India Bike Week and their ridiculous Chai Pakoda rides

By | September 24, 2014

A few days ago, I was reading an article at Asphalt&Rubber, about how Motorcycle.com was trying to push false stories, by using tactics that can only be described as stupidly disgusting at best. I thought to myself, wow, even big names sometimes do such idiotic stuff to get that slight edge over their competition! I can’t say I understand why people do such things, but then I’m a nobody.

I’m a nobody as far as the Indian motorcycle websites go. I am not a journalist, I’m never present at any press conferences, and I’ve never ridden anyone else’s bike except my own my entire serious motorcycling life. RiderZone is more or less a 1 man show, but I am a biker, and a good one in my own eyes. And when I see these gigantic websites pushing paid content, that has nothing to do with the actual events, all I can do is giggle and cry.

Case in point is India Bike Week’s last Sunday’s Chai Pakoda ride, to promote the biking fest being held in Goa next year. Here are the links to the news stories published by big names, take a look:

The same story is also shared at WebNewsWire, which looks like nothing more than a paid content promotion website, filled with spammy posts all over. The news at WebNewsWire is a word-by-word copy of the story at DriveSpark by the way. As would be quite obvious, India Bike Week’s own website also paints a lovely picture of the entire event.

If you go through the posts, you’ll see the similarities. Apart from the MotorBeam article, all others are just promoting India Bike Week and their tickets and the 5 hour discount that they are offering this time. Even the photos between Motoroids and DriveSpark are the same. The MotorBeam article seems to provide a first-person perspective, which I appreciate, but like all the other websites here, it completely misses the big story.

3-4 bikes crashed during this India Bike Week chai pakoda ride. I say 3-4 because I’m not certain. From the photos I can see that a Yamaha R1 is totally gone, with a CBR Fireblade facing major side damage. The Z800 looks like it was rammed from the behind. You can also see the R1 rider with visible injuries being lifted away by fellow bikers, and you may also notice that his shitty knee guards didn’t help him at all when things really mattered.

Was I there? Have I seen these crashes myself? No. But these photos were widely shared on Facebook and WhatsApp, and I’m certain a lot of bikers in and around Mumbai are aware of this catastrophe. I was out getting my bike repaired with a few friends when this happened, and we got live updates on our WhatsApp feed, with everyone feeling lucky to have not joined this horde of madness.

My question here is very simple, WHAT THE FUCK?

Why have ALL of these websites completely censored this information from their articles? Is it so obvious that they didn’t feel like mentioning it at all? Like it is a well known fact that 3-4 bikes crashing out of a mob of 500 bikes is no big deal? I have always been against these stupid “Ride for Safety”, or “Ride for Respect”, or “Ride for your mom’s asshole” events, they are nothing more than promotional gigs, which put the lives of bikers and other innocent people on the road at risk, while giving the attention-whores of the biking world plenty of space and time to feed their ego.

Check out this video of a crash during an ironically named “Ride for Safety” at Mumbai last year. These same guys arranged another Ride for Safety recently, and a few bikers were found doing stunts on public roads! Here’s the video for that. Do you guys get what I’m saying? These events should NOT HAPPEN in the first place, they serve no other purpose apart from inconveniencing general public, and giving an opportunity to some guys to show-off their balls out.  It is impossible to manage a bunch of 500 bikers, much less spread the message of safety! And in any case, how the hell does a giant snake of motorcycles, pushing their way through traffic, many of them without basic safety gear, promote safety?!

I am pretty shocked by this whole chain of events, because this raises two very important questions:

  1. Is it so easy to get your side of the news published in big websites?
  2. If this can be done by a small organization like IBW, what are corporations and the Government capable of?

So, yeah, I’m not really sure what to say here. I would encourage you guys to do your own research, and make your own opinion. This article is what I feel about this whole “Ride for a Cause” industry, that I feel is giving a bad name to real bikers, and people who actually want to do something for charity. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m gonna continue my policy of staying away from any place where more than 50 bikers are together. Oh, and if you are thinking of going for the India Bike Week 2015, think again.

UPDATE: The Ninja 250 accident looks unrelated to the IBW ride. All photos referencing it and the related text has been removed.

