The huge tent filled with chairs and bean bags alike was the hot spot for aspiring bikers and fans to get up close and personal with the many riders and bigtrip speakers who took time out to come and share their experiences with those present. The list of names included the likes of Freddie Spencer, who spoke about his racing career and the famous, unbeaten championship double; Leslie Porterfield, the fastest woman on the salt flats, who encouraged more woman riders to pursue their passion, among many other solo travellers and racers who happily shared their motorcycling experience with the audience.
HOWLING DOG BAR
The Howling Dog Bar was the official watering hole for most who took part in the festivities. The bar and the stagecum-ramp adjoining it hosted a variety of events, starting off with the launch of India Bike Week 2017. Festival Director Martin da Costa kicked off the fifth edition of the biking festival in the presence of Freddie Spencer and Leslie Porterfield, surrounded by a mix of enthusiasts, media folk, and, of course, the bikers. The bar also hosted the Coyote Ugly bar crew, Moto Art Project, a beard and tattoo contest, the beach and bike fashion show, and performances of numerous DJs over the duration of the festival.
MOD BIKE PAVILION
There were all kinds of custom bikes at IBW, and those entered in the Mod Bike contest highlighted some serious innovation and craftsmanship. Amidst bikes with shortened chassis, stretched swingarms, and raked out front ends, it was Mumbai’s Mean Green Customs who took home top honours in this category for their Project Omega build, based on a Benelli TNT 600i. The bike is an aggressive streetfighter whose highlights include a novel headlight design, massive rear tyre, comfortable seat, and a trio of exhaust pipes poking out from under the pillion perch. Other notable entrants were scramblers, street-fighters and bobbers based on Royal Enfields, a café racer based on a Yamaha RX135, a custom chopper based on a Harley-Davidson Superlow, and a couple of custom Yamaha RD350s.
The atmosphere at our stall was electric. Not only did we have the Tribute to Calvin Rayborn Jr, built by Ed Aspi Bhathena, the custom Harley-Davidson Street 750-based race-bike, as well as the hot new Ducati Super Sport S and the Triumph Tiger 800 XCA, but we had racing legend ‘Fast Freddie’ Spencer in our midst, taking pictures, signing pictures, T-shirts, caps, and helmets. A young enthusiast from Mumbai also showed up with a 1994 race-liveried 900 Fireblade and its owner (shaking with excitement) got a chance to meet the legend after whose bike he had modelled his own. Screening highlights from Freddie’s past racing career on the big screen also built up the crowds further. All in all, the Bike India stall was the place to be at IBW 2017.