February 5, 2023

The story of Phat Phat Seva when Harley Davidson became public transport using the Indian juggernaut. When this ‘Indian juggernaut’ started with Harley Davidson, it started with a crackdown

Harley-Davidson, which is considered to be the dream bike of man, may have gone out of the Indian market today. But at one time this bike played a major role in Delhi’s public transport. Indian heritage has given this bike such a touch that it is also considered as a unique engineering feat in history.

Harley-Davidson crack used in service

Image Credit Source: Facebook/Harley Davidson

As we turn the pages of history, there are many events that fill us with wonder. There is an anecdote about the end of World War II and the subsequent independence of the country, which was called the ‘Indian Yugad’. (Indian Jugad) How effective can it be? Harley Davidson (Harley Davidson) This type of bike has changed the public transport system of India especially Delhi and this public transport system has served the streets of Delhi for more than 60 years.

Yes, we are talking about Delhi’s famous ‘Phat-Phat Seva’. (Fat-Fat Service) of Harley Davidson’s WLA bikes were mass produced during World War II. More than 70,000 WLA bikes are believed to have been produced in that short period and were later sold at a pittance. Then the culture of bikers started in Europe-America.

The British left behind many Harley-Davidsons

When India gained independence in 1947, the British largely abandoned their Harley-Davidson bikes. Harley-Davidsons from the army’s ordnance store at the Red Fort were bought cheaply by the residents of Jama Masjid and Old Delhi, and ‘Phat-Phat Seva’ was born with the help of Indian jugs.

This is how Harley-Davidson became ‘Futfati’

The Harley-Davidson WLA had an engine of around 740cc in those days, meaning more power than a Tata Nano or slightly less than a Maruti 800 in today’s terms.

Using Indian techniques with a bike of this power, the front end was kept as before and a passenger cart was added to the rear. This cart can carry 8 to 12 people.

If you want to understand, it was like the motor-rickshaw seen in Salman Khan’s Kick movie, or like today’s electric rickshaw. Later it was modified and some people put the same engine in older Jeep models from Willys or Force.

This is how the name ‘Phat-Phat Seva’ came about

This service running in Old Delhi was named ‘Phat-Phat Seva’ because of the sound of Harley-Davidson engines. First it was called ‘Fatfatty’, later it was known as ‘Fat-Fat Service’. This service continued till 2014, after which the government came up with a plan to replace these vehicles.

In 2018, very limited routes were scheduled for them. Then they merged with rural services. Phot Phot Seva may have become a thing of the past, but its memory is still alive in the minds of the people of Delhi.

The LML scooter is now being manufactured at Harley-Davidson’s factory

The factory in India where Harley-Davidson used to be assembled is now said to be the LML electric scooter. At the same time, India’s largest bike company Hero MotoCorp is also reported to be collaborating with American bike brand Harley-Davidson to develop a premium bike.

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English Title: The Phat Phat Seva story when Harley Davidson became public transport using the Indian Jugad.

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