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Royal Enfield Rider Mania 2022 experience

The Royal Enfield Rider Mania was back with a bang after a three-year hiatus. We attend the mega event in Goa.

Published on 09.12.2022 11:34:00

I want to start with a confession. Of the many firsts in life I’ve looked forward to, competing in the Royal Enfield Rider Mania has always been at the top of my list. I was intrigued to find out first hand what draws thousands of Royal Enfield customers to crowd the annual festival of bikes, music and more. Not to mention that this year, Rider Mania came after 2019 and promised to be bigger and better than ever. No prices to guess who packed their bags, mounted their Royal Enfield Hunter 350 endurance bike and set off for Vagator, Goa as soon as the plan was confirmed.

Some custom Royal Enfield builds were stunning and showcased the power of your imagination.

To be honest, Rider Mania kicks off a day before the event officially opens, when the narrow streets of Goa are buzzing with the sounds of all manner of Royal Enfields. From the old Bullet 500 and Classic 350 to the Himalayan and Interceptor/ContiGT 650, Royal Enfields had literally taken over the streets of Goa. A quick glance at the license plates revealed that people from all corners of the country had ridden to the most popular tourist destination in western India. KL, KA, WB, AS, MP and more have been seen on a number of REs. Isn’t it obvious that motorcycling can unite a country? Anyway, the next three days I spent at Rider Mania left some incredible images in my head.

The theme for this year was ‘Moto Verse’, which is short for Royal Enfield’s motorcycle universe. In fact, there were sub-themes for different areas around the sprawling grounds of Rider Mania. Moto Thrill, for example, was where the dirt track races were held. It was quite a sight to see dozens of riders on Bullets and Classics skid and slide down the track with high-mounted fenders, knobbly tires and aftermarket exhausts to see who’s first. The pace might have been slow and you’d feel the riders hauling those heavy machines around the track, but the action was quite entertaining. Other activities like the RE Slide School – riding an FT411 flat-tracking bike on an oval tidal flat where you can learn important skills to understand traction, or the Trail School – and Hill Climb Time Attack stopped a number of people trot

The Dunaali drag race bike attracted attention in the motorsport department.

In the Moto Reel section, a large projector showed films and the work of a number of people that left us mere mortals in awe. The films and talks, particularly by Dakar heroes CS Santosh and Ashish Raorane, left many open-mouthed as they spoke about their experiences of competing in one of the world’s most grueling rallies. Then there were heartwarming stories shown, such as the epic drive from Royal Enfield to Everest Base Camp.

In between attending a variety of other events and performances by music greats like Divine, Parvaaz, Thaikkudam Bridge and more, I also took the time to marvel at some amazing custom creations that showcased the power of the imagination. I also spent a lot of my time admiring the stunning GT Cup bike and “Dunaali” – Inidimotard’s drag bike that took the drag racing world by storm. Another highlight was the amazingly detailed 1:3 scale model of the Classic 500, available to you for just Rs 68,000!

In addition to the bikes, this year’s Rider Mania also emphasized the beauty of the art and its expression on canvases ranging from a motorcycle’s fuel tank to a helmet to a t-shirt. Then there were curated drives to different parts of Goa – heritage sites and pristine coastlines.

The attention to detail on the 1:3 scale model of the Classic 500 was overwhelming.

However, one constant throughout the three-day event was the omnipresent sense of togetherness and camaraderie. Imagine thousands of people gathered to celebrate Royal Enfield, sharing a common love for the company’s motorcycles. As open-minded as I should be, considering I’ve got my journalist hat on, I can’t imagine any other Indian two-wheeler manufacturer achieving the level of loyalty and passion from customers that RE can achieve with Rider Mania. It’s proof that when you buy a Royal Enfield you’re not just getting a motorcycle, you’re getting entry into a massive community. It’s no wonder the company decided to reward them by releasing Super Meteor 650 bookings exclusively to those who’ve visited Rider Mania.

Although I don’t own a Royal Enfield yet, I ended up wondering what it would be like to buy one of their 650s. Such is the effect of attending what is possibly one of India’s most popular motorcycle events. For now I’m glad I ticked it off my first in life list

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