  • Akhil Kalsh

    🙂

  • Pingback: Trucks and Tattoos become costly as IBW comes close - Fake Biker()

  • Kam

    Ride alone. Good night

  • Reading through your articles, my initial impression was you are too cocky for good with your lines and your opinions. I can willingly agree on this particular article, there is no actual need for such crap events. Safety of a rider and people around him comes with common sense and not events. Massive respect from my end. Keep trolling the idiots :p

  • BENOY

    Ride for your mom’s asshole” events, LMFAO dude whereon earth do you get such lines i just cant stop laughing…. but likewise you i too just dont agree with the ride fora cuse. its more of a gimmick.

  • Pingback: Kawasaki Ninja H2R unveiled: Mother of Batman! - RiderZone()

  • Devang

    You are nothing but just an attention seeking pig. What are you harping on safety and riding gear??? Do you wear a full suit and ride?? During the chai pakoda ride the rider who crashed was wearing proper gears, except riding shoes. Rider came out without a single bone fracture. See your own profile first and check your own posing pics before commenting about something which you were not even part of.

    • I always wear full riding gears, even while riding 10 kms to office.

      300 bucks knee guards and sports shoes on one of the fastest production motorcycles is hardly “proper gears”.

      I’m glad I was not a part of it BTW!

  • Akhil Bro, You nailed it 😀
    Especially the Ride for safety part 😛

  • The idea of IBW never ever tingled the minds and hearts here at MotorBeam. we stuck to press release ONLY once when the initiative was launched for the first time and that same article had our thoughts on it as well which were not that great. 2014 event in Goa was covered with a lot of pictures and since for media there was complimentary stuff we did manage to see other people moaning about the exorbitant pricing despite they knew what happened in 2013.

    I was suppose to go on the 2014 September chai pakoda ride but cancelled it at the last moment only because i saw 508 are coming which i know is a disaster in disguise. Last chai pakoda ride riders were leaving in groups every 15 minutes and while coming everybody is are on their own.

    The road is extremely demanding if you have a bike above 300cc and above you have the power to take sweepers at 140 only if you can or are a experienced rider. Superbike owners, most of them are called “throttle blippers” have zero idea on how their bike behaves in a simple term which is called “braking and cornering” they bought the bike to kill themselves on so called “brotherhood oversmart overacting” rides. Group ride of superbikers has always been 70% of the time a way of not spending time with their wives and going out with “big bikes” to show off and ditch their Honda City’s for one day.

    Whatever you said here has been happening since the biking culture started taking momentum and hence people with different mentality either choose to participate or not too.. never at all!

    Thanks for bringing it to everybody’s attention if i were there i would certain as pissed as you are but not as abusive as you when i would write about it 😛 Love reading your blogs keep up the good work Akhil!

    • Haha! Nice one Mohit, loved your words, especially “Group ride of superbikers has always been 70% of the time a way of not spending time with their wives and going out with “big bikes” to show off and ditch their Honda City’s for one day.”

      Cheers!

  • Swadhin

    After reading and seeing the photos I’m totally confused. What the hell they were trying to do ? “Ale of man; The TT” !!!??? How fast that R1 was going ? If the name is ” Chai Pakoda ” then how things became crazy “Vodka Pakoda”. Akhil, I agree with you that these rides are totally baloney and these so called “Big Name Publishers” are as horrible as main stream media.

    • No clue Swadhin, but that crash would have definitely looked at home during the Isle of Man! I am quite surprised at the “reporting” of these big name publishers, but then I’m no businessman and don’t really understand their thinking. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Jalex

    I would agree with everything in the article except the use of the F word and you might have missed, but there are a few bikers who do ride for safety campaigns in Kerala minus the hype and nonsense while at it.

    • Hey Jalex, that’s the way I talk, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. The F word is only a word, and I feel it helps me express my thoughts better. I would prefer if you focussed on my thoughts rather than the words I used, as difficult as that may be 🙂

      Yes I’ve got a few comments in here where it looks like people do host such events and they still go smooth and people learn something from that as well. I agree with the logic that has been provided that people copy other cool people. Even then, such groups should not cross 50 numbers, or else it can become a pain to manage, and pain for other road users as well.

  • SillyBoy

    ROTFL! Absolutely spot on. These assholes want to organize a real event for the biking fraternity ? How about a fucking track day or a drag racing event. These chootiyas like Wheelie boy trying to promote safety on 2 wheels is a fucking joke. Gandoos making money off so called bikers. Bhagg Saala!

    • I am against the concept, not the person. Please don’t use such derogatory language!

