India Bike Week 2014: Why was it such a disaster?

By | January 31, 2014

India Bike WeekIndia Bike Week is a festival that celebrates the brotherhood of bikers. In 2014 it happened for the second time, at the same place – Vagator, Goa. I didn’t take part in the first iteration, but the second one was something I looked forward to from quite a long time! Turns out it was going to be a quite a disappointment. Here are the reasons why I feel the India Bike Week 2014 was a disaster:

1. Overpriced tickets

I bought the early bird tickets, which were 2700bucks per person. This price then went up to 3000. Female tickets were priced at 2500 rupees. Tickets for a single day were priced at 1800 bucks.

India Bike WeekThis was grossly overpriced, more so keeping in mind what exactly you paid for. A dusty venue with the sun riding your ass isn’t something I expected.ย 

The India Bike Week guys said that they had made some arrangements for people to stay the night, which they thought was affordable. I checked that out too: 1600 bucks to sleep in a dormitory style bed with a bunch of other people. Really? I finally got a room of my own someplace else, 800 bucks and so much more peace.

2. Overpriced food

Not just that the entry was costly, even when you get in, everything was priced higher than usual! Add to that the fact that there were barely any “normal” food items available, and I spent 2 hours starved and parched. Parched because, get this, the stall that was supplying water bottles says that they ran out of it 2 hours ago! Take some overpriced beer instead?

For someone who is a vegetarian, isn’t too much into unknown cuisines and doesn’t drink, this was a complete nightmare. I had to get out of the venue, roam around for some food and water, and then come back again.

3. It was IHW, not IBW

India Bike WeekThe organizers for the event should have admitted it themselves, India Bike Week was more of India Harley Week. You got a Harley? Welcome! Go straight in and park wherever your heart desires. You got something other than a Harley? Go to the ticket counter and get a band for your bike, otherwise park outside and walk.

There were Harleys everywhere. The loudest bike competition was essentially a my-harley-is-louder-than-yours match. I guess what I am trying to say is, if you were hit by a Harley and flung 20 feet in the air, chances are you would be impaled on the mirrors of another Harley. Anyone who wasn’t on a hog, even superbikers, were left to fend for themselves.

4. There was no excitement

The ONLY event that I had fun with, was the MRF Stunt Bikers show by Callum Shaw and Luke Smith. It was amazing. Rest everything? You don’t want to know.

When you go to a “biker fest”, you expect there would be metal bands playing heavy music and guys going crazy in mosh pits. Instead I witnessed an all girls band playing something I barely understood, and the 7 or 8 people who were watching were just looking at the girls, they didn’t give 2 shits about the music.

India Bike WeekI was told that last year there was an off-roading area where you could have fun with your bike, no sign of it this time. There was also an area last time where you could try your hand on some guitars and jam around, not in 2014. It was an incredibly boring experience.

5. India Bike Week 2014 had no clear purpose

If you want realย bikers to get together and have fun, you take them on a ride, not cram them up onto the most congested roads in the country. India Bike Week 2014 seemed to be organized for just one purpose, to showcase the new Harleys and give and opportunity to the Harley owners to flaunt what they got.

Even the Ride For Safety that was done afterwards, are you kidding me? How does 100 bikes riding together through single lane roads and fucking up the lives of normal Goan people make anything safe?

India Bike Week 2014 gave me a valuable lesson, don’t follow the crowd. I saw bizarre happenings there, like a dude who brought his Harley in a truck right up to the IBW venue, unloaded the bike, vroomed around the ground and did some show off, then put it back in the truck and drove off. If that is the kind of biker you want to be, be sure to visit India Bike Week in 2015. As for me, I am staying a 1000kms away from anyplace where more than a 50 bikers are together.

