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:
- Is it so easy to get your side of the news published in big websites?
- 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.