The first weekend of February saw the quaint little towns of Anjuna and Vagator in coastal Goa resound with the thundering and rumbling of over 3000 bikes making their way onto Vagator Hill, venue for the first edition of the India Bike Week, India’s first festival purely dedicated to celebrate bikes, biking, and the biker way of life. The event saw over 6000 two-wheeler enthusiasts from all over India converge onto one spot for two days of camaraderie that revolved around biking.
Split over two days, India Bike Week 2013 included a variety of attractions, such as live music performed by various bands from across the country, stunt shows, an accessories expo, interaction sessions with eminent bikers, a biker build-off contest, and a flea market, not to mention the gathering of over 500 Harley Davidsons and over 100 superbikes from marques like Ducati, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki.
Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebrations
Harley Davidson, the gold sponsors of the festival, celebrated their 110th Anniversary at the India Bike Week 2013. Members of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) from all across the country rode into Goa from their respective cities in what was also the first National HOG Rally ever held in India. Around 500 Harley-Davidsons, ranging from the 883 Superlow to the CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide, thundered into the venue in a parade. The roar of a multitude of American V-Twins revving simultaneously added to the electric atmosphere in the venue. Harley Davidson also had a stall where all visitors could sit on and photograph themselves with all the bikes on display, and also experience running a Fat Bob through the gears on a dynamometer.
The Accessories Expo showcased everything from aftermarket air-filters, exhausts, ECUs and other accessories for various bike brands to helmets, jackets and other gear for the rider. Many items were offered at a special price at the venue, and one could also get their bike outfitted with the accessories bought at venue.
Big Trip Cinema
A very interesting part of the festival was the Big Trip Cinema, where eminent people from the Indian motorcycling fraternity were invited to share their experiences and adventures with the audience. The list included famous bikers such as Subash Chandra Bose (a veteran racer in the Indian Motorcycle racing circuit who won more than 350 races in his 30-year career), Deepa Malik (an Arjuna Award-winning paraplegic athlete and biker), Aspi Bhathena (famous Indian racer, one of two Indians to ever race at the Isle of Mann TT), Ashish Moudgil (Raid De Himalaya Champion) and Sundeep Gajjar (an Indian photojournalist who does regular long distance rides across the world). This event provided the audience with a good opportunity to interact with their favourite riders in person. The personalities were also felicitated by the event organizers for their contribution to the Indian motorcycling community.
Vintage Bike Concourse
The festival witnessed a selection of rare vintage bikes on display. Various bikes and scooters from companies such as Indian, Triumph, Corgi, Lambretta, Piaggio, Ariel, Norton, Matchless, BSA and Royal Enfield were present.
Custom Bikes Display
Over 20 custom-made motorcycles were on display. The line-up included the India’s first bike with a V-twin Royal Enfield engine, India’s first Bonneville Salt Flats Racer, a bike with a supercharged Royal Enfield engine, and a couple of bikes clothed completely in copper and brass.
The world’s most powerful production bike, the helicopter-engine powered MTT Y2K, was on display at the India Bike Week 2013. The Y2K is powered by a Rolls-Royces Allison turboshaft engine that outputs 320 bhp, and, wait for it, a massive 576 Nm of torque! All the power is channelled to the rear tyre by shaft drive, via a two-speed gearbox. The Y2K is also the most expensive production bike in the world, priced at $ 175,000 (Rs 96,25,000), making it an exclusive motorcycle for enthusiasts with deep pockets.
And for those who think that 320 bhp just isn’t enough, there is a new “Streetfighter” version, which pumps out 420 bhp. Both the bikes can achieve speeds in excess of 224 mph (360 kmph). In fact, the Y2K comes with a guarantee that it can achieve atleast 215 mph (345 kmph), or you can get your money-back. Oh, and it runs on both jet fuel and diesel!
Firing up the Y2K was one of the most anticipated events of the festival, and the turbine-engined superbike didn’t disappoint. The loud whine of the turbine firing up got the crowds ecstatic, and they even requested, and got, an encore!
The Biker Build-Off held at the India Bike Week was the first competition of its kind to be held in India. Three of the top custom-bike builders in the country, Rajputana Customs, Transfigure Custom House, and Dreamrider Vehicles, were given identical bikes as a base to build the best one-off bike they can in three weeks, culminating on the 2nd Day of the festival. When the bikes were completed, attendees could vote for their favourite one. At the end of the day, the trophy was won by Rajputana Custom’s bike.
Stunt teams from across the country showed off their legion of tricks and skills in the centre arena. International freestyle stunt biker Mattie Griffin enthralled the audience with his repertoire of stunts.
Dirt Track Races
Dirt track races were held at the venue between participants who brought their bikes along. The races were held on a special dirt course, replete with challenging turns, crests and bumps, classified according to the engine capacity.
Polaris Test Rides
Polaris had prepared a special test course for attendees to try out their ATVs first hand.
Overall, The India Bike Week 2013 showcased the increased maturity of the Indian motorcycle market, and the distance that biking in our country has come, from being a basic option of personal mobility to being a passion-oriented activity. Commenting on the overwhelming response to India Bike Week 2013 Martin da Costa, CEO of the event organizer and promoter 70 EMG, said "It's just incredible to see the reaction we've had to India Bike Week ‘13. To be here in Goa seeing these thousands and thousands of Bikers from across India meeting each other, partying, swapping stories, making new friends. We couldn't have asked for a better opening festival than the 2013 edition of India Bike Week. We're already planning 2014, so that it becomes even bigger and better with more bikes and more of everything. It’s the start of an incredible journey for us and for the Indian Biking Brotherhood.”
Keertan Adyanthaya, MD- FOX International Channels said, “We are thrilled with the response we have received for India Bike Week, which salutes the two wheeled lifestyle of the biking community. The festival is the greatest congregation of bikers in India’s history and has brought together around 6500 biking fans under one roof in its first year. We really hope to inspire a new generation of bikers and make India Bike week an annual property for the biker community in India.”
Here are a few more photos from India Bike Week 2013: