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On the ride of your life at the India Bike Week

Hot bikes, vintage wheels and enthusiastic bikers made the recently-concluded India Bike Week. J Sayed witnesses the highs 

We are at the second largest two-wheeler market of the world. Yet, until recently, an event such as the India Bike Week (IBW), was nothing more than a distant dream for petrol-heads of our country.

Bikers flaunt their mean machines at IBW 2014. Pics/J Sayed
Bikers flaunt their mean machines at IBW 2014. Pics/J Sayed

In its second edition, over 7,000 motorcycle devotees from across the country gathered to create history and celebrate India’s largest biking festival in Goa. I can’t imagine another place where puny bikes like the KTM 200 Duke and Yamaha R15 would share parking space with the mighty Valkyrie Rune and Indian Chief.

BSA or the Norton? VJ Yudi gives long haul rider, Nick Sanders, a tough task to pick his favourite from these beautifully restored Race Class Vintage Motorcycles
BSA or the Norton? VJ Yudi gives long haul rider, Nick Sanders, a tough task to pick his favourite from these beautifully restored Race Class Vintage Motorcycles

Living legend Ted Simon who rode around the world in 1973 on a Triumph Tiger 100 and then did it again when he turned 72 years old in 2001, this time on a BMW R80GS.

Winners of H.O.G. Custom Contest at the Bike Week
Winners of H.O.G. Custom Contest at the Bike Week

He was 72. To participate in IBW this 82 year young solo rider took the coastal route from Mumbai to Goa riding a Royal Enfield Classic 500!

The 100-year-old (1912) Indian Light V Twin
The 100-year-old (1912) Indian Light V Twin

The latest prodigy from MotoGP, Scott Redding, shared track riding tips, while MRF’s FMX free style stunt riders, Callum Shaw and Luke Smith, stunned the crowd with their gravity defying bike jumps and summersaults.

Just like last year, there were beauties from the era gone by at the classic bike display, a biker flea market, Full Contact Championship (FCC) and a tyre burnout competition. The music was good too, with international artists such as the Amsterdam-based Dub Vision spinning some groovy numbers. Local bands like The Dualist Inquiry and all-girl group The Vinyl Records impressed the bikers with their distinct style of music.

The Bike Build off challenge was clinched by Reza Hussain Customs in Chopper Class and Moto Exotica’s Arjun Raina carried away the Open Class. The best restored classic bike was awarded to Col. Sashidhar Bopanna’s German version of aTriumph — the STM 500.

Iconic American motorcycle manufacturer made good use of the opportunity and unveiled a new model, Street 750, specially designed for emerging markets like India, which also happens to be their most affordable and smallest capacity bike on offer.

Other highlights included the all India Launch of Nisttarkya, India’s first Electric Bike concept, built by Santosh from Mysore and an exciting stunt competition which won Mumbai’s Team 360.

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