May was anyway steamy, but then we went and turned up the heat, making the city of Bengaluru absolutely sultry. The India Superbike Festival hit the IT city with a bigger bang that anyone expected. For a change all the techies in Bengaluru were bowled over by some gorgeous big displacement motorcycles in the flesh rather than in their virtual world.
Dozens of stalls and hundreds of motorcycles were a formula that brought eager biking enthusiasts in hoards to the ISF 2014
India Superbike Festival is a communal gathering of all superbike owners and was first held in the city of Pune in 2012. In 2013 an even bigger event was held there and it was then decided that the weekend event be taken national. That was where Bengaluru stepped in with the Phoenix Market City in Whitefield, playing host to India's biggest superbiking festival.
One exception we did allow into the superbike arena was only because it was such a stunning modification
One of the largest superbike markets in India saw well over 300 motorcycles in attendance from Bengaluru as well as from far away cities like Pune and Aurangabad. Interestingly, it was observed at the India Superbike festival, Bengaluru is a very popular market for Hayabusas, GSX-Rs, Intruders and R1s, in addition to having developed a new found craze for Harley-Davidsons. These makes were present over and above the superbike manufacturers, importers, kit and accessory suppliers, all of whom brought down even more superbikes to display at their own stalls.
Superbikes catch them young, and even kids had a lot to be thrilled about!
Triumph, Hyosung, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Suzuki and KTM actively participated, showing off their big bikes for the Indian market. Triumph showcased their entire range as did Hyosung and Suzuki, the latter displaying several stunning modified 'Busas that enthralled the audience. KTM of course have yet to come up with their large displacement products, nonetheless Bengaluru got an opportunity to witness the RC8, a stunning sportsbike that will eventually make its way down to India. IndiMotard, Dainese, Sky Motors, Classic Garage, Everything 4WD, British Nutritions, iRide and several other entrepreneurs displayed their products and services to the superbiking community. British Nutritions in addition to their health supplements also hosted a sportsbike arena where some of the finest and state of the art race tuned superbikes were displayed.
United Sports Bar and Grill kept the bikers well fed with delicious food absolutely free
India Superbike Festival showcased several events within to keep both the bikers and the general audience entertained. Contests such as the loudest motorcycle, best cosmetically accessorised and performance enhanced motorcycles gave the bike enthusiasts enough reason to cheer. And like at any two-wheeler community event, the organisers could not control the bikers who knocked themselves out, burning rubber as they made donuts. Rest assured, it drove Bengaluru crowds nuts and they kept howling for more! One chap demanded a deo that smelt like burnt rubber and we were happy to give him as much post-burnout rubber as he craved. Participation in the events was so dense the contests were spread over both days and ran late into the night. For the first time, the India Superbike festival also held a face off with up to seven motorcycles fighting for the title of the loudest bike in Bengaluru. Several beaming faces took home the much desired trophies.
Bengaluru's superbikers turned up with serious performance mods rather than just cosmetic accessories and that, made the show as well as the contests that much more interesting to watch and to judge. That tuning bent of mind, to us, separated the Bengaluru biker from the rest of the country quite dramatically. TVS Racing were also part of the India Superbike Festival and some of their finest riders in the National Motocross Championship showed off their skills on a purpose built motocross circuit. The dazzling demonstration drew massive cheering crowds who egged TVS' racer boys into a motocross frenzy. It was quite an atmosphere!
Red Bull was close at hand keeping the energy levels high
Polaris, who have recently stepped up their efforts in India and are now slowly but surely making waves, offered the superbike owners demonstrations of their ATVs on a separate off-road circuit. Open to anyone with some prior ATV experience, the demo had many superbike owners go out and enjoy working these amazing machines that have handlebars a la bikes but offer a completely different set of thrills. And who better to learn from and share the experience with than the world leaders in ATVs. Superbikers who registered did receive a superb welcome kit but were completely floored by The United Sports Bar and Grill who were in a celebratory mood and laid out the red carpet for them. On offer were free meals and beverages for all the superbikers. Given how unseasonably hot Bengaluru was on the ISF weekend, the cool space, great food, cold drinks and awesome music were ever popular and the great folk at United kept busy the whole weekend, feeding and cooling off the superbikers.
A lot of stories were shared and new friends made. We're sure many motorcycles even changed hands. Bengaluru, all said and done, was a wonderful host to the festival and I wouldn't be surprised if this city becomes an annual stop on the India Superbike Festival tour. Next stop though is Mumbai and as soon as the monsoons are done, expect some serious noise to hit the island city!
Wondering what to do if you don't actually have a superbike? The event was attended by thousands of spectators who came to simply experience the festival, browse the shops, watch the action in the contests and generally revel in the merriment. Being within touching distance of some seriously exotic machinery and being able to interact with the people behind them is an experience you shouldn't miss. Be sure you're there when the ISF hits your town next.