  • Chs

    Akhil Kalsh: This is an earnest request. Please do not mix bikers with posers with fat load of cash. It gives a bad name to the entire fraternity. I agree with your points but the ones you have mentioned are all posers and are a disgrace to the fraternity and society. The websites, exactly as you mentioned, mean pure business and can, has and will always censor contents that demoralize their own paid contents and colors. Its their mass followers who need to understand that. However, I would like to point out that Safety rides in the country are being done to promote safety and not hooliganism. They are not a platform for stunts, those who practice that have always been taken care of.
    Additionally as you have mentioned that a mammoth snake of riders can not be managed and someone or the other will be the cause of breaking the safety rules, I would like to bring to your notice that there are clubs who not only practice safety but also nurture ‘adult’ riders and posers into safe biking. Group rides of these clubs has nearly nil accidents and generally have more than standard safety in what most of the IBW riders or any posers practice. I have only one request in this big post. Please do not mix bikers with posers. That’s all. Ride safe.

    • How do you differentiate bikers from posers man? You have to mark a line and then say this is it!

      I understand that there are many rider groups that are extremely well managed, and may also help spread the message of safety, but even then WHY? There is no single thing that is accomplished by a group of riders going on our crowded streets that can’t be fulfilled through other ways. A big group of bikes is never good for anyone, no matter how disciplined all the riders are. Our road conditions are not nearly good enough for such things to go smoothly and without trouble.

      I have never heard of any bike rally that didn’t have issues. You are yourself saying even the “nice” group rides have “nearly nil accidents”. My point is very simple, there is simply NO NEED to bring hundreds of bikers together to spread the message of safety! You can do it online, distribute pamphlets, talk to kids, and do a whole lotta other things.

      Happy riding to you too!

      • Chs

        Back to basics. Online? 99.5% are interested in watching beauties and sending friend requests to them rather than being even showing interest for safety. The 0.4% are bikers and 0.1% are couch potatoes. Pamphlet Distribution? Are you even serious? Those pamphlets will be strewn trash on the already dirty roads and not a single word will be read by the masses. Talking to kids? Do you even think that anyone listens to them, even their parents, when they will try to preach? It will be a total fail for preaching the elder generations, although we may Only create a better younger generation.
        Posers and bikers are very different breed. A simple glance is enough to outline that. Too much of donkey shit mixed with their posing traits with added taste maker of Rossi replica gears and fat money full nonsense will give you the perfect recipe for Posers.
        Why safety rides make a difference? Very Simple. The biker ‘cult’ is celebrated through out the country. Anyone having a bike with a greater ‘cc’ tries and mimics the bikers, riding right beside him. Have seen this happen. An outright example is the ‘biking gloves’ and ‘Replica helmets’ that people excluding the bikers wear. Just for a show cause. That’s how it works on the ground level interactions with the common masses. Have seen and interacted with enough of these mimicking monkeys which underlines the stated fact.
        If you have not been to such rides with a mass group of people who practice more safety than they preach where no incidents have happened, you seriously need to get out of that seat. There are more than enough of such groups, an example of such a massive group would be the naked wolves. Hope you have heard about that.
        I will give you an example of how things work with the masses. People have a psychology to mimic. What the see around them, they mimic. Be it from the television, the films, the shows etc. they mimic. It doesn’t limit till there. Their mimicry becomes trend and then a fashion statement and suddenly everyone is following it. History has proved this time and again.

        • That is a valid point, people do copy stuff from others they think are “cool”. And yes, I’ve seen Naked Wolves and their discipline, pretty awesome. Even then, the group needs to small, less than 50 for sure, for it to be manageable without creating trouble for others. I agree with you here 🙂

  • ZB

    Just want to speak about the first point.

    Whenever a website is putting up a news, it’s usually sourced from press releases and other websites. They have a certain sanctity to regarding the kind of content that goes up, I am Guessing. So when IBW sends out a release saying such an event is happening, the websites put it up. Now if any such incidences happen, IBW, won’t send a release saying there were accidents.

    As for the websites mentioned, I really doubt any of them were present at the event. And as far as Motorbeam goes, they looked around a bit more than the other websites, and hence have that extra masala.

    As for such events, it’s a lot about creating brand awareness and money. So people will do such things for both purposes.

    As for the ride for safety part, those rides try to convey the msg to the helmet less pulsar and karizma owners. If making them wear a helmet via laws is difficult, you might as well make it cool so more kids who end up on a bike atleast wear some gear with that regard.

    Because sir as you think wearing gear is really important, others out there fail to understand that.

    Back to the first point, buying media space is expensive and that’s called advertising. And when it’s advertised, it’s very obvious and you wouldn’t miss that.

