When we speak of motorcycle gangs in India, there are only a few of us who really know what we are talking about. Most often, we acknowledge their throttling, un-silenced presence, admire their look and machismo from the outside, and sometimes even boast of the little we know, but then, at the end of day, grovel back into our circles turning an ignorant eye to this ever-so fast growing sub-culture in India.
But, how far can we possibly go on like this? The riders had to catch up and they have!
India, as of today, has quite a biking cult of its own. With brands like Harley-Davidson and Royal Enfields thrusting at the surface, how could we not find passionate bikers seeking freedom and experience through their muscular rides? We had to and we did. But, Iâ€™m not here to lecture you on Indiaâ€™s biking scene at large. I will, instead, acquaint you with something even better: Motorhead Motorcycle club, a group changing perceptions for the community they stand for.
What this group of elite motorcyclists straddling over hot, muscle-cruisers, particularly Harley-Davidsons, have in store, you simply cannot turn a blind-eye to. Mind you, many early-risers of Gurgaon have witnessed this groupâ€™s classic riderâ€™s charm on Sunday mornings already.They ride in formations, they ride with pride. Upholding the utmost sophistication of black leather jackets, this group of elite motorcyclists arenâ€™t the bikers youâ€™re likely to come across casually. Their steel-thrill is compact, consistent and precautionary, and needless to say, impressive as hell! Theyâ€™ve been at it right under our noses all this while, doing superb things for the community, and thus, itâ€™s high time we tell you what theyâ€™re all about.
We managed to track them down a few weeks back at a petrol pump in Gurgaon, where they usually stop for a morning tea break before taking off again. The Safety Officer of the club, Subhash Sahay, rode in along with the brotherhood, consisting of members from all walks of life. Some adorning batches, others themselves, these men are the faces of experience youâ€™d want to look up to. Tagging along was also the Founder of the club, Gaurav Kachru and Ride Captain, Parikshet â€˜Parryâ€™ Tomar.
Hereâ€™s what we picked from a candid chat with Subhash Sahay, a core member of the crew and also the only one in the gang with multiple inks. He speaks about his personal experiences, the club, tattoos to do with bikers and everything you need to know as a motorcycle enthusiast in the country. (You never know, you could be the next Motorhead of their team. Pay close attention to what he says!)
1) When did you start riding?
Legally at 18!
2) What does biking personally mean to you?
Apart from bringing me immense joy, it allows me to reconnect with myself.Â It filters out all the b******t one is subjected to.
3) How often do you guys ride? What is your riding philosophy?
Motorhead rides as a club every Sunday, though throughout the week whenever we guys find time or the urge to ride kicks in, we ride.
4) Any fond riding experience/journey you’d like to share with us?
While every ride is good fun, couple of the rides that Iâ€™ve been on, my favourites have been Khardung-la Top Aug ’14 and Bhutan via Nepal May ’15, and also
when I was about 22, I, along with 2 more friends, sneaked off to D’dun in the thick of winter! Needless to say these were done on 2 wheels!
5) Who are the core members of the team and how did they become so? What kind of responsibilities does every member of the team have?
We have Gaurav Kachru and Rajat Uppal as Founders, Subhash Sahay as Safety Officer, Parikshet â€˜Parryâ€™ Tomar as ride captain and Param Sidhu and Avishkar Mehrotra as Advisory Members.
6) How many journeys have you taken so far with the group?
There are too many to count, but some of them have been to Agra, Kasauli, Goa of the 1st IBW, Alwar, Junga Near Shimla, Jaipur etc
7) Can you tell us something about the riding pattern you guys take to? Who leads the ride?
Whenever we ride, we ride in a staggered formation (2 by 2).Â We have a dedicated Lead, Shoulder, Marshal and Sweep, who have different responsibilities respectively.
8) As spectators we don’t really know what goes on behind the scene. Tell us how you make
sure that the ride goes as neatly as planned along with the riding pattern?
We usually have a pre-ride briefing when in we would discuss, apart from the route, stops and any important info to be given. We would reiterate dos and donâ€™ts. Check riders for adequate safety gear, etc..
9) How does one become a part of Motorheads? Tell us the process.
Thereâ€™s a minimum requirement to be fulfilled to become a part of Motorhead MC, once those are met then weâ€™d invite the rider as a guest rider to join us on our rides.Â After a few rides, and we get adequately acquainted with him/her, we would induct the rider into the club.
10) Why aren’t there any women bikers in the group?
That is a fact weâ€™d like to change!
Weâ€™d like to welcome any woman rider to join us.
11) What makes Motorhead stand out amidst other biking groups in the country?
Motorhead MC is known for adhering to strict safety standards on all rides and we have one
of the best formation riding, that weâ€™re aware of. A lot of our current riders showed interest
in joining mainly because of this fact.
12) How do you give back to the community with this?
We support are The Festival of Hope and Udayan Care. We raised 1.5L for The Indian
Cancer Society thru The Festival of Hope and this year we raised in excess of Â 1.5L to
purchase 6 computers for 2 Udayan Care homes to support them in their education and growth.Â As we go along we would continue to support them.Â In the future we are looking to align ourselves with other charities and NGOs.
13) Do you have any concerns with respect to the motorcycle culture in India?
One of the key concerns we have is lack of safety gear and discipline within the community, which includes all motorcycle classes. I often see big capacity bikes being ridden without any safety gear, which irks me. Also, would like to see a little more care and alertness while riding.
14) Do you guys interact with other biking groups or hold any collective rallies for the community?
As you know this community is large and growing larger, we have friends from other clubs and get extend our support.Â We make it a point to show solidarity whenever the community at large needs it.Â Weâ€™ve been on joint rides with other clubs including recently with the Triumph club.
15) How did your family react when this group was initially formed? Any particular concerns they had/have?
Haha! Like most folks would, there was a big debate on why I shouldnâ€™t be riding, I mean
think of a reason and it was mentioned. But now having got back in the saddle after a hiatus and my family has seen the passion behind riding, they are still apprehensive but super supportive.Â In fact, my son who is 12 has his own safety gear and goes riding with me from time to time.
16) Where do you see the group going in the next 10 years? Any plans of expanding to other cities?
We would love to (expand) as many of our riders are in transferable jobs, we encourage them to form a Motorhead Chapter. A while back our buddy Prashant moved to the Bay area and has been riding as a Motorhead there. So hereâ€™s looking forward to more Motorhead Chapters!
17) Do you have tattoos? Especially because tattoos have been an integral part of the biking
cult since the very beginning, primarily in the west. Do you think it’s important to be inked for the society to you perceive you as a true biker?
I have 8 (and counting!) and have had 7 of those inked by FUNKY MONKEY! While tattoos are a way to express oneself, mine are more to do with personal milestones and moments of realisation. I feel tattoos arenâ€™t important to be perceived as a biker, for that you need a motorcycle and enough attitude!
Speaking to Subhash made us realize that gone are the days when bikers took off in groups to get away from the world only for their selfish needs. Itâ€™s much bigger than this now, with multiple responsibilities on each of our shoulders. It is about sharing passion for the same goal all of us struggle to achieve, to grow together in the society whilst maintaining balance in life. This group of passionate bikers share a reformed philosophy of biking where it really isnâ€™t a careless ride-or-die situation. Itâ€™s a well-planned move keeping in mind the safety of the riders. They have the right attitude one needs to have to straddle upon a Harley, and we, the less-experienced ones, have plenty of lessons to learn from them and their philosophy along the way.