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  • Filberto Rodriquez

    Same thing here in US. I have been to many bike fests without or without a bike. I love checking out the people,bands,chicks, and bikes. But last two years i headed to the Fire and Ice rally but never made to the venue because the riding weather and scenery was just too perfect. Why just sit around drinking and looking at bikes. Just ride. I like smaller groups or solo through the canyons here in Arizona and New Mexico. I like the lonely highways. Not the interstate. Im in no hurry. I think motocycle rallys should have tattoo contest, hot girls, outlaw bands, and the slow race and rodeo. But it should be the rides that are most memorable. I been dreaming to ride India before I die. What do you think of Goa to Andhra Pradesh? The Himalayan excursian.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Totally agreed!

      Goa to Andhra is a rather short trip Filberto ๐Ÿ™‚ Himalayas are a whole other experience! Let me know if you plan to come over, I can help with planning and shit.

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  • Ya Bro Akhil Kalsh, all your points are true I have experienced it. And your last, 5th point is very much arguable!!!…

  • Xerxes

    Well what you have written is your opinion, with all due respect I read it.

    Now here’s my opinion . What r u looking for at IBW ???? Free food, free booze or a free massage. well it ain’t happening for you.
    I’ve been to every ibw edition and will go to the 3rd too. Agreed that since Harley Davidson is the major sponsor, they r definitely going to pamper their customers on priority. Though this may pinch me too as I ride a non-HD bike, but other than that, I don’t see anything to crib about.
    IBW is all about just being there, getting to meet fellow bikers, make new friends, chill out for 2 days, that’s it. What were you expecting from IBW???
    Did u attend the session by Aspi Bhatena and a few legendary bikers on riding techniques ???? Did u vote at the biker build-off ???? Did you meet the legendary tourers of the world such as Nick Sanders, Ted Simon etc ??????? Did you thoroughly go through the flee market, the accessories stores, etc and end up with something u always wanted to buy ???? Did you see the bikes battling it out on the dyno by Race Dynamics and who won it (a non Harley) ????
    The answer is a big NO !!!!!!!

    Because while you were busy cribbing about the overpriced ticket, the overpriced food and music u didn’t like, we did the following ๐Ÿ™‚
    Enjoyed the reception we superbikers group got from the organizers.
    Got a dedicated parking area for the whole group along with security.
    We got ourselves some nice giveaways.
    We won some contests at the British Nutrition kiosk.
    We won the dyno run contest.
    We shopped to our hearts content.
    Met friends we only meet at IBW, made new friends.
    Ate together with all buddies new and old, almost all the “overpriced” food that in our terms was simply lipsmacking.
    Checked out some of the vintage and antique bikes.
    Voted at the biker build off.
    We were a non Harley group, but we’re given the honors to welcome Ted Simon and Nick Sanders.

    Yes, we did all this while u were sulking in some corner craving for attention and thinking of how to ridicule the event.

    My advice or rather request to you is, please organise an event of this magnitude at Ration Card prices that u dream off. And if you can better the IBW, I promise to never go back to IBW and be loyal to your event.

    Untill then….. Mate, stop ridiculing others who put in their heart and soul to organize an event like the IBW. And put ur time to better use.

    This……. Is my opinion .

    • Garry

      Absolutely agree Xerxes,
      Ride and meet your buddies that’s what it’s all about for me…..
      Kudos to the organizers who are pulling it off in a fantastic manner year after year….

    • Hey Xerxes, I’m happy that you had fun at the IBW! As you said in your comment, this article is purely my opinion. I’m not the kind of guy who enjoys being in a hot, dusty, crowded place just to get a few glimpses of some people or bikes. I also prefer meeting new people in more shall we say “natural” settings. Overall, Goa is SO not my choice for chilling out.

      I understand that there are a LOT of people who enjoy being at such events, getting together with their friends and stuff, and that’s perfectly OK. I can’t agree that IBW is selling their tickets at “Ration Card” prices, but fuck that who cares.

      I tried going there once, didn’t like it, wrote this article. You went there once and will keep going again. Have fun!

