In­dia Bike week


The fifth edi­tion of Asia’s big­gest bike festival saw an un­be­liev­able 20,000 bik­ers ride in

The fifth edi­tion of the In­dia Bike Week went down in Va ga tor in sunny Goa. It was a two-day high for bike rs with mu­sic, food, drink, and th es mel of petrol in the air

The quiet lanes and sunny beaches of Va­ga­tor, Goa, echoed with the sound of revs and rev­elry as Asia’s big­gest bik­ing festival, the In­dia Bike Week, came to town to cel­e­brate the spirit of bik­ing for the fifth con­sec­u­tive year. Bright lights, colours from across the spec­trum, and, most im­por­tantly, bikes of var­i­ous gen­res, styles, ca­pac­i­ties and brands meant you couldn’t bat an eye­lid for fear of miss­ing out on some­thing. Add to this the fan­tas­tic tunes that were belted out from the mul­ti­tude of mu­sic stages, en­thu­si­as­tic con­ver­sa­tions among pas­sion­ate bik­ers, and a pal­pa­ble en­vi­ron­ment bub­bling with ex­cite­ment and joy — it was al­most a sen­sory over­load, but of the very best kind.

In this past half a decade, the IBW festival has grown ex­po­nen­tially, with over 20,000 bik­ers join­ing in for the Great Mi­gra­tion — the epic road trips by clubs, groups, and solo rid­ers (oh, and pub­li­ca­tions, be­cause, of course, we rode down too!) — from all cor­ners of the coun­try to come revel in the com­pany of like-minded petrol heads and wrench mon­keys. The festival wasn’t just about man and ma­chine, though; it cov­ered a wide spec­trum of the biker way of life. This in­cluded some as­tound­ing moto-art, a mini film festival cen­tred around life on two wheels, live mu­si­cal acts that got the whole crowd groov­ing and mov­ing, and, when all the ex­cite­ment wore you down, some lips­mack­ing grub and sooth­ing bev­er­ages to help re­fuel the bik­ing com­mu­nity present and keep those spirit lev­els high.

The big­gest names from the world of bik­ing were present, too, of course. Your very own

Bike In­dia teamed up with TVS Rac­ing to bring over a liv­ing leg­end of the com­pet­i­tive rac­ing world, as ‘Fast Fred­die’ Spencer graced the party with his pres­ence. An ab­so­lutely treat for the fans, he rode up on stage on the TVS Apache RTR 200 to a deaf­en­ing roar, and shared laughs, anec­dotes, ex­pe­ri­ences and in­spi­ra­tion with the as­sem­bled throng. Les­lie Porter­field made the trip down for the event as well, and shared her sto­ries and in­sights, which, com­ing as they did from the ‘fastest woman in the world’, were ut­terly fas­ci­nat­ing, to say the least. Both Fast Fred­die and Les­lie were hon­oured guests of the event and were fe­lic­i­tated on the big stage.

Apart from the big per­son­al­i­ties, the big brands were present, too. BMW Motorrad made their maiden voy­age to the festival and brought with them a tasty line-up of glo­ri­ous mo­tor­cy­cles for the biker brethren to en­joy. Har­ley-David­son made it five out of five, be­ing a huge part of the event from its very in­cep­tion,

and had a marked pres­ence at the go­ings-on at the IBW as al­ways. Tri­umph, too, were present and caused quite a stir with the first ever pub­lic un­box­ing of a mo­tor­cy­cle when they un­veiled the all-new Speed­mas­ter. Other big brands in­cluded In­dian Mo­tor­cy­cles, whose pre­view of the Scout Bob­ber caused quite a stir, UM Mo­tor­cy­cles, who, apart from dis­play­ing their entire range of cruis­ers, paid trib­ute to the new high­est mo­torable road in the world, Um­ling La, as well. In­dia’s only big bike brand, Avan­tura Chop­pers, also had a strong pres­en­cae and their be­spoke chop­pers def­i­nitely got the tongues wag­ging. Launches and un­veils weren’t lim­ited to the man­u­fac­tur­ers ei­ther, as com­po­nent-mak­ers CEAT tyres had a big launch as well and one that took place at the hands of Fred­die Spencer no less, and Per­for­mance Rac­ing, one of In­dia’s most cel­e­brated gear stores, had a large pres­ence as well.

Speak­ing of man­u­fac­tur­ers only at IBW would see the top men of the three big­gest pre­mium brands — Vi­jay Thomas of Har­leyDavid­son, Vi­mal Sumbly of Tri­umph, and Shiva­pada Ray rep­re­sent­ing BMW Motorrad — take to the Main Stage to­gether with one of In­dian motoring jour­nal­ism’s most cel­e­brated stan­dard-bear­ers and Bike In­dia Edi­tor Aspi Bha­thena to have a chat about In­dia’s bur­geon­ing mo­tor­cy­cling land­scape. The man be­hind this amaz­ing festival and CEO of or­ga­niz­ers 70 EMG, Martin Da Costa, led a riv­et­ing con­ver­sa­tion with th­ese be­he­moths of the bik­ing world. Clearly, when we say IBW brings the bik­ing fra­ter­nity to­gether, we re­ally mean it.

An­other stel­lar tra­di­tion at IBW has been to pay trib­ute to In­dia’s most cel­e­brated bik­ers as part of the Hon­our Roll. We’re glad to re­port that this tra­di­tion con­tin­ued at the IBW 2017. It was es­pe­cially heart­en­ing to see re­cently de­ceased In­dian rac­ing stal­wart, M R Ra­jku­mar or Raju, as he was af­fec­tion­ately called, re­mem­bered and his bik­ing ex­ploits recog­nised at the event. His twin brother,

M R Ra­jen­dra, a keen racer him­self, was present to help posthu­mously in­duct his sib­ling into the Hon­our Roll and ac­cept this ac­co­lade on his be­half. The Ed was also at hand to be­stow this hon­our along with Martin.

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