    And to end this, all I have to say is that shit happens. And there are fools out there who won’t think as wisely as you would.

    • Obvious IBW won’t say there were accidents 🙂 But I believe it is the job of the websites to get their facts straight and not just publish whatever they are paid to publish! I may not be making business sense at all, but ethically speaking I think that would be ideal case scenario.

      Your comment is really “as a matter of fact” type, and you are right in every way. People do these events for brand awareness, and money. If a helmetless cool kid wears a helmet for 1 day in their life, it would be better for everyone! And yes, shit happens too, people make mistakes. There is no denying these facts.

      But we can’t just say “this is the way it is” and then move on! Why should other innocent people pay for someone else’s brand awareness and money making exercise? Why should we need such huge events to make these stupid bike owners a reason to put on their helmet? Why should we provide such an atmosphere where accidents are bound to happen? We need to make the right decision, then stick with it. That “chalta hai” philosophy needs to be ended as soon as possible.

  • The Celebrity

    Hi Akhil, your article is nicely written. I agree all the points which you have mentioned are valid except for one point. Discouraging ‘Safety Ride Campaigns’. Myself hailing from Kerala is part of a biking community spread across India. We have been conducting Road Safety Awareness campaigns every year with participation of approximately 30-40 bikes in our capital Trivandrum. We have being conducting these events for the past 5 years and have not faced any trouble as you have mentioned above. As a matter of fact we liaise with the City Police and conduct the campaign making sure we do not disrupt the traffic or make any public nuisance. We move from A – B which would have at a distance of approximately 20kms with stops at major junctions to hand-out Road Safety Awareness pamphlets. Our event has actually changed the mind-set of many people and they have become responsible on roads. We have been able to achieve this goal only because we follow one golden rule, we do not invite posers for the campaign. The participants would be members of the fraternity who are responsible riders and walk the talk. Similarly, all the participants will wear proper riding gears (during all rides) and follow proper group riding patterns to avoid traffic nuisance. I would promote Safety Awareness campaigns minus the Posers who do stunts and ride rash during the campaign giving a bad example for the campaign. Ride Safe!

    • Hey man (or woman), I agree that a group of 30-40 bikes, with riders wearing all protective gear, and following all safety regulations is a good thing. I still am not convinced that such events actually do something for safety. In my opinion, no one watches well-mannered bikers and goes “Shit I was an asshole my entire life! I must follow all rules and regulations from now on!”. Do you understand what I’m saying?

      Safety is something that should be promoted in schools and to kids, it is very hard to change the mindset of an adult human.

      Even so, I am happy that you feel that your rides make a difference, and I sincerely hope they do! All I’m trying to say is that there are better ways of spreading awareness, ways that involve the internet and not our already crowded streets 🙂

      And yes, such giant events with hundreds of bikers are giving a bad example to everyone, without serving even a single meaningful purpose. There is no way to figure out who is a poser and who is not, unless you know all of them personally.

      Good luck and happy riding to you!

      • The Celebrity

        Getting your points loud and clear. I put my reply to make you aware that such events do make a positive note unlike how you have written off such campaigns.

        Yes, changing an adult’s mind is difficult compared to that of kids. Our next project is visiting schools and colleges to grow the awareness.

        Thank you for the appreciation and luck.

        p.s The Celebrity is a Man. 🙂

  • KARMA

    Want Wheelie Videos of Z1000 and Fireblade ? 🙂

  • Gaurav

    I was Riding early same day on NH8 …IBW created a mess .. traffic , Wheelie’s on National Highways …Reckless riding I saw them all sitting at Ahura .. complete chaos people riding without proper gear ..Totally there were 6 accidents the same day I returned home by 10:30 am to see the pics . .. Govt should put a BAN on such groups riding events !

    • Even I heard stories of people popping wheelies in the right most lane! Just plain stupid behavior if you ask me. And yes, such events need to be stopped, they are not helping anyone but the organizers. Thanks for your comment Gaurav 🙂

  • AV8TOR

    The precise reason why I haven’t been present in any kind of event/rides/causes. Unnecessary, good for nothing events which everyone can do without.

    • Exactly my thoughts! I have never been at any place with more than 15 bikers I believe, in my entire life, and I’m pretty happy!

      • Sharang

        Quick question.
        Why is it any organizations fault if certain people don’t know / refuse to ride their bikes safely? Has the IBW team asked them to ride recklessly? No. Then why blame them? They are organizing a breakfast ride to market their event, that’s it. Whether you believe in that is your personal choice but don’t sit and put up a badly written article about how they failed to mention the crashes. Why should they? They have absolutely nothing to do with reckless riders with no gear.

