Do you remember the time when you stuck a so called cassette tape into a Walkman, Hara jeans were the most fashionable pieces of clothing, Charms cigarettes at the chai shop were in and Jacko wasn’t termed Whacko? The legendary RX100 is the only other thing that will thrill you to bits when added to that list. And if it doesn’t, then you’re probably from the generation that has an iPod as a best friend, considers low-waisted jeans worn backwards cool, has chilled frappe as a cuppa and thinks Jacko is whacko. And of course you think the Pulsar is the be-all and end-all of Indian motorcycles. Well, both the popular Pulsar and the RX100 are heroes in their own right, so we decided to put them up against each other to see if the RX was simply a piece of wistful nostalgia.
It’s just about eight am and we’re waiting outside the Mumbai University campus for the RX to arrive. It was supposed to be here an hour ago and Pablo’s getting a bit impatient. It suddenly appears as a distant spec at the far end of the road, just as the bells of the tower clock start tolling. It feels surreal, like the warning sirens at the start of a war.
The 1990 RX100 here is bone stock and has covered 55,000 genuine km, while the Pulsar is our long-term 180 DTSi. Gleaming chrome, glossy red paint and simple plastic badging are up against our electric blue and snazzy decals and it’s already hard to make a choice. Clean, straight side-panels with a small oil gauge stiffen next to the Pulsar’s well-curved racy-looking ones and somehow this battle seems evenly poised.The small (and not so bright) headlamp squints at the neatly crafted bikini fairing. I’m in love, definitely, just not sure with which one yet.