If you were present anywhere near the weekend getaway of Lonavala in the western ghats of Maharashtra, you’d be treated to the symphony of bike exhausts ripping across the mountains – with bikers riding towards the 2021 India Bike Week. After last year’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IBW was back firing on all cylinders this year with additional safety protocols to ensure the safety of all participants. Starting from December 4, the India Bike Week spanned over two days, and here’s a lowdown on what took place at Asia’s largest bike festival.
The 2021 edition of IBW kicked off on December 4 and the venue, the Aamby Valley Airstrip was buzzing with activity. After the mandatory superbike parade had taken place, the first event on the roster was the screening of 18,603 FT – Harleys on the Roof of The World, a feature film that had adventurers including Vijay Parmar and Vir Nakai take the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 to the Key La Pass which was inaugurated earlier this year. You can click here to watch the film, and if you're interested in reading about the entire journey, do check out Vijay Parmar's feature in the November issue of evo India magazine. You can order a copy here.
The screening was followed by a talk with Maxwell Hazan, the world-famous custom motorcycle builder on the main stage, who spoke about his journey building motorcycles, along with a grand tour of his workshop in Los Angeles over a video recorded exclusively for IBW 2021. Sagar Sheldekar made an appearance too, talking about his association with bikenbiker, an e-store for superbike owners.
The Crankstorm Main stage also showcased riders such as Sarthak Chavan, Akshat Hupale and Darshit Chavan, who were representing the Future of Indian Motorsport. Also from the motorsport fraternity was the factory rider for Hero MotorSports, CS Santosh, with the all-new Hero XPulse 4V.
IBW was also the venue for numerous launches, including the Harley-Davidson Sportster S, the Honda H'ness CB350 Anniversary Edition along with the first public showcase of the Kawasaki Z650 RS and the unveiling of the soon to be launched Honda CB300R. IBW was not entirely about new and shiny machinery however, with a dedicated area for showcasing vintage bikes as well.
Meanwhile, near the main stage was a stunter’s paradise, with the Stunt Zone allowing riders to show off their skills of daredevilry in a safe, controlled environment at IBW. There was also a Burnout Challenge to enthral the spectators.
One of the major beehives of activity at the 2021 India Bike Week was the Biker’s Mart, powered by evo India. The Biker’s Mart had various stalls catering to an enthusiast’s needs, with stickers, riding gear, merchandise and all manner of biking paraphernalia on sale. Our merchandise partner 100kmph also had its presence at the Biker’s Mart, with visitors having the opportunity to pick up some cool t-shirts and also to grab a copy of evo India Magazine.
As the sun set on Day 1 of the India Bike Week, the IBW Honor Roll award was presented to Dakar rider Ashish Raorane and entertaining the enthusiasts were the electronic music artists, the MIDIval Punditz along with DJ Sam, wrapping up the festivities. As the parade of machines headed out of the event with a generous dose of exhausts being revved out, This was just the beginning of the action, and Day 2 held the promise of being action-packed till the lock stop!
With the sun rising over the Aamby Valley Air Strip, the adrenaline was pumping for Day 2 of India Bike Week. Kicking off the day with an action-packed start were rides from the Harley Owners of India, a private motorcycle club. The HOI is an enthusiastic bunch, having ridden their Harleys through the ASEAN corridor, spanning a distance of nearly 28,000km in 45 days! Keeping in line with the energy, a virtual session was organised with Sandra & Fiona, the duo being known as the Women of Moto-overlanding. At the Howling Dog Bar, various riding clubs continued to battle it out and showcase their strength through various games at the Club Wars. A collector’s showcase was also present, with bikes belonging to collectors such as Amit P Kapani, Swaranjit and Kabir Bajaj on display. Kappani would also be giving a talk on the Fun of Dirt Biking along with Feroze Khan.
IBW also shone the spotlight on the new rider couples of India, along with tracking the evolution of moto content with digital content creators such as Bulu Patnaik (@bulubiker). Day 2 also saw the premiere of the Zanskar – Beyond Adventure feature film by Winter Wanderer, although the excitement would be overshadowed by the touching tribute paid to filmmaker Gaurav Jani. A well-known name in biking circles, Jani passed away due to multiple organ failures in May last year.
The 2021 India Bike Week was an experience like no other, being a pilgrimage for like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts who would look forward to it all-year long. With a diverse range of motorcycles on display, exhausts shrieking to their full glory and an overall atmosphere of fun, 2021 IBW continued to carry on the fandom that the earlier editions had garnered, despite a change of location due to the pandemic. That said, little can come in the way of bikers celebrating the joys associated with the Thrill of Riding!