Bikers of India: Sachin Nair and what it takes to be him



Yeah, it’s been a while since I wrote. Don’t ask why, it’s a long story. Truth be told, I don’t really care about you. I don’t owe you anything, neither an explanation nor an article. RiderZone is my personal space, and it’s completely up to me what I want to do with it. That’s one of the things I learned in my discussions with Aditya Phadke of Motonomous, the difference between a blogger and a website owner.

A blogger doesn’t write for money, doesn’t write for fame, doesn’t write for any reason but because if he didn’t, his head would explode with ideas. The moment you start thinking about responsibility, followers and their expectations, everything goes to shit. I do what I do because I enjoy it, and the only way I can keep enjoying it is when I don’t have to give a fuck about anyone who reads what I write. 

If there’s one thing I’m good it, it’s not giving a flying fuck.

Bikers of India is a series that I’ve been planning to do since quite a while now. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible riders, bad-ass motherfuckers who don’t give a shit about Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. They don’t care for the number of followers they have, they don’t care for the number of kilometers they’ve done, all they care for is doing what they want to do. This article is not for them, they might not like everything they see here. This article for me to share with you the experiences I’ve had, to meet these people through my words.

Who is Sachin Nair?

It was not a difficult decision for me, at all, to start this series with Sachin, reasons for which will become abundantly clear through the course of this article. I could’ve started with Roshni Sharma or Gavin MacFarland or Rohit Upadhyay or Amrit Mishra or Suki Tatineni or Deepan Devraj or Om Vaikul or anybody else from the giant list of heads and words that’s in my brain, but I didn’t.

I didn’t know Mr. Nair existed before 4:45 PM on 20th May 2014. I’ve always been a solo rider, never saw the merit in getting stuck with a group. His message on Facebook just randomly popped up, asking me to join them for a group ride that weekend. I said sure, why the fuck not, and that’s how it all began.

I never imagined it was possible for me to enjoy a group ride.

Our first ride was to Tamhini Ghats with a bunch of other LOST folks, and I had fun. Proper, no-nonsense, biking fun. It was nice to be with a small, close-knit group of people who knew what they were talking about. I’ve seen quite a few “biker” groups, and believe me, all you get there is a bunch of wannabe asswads incessantly discussing pornography, and that too the B grade kind.

After Tamhini we did Bangalore, then Hyderabad, then Bhutan, then Udupi, and a million other shorter rides in between. A time came where I actually stopped riding solo! No idea how the hell that happened, but all I did was wait for the next group ride to be. Those were a crazy few months.

But who Sachin Nair really is?

Like many other bikers, Sachin is an IT guy. He works in Accenture, and has for about a billion years (no idea how he can spend 9 hours a day at such an obnoxious little company for 7 years). He is married, lives with his mom and a sis, and has a giant network of bikers around him.

He started off the way most of us did, with Xbhp. Even though it’s dying now, and has been reduced into a sad personal marketing cult of one dude and his minions, there was a time when Xbhp made sense. It brought a ton of riders together, who then formed everlasting bonds over the thousands of kilometers they spent on the road.

He still has his old Karizma ZMR that he did some 60,000 kms on. He now rides a Ninja 650 that has done some 50,00o odd. The number of kilometers that he has done is NOT the reason why I respect him so much, it’s something entirely different.

What does it take to be him?

Extreme monetary control.

With so many of these my-dad-is-a-fucking-ATM superbikers that have infested our streets, a lot of people think that bikers are nothing more than an eccentrically rich bunch of show-offs who ride motorcycles simply to make other people feel shitty about their lives. The fact couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The only way you can be a biker in India is if you are ready to defy all logic, piss off every living entity you care for, and be absolutely obsessed with two wheels.

I have repeatedly said that riding in India is NOT a fun experience, we do it because there’s simply no other way for us. Most bikers are constantly on the verge of monthly bankruptcy, but that’s not the case with Sachin.

I have never known another person who is as meticulous with money as he is. He plans shit, to the minutest details, something that I can’t even begin to comprehend. He knows what he can buy, and when. He knows when he can ride, and how far. He is the perfect example of juggling family and personal life, and I think it all boils down to one thing.