    • Hey Xerxes, Firstly..Nice name. Secondly, I am NOT going to pretend and be nice. I am sorry to be rude too. IBW sucks ass. Period. Apart from the loud harley’s, and other things Akhil mentioned,I got to say that Its been sold pretty darn well to pretentious people like you. Yes, I said it. You’re probably old too. Pretentious because in your little ‘Xerxes’ world, you think of this as the 75th Annual 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally or something, cherish that and be done with it. Infact, the truth is, this just a cheap indian rip off imitation of Sturgis. Also, I dont like you “Superbikers”, Again pretentious. Then to add, “IBW is all about just being there, getting to meet fellow bikers, make new friends” …Sorry, but fuck that. Its called the ‘road’. Thats where “getting to meet fellow bikers, make new friends” happens for me. I have a lot more of my thoughts here – (http://themotorcycleodyssey.blogspot.in/2014/10/how-retarded-are-large-motorcycle-group.html). Again, I am sorry to have offended you. I am generally a nice person. Cheers,

  • tejinder singh

    BOBMC RIDER MANIA
    DATES: 24-25 JAN 2015
    PLACE: CHANDIGARH

  • Rishi

    I respect all of your opinions and all that i have stated below are my individual opinion. but still Bhai log…main sorry hun agar main kisike bhavnao ko thes pahuncha raha hoo toh.

    I had to compare your negative comments with my positive opinion and wanted to understand why IBW experience did not leave a bad taste in me. May be I had a different purpose of going to IBW and you guys had a different purpose.

    Some excerpts from my opinion i had posted here http://riderzone.in/india-bike-week-chai-pakoda-ride/

    I was there at IBW 2013 and i got to see some of the most beautiful vintage bikes, artistically designed modified bikes (some of the best i have ever seen), hi-tech bikes (how can you not like Y2K), which i will never get to see in my everyday life.

    I ride a FZ15, but the thunder of about 1000 harleys still was music to my ears. And come on guys, Harley Davidson promotes the culture of riding, that’s why the harley riders were there in big hoards and so well taken care of. Harley Davidson company took care of their customers. Where was my manufacturer (Yamaha) or any other manufacturer in India’s only festival for biker’s.

    I got an opportunity to meet and hear stories of some of the legends of the biking/riding world like bobee singh, deepa malik, CS santosh, pankaj trivedi and many more.

    Than there was stunts by Mattie Griffin. Music by Pentagram and GDC and much much more worth more than 3000 bucks i paid.

    The purpose of guys at IBW was clear, gather the biking community, give the riders knowledge and insight into the biking world, display never seen bikes and pack it with some entertainment. And all you are grumbling about is veg & non-veg food, beer & water, harley & other bikes, price of food. If this was your or anybody else’s PURPOSE of going to IBW, than people i must say you that you guys had no PURPOSE.

    The place is a sturgis like bikers paradise and i applaud the organisers of IBW for creating this paradise for us in India. Will ensure i am there in 2015.

    HAPPY RIDING!!!

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  • Amogh

    And I thought I missed something epic!

  • Barry

    i am visiting from NZ in January for 6 weeks, i was looking to go to the 2015 IBW, but will give it a miss now, thanks guys.

    • You’re welcome!

      • Sathish Kumar

        Hi Akhil,

        Nice to see your comments. And happy to know you are visiting India soon. I understand from your message that you are a passionate biker, who love to meet bikers. Dear, there is no perfect place in this world, but you can make it perfect by knowing the fact that we all have limitations. Because we can not change anyone’s mentality.

        Indian bike week was ofcourse was a total disaster in my experience. I attended 2013 and 2014 IBW. I travelled from Jordan to India ( 8 hours flight + 12 hour layover for transit + 1600km ride (fuel) + ticket – 100k + other expenses). I did not even got a T-shirt what they offered. I am really feel ahamed to say that I am one of the Indian HOG. But at the same time, it is a golden opportunity – especially for any Indian biker, to get to know what is going on in India, and meet some real Indian bikers. Once you are in India, be in touch with the group in Bangalore called ‘Riders Republic’. ( ridersrepublicbangalore@gmail.com ) I am sure, you wont be disappointed, and you will get a warm welcome, and guidance if you needed.

