For the love of motorcycling- the celebration of living!


GOA. As my cab pulls away from the spanking new MOPA airport, I catch the driver’s eye in the rearview mirror. “Sir, are you here for India Bike Week?” he asks. “Isn’t everybody?” I quip and we share a chuckle. It turns out that Sudhir, the driver, is also nuts about riding motorcycles and belongs to the local chapter of a Dominar owners club who, for the first time, plan to ride en masse for a grand entry into the IBW venue. The 45-minute drive to my hotel in Vagator is spent amiably discussing the motorcycles we have owned and the places they have taken us. The ride ends with a firm handshake, many selfies taken, and a promise to look each other up at the venue over the next couple of days.

For many of us who have been attending IBW over its 10-year existence, the ‘original’ Mango Tree is like a homing beacon to rendezvous most evenings. The food is terrible, but the beverages are chilled and you can pull up right up to the counter on your motorcycle to the derisive hoots of your mates who are already there. The evening is a fun gathering with old friends, making new ones with a cold one cradled in your fist, the swelling crowd spilling onto the street watching the endless parade of motorcycles go by. Usually, the sound of a motorcycle engine dwindles into the distance. At the Mango Tree during IBW, there is no Doppler effect–before one bike passes, another appears, sustaining a guttural undercurrent of noise, close enough that sporadically I can feel the blowpipe wake of the exhausts whistle through the fly of my 501’s.


It is perhaps befitting that IBW has embraced the languid rhythm of Goan susegad and opens its doors at 2 pm. Enough time to recover from last night’s excesses and have a cracking lunch of prawn caldinho with ukade rice, and of course a side dish of chorizo–a fusion of culture, flavours and ingredients unique to Goa, much like India Bike Week

The tone of India Bike Week has changed significantly over the years. Initially it established itself as basically a Harley-Davidson affair with a sprinkling of superbike brands trailered into the mix–a group of ardent consumers organized around the lifestyle, activities, and ethos of the bar and shield brand. It was very much like Royal Enfield’s Rider Mania, which is now called Motoverse, a love fest for faithful brand advocates. Today, as I see the hordes of motorcyclists amassed at the gates of their private proverbial Valhalla, I can see people from every walk of life, on every kind of motorcycle, from every era, ranging from scooters to superbikes, from smoke-belching 2-strokes to sleek electric 2-wheelers, from the vintage to the modern classics faithfully vibrating to the IBW 2023 theme of ‘Everyone as One’. Now, the most esteemed way to arrive at IBW is riding there, on your own bike, from your own house, as evinced by the people queuing up for photographs on their motorcycles below the sign proclaiming

‘I Rode To India Bike Week’.


From a paltry 3000 in attendance at the first edition of IBW to a staggering 20,000 in its tenth year.

The love of motorcycling is the celebration of living. While life extends beyond a passion for riding motorcycles and ticking off the ride/race/event calendar, those things acquire significance as they become the vehicle for making new friends or gathering with old ones, marking the passage of time, or framing existence in a context of adventure—as something much more than the ordinary.  From a paltry 3000 in attendance at the first edition of IBW to a staggering 20,000 in its tenth year is the proof in the pudding.

The next two days are a rich tapestry woven with the threads of the culture of motorcycling, adventure, and the community. There were tales of grand adventure–Singaporean rider Juvena Huang, riding from Singapore to the Czech Republic on nothing but a humble scooter; Gaurav Sharma stories on riding through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Mongolia on a small air-cooled dual-purpose motorcycle with nothing but his wits and the kindness of strangers; to witness Vipin Mishra and friends embarking on a motorcycle adventure through remote high altitude Zanskar, in search of forgotten nomadic music, to record, film and produce the tale into a documentary series and a World Music album. And these were just my personal highlights.

The Triumph Bonneville Stealth editions and Tiger 900 Rally Pro were unveiled, the Kawasaki W175 Street and Aprilia RS457 were launched, and the IBW Bike Build-Off championship saw some remarkable builds based on the Harley 440 platform. There was thrilling racing, there were standout barbecues, the FMX riders Thomas Wirnsberg from Austria and Sebastian Westberg from Finland performed incredible aerial feats with the setting sun on the horizon providing a majestic backdrop for the stunts. And hey, they even appointed a new sheriff for the festival.

“It’s all about the sheer unforgettable fun”

Martin da Costa, founder and CEO, 70EMG and the IBW festival director, summed it up perfectly, “Ten years on from the inaugural India Bike Week in 2013, the journey has been nothing short of incredible. I vividly recall the energy of our fraternity during the first event – thousands riding in from all corners of India, creating a beautiful spectacle. Now, as we approach the first week of December each year, the anticipation for India Bike Week grows. The excitement never fades. This tenth year of IBW is a tribute to each one of you – riders from every corner, contributing to the success of the festival. Whether it’s the racing, talks, launches, custom bikes, or music – it’s all about the sheer, unforgettable fun. Thank you for being a part of it.”

May the tribe grow…

Watch 10 years of Jameson Connects x India Bike Week below!

Jameson Connects in partnership with Azadi Records, powered by Jameson Ginger Ale.