Sachin Nair knows how to keep everybody happy.

How does he do it? I have no fucking clue. I can’t even keep my family happy, let alone some retarded stranger that I don’t even care about. Think of it this way, my ability to piss people off is only slightly better than Sachin’s ability to make them worship him.

There have been numerous, eerie experiences of people stopping us in the middle of nowhere to ask this one question that most LOST people are now quite used to:

Is that Sachin Nair? 

I don’t know what he does differently than me. He is a pretty straightforward guy, but I guess the difference is that he knows when to keep his bloody mouth shut.

There of course have been moments where I absolutely wanted to club him to death with a blunt piece of rotten wood. He often gets carried away while riding, and forgets as basic things as food, water and photography. He is extremely greedy for miles, and doesn’t mind if half of his group is dead by the time they make it to the destination. And then there’s his addiction to the most hideously offensive songs that Bollywood has to offer.

But then again riding with him is like going on an all-expenses paid guided tour. You don’t have to care about route, hotels or anything, so I guess that kinda evens it out, and also explains why he hasn’t died a gory death yet.

Why him? 

The reason I admire this man is because he has molded his family, his limited economic resources, and his entire life around bikes. He is not infallible, and has crashed a number of times, but every time he does, nothing changes. I admire him because he doesn’t know what else to do but ride a motorcycle. I admire him because he suffers from the same mental condition that I do.

Recently he took part, quite surprisingly for me, in the True Wanderers content run by Wrangler and Xbhp. I had planned to write something too, but couldn’t go past 1 line simply because of how shitty it felt. It felt like I was whoring myself out to a bunch of cunts just so I could get my hands on a bike I didn’t want or need. But that’s just the way I think.

I can’t say that I like what he is doing, but who cares. I think that’s the difference between us, the difference between intelligence and stupidity, the difference between people who know what’s right and those who don’t. Some people understand the way the world works, and they are ready to play by someone else’s rules as long as it works for them, I just am not one of them.

Would I like him to win that Bonneville? Yes, I think he deserves it. There’s no way you will ever know how much effort he has put into that ride, not just the past few weeks, but the years before that, the thousands of kilometers that got him there. I don’t think it’ll make much difference if he doesn’t win either, apart from slight heartburn of course. Who doesn’t like free stuff?

If there’s one thing I would want you to know about him, it’s that I like him, and that’s saying a lot, given my intense hate for almost everything the world has to offer. I like people who don’t give me bullshit, who love bikes for no particular reason, and who don’t care much for other people’s useless opinions, and Mr. Nair is a Ninja at all of that.

He is, in my opinion, one of the finest bikers you’ll ever find in India, and I’ll happily follow his tire anytime, anywhere on the planet.

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  1. Sanatan Dubey

    Great article as always…..even though you have made it clear your reasons for writing. Please think of us reader’s who wait for a new article . No pressure Akhil no responsibility as well, just a request. All the best.

  2. Shivani Shankar

    Mera number kab ayega? 😛

  3. Shivani Shankar

    Mera number kab ayega? 😛
    Good to hear from you mate. Nice article and a brilliant series to know the “real bikers” in India. This would really help the new bikers to know the difference between show offs and the genuine bikers. Keep going.. Cheers. Ride safe.. 🙂

    1. AK

      Aega 🙂

  4. AK

    That’s a tripod!

  5. nikidestoner

    Dude I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and i personally think your way with words are just like raping with consent! Anyhow nice blog 🙂

    1. AK

      Haha, I’ll take that as a compliment 🙂

  6. Ayush Chauhan

    You should do a piece on me some day. We both know how many miles I have covered.

    1. AK

      Saale, ghar se bahar nikal pehle.

      1. Ayush Chauhan

        Bhai Middle Earth, The Continent, HALO space ship. I travel all the time…

  7. Sudipto Roy

    On the topic of XBHP and what you wrote, here is a screen shot of what I wrote on their wall after picking up my first and last copy of their physical magazine. I hope it is readable.

    1. AK

      Totally agree!