This is a review of the rx 100 which i bought a couple of years back.
Firstly the purchase story in brief. I was a very keen rider during my college days and i rode mostly bikes like bullet,rx,cd 100 e.t.c but once i got settled in life and started running my father's plantations which are scattered wide across kerala and tamil nadu i really had no time to ride a bike ,so the rider in me was hibernating despite some of my old friends mocking me for this.I always had 2 cars a safari and a zen but the zen was used by my wife(would be sold eventually) so it was not available always and safari was a mammoth to run in the clogged streets of kollam so a bike was the solution.
Why the Rx-The modern day bikes are all having a forward riding position which i hated.My riding skill was at an all time low so i said no to RE bullets thanks to their weight.I always rated the Rx high for it's 'easy to ride' nature and it's smooth engine.so finally got hold of this 1990 rx 100.
Mods done-I always believed that stock is the best condition of any vehicle so this was basically a de-mod job
Switched from RD handles for the stock one.
Fixed a back carrier and went for stock headlamps and used the original full chain cover.
Removed the cat con silencer and replaced it with the original RX100 silencer.
Fixed a new lock fixed on the front forks of the bike.
The riding experience-It's a great experience to ride this bike it's got nothing electronic in it,it's just an old fashioned machine with a simplistic and practical design,the rx has a great deal of control because it's nimble in traffic and turning radius is next to nothing.
The brakes if maintained well can stop it in a jiffy.The fuel efficiency is decent at around 35-40 to the liter. It's like a breath of fresh air when compared to the parking woes,u turn dramas of the safari. Before I had this bike I used to take the bus for errands in and around kollam .Now safari for highway Rx for the city.The RX is really short geared so it can be made to run at speeds like 20 KM\hr in the fourth gear without clutch(take that modern day 4 strokes
).The bike is the lightest bike in India at around 100 kg so it is always easily flickable in traffic.I have clocked around 12000 KM on this bike so far.
Long trips taken-Even though it was for errands it was so nice to ride that i actually took this bike to kovalam and ponmudi along with my friends who are die hard bullet riders but the RX is a bike which even the bullet riders seem to love.It was a treat on the winding roads to ponmudi(hill station) i thought the rx would struggle compared to the torque rich bullets which had more than thrice the displacement but the yamaha had a high revying motor which kept it on par with the mighty bullet on hairpins.
Service and Parts replaced-Service and gear box oil is done at every 2000 km.2t oil is mixed at a ratio of 1:30 in premix .The routine maintenance included replacing a few gaskets,topping up the battery .Brake pads are cheap and I usually change them before they are fully worn out.This is a very reliable bike and parts are readily available and cheap.Parts are still available though it's been out of production for years.
Tyres- 3"*18" MRF Moto-D at the back and the same 2.75" at the front .This type of button tyres always give superior performance in wet conditions and is not really spoiling the stock looks of this bike.
Downsides-The rx is a folk hero here in india but it has it's share of glitches.
The suspension is extremely hard so bad roads will wreck the rider's spine
The electrics like indicator and horn are prone to failure.
It's pretty unnerving at speeds above 60 thanks to the light weight construction.
Top speed possible-I am too old for attempting this on an RX but the best i could do without praying was 60 and with praying i think i did 80
Is this bike a relevant choice today?
There are many fans for this bike especially the youth but outside this cult many view this bike with skepticism but in my opinion if anyone wants a practical,down to the earth,easy to ride bike this is the bike to own .It's fuel economy is't that bad and is certainly very robustly engineered.
We should remember that the RX is a design which borrows from UJM(universal japanese motorcycle)of the 70s and 80s(of course it's not an inline 4 cylinder like the honda CB750)but the basic idea behind these japanese designs was making motorcycling more simpler compared to the cruisers or sportsbikes. so biking is simplified by the rx to a great deal.It's still economic and can be someone's everyday bike.These bikes are best suited to our traffic clogged roads especially in a state like kerala where roads are the narrowest RX is a boon
some random pics