parts from Delhi,” reveals Devdas, a doctor in Victoria Hospital and a Professor of Forensic Medicine in Bangalore Medical College.

Sharath, a young businessman, had painted his dad's Bajaj Super ochre. “Before I painted it, everyone asked me why I was riding around on junk. Now that it is done up, I get people wanting to buy it off me!” Similarly T.K. Gopi “made cosmetic changes,” pointing to a shining '96 model Lambretta 150. “It was just a lucky break that I got it for Rs. 5,000 and I have spent another Rs. 10,000 doing it up.”

The common passion among this group of men ranging from 24 years to 50 plus are the models of scooters popular in India in the 50's and 60's. “It's an eccentric passion that drives us,” says Siddarth Naidu and it sure does seem to be, judging from their exchange of news and tips on how to maintain the scooters in spanking, tip-top condition.

Keywords: Bajaj scooters