You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Iconic motorcycle Harley Davidson just celebrated 110th anniversary, Mandate catch up with Sanjeev Mohanty, Director, Harley Davidson Owners Group (HOG) of Delhi chapter.
Don’t tell me that you never dreamed of riding a Harley Davidson, thumping down the lane and every body is gazing at you with envy, mouth wide opened. To make things more exciting a hot girl pillion riding, if your answer is no then you are big-time liar or you are not that adventurous. Sanjeev Mohanty is the man who leads the tribe of his kind in Delhi called as Capital HOG Chapter. Though he started a little bit late, there is a boy inside every man. “I took up riding when I turned forty. My first ride was Harley Davidson – Blue Road King, from Vasant Kunj Harley showroom to Gurgaon, my home. After two days, I participated in the HOG ride to Chandigarh.” That is what I was talking about, man never grows up and they love their ride.
That bring us to the obvious question, but why Harley Davidson of all the motorcycles? “110 years of pure legend and history, that comes with it. The sheer aura that has passed on from generations of passionate riders just forms an incredible halo around this legendary brand. The feel, riding position and the thump of the V-twins shakes your guts and stirs your soul. You may never get this feeling riding any other bike, how technologically advanced it may become. If it is a cruiser, it gotta be a Harley Davidson! Every other cruiser is referred to as – it almost looks like a Harley!” proudly says Sanjeev Mohanty knowing that he is talking about the best.
The headman tells what you got to do to be in his pack. “The most fundamental criteria to be a HOG is that you must own a Harley Davidson motorcycle.” There you go! your sex, color, race or creed doesn’t matters, what matter is the mean machine you own. Making his point, “There are a couple of passionate women riders in the group, Smita Pahwa who rides a wicked Iron 883 with ape hangers, Ruchi Rich also rides an Iron and then there is Ambika Sharma who rides the monstrous Road King FLHR.”
Now let’s get into serious business, what is this HOG all about? “The HOG is the grand-daddy of all community-building efforts, serving to promote not just a consumer product, but a lifestyle. The Harley Owners Group was created in 1983 as way to build longer-lasting and stronger relationships with Harley-Davidson’s customers, by making ties between the company, its employees, and consumers. HOG members typically spend 30% more than other Harley owners, on such items as clothing and Harley-Davidson-sponsored events. Each Harley-Davidson dealership has the opportunity to sponsor a local HOG Chapter. Some do not, but no chapters exist without a link to a sponsoring dealership. Chapters are supported by the national HOG group, a subsidiary of Harley-Davidson, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And the Delhi HOG Chapter is closely linked to the Capital Harley Davidson Dealership, owned and operated by Rishi Agarwal and Gaurav Gulati who is the active dealer sponsor,” Sanjeev Mohanty who took up the post of HOG Director for Delhi chapter last year.
This February they took up the 1st National HOG Ride along with the newly conceived event, India Bike Week to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Harley Davidson. It was an attempt to create a sort of Sturgis Biking Festival of India. “This created a buzz and every Chapter across the country started planning well in advance to send the maximum number of riders to the National HOG ride. Everyone wants to show off their best their bike has to offer. More thump from their exhaust, more chrome, the best paint job, unique accessories etc. Groups like Brotherhood and Born 2 Ride has 15 riders each who undertook an arduous four day and 2200 km journey from Delhi to Goa cruising on their bikes, pure dedication to the passion for riding.” Now things are getting more interesting, so is the discussion as it is about what they love to do. “The excitement level for motorcycle enthusiasts in India touched new heights as more than 500 HOGs have converged to Goa for the celebrations. Imagine the thunderous roar of 500 Harleys. The word freedom takes up a different form than it would when you ride through the polluted streets of Delhi or Mumbai. You have to do Goa on a Harley to understand what it means. The sound of the engines and the spirit of the city stir your soul.” Not just that but they got to meet the creators of their machine, Karen Davidson, the great granddaughter of the legendary co-founder of the brand William A Davidson. “Another thing worth mentioning was the discipline the riders maintained during the rides. I am sure that it created a great positive impression of the riders and one could see the respect which the city of Goa extended to the riders.”
If not riding professionally Sanjeev Mohanty is the Managing Director for Benetton India and a big fan of Linkin Park. His wife Guneet is also very passionate about biking and takes part in all his rides. They have two beautiful daughters Ishaana (10) and Naisha (6). “My family fully and whole heartedly supports my passion. My girls are crazy about my bike and they think that I am the coolest rockstar on my bike. Hopefully we shall have another Harley in our stable soon, perhaps a modified Fat Boy. I am 100% sure that my daughters will be the future HOG’s. Ishaana will inherit my Road King and Naisha shall have my next bike, the Fat Boy!”