India Bike Week

Karthik Kumar

India Bike Week (IBW), touted as the country’s largest biking festival, kicked off on February 19 and 20 with a high note at Arpora village in north Goa with thousands of biking enthusiast from India and abroad participating in it. It’s been a refreshing two-day bike mania for all motorcycling enthusiasts, meeting up with other bikers sharing stories and experiencing a get-together like never before. IBW was the stage to the stars of the festival – live bands, movie screenings, Bikini Bike Wash, the National Custom Bike Build-Offs, and National Stunt Championship, along with few of new Bike launches, custom and vintage bike displays, and sessions with international Biker Legends. With over 10,000 bikers attending India’s biking event, the fourth edition of India Bike Week. Last two years the festival was a Harley Davidson dominated event and didn’t really represent the larger biking community. That has really changed this year with new brands like Ducati, UM Motorcycles and Mahindra Two Wheelers debuting at the festival. Brands like Triumph and Ducati also had a large number of riders participating this year. Few companies that stole the show were:

Ducati’s super-mid offering, namely the 959 Panigale was launched in India at IBW. The bike takes its inspiration and numerous styling cues from the larger 1299 Panigale, however the engine has been designed to offer a more than the day to day regular experience. The 959 is essentially an upgrade on the outgoing 899 model and the new bike is a bit taller and wider than its predecessor. Bookings for the bike have already opened at Ducati’s dealerships located in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bangalore. The company has also promised that they are set to expand their dealership network even further this year.

Triumph Showcases entire range of motorcycles along with new Bonneville. The motorcycle manufacturer from Britain is making sure it gets heard and seen everywhere.

Triumph displayed the newly launched T120 Bonneville and Thruxton R that were showcased during the IBW 2016. Triumph had also showcased the Tiger series of motorcycles, The Rocket III, Street and Speed Triple also made it to the event, there were nothing new from the brand except for the new Bonneville Street Twin. The Street Twin engine is a liquid-cooled, eight-valve, single overhead cam, parallel twin with sleeveless Nikasil-coated cylinders and a 270° crank angle. It’s a 900cc, with a claimed 67 horsepower, and 50 pound-feet of torque. Overall, the chassis is well controlled with properly tuned damping for both high-speed and low-speed suspension movement.

DSK Benelli Unveils 3 Bikes at the event. The first of these is the Tornado 300, which is a 300 cc bike well suited for the Indian market and to go up against the likes of the Ninja 300 and the upcoming TVS GS310R. Benelli Tornado 300 gets fire-power from a 300cc, parallel-twin motor producing 36PS at 12,000rpm and 27Nm of peak torque at 9,000rpm.

Power is transmitted to the rear-wheel via a 6-speed gearbox. Benelli claims that the Tornado 300 has a top speed of 170kmph. The first of these is the Tornado 300, which is a 300 cc bike well suited for the Indian market. Next in their line-up was the BX 250, which is the off-road motard. The bike drives on a single cylinder 249.2cc petrol power-train mated to a six speed transmission gearbox. The suspension system comprising of 50mm upside down forks with 250mm of travel at the front wheel and a progressive link type mono-shock with 110mm of travel at the rear wheel. Next was the Benelli Trk 502 adventure motorcycle were unveiled. The styling of the Trk 502 has been inspired from the Ducati Multistrada with its beaky front fairing and twin headlamps which makes it a muscular looking bike. Powering the new Benelli Trk 502 will be a newly developed 500cc, parallel-twin motor churning out 48PS of peak power at 8,500rpm and 45Nm of torque at 4,500rpm with 6 speed gear box and hydraulic clutch.

Indian manufacturers like Mahindra two wheelers also displayed their new Mojo Scrambler and Mojo Adventure Tourer.  Mahindra Mojo Scrambler concept with a classic round headlight a high set handlebar and a flat seat. The Mojo Adventure Tourer Concept on the other hand is an off road motorcycle with high ground clearance and a much higher seating position. Besides them were road going versions of the Mojo in a matte red shade and another one with a dual tone orange and white paint. Hearing the response from Mahindra two wheelers the two concepts mentioned above, we hope that the company introduces them in the market sometime in the future.

Some highlights and attractions at the event were, the presence of the Indian who conquered Dakar CS Santosh, was certainly a big crowd booster. 12 time Moto Trail World Champion Dougie Lampkin had the crowds cheering to his stunts. The women riders participating in India Bike Week is growing and this year we saw at least 20-30 of them. From the Diavels to the Speed Triples. Over 200 biking clubs from across the country participated at this year’s edition of India Bike Week. Some of them even had dedicated stands at the venue showcasing their bikes and accomplishments. Most awaited for lot of HOG fans was Harley-Davidson’s new 1200 Custom, bike is powered by a 1,200cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected engine which uses a five-speed gearbox to deliver the power.

All good things come to an end, so is it with the India Bike Week 2016. For the first time, IBW witnessed a film festival. In its first year itself, the film festival received 130 entries. It was really great to witness the biggest biking event in the country. With so many countries participating in the event, many innovative biking goodies and gadgets at its display were some of the highlight’s to conclude. Let’s hope to see some amazing new innovative inventions from Indian biking manufacturers as well. Till then stay tuned for next edition of IBW 2017.

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