Two wheels to Arpora
In its fourth year, India Bike Week promises to be staggering—with stunt championships, off-road races and a film festival screening movies themed on motorcycles
There is an indefinable something that makes 12,000-odd bikers from around the country religiously make a trip once a year, to attend the India Bike Week (IBW). Martin Da Costa, the founder of the event, probably foresaw this when he began the venture four years ago, because he predicted it would become ‘the Khumbh Mela of Indian automobile fans’. Organised by the Seventy Event Media Group (70 EMG) and Fox Networks Ltd, the fourth edition kicks off in Arpora, Goa, today. Be it a rider, a custom motorcycle maker, a movie buff or a mechanic, the event promises to entertain everyone. “We are working hard to develop IBW as the Indian version of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally meets the Rio carnival,” says Da Costa, revealing the outline of events for this year.
For those who love parades, IBW Main Street, fashioned after the Rio Carnival, is perfect. Love watching the mean machines take centrestage in films? The IBW Film Festival will screen movies that exclusively deal with motorcycle and ride-related themes. A connoisseur of art? The Motoart Collective will be right up your alley, as some of the best custom paintworks and pinstrips to feature on motorcycles and helmets will be on display there. For the more adventurous, there is the stunt riding championship and off-roading that can win participants cash prizes of up to `75,000.
All roads to Goa
Motorcycling enthusiasts are already on the road, making a beeline for the event. Jobin Jose, the ride convener of Backwater RAT (Riders Association Triumph) in Kochi, Kerala, has been attending the event since its inception in 2013. “IBW is the best show for bikers, petrol heads and auto enthusiast. For this year, I’ve put together a contingent of 20 riders. This year is also extra special because we have brought along a ‘star attraction’ with us—actor Dulquer Salmaan’s Steve McQueen-inspired custom Triumph motorcycle. The motorcycle was selected as the best custom by Triumph India and we believe we can repeat the feat at India Bike Week, too,” says Jose, who worked for three months with the actor to put the bike together.
Meanwhile, B Biju, who heads Throttlerz, a team of stunt riders from Coimbatore, is keeping his fingers crossed. Having won the stunt riding championship at IBW 2015—beating seven teams from around the country—he wants to repeat the feat. “This is the only motorcycling event that gives a platform for stunt riders to perform,” concludes Biju, who took home a cash prize of `50,000 and a National Stunt Championship trophy.
Till tomorrow. Entry: `3,500. Details: indiabikeweek.in
What are biker gatherings without some head banging? That is why IBW has lined up some of the best bands from the country. EDM lovers can groove to Delhi band MIDIval Punditz, while party people can shake a leg to Mumbai pub favourites, The Other People. Also on the list are percussion band Thaalavattam and blues band, Soulmate.
The first Indian to enter and complete the famed Dakar Rally in South America (this January), Bengaluru racer CS Santosh is celebrated as the poster boy of Indian motorcycle racing. But his ride wasn’t without drama—he missed his shot at the title because of a motorcycle malfunction. Now the three-time MRF National Supercross Champion is getting ready to host the Ceat Safety session for bikers at IBW. “The Dakar Rally is the baddest race on the planet. It seemed like everything that I have done up until now had prepared me for the two-week long rally. IBW participants can expect to hear some interesting experiences of mine,” says Santosh, who firmly believes motorcycling as a sport is on the upsurge in India.
Route less travelled
Can you ride a motorcycle without a road? Of course, you can. IBW is bringing the famous Dirty 20 Enduro Challenge—where riders ride through a series of 19 obstacles, including rings of fire, rocks and muddy tracks.The winner will take home
a cash prize of `10,000.
For the first time this year, the event will host the IBW Film Festival, where movies under categories like Heels on Wheels (on women rider themes), Ride with Pride (motorcycle club themes), and India on 2 Wheels (solo ride videos) will be screened. Look forward to documentaries One Crazy Ride and Riding Solo to the Top of the World. Also the best user-made solo ride video will receive a GoPro camera.