india bike week crash

India Bike Week and their ridiculous Chai Pakoda rides

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.

52 thoughts on “India Bike Week and their ridiculous Chai Pakoda rides”

  1. 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.

  2. 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 !

    1. 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 🙂

  3. 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!

    1. 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!

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. AK: 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.

    1. 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!

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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!

  9. 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!

    1. 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!

  10. 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.

    1. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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