Hyderabad: The adage ‘Four wheels move the body; Two wheels move the soul’ appears to be finding more takers in Hyderabad.
Even as motorcycle brands come and go, the passion for riding has not been impacted and in fact, is picking up in Hyderabad, which was never really known as a city for motorcycle enthusiasts unlike Mumbai, Chennai or Chandigarh.
Though there were a few early enthusiasts during the times of the Nizams, the city never picked up from there. The bike collection of the Nizams, which include a few timeless gems from international stables like Harley Davidson, Matchless and Indian Chief, is in quite deplorable condition at the Chowmahalla Palace, indicating that the passion for riding had suffered after the Nizam’s era.
With the likes of Royal Enfield, Hero and Bajaj having a strong presence on the city roads, thanks to the affordability and easy availability of spares, riders have turned more passionate about riding, often ending up forming groups of riders with the same bikes travelling together.
The role of brands
The arrival of big brands like Harley Davidson, one of the first international names to open shop in Hyderabad, which was its first in India as well, has seen motorcycling dynamics in the city looking up. Major international brands like Jawa, KTM, Triumph, Ducati, BMW, Regal Raptor, Indian and Benelli followed suit, bringing more options, and in turn, more enthusiasts out on the road.
Benelli India MD Vikas Jhabakh told Telangana Today that Hyderabadi riders, mostly youngsters, are now well informed about brands and know which motorcycle they want to ride. The wide choice of brands available in Hyderabad shows the city’s potential, he added.
“For Benelli, Hyderabad stands in the top five cities in India in customer base, definitely number two after Bangalore, which has a higher population. The huge growth of IT, pharma and finance sectors in the city in recent times has helped people come forward to buy premium motorcycles. This was not the case about seven years ago,” Jhabakh said.
Saying Hyderabadi riders are more enthusiastic than ever, he feels the quality of riding too has gone up many folds here. “They are now more aware as riders. They think about their safety, the surroundings and the environment while riding,” he added.
Madhukar Reddy, one of the first in the city to own a new Jawa after the iconic brand’s return to the market, formed the Deccan Jawa Club with a few other Jawa owners. The biking group now has over 200 members taking part in rides.
The Jawa Deccan Club not only gets together for rides, but also makes donations each time it sets out on a journey. The group recently contributed to the Telangana CM’s Relief Fund during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Riding: A therapy
Reddy feels the good quality of roads in the State makes bikers feel comfortable and prompt them to ride more. On being asked about the paradigm shift in the motorcycling scenario in Hyderabad, he said people these days were more ready than ever to spend on getting motorcycles for themselves. “That is why we see the craze catching up fast in Hyderabad,” he added.
Another enthusiast and popular automobile vlogger, Dino of Dino’s Vault, said motorcycling was earlier looked at as a means of transport, but now riders of Hyderabad see it as means of therapy.
“Riders these days want to get away from their busy schedules on their motorcycles and return to work after weekends with fresh and rejuvenated minds. That’s one reason why more Hyderabadis are taking to riding,” he added.
Not only are Hyderabadis eager about riding, but are extremely passionate about customising their mean machines. From getting beautiful art jobs done on their motorcycles to modifying them to stand out among the rest, the city’s riders have done it all.
With quite a few popular artists and technicians, like Eimor Customs, WomeNeoteric and Costa Motor Co, to name a few, Hyderabadis now have a lot of options on that front as well.
It won’t be long before Hyderabad downshifts a gear and zooms past others to be the best city in the country for riders.
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