The first edition of the India Bike Week turned out just as we expected, only better. The India Bike Week is the first of its kind here because it's open to anyone on two wheels. And two-wheelers did come. In hordes. Estimates suggest around 6,500 enthusiasts and 3,000 bikes came to Goa on the 2nd and 3rd of February to eat, meet, greet, drink and celebrate the spirit of motorcycling.
And what did the festivities comrpise? Well, for starters, there were 28 live bands and DJs. There was cage fighting and there were the watering holes — the Howling Dog bar and the Coyote Ugly bar. But that's not all. There was so much more to it. Ever seen a turbine engined motorcycle that has a top speed of 402kph and get to 320kph in just 5.3seconds? Ever seen a 1914 Triumph 'H' Trusty 500cc looking like it left the showroom yesterday? Or a Royal Enfield that's being readied for a land speed record run at Bonneville next year?
Ever had a chance to talk to a couple who's riding around the world on their BMW GS 1200 Adventure? Or that chap who bought a KTM 640 and rode it around South America for four months before bringing the bike back with him to India?
They have stories to tell. Stories you can learn from. Stories that one day might come helpful when you run out of gas in Bolivia.
There was a biker build-off competition, safe riding courses, a biker flea market, bike accessories, bike everything. And the lamb chops were phenomenal.
Meeting so many different kinds of bikers was one of the highlights for us from Autocar India. They say you meet the nicest people on a Honda, but you can also meet them on a Yamaha, BMW, Triumph, Ducati, Bajaj or a KTM.
Some say the event felt like a Harley meet, but this is untrue. It just looked like a Harley meet because Harley Davidson was one of the main supporters (other bike makers, where were you?) of India Bike Week.
In fact, that is one of the aims of the organisers for next year's event. To get support from more
Indian manufacturers and give this already fantastic event a healthy mix.
Most importantly though what the organisers got right was the vibe. It felt good, it was right. It elevated motorcycling. We, for one, are really looking forward to next year.