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.