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Forever Bike, Forever Value was not just a catchy strap line – it was the inception of a narrative that captured the minds and hearts of millions of motorcycling enthusiasts in India. In 1969, it proclaimed the launch of the Yezdi motorcycle in India. It’s unique design, inherent ruggedness and raw power made the Yezdi a symbol of reliability and resilience in the Indian market.

The Yezdi motorcycle had a profound connection with the JAWA motorcycles from the Czech Republic. The JAWAs were the sweethearts of the motocross and rallying circuit in Europe, and subsequently all over the world. The Czech bikes have an illustrious place in the sport’s history and were invincible. The Yezdi was a beautiful Indianisation of the JAWA built to greater standards of ruggedness and last forever.

The Yezdis’ sporty nature and nimble handling created a cult following, and the proof remains in the vast numbers of riders who continue to ride it across India. However in the early 90s they shut shop and broke the hearts of their followers.

Yezdi in blue

The background

We were asked to build a simple website for the brand to showcase their products. However, that is not the Made by Fire way. Why create a digital property that will just exist and die one day. So we travelled across the length and breadth of India and met individuals who had dedicated their lives to these unique machines. We created the Yezdis of India Project in the form of a website to bring 10,000 stories of magic with Yezdi motorcycles to life.

And did we enjoy this

It was such a fantastic experience of meeting individuals with so much passion and love for a brand. It was also such a big honour to record their stories and bring it to life on the website for the whole world to see. This project was such a tremendous responsibility and we are so fortunate to be involved. The feedback from the community has been brilliant, and we have hundreds of stories coming in for us to showcase.

Carl with Babbanrao
Carl with Bhau
Carl with Mane

The look and feel

This website was all about nostalgia, and we wanted to give it a fresh retro feel. So our designers made some great typography selections, selected an old style distressed brown background, and replaced cliched motorcycle photography with some out of the world sketches.

Hard but fun

Getting the sketches right was so important as there was very little photography of the motorcycles. Information about the products was also limited, and so our content teams had to dig deep into various archives to extract the right data. In the end, everything fell into place seamlessly, and we are so proud of the overall design.

Yezdi Sketch
Yezdi Motorcycle Sketch
Yezdi Motorcycle Sketch

The tech

As we were deciding on the technology platform to power this website, it was important to keep performance and scale in mind. As future phases of more interactive functionality is being planned it was important that the tech stack was modular and was able to handle the new features with consummate ease.

The stack

Yezdi was built with a HTML5, CSS3 front end and Ruby on Rails for the web services and server side code. The database used was mySQL and the entire application was hosted on Google Cloud infrastructure. Jenkins was used for continuous integration and delivery.

Check out the website – yezdi.com.