17. Hercules Cycles, India

BSA and Hercules bicycles live on in India…

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India’s independence coincided with Ted Crane’s sale of Hercules Cycle & Motor Co to Tube Investments. TI opened a factory in India soon after and, since 1949, ‘TI Cycles of India’ have been making bicycles bearing the names of British manufacturers despite the demise of the original British companies. BSA and Hercules live on in India!

Next time you’re in Bombay, remember to drop into the office of TI Cycles of India.

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“Walk into the world of BSA and Hercules and experience the future”

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Of course, if you’ve been to India before, you’ll know that many old European vehicle models live on. The 1950s Morris Oxford can clearly be seen in the Hindustan Ambassador, which is still common as a taxi around India. The Premier, another popular taxi, especially in Bombay, is a 1960s Fiat. Tempos still operate around the markets of Calcutta (three-wheelers whose production ended in Germany in 1949, but are still manufactured in India). You’ll find Royal Enfields everywhere; and, in a subtle turnaround, Indian Enfields now have a healthy export market to Britain.

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I recently looked through my old photos of India and discovered I’d taken a picture of a Hercules bicycle in Tamil Nadu, parked in front of what looks like a 1950′s Standard Ten convertible.

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This was from our last trip to India, in January 2007. You can just about see the head-badge.

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Compare the ‘New Hercules G’ above with my old Hercules, below, which is pictured on Madeira Drive, Brighton, in front of my partner’s 1948 BSA Streamlight Ladies cycle.

I’ve visited various seaside towns around India, and they always remind me of those in Britain. The friendly Indian people and wonderful vegetarian curries are two main reasons I’ve always enjoyed visiting India. But the remains of old British colonial times – the ‘faded glory’ – is definitely another prime attraction.

To see a complete range of ‘ancient’ modern vehicles in India PLEASE CLICK HERE

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Juvenile Bicycles

Above are some kid’s bikes from 1934. Below are the modern Indian models.

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Published on October 28, 2008 at 8:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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