Meet The Bikers - II

The modifier Apart from designing bikes that take you to the future, Akshai Varde, the founder of Vardenchi Motorcycles, rides some of the coolest roadsters in the country too. His innate passion makes him create the wackiest motorcycles that are sure shot head-turners. From making a Ghost Rider-inspired bike to customising speedsters for Bollywood’s A-listers, this young lad has been creating designs on hot wheels. His preference for motorcycles over cars, and his eagerness to understand the engineering and make of each bike got him experimenting on bikes for friends in the beginning. “I started customising my bikes at first. When things started going good, we started Vardenchi in 2005. It’s been 7 years and we’ve made 200 plus bikes,” Akshai informs us. A hotel management degree mentioned on his resume has little value now. These bikes are expensive, but they are worth every single penny. “The Skeletor that we made for Jackie Shroff is the most expensive. It costs Rs 7.5 lakh, but trust me it is one hell of a machine.” However, his personal ride is what grabs our attention. Named Stealth, it’s a matt black motorcycle, which is a unique blend between a modern and classic model. “It’s very vigilante! At night, one might not even notice it. Stealth is like one of those bikes that fight crimes, you know like the kind in Batman and that’s why the name,” he proudly states. With 130 kph as the top speed, it has a 500cc machismo Royal Enfield engine and costs approximately ` 4 lakh. He tells us that the longest distance he’s covered on it is back and forth between Mumbai and Goa. All his creations are unique and one-of-its-kind, but we still pester him to list favourites. “It’s tough to choose, but let’s start with Dragster – we did it recently and it’s awesome, then there’s the Sunburn brand (made for Sunburn, of course), Skeletor, Vedic – it’s a really long, white-coloured low chopper and The Dark Knight. Oh, and Stealth,” he quickly names. To popularise the bikes and his business, he displays them at Auto Car and Auto Expo, apart from doing a lot of brand ads. “We want to tap other markets as well. We do want to make our presence felt all across the world, but as of now it’s only India,” he says with a smile. These bikes have great resale value if sold in the market or back to the Vardenchi guys. “We design and manufacture all the parts and for that we give a one year warranty. No warranty on the engine though! But as we use Royal Enfield ones, which are sturdy and good,” he elaborates. While there are plenty of bikes that are designed for stunts, for Akshai, his motorcycles are for the BMW and Mercedes-kind of guys. “The customer base is quite varied. From celebrities to businessmen to CEOs, people who have a true passion for motorcycles come to us. Motorcycles are personality driven and ours are by default head turners when taken out on the road,” he explains. So do they attract a lot of women? “That’s what we build them for. Take them for a spin on your first date and woo the girl immediately,” he ends by giving us a reason to buy one. - Shruti Gattani                

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