Report: P. Tharyan; Photography: Afsar Baig
The vast stretches of
Calangute beaches in North Goa’s Arpora region are used to the sounds of
singing and music and the mounds of exposed skins of sun bathed men and women,
both Indians and foreigners, who come to rekindle their romantic senses. Beer
flows like water and the popular Goan wine is consumed barrel loads all
throughout the year.
But on February 19 and 20,
2016, romance of the human kind got infused with huge doses of adrenaline as
thousands of motorcyclists rode into the Arpora Sports Grounds to be part of
the India Bike Week (IBW) 2016, an annual motorcycling event that is beginning
to grow in stature and significance. Mind you, this show cannot ever be
replicated in any other region in India because it’s only Goa that understands,
respects and allows such an awesome event. Maybe it has something to do with
the beautiful Goan culture and the warmth of its people, something that can
never be found elsewhere in India.
Massive motorcycles of all
makes from Indian Motorcycle (Polaris group) to Ducatis and Harleys, Triumphs,
Benellis, UM, Mahindra Mojos, among others took part in this event. There was
high decibel sound from roaring engines and funky music blasted out from
massive speakers that could shatter one’s eardrums to pieces. But no one was
complaining and all one could see on the faces of the hundreds and thousands
who came in were a sense of accomplishment, unbridled joy and passion and a
tryst with the motorcycling world.
The show was organised by India’s
largest festival planners, the Seventy Event Media Group, together with leading
Travel and Lifestyle channel Fox Life, in association with Shell Advance. For
Shell, this Anglo Dutch oil and gas company, it was an unforgettable moment as
it launched Shell Advance Ultra 15W-50, a premium oil formulation designed
especially for the heavier bikes
In the words of Mansi Madan
Tripathy, Chief Marketing Officer, Shell Lubricants India (The company was the
principal sponsor of the show, second year in running), “This year our focus is
to bring our patented Pureplus technology to the heavy biking segment. Shell
Advance Ultra 15W-50 does not degrade between oil changes, thus not letting the
engine efficiency plummet and preventing any power loss usually experienced.
With Shell Advance Ultra 15W-50, one can now rev it up and stay powerful. IBW
is an exciting platform for us to be present and foster knowledge sharing while
showcasing our unique offerings to bike enthusiasts and we are happy to be a
part of it.”
If Shell wanted the
motorcycles to stay powerful, so did it....motorcycles of all hues and cries
came in with riders dressed in their best riding gears and showed off their
machines to salivating crowds.
Thousands of hardcore and
casual bikers crossed national and international borders to gather at Arpora.
According to the organisers,
the roar of over 12,000 bikers who joined the Great Migration to the festival
was the defining moment at India Bike Week 2016. Around 700 riders registered
on the Ride to IBW, supported by IBW, with medical support and marshalling from
Nagpur, Mumbai and Bangalore. The festival was launched by Harley Davidson’s
parade of over 2,500 HOG riders down IBW’s Main Street, followed by the DSK
Benelli riders. Next was the turn of Triumph Motorcycles, with a parade
consisting of the hundreds of bikers who make up the Riders Association of
Triumph. The community witnessed several new bike unveilings from the
manufacturers - DSK Benelli showed the TRK 502 &
Benlli Tornado 302, Triumph the new Street Twin T120 and Thruxton R,
Harley-Davidson the new 1200 Custom, and Ducati the Panigale 959.
Manufacturers and sponsors
amped up the motorcycling experience with a dedicated test ride track and
activities like the Triumph Tiger Academy, Harley-Davidson Touring Bike demo,
and Shell the Rev Up zone with their Dyno Wars and power bike displays. The
Howling Dog Bar served as the centre of attention, hosting the Innovation Bike
display, with models like the Monowheel, a single-wheel vehicle derived from
the concept of planetary gear box, and the Skatocross showcased.
Next up was the Moto Art
Collective, a curated collection of motorcycle and moto-culture inspired art
exhibited, with biking lifestyle elements such as Tattoo artworks by Body
Canvas (Thanks to Body Canvas, Motown
India Editor got himself a tattoo
for the first time in his life), Live Graffiti and Air brushing by Maria
Jurkina,Sculptures and painting by brothers HAMMEred & IRONic projects from
India’s most creative bike builders, and moto-photography by Ronnie Sequeira.
And if you thought that was
all, there was even a bikini bike wash for the well travelled motorcycles. It
was sexiness redefined. Hot machines for once had a right match with hot babes!
Addressing media at the event,
Martin da Costa, CEO of 70 EMG said, “It was astonishing to see so many
thousands of bikers from across India, across motorcycle brands joining in the
Great Migration to India Bike Week this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so
many bikes on the NH4, NH17 and the other roads into Goa. It’s been a great day
for all of us here at IBW, and it was amazing to see riders from over 400
Biking Clubs hanging out together on site. You can really see the coming
together of one of India’s most passionate communities this year at India Bike
Week. It’s just a fabulous energy here.
Swati Mohan, Business Head,
Fox International Channels India said, ‘‘Building on last year, this year too
we witnessed an overwhelming response adding to a great first day experience.
IBW has grown over the years and has become a celebration of not just biking,
but also a mecca for experience seekers and travellers. We are thrilled to know
that our partnership with Seventy EMG that gave birth to India Bike Week is
today a platform that helps bring together the nation’s biking community in all
its grandeur. What was a closed circuit of automotive owners has today expanded
into a vast thriving social circle of passionate explorers fuelled by the
growing trend of adventure travel.’’
Then there was the Moto Trials
Show, which featured the international sensation and undisputed King of Trials,
Dougie Lampkin. The trials biking legend, renowned throughout the world for his
unparalleled skills in the discipline, took centre stage at IBW 2016, where
fans and spectators alike bore witness to the skills that truly define him as a
champion in the motorsport world.
Club and solo riders gathered
as a community at the watering holes scattered around the grounds, with
hundreds of national and international clubs mingling at the Howling Dog bar,
the Beer Café, and the Knock Out Zones. Back for the second time, The Big Trip
offered a chance to interact with legends of the road as they shared stories
cumulatively gathered over the course of several decades. Some of the speakers
this year were Bullet Yatra blogger Dhruv Dholakia; Youhan Mubaraki and
Debaashish Ghosh from HOI, who outlined their 25,000 km ASEAN Corridor ride to Singapore
and back on their Harleys; and Alankar Misra, who goes by the name of Sole
Traveller and did a Trans-America ride in addition to several pan-India rides.
At night time one could enjoy
the performances by Soulmate and The Other People, with the singer songwriters
at the DSK Benelli stage leaving the crowd yearning for more. Two full days
were good enough for Goa and its tourists to revel in the loud and sexy world
of motorcycles. As for those who visited the show from far flung areas of India
and around the globe, it was fulfilment with a capital “F”.
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