Reader Submissions: This Photographer Is Documenting India's Eerily Decaying Motorcycles

This Photographer Is Documenting India’s Eerily Decaying Motorcycles

By Steve Carere
January 12, 2017

What comes to your mind when you think of the motorcycle culture in India? I can’t help but think of the iconic Royal Enfield, or the dangerous dance that thousands of scooters in Delhi perform daily…speeding within inches of each other on the streets with apparently no need for the “rules of the road.”

But there are other interesting facets of the motorcycle culture here that aren’t talked about as much. Like what happens when one of the 100,000,000 bikes that have been bought and sold in India decides to stop working? Those bikes have to go somewhere when they bite the bullet, right?  Well in the city of Udaipur some people have found an interesting way to deal with the problem…they just leave them!

They prop the bike on it’s kick stand, take the key out of the ignition, and walk away. In any given alley or street in the city you can find these little pieces of art decorating the sidewalks.

The strangest part is that nobody touches them once they are abandoned. For the most part, complete bikes that were obviously left years ago don’t have a single part removed. Can you imagine an old Ninja or Vespa leaning against your local pub’s wall lasting more than a couple of days before something happened to it?

I’ve never seen anything like it, and wonder how many other people have even noticed it? After a while the abandoned bikes fade into the surroundings and become just another one of the layers that make up the unique city of Udaipur.

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Somveer Sheoran
Somveer Sheoran
6 years ago

Seriously saddening

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
7 years ago

There is something eerie and more than a bit creepy verging on dystopian nightmare about these ‘ Ghost ‘ motorcycles and bicycles .

Hmm .. I wonder if there’s some sort of bad karma attached to taking these bikes or their part within their particular brand of Hinduism that I’m not familiar with ?

To end on a positive though … great photography despite the vaguely disturbing subject matter

Mayank Gupta
Mayank Gupta
7 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

As an Indian, I can tell you that we have a town where nobody has doors in their house, and there hasn’t been a theft in like, ever coz they believe their Goddess protects them.
India is weird, even for an Indian!

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