        Any way, I wish you a happy journey and good luck with an amazing IBW 2015.

        • Sathish Kumar

          Sorry, my previous message wrote to Barry, not to Akhil. Ride safe & Enjoy the day guys !

  • Tushar

    I couldn’t agree more! This event was something me and my group was looking forward to. Infact we had cancelled a couple of rides in the calendar earlier so that we can save up enough for the overpriced event…which we then thought would be worth it.
    It was a total disaster. The only fun we had was the 650km ride to the venue from our place to Goa….All excited to be part of IBW’14.
    I don’t know if Bike week events across the globe are carried out in this way, but this one I did not enjoy to the fullest for sure.
    Maybe they thought the free T-shirts and stickers at some stalls would keep us happy. But that wasn’t something we had come for.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Neither did I man, it was a completely useless event for me. Didn’t make any new biker buddies either ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Dr.Music

    At long last someone actually said the right things….DUSTY DUSTY DUSTY …HOT HOT HOT….REALLY REALLY REALLY CRAPpppeeee MUSIC…STUPID STUPID STUPID PRICING….SO CRAP THAT ACTUALLY WE JUST use it as an excuse to ride to Goa from Bombay…then we reluctantly go just to meet friends and check out some of our friends’ stores at the venue….Lousy event…first one was slightly better because the bands were cooler…..the 2014 music and sound was soooooo baaaaadddd that it was unbearable to be around there….unbearable……quick exit….and fuck all memories…ride to and from was the thing … ya…saw some bikes there….so ?

    • Akhil Kalsh

      Haha, you know it ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • manoj jacob

    Nailed it total disaster in management the guys who paid also did not get what was promised being a early bird entry where as all the organizers were sporting a patch and a T shirt thats how bad it was it was not only for a non Harley biker but a H.O.G. (Harley Owner ) also faced the same as many booked as an early bird but was left to fend for themselvs and liads of verbal articulation at the regestrstion desk there were no tags also for bike and rider such was the case and then you have the people at the entrance asking you every time you exit and come in where is your tag and the bike tag such shit.

    • Akhil Kalsh

      It was a disaster Manoj, for sure.

    • Sathish Kumar

      The bike events must be organized by those who has real passion of bikes, and knowing what a real biker expecting at such events.

      In my experience IBW organizers just doing a business promotion. And, a group of people enjoying their good time with their family and close friends – who doesnt care anything about anyone else.

      I did booked as an early bird for the event, and the organizers shocked me, the way how they welcome me. I feel not sad – but sympathy on IBW organizers and Indian Harley dealers/representatives.

      Last year I attended a HOG rally in Europe and they gave me a special prize just because I was the first biker attended from Jordan Harley Owners Group., whereas In India – In one of the bike events, organizers surprised me with making hole in my coolant tube and enjoyed watching fun. It is something you wont see in any real biker events.

      I really wish to see this attitude change (especially Jealousy and revenge) , and a time comes when one appreciate and embrace every bikers and biker community.

      • Sad to hear that Sathish, hope the attitude changes soon!

  • Sathish Kumar

    Brilliant comments. I agreed 100 %. There was not at all any excitement other than the stunt. I decided not spending a fills for another IBW. I attended all IBW so far, but seems we, Indian bikers are going down… it is sort of a local club event ! No excitement ! No Fun ! No care ! Who cares ? … Good luck !

    • Akhil Kalsh

      I know man! It sucked ass.

      • atul

        Should have had your glass of milk and stayed at home buddy .

        • Would’ve been a good idea Atul.

          • Guys come to Bobmc rider mania 2015….

            And see what biker brotherhood is all about….

            Till then just cock up and ride….

          • Riding with a hard one? Hmm…. not a bad idea actually.