So, thanks to Indiblogger and Castrol Power1 for coming up with a blogging contest to try and define the Indian biker. Not only does it bring me back to the workshop after a short gap, but this time it’s about biking. An activity (if I may call it so) I personally cherish a lot.


[moh-ter-sahy-kuhl]  noun,verb, mo·tor·cy·cled, mo·tor·cy·cling.

noun—A motor vehicle similar to a bicycle but usually larger and heavier, chiefly for one rider but sometimes having two saddles or an attached sidecar for passengers.

Verb (used without object)—-To ride on or operate a motorcycle

Rohan, 13 years old

Rohan had never won a cycle race. His friends complained he was never fast enough. But all that had changed ever since he rode Abhishek bhaiyya’s blue pulsar. He still remembered his mind flooded with the risks involved as he kick-started the bike to life. He could fall off and break a bone or his mother could catch him riding a bike in the market, but worst of all was mom telling dad. As he shifted to 1st gear and slowly released the clutch,  the wheels were set in motion. Rohan felt a certain familiarity.  He picked up considerable speed, circled around the street, and returned to Abhishek bhaiyya’s house, but not before slowing down in front of his friends so that they could catch a quick glimpse of him on the machine. At the end of his first bike rid,e none of the risks mattered. Three things crossed his mind as he took one last look at the pulsar. The bet was won, the respect was earned and a biker was born.

Abhishek, 20 years old

Abhishek is pursuing his B.Com, final year. His dad gifted him his Pulsar for his seventeenth birthday and told him, this was an important responsibility. Ever since, Abhishek has  never rode pillion. He’s worked hard to truly earn his motorcycle. He took up odd jobs to pay for fuel and servicing. He washes it himself, twice every month.  He wasn’t allowed to take the bike to college until the final year.  Abhishek doesn’t go on a lot of long rides, but he does ride fast. Real Fast. And that’s how he gets attention. In fact, his Pulsar is the reason how he met Rima, his girlfriend. Her brother Rohan wanted a test ride and Abhishek wanted to meet Rima. The rest as they say, is history.

Karan, 28 years oldPhotography by Kiran Raj

Karan works in IT, in India’s silicon valley, Bangalore. Unlike most of his peers, he generally doesn’t spend his weekends, sleeping or on Facebook. He heads out of the city, onto the open highway, on his trusted Enfield. The idea is simple. To explore the countryside, and to capture some amazing photographs of beautiful Karnataka. He’s covered almost 1 lac kilometers on his bullet. Unlike most bikers from movies, Karan neither  drinks beer nor is his arm covered with tatoos. He loves to ride his motorcycle be it on ghats, highways or on rugged terrain. Biking is when he is calm, and at peace with himself, almost like meditation, except you are constantly moving. For Karan, these long rides aren’t just escapades for photography.  He doesn’t ride to the same destination twice. With every ride, It’s new routes, new places, new faces, a new story, and at the end of the ride, A new Karan.

Mishra, 40 years old

Mr. Mishra has been riding his bike to work for the past 20 years. He never thought he would have to though. He had planned on buying some land, moving into a bigger house, driving his own car, but what he hadn’t planned was his mother’s medical condition and the rate of inflation. Sometimes, he rides out to the edge of town, to the last tea stall, for some peace of mind. Somtimes to reminisce about the good ol’ days, when he and Radha, his wife, would wear jackets and ride to their village 300 kms away. Dining from dhabas and sleeping in highway lodges, they used to have their share of adventure. The bike was always parked at a safe place outside the village, so that their parent’s wouldn’t know and get upset. It was their little secret. But times have now changed. Mishra now prefers to take his family by train. But even to this day, when the neighbours tease him about the brown jackets and their honeymoon adventures he answers “Two adults and three kids on two wheels, How’s that for an adventure?”


Used for representational purposes only
Used for representational purposes only
There are probably a hundred thousand other stories of indian bikers out there and trying to define them isn’t easy. Asking a biker why he loves to ride is probably like asking a dog, why it loves to puts it’s head out of the window of a moving car.

7 thoughts on “THE INDIAN BIKING LIFE CYCLE – 101

  1. Hey Madhan,

    This is Anaa, writing to you on behalf of Castrol Power 1. In a once in a lifetime opportunity filled with thrill and acceleration, we are choosing 7 lucky winners as Castrol Power Bikers who get to go on an adventurous road trip sponsored by Castrol Power 1. It’s going to be a journey driven by fuel, excitement, exhilaration and adrenaline.

    Bikers need to submit a thrilling story of their road trip through the Facebook application and get their friends and biker gangs to vote for them. Contestants will be shortlisted on the basis of number of votes received as well as through the decision of a panel of expert bikers.

    25 finalists will be selected from the applicants after which a final of 7 winners will be declared on the 19th of June. These 7 lucky bikers get a chance to let loose, accelerate and ride into the wind down the road of their choice for a thrill that they will never forget.

    We know that your blog is a great platform to connect with a lot of ardent bikers who follow it dedicatedly and it would be fantastic if you could help us spread the message about this thrilling chance. The passion of your blogs is a definite reflection of your love for the wheels and we know that you’re also pumped at the idea of this road trip. So do submit some of your great stories and you may just find yourself kicking the side stand after all.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.


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