Bike festivals are great places to hang if you are a lover of art, if you’re a lover of music, if you’re a lover of history, and of conversations. What’s missing in that last sentence? Two wheels!
Strangely, the motorcycle doesn’t need to take centre stage at a bike festival, even though everything that’s being celebrated is centred around the bike or the brand. For a two-wheeler brand that wants to generate fresh ideas, rekindle interest amongst owner groups, and showcase possibilities around its products, a bike festival is unlike any other platform. All the major motorcycle brands around the world have annual bike festivals to promote the coming together of like-minded people. TVS Motor Company started its own festival, and earlier this month it hosted the second edition of the TVS MotoSoul.
The two-day festival planned to showcase an extension of lifestyle products built around TVS’s brands, in addition to a range of “mods” and the possibilities around its factory customisation programme. With the Ronin and the Apache before it, TVS has been moving towards the premium biking category, and the MotoSoul bike festival was expected to be a key addition to the annual calendar of events that could help the brand communicate its values better and to a wider audience. I travelled to Vagator, Goa, on March 3 and 4 for soaking the ambience of the TVS MotoSoul 2023.
Ride of a lifetime
On day one of TVS MotoSoul, the company organised several activities to engage with the riding community and enthusiasts. The company’s global sales milestones, including the five-million mark for the Apache series bikes, are a good indicator of its expanding reach. But, for a youth-oriented brand that has only in the last few years stepped into the world of premium biking, TVS’s customer loyalty and engagement are quite impressive when one looks at its riding community. The cornerstone of a bike festival is its ability to bring together riders, the camaraderie they share, and the new bonds of friendship they forge at the festival. So, it was even more impressive to witness the large turnout of members of the AOG (Apache Owners Group). Many of them had ridden down to Goa for the festival from across the country and even from some neighbouring countries like Nepal. The over 2.5 lakh-strong AOG riders group is claimed to be India’s biggest official motorcycling community.
TVS has had a factory racing team since 1982. So, motorsports has been quite the passion for the brand, and it has benefited immensely from the experiences its team and their machines have been put through. At MotoSoul 2023, TVS announced its foray into Flat track - a new form of racing on the TVS Ronin. The company says, “Given the versatility and free-spirited nature of the motorcycle, this format has been curated to build a new breed of racing enthusiasts on the back of TVS Racing’s legacy of over 40 years. The commitment to encourage and train customers to ensure they experience the art of racing will be kept alive with the launch of the “TVS Flat Track experience.” The flat track set up on site at Vagator, Goa, for the purpose witnessed the start of the series, with riders competing on partially modified Ronins.
TVS also unveiled a new custom world for the TVS Ronin, where designers from India and abroad had been asked to give free rein to their imaginations and customise, redesign the stock bike. The interpretations and designs of the customised Ronins included cafe racers and adventure bikes, modified and built on the stock motorcycle. Some of the custom-build projects have been developed after collaborating with popular custom builders from different geographies to create their renditions. They were: Germany, JvB Moto—named Agonda (inspired by Agonda Beach, Goa); Indonesia, Smoked Garage—named Musashi (inspired by the undefeated Samurai, Ronin); and India, Rajputana Customs, with the scR Adventure custom build being done by TVS’s Design Team, at Factory Custom.
Communicating with others while on a ride is often a problem, with handsfree communication devices being inadequate in enabling clear comms. If you need to be in touch with your other riding buddies in real time, that is even more difficult. In the spirit of the ride, what better place than a biking festival to unveil a new range of advanced Bluetooth communication devices. TVS did just that with the unveiling of the S10X and S20X, both of which will allow riders to connect with others in the group and establish communication without any interruption. Equipped with high-tech features, these products are designed while keeping the styling needs of new-gen riders and their specific communication needs at their core. The S10X and S20X Bluetooth can be attached to all certified helmets and are equipped with Siri and Google Voice Assistant features, allowing riders to access smartphone features while riding. The device also has a range of features such as Mesh Intercom linking up to 20 riders (range 1.2 km), is water resistant (IP67 certified), Audio weave intercom with music, and has advanced audio quality by JBL.
TVS also announced an exclusive sign-up program (beta) for Motosoul bikers, for its upcoming customer app upgrade, TVS CONNECT 2.0, a digital platform to amplify the travel experience for its AOG community and TVS RONIN CuLT riders, making the current app into a SOCIAL TRAVEL COMMERCE platform. Users signing up for the beta program will have first access to TVS Connect 2.0 and exclusive rewards. TVS Connect 2.0 will include social networking with peer riders and groups, forums and conversation capabilities, brand-curated and user-created riding routes and events, and more; all of this will lead to a robust loyalty and reward program through earning reusable TRIPCOINS.
The second edition of TVS MotoSoul also included other events like a dirt race, Moto CrossFit, stunt shows, Motorcycle Gymkhana and an obstacle race. Popular singers, artists, and bands like Lucky Ali, Nucleya, and Pineapple Express performed live on both days.