Wanderlust Motorcycle Club – Central India’s First Motorcycle Travel & Adventure club
Anukaran had a fascination with the motorcycling lifestyle since his late teens, and by the time he got his very first Enfield in 1999 (Lightning 535cc), he started taking short solo trips on it. He felt the need to share the experiences, with a larger bunch of like-minded individuals. By 2001 they were a small but passionate group of three Enfield riders well known to each other, the other two joined him occasionally on short Sunday trips.
By 2003, through various repair and maintenance sessions at mechanic shops, they came in touch with fellow Enfield riders, and finally, on Feb 15th 2004 they formally formed the club with six soulful riders.
The idea was to keep it a pure Enfield riders club, as those were the heaviest engine bikes at that time in India and sounded like real machines while looking great with their retro styling.
In the early years of their bike riding journey, they were mostly inspired by the lifestyle of the bikers in the west. All the songs about life on the road, movies like Easy Rider etc. Not actually knowing any of the bike riders back then, so he can’t name any specific biker/person/club who inspired them, except for the stories of the Hells Angels MC they used to read about.
“Slowly as we matured from bikers into adventure motorcyclists over the next couple of years, the idea steered away from being just a biker club that travels, to a group of serious motorcycling adventurers. And it has been that way since,” says Anukaran
Riding only Enfield bikes from 2004 to 2016 no matter what the purpose was, destination or terrain was like, Enfield’s for them were like the de facto bike. So, they had the complete range of Enfields during that time period, and they still have their beloved Enfield collection with them.
“I don’t ride my bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days.”
From the 14th year onwards, they unanimously decided to open up the club to all bikes over 300cc, letting the riders choose their own machines that best suits their riding style, purpose and preference. Since then, they have had all kinds of machines on every ride right from BMW, Kawasaki, KTM, Triumph, Royal Enfield ranging from 310cc single cylinders to 1000cc 4-cylinder machines. Although, they now encourage dual-sport adventure bikes, for their versatility on all terrains.
The foremost and most important rule is that one must be an active motorcycle tourer, and must constantly participate in club rides and activities besides planning their own tours. That’s the philosophy of the club- ‘To travel and explore constantly or as much as time and life permits.’
To become a member, one must have a minimum age of 21 years, have a 300cc minimum bike to start with, and should have some basic experience with motorcycles, along with a strong desire to travel far and off-road with the bike. Fresh applicants are first taken as prospects and over a period of time (sometimes 2-3 years) they also check their seriousness towards the club and touring, their personality, their team spirit and attitude, and their riding skills and on/off-road behaviour. Only once a prospect has fulfilled the criteria satisfactorily, then all the members come together and vote if the applicant should be turned into a permanent member or not. It’s not easy to get into the Wanderlust MC, as numbers are not what they are thriving for but adventurous riders, with positive attitudes and team spirit.
“If you can still hear your fears, shift your gears.”
As on today they have active riding members from Nagpur (headquarters), Pune, Hyderabad & Delhi.
Owing to the pandemic dangers and restrictions, they as a club and as responsible citizens of India have kept club activities and tours to a minimum since March 2020. In spite, of this their members individually or in small groups, have done some amazing trips in the past year which include a winter ride through Himachal, a summer ride of all Himachal high passes, a ride to Rajasthan and then Wayanad in the South, a big group went on a trip to Nepal and a smaller group to Nainital, and most recently there was another trip to Mandu in MP.
Besides these, they are mostly avoiding cross country travel till times are safe for all, and doing only deep and isolated trails or are going to destinations on weekends, to avoid crowded tourist interactions.
“The journey is the Destination.”
The favourite destination to visit for them is no surprise, the mountains as they attract them like any other traveller, adventurer, enthusiast: the favourites being Ladakh, Himachal and the North East. These are places that are divine and heavenly for any motorcycle traveller, and that’s the way it is for them also. So, to answer the question, the Himalayan way is the favourite way.
“Old motorcycles never die, they just have better stories to tell.”
The most memorable moment of the club is hard to describe. In close to 18 years, they have had more good experiences, accompanied by bad memories as well. Moments and memories of many kinds and in so many different places it is difficult to keep a count on or remember all of them. So, it’s hard to describe it, but they might rather publish a book on the same. But each ride has had its own special magical experience that they cherish and fondly remember while planning the next one.
Life in quarantine has been slow, dull and boring. Less meets and rides. A lot of conversations with friends on Zoom, WhatsApp, etc. And most active on social media. For a bunch of outgoing people and adventure seekers, quarantine is jail, quite literally. But on the other side, it gave a lot of people a chance to introspect forcing many to slow down their lives and think over it. Some dived into creativity with the luxury of time, some discovered new sides to their skills and many had a hard time facing it. It’s how they choose to look over at quarantine.
Checkout more such content at: https://gogomagazine.in/category/lifestyle/