The India Bike Week, held in Goa, brought together the most die-hard biking enthusiasts from across the country. Asia’s biggest motorcycle party also celebrated the elements close to a biker’s heart – rock music, custom bikes and stunts, besides showcasing some amazing motorcycles from across the world.
As I approached Goa, riding on the massive Triumph Rocket III Roadster, a sense of satisfaction settled over me. It was nearly night-time, and I was just a few kilometres from my resort in Mandrem Beach. The ride to Goa from Pune was spectacular in every sense of the word, and after riding alone for nearly six hours, as I pulled into the resort I could feel everyone’s gaze upon me. The manager ran up to me and asked, “Are you here for the India Bike Week?” I nodded my head in acknowledgement. People started to come up and look at the massive Rocket, but I strolled away – tired and sore.
But this was just my story. There must have been more than 10,000 other riders who rode in from across the country on that very same day, or even earlier – because we were all here for the same reason, India Bike Week (IBW). Now in its third year, the India Bike Week has become bigger than ever – and it marks the changing attitude of the Indian biking enthusiasts who now have a plethora of beautiful motorcycles to choose from in the country. Indeed, it’s an exciting time to be a biker in India – and a festival of this sort enables owners of all kinds of motorcycles to come together and celebrate their passion.
Harley-Davison was celebrating its fifth year in the country, and more than 3,000 HOG riders were in attendance for the party – and some had come from as far as China and Australia. Triumph was celebrating a very successful first year in India, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of their contingent as I rode into the IBW grounds with 200 other Triumph owners. Also in attendance were Indian Motorcycles, DSK Benelli, Vespa and Aprilia.
Although these manufacturers were the only ones with an official presence, there were all sorts of motorcycles at IBW. Riders came on all kinds of bikes. There were, of course, a lot of Royal Enfield riders. But there were also groups of riders on Kawasakis, KTMs, Suzukis, Hondas, as well as some very unique machines – one rider, for instance, came to IBW on his massive Victory Vision motorcycle. There were also plenty of customised motorcycles, and some of them were quite remarkable to look at. Indian custom builders have certainly raised the bar a lot higher.
If there’s any place where any type of biker could go to immerse himself in a pure biking culture, then IBW is the place. To get your bike cleaned, you could go to the Bikini Bike Wash where some lovely ladies would be happy to oblige. If you needed a cold beer, you’d come to the right place. If you want music, there are multiple stages with various kinds of musicians performing live. If you want entertainment, then you have professional stunt riders from across the globe showing off their gravity-defying feats. If you want knowledge and information on travel, then you can meet fellow bikers and watch educational films. If you want gear, you’ll find everything you need, including Go Pro cameras. There are also drag races and a dyno-test for the competitive riders. IBW had it all – it’s the place all bikers go when they want to attain biking nirvana. So, make sure you mark your calendar for next year and meet me there…