        Secondly, why should IBW or any other motoring website write about the things that don’t concern them? You wrote this article because it were expensive motorcycles that crashed. I don’t see articles about a pulsar 220 crashing!

        So, please stop baselessly bad mouthing just because you ran out of things to write. Follow your own philosophy “Cock up and ride”

        • Hey Sharang, it is the organization’s fault because they create an environment conducive for such incidents, just to market their event. These mega rides don’t help anyone but the organizers, and create trouble for others. They are responsible for the reckless gearless riders. If they can’t make sure everyone remains under control and wears full protective gear, they shouldn’t host the event in the first place.

          If a Pulsar or an M80 or anything else had crashed, I would have mentioned that. They didn’t, so I didn’t. I don’t expect IBW to write about crashes in their own event, what I do expect is motoring websites following some ethics and calling a spade a spade.

          • Rishi

            My view on this whole thing…

            1) question to the critic – what are you upset about? is it people organising ride for safety? is it IBW? is it about websites promoting paid articles? or is it you missed on this ride?. Because your so called silly story is totally haphazard and very poorly structured.

            2) We are (at least i am) glad you are not a journalist and you are not present in press conferences (that is if someone calls you). Because you yourself are writing with twisted facts, without being present at the event and in a poorly designed language. You don’t know exactly what you want to highlight with your childish and grumbling story. (This is just my opinion).

            3) Yes i do agree with you, events like Ride for safety and IBW are organised to promote the organiser brand name. But it is also giving an opportunity to riders of all ages, groups and people owning any kind of bike from a splendour to R1, an opportunity to ride together, share their stories & make new rider friends. To join or not to join such rides is an individual’s own decision. The organisers have not pulled anyone by their collar and asked them to join the ride. People who joined, just wanted to ride.

            4) Its unfortunate that sometimes accidents happen, sometimes its the riders mistake, sometimes its due to an external factor . But the organiser cannot control such situations. God forbid, it should not happen to anyone, but what makes anyone so sure that he will not end up in a accident when he is riding with less than 50 riders.

            5) I was there at IBW 2013 and i got to see some vintage, beautifully designed, hi-tech bikes, 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. 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. Their purpose was clear, gather the biking community, give the riders knowledge and insight into the biking world and pack it with some entertainment. And all you are grumbling about (once again) is veg & non-veg food, beer & water, harley & other bikes, price of food. If this was your PURPOSE of going to IBW, than buddy you had no PURPOSE.

            6) Ride for safety or IBW is held to make money, but someone somewhere is taking initiative, so why not these people earn some remuneration for their hard work. What are you doing child, what initiative have you taken till date? Other than GRUMBLING.

            7) When an article is paid, its called ADVERTORIAL (Advertised Editorial) and is clearly stated in any article on top right hand corner. What you are read in all the websites was news which was shared with journalists to inform people in general that events like Ride for Safety and IBW are happening in this part of the world too.

            8) Just one last word from me. You want to see the bad side, that is why you are, were you are today in the beautiful world of bikes, bikers and riding. Figure out for yourself were you are:)

            HAPPY RIDING!!!

          • And happy riding to you!

          • Sharang

            This is like saying it’s wrong to eat cake around you because you are on a diet. If you can’t control your self. Dont ride. You don’t become fat because someone else eats cake right?

          • No. It’s like inviting 500 foodaholic people to a meeting, and then showing them a 3 story cake, 5000 cup cakes, 3000 cherry cakes, 6000 plum cakes, and then asking them to not eat any of that. Nobody can control their urges in such a huge group, somebody is going to do something. If you crash because of someone else’s fault, you are at fault too for becoming a part of that stupidity in the first place.

          • RAV

            LoL love your analogies man, nailed it. respect 😀

          • Sharang

            That’s the most ridiculous comment ever. So if someone randomly falls because of theyre not mature enough, we should stop having such events? This is like saying it’s kingfishers fault for drinking and driving cases… So should we ban alcohol?

          • Are you trying to say that 4 (some people say 8) crashes in a day is random?

            No. It’s like saying it’s Kingfisher’s fault for giving free beers to 500 people, and then asking them to ride 150 kms in an inebriated state.

          • Sharang

            So it’s safe to say, personal responsibility as an adult doesn’t exist in your book of knowledge. Dude stop blaming others for no fault of theirs. Man up.

          • OK, I’ll start manning up right away.