The road from Chennai to Goa is going to get a lot noisier on Wednesday morning, because 40 men will thunder across the route on their powerful beasts to take part in the annual India Bike Week starting February 19.
The Coromandel Harley Owners Group (CHOG) will ride their beloved superbikes in two groups of 20 to meet bikers from all over India. About 4,000-5,000 Harley Davidson owners are expected to take part in the bike week.
A day before the actual event, the ‘HOGs’ will have their own meeting. “Each chapter — we have groups from Kanyakumari to Assam — will discuss its activities, like how many rides were undertaken last year, what were the charity events they undertook and so on,” explains Nilesh Kapadia of CHOG.
Based on these activities, one group gets an award — last year, it was the Tusker chapter from Bengaluru. There’s also an award for the best customised bike. The dealer provides a ‘stock’ bike, which should then be customised according to the biker’s personality. “It connects your heart. The bike is a part of us. We have a saying here — all of us have two hands, two legs and a Harley,” laughs Nilesh.
Kaizad Mistry from CHOG agrees. “Every Harley is different. Change can be about upgrading power, changing the exhaust system, handlebar or the seating,” says the general manager of an apparels firm.
Kaizad has been customising his Harley Sportster 1250 for four years and has spent around `7 lakh so far on modifications. “The beauty of a Harley is that you can keep doing something to it,” he says. His best bike trip was the Ladakh experience in 2014. “There were hardly any roads and we went through water and across passes,” he shares.
CHOG’s next trip is to Canada in August, where they will rent Harleys for a cross-country ride. The made in India Harley Davisdon Street 750 starts at `4.52 lakh. Nearly 60% HOGs own their bikes, it is said.
Checklist for CHOG road-trip
- Puncture kit, foot pump
- If you don’t have the Harley helmet, jacket, gloves, knee pads and so on, you are sent back
- Each group of six has a ‘lead’ and a ‘sweep’. No one overtakes the lead and no one falls behind the sweep. All road rules have to be followed
- Youngsters to be taught the routes, road discipline and group riding procedures