Wellington Bike Market At Kolkata – Where Heritage & Innovation Meet Everyday

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Boys just love their gadgets and machines. Don’t they?

Be it the newest video game, their newest car or their age old bike. Deep down in our hearts we know that those are their actual first girlfriends.

They can’t bear to see a scratch on the love of their lives, that has been with them through thick and thin, through heaven and hell, it knows more secrets than their best friends do. Haven’t we all seen endless pictures of them with their ‘little beast’ that they obsess about?  Don’t we all know those guys who put their bike’s picture as their Facebook/Whatsapp DP?
Oh! We have all seen the ‘dhoom’ version of guys when they take on their biker avatar. Some of them actually have such well modified bikes, that your eyeball gets fixated at the sight of these sleek hunks.

So where in Kolkata would you head to, if you wanted to change the look of your bike/scooty?  To make it look heavenly, to receive all sorts of praises from strangers while feeling a little proud from within.

Well, as the old saying goes, “if you don’t get it in wellington, you will not get it anywhere in Kolkata.”

This scene is of course changing but having an entire market catering to the motor-creative in you, is a whole craze in itself.

We rarely get to see the original look of a two-wheeler these days, especially when it comes to the Royal Enfield bullets. People have modified it to such extents that would put the manufacturers to shame.

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Whoever said that guys don’t like to shop, go to Wellington. This place can safely be called a Biker’s shrine. If you see flashy wheels teamed with witty stickers zoom past you at lightning speed, you can be sure that this is the handiwork of someone from Wellington.

Location

Situated at a busy crossing in Central Kolkata, formed by the intersection of Lenin Sarani, Wellington Street, & Wellesley Street.  Once nearing this place, you will see a line of helmet shops.

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What to expect here

Super-Mechanics, shopkeepers and bike enthusiasts. About 500 bike modification related shops including welding, electrical, helmets, seat covers, repairing, bike accessories, lubricants, etc.

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Modifications

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Here, you can customize and modify your bike in any way that fancies your taste. You think of it and they execute it to the best of their capability. If your bike is damaged and needs repair, if you want to add on some accessories to enhance the look of your bike, if you want just about anything related to pimping up your ride, you owe a visit to this haven of sorts.

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From customising the sound of the horns, to head lights, tail lights, stickers, silencers, wheels, alloy change, firing, reflectors, tank jackets, air filters, handle change, handle cover, handle grip, exhaust, crash guards, projector head lamps, battery tender, fender eliminator, tyres, professional suspension setup, clutch and disc break levers, mirror, seat cover,  making of seats, leg guard, rubber guard, logo, embellishments, LED light, HID lights, rim  etc , you name it they have it.

Phew!

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Pioneers

Mr. Swapan Pal of Motor & Cycle supply store, the oldest shop in Wellington, is into this business for more than 70yrs now. “The market is over 50yrs old and initially, mine was the only shop here. Then gradually other shops started springing up. At present the market has spread out. Many shops have opened across the road as well as adjacent to us. Earlier, wellington only comprised of one lane, now there are shops on all four sides.” Mr. Pal, who sells helmets, tyres, tubes, bike accessories, alloy wheels, brass items, keychains, headlights, etc. Talks about the changing times and says “At present people choose costly and good helmets that come in various vibrant colours that suit their bikes. They are aware of safety. Earlier they would want cheap helmets and that would only be available in basic colours of black, white and red.”

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Shopkeepers speak

Monojit bhattacharya, owns a sticker shop in wellington, he also customises stickers, adds the personal touch to it, and then prints it. So if you have a special motto or quote that you follow in life, you can get a sticker of that made here or else you can even make your name’s sticker and flaunt it on the rear of your bike.

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“If you want to cover your entire scooty/bike in graphics, it would cost you approximately 2500 or so. The cost depends entirely on the type of work involved. Only a few years earlier, covering the bike in stickers was a huge trend but now-a-days the use of it has decreased. Now, people like customised stickers more than the ready-made ones.” While team beacon was there, we even saw a policeman come to custom make a K.P sticker for his bike and helmet.

Ranjit Patel, repairing and modifying bikes since the past 25yrs in Wellington, says that “most spare parts come from Delhi and the Royal Enfield bullet and bikes of the similar kind are the most worked upon bikes in Wellington. Mostly the tyres rim and lights are changed. Accessories for Activa, Pulsar  and other bikes are also available.”

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Why should boys have all the fun?

If you girls are under the impression that you would only find guys here, think again. We found some enthusiastic females here as well.  Paromita Das, a young lady was there to design her scooty along with her friend Sanchari Das who owns a bajaj avenger 150 and visits wellington at least twice a month.” Today I have come here to attach a side box to my avenger and put some stickers on my bike.”

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‘Chotu bullet’ is into the repair work at Wellington since 25yrs. He only repairs bullets and says that since the last 5yrs there has been an increase in the modifications in the bullets.

Noor Alam, has been repairing bike seats since the last 15yrs. “People come to change their seats if it tears, or water gets into it, etc. If they have a new bike, they come to put a seat cover in order to protect the original cover. I repair the seat, stitch it and also fix it back for approx Rs.120-200 depending on the work involved”

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Sanjeev Guha, is into this profession since the past 25yrs. He now owns a bike accessory shop in Wellington which has a huge variety of items. He says that since the last few years there has been a lot of modification in bullets because there is a huge availability of items now-a-days. The most sold items are fork light, silencer, carrier, mirrors, roped leg guard, bike grill, etc.”

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Sanjeev kumar Thakur, better known as ‘champion’ is a welding mechanic in Wellington. He is arguably the best in his field of work and his shop has been there since the British era. He says that this shop has been his school since childhood because he has learnt all his skills here.  “I weld the extra fitting of the bikes. People buy the accessories and I fix them to their bikes. Sometimes, I even make certain items that my customers want customised.”

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Vinod shah, an electrician in wellington, has been working here since 15yrs. He does the lightning, horn, self-repair, battery, headlight and all other electric work connected to the bike/scooty. He also sells seat covers and repairs them. “The seat covers are dyed in Delhi, we then buy it from Chandni market, and we repair the seats when needed and even re-model it. Guys bring the picture of the seats they want and we make the seats according to these online pictures. We can make a seat within 1 hour.”

Our two wheelers definitely deserve a makeover at this place.

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