Sundeep “Sunny” Gajjar makes a living doing what he loves. He travels the world on his motorbike and captures each moment with his camera. Through combining his two passions for motorcycling and photography, he has wittily named himself 'The Motographer'. Sunny is the Founder and CEO of xBhp.com, which is home to the largest online motorcycle community in India, as well as Editor & Publisher of xBhp Print Magazine. This gives him access to some of the world's most badass bikes - something he takes full advantage of to create his stunning shots.
Back in 2013, he approached Point 65 about using our Boblbee packs for his 20,000+ km trip around Australia. The rest is history, and he has been sold on Boblbees ever since - not only because they are the highest rated spine protector backpacks on the market, but also to ensure his costly tech equipment would survive in the event of a fall. In between ‘motographing’, he kindly answered our questions about his life, and experiences with his trusted Boblbee backpacks (yes, he’s got more than one!). Take it away, Sunny:
Sunny, how would you describe yourself?
I am an impulsive, non-conformist rebel who wants to be remembered for his passion for life and his contribution to promoting motorcycling in India. I also look at myself as a unique artist who blends digital visual arts with travel and motoring.
How did your love for motorcycling and photography begin?
I started as a graphic designer and programmer and then graduated to being a webmaster. I wanted to practice these arts and hence made a small website about my first motorcycle. By god’s grace it became popular and became India’s foremost motorcycling website and platform and community. Since I was doing everything and I was already a creative guy, I used to sketch comics in school, it was natural that I discovered photography as a medium to generate content and capture my experiences.
When was it that you realized you could make a successful career out of motorcycling and photography? And did you experience any challenges in making this your career?
I was skeptical until 2009 when I left a graphic designing job in Australia for good and took up xBhp and riding full time. I had earlier left 4 more jobs, all in graphic designing and programming in India because they made me feel uneasy. Since 2010 I have been doing this full time but I am deeply involved in conceptualising the print magazine covers and other major creatives and campaigns. And of course, photography remains my passion!
In fact this is why the handle - MotoGrapher was coined by me in 2008.
In 2013 you completed a 20,000-kilometer road trip around Australia. What was it about the Boblbee backpack that led to you approach Point 65 about using one for the trip?
The roadtrip you are talking about was called the #powerTrip360 and as you said was a 20,000 kms long trip around Australia. I had already gone around Australia on motorcycles twice in the past, but what was different on this trip was that this time we were riding two of the fastest and most powerful motorcycles in the world, the Ninja H2 and the Ducati Panigale 1299. These motorcycles are not touring motorcycles and put a lot of pressure on riders’ shoulders and neck and arms. So we wanted a backpack that was very lightweight and looked stylish too. And the fact that it doubled up as a back protector was the bonus.
What are your favorite features of the backpack?
As I mentioned earlier, the light-weight, impact reduction, and the style. In fact, these backpacks, particularly the chrome one that I was using, look so cool and out of this world that on more than a couple of occasions on this ride people actually asked us whether we were wearing a jetpack! So that added a lot to the overall visual appeal of this road trip.
How is the Boblbee when riding with it for long periods of time? How comfortable is it?
Well, after riding 20,000 kms with Boblbee on #powerTrip360 and a few more thousand kilometers after that, I have nothing but a lot of praise for this backpack. I didn’t feel even an iota of stress on my back or neck even after riding so many kilometers on a bike like the Ninja H2. This backpack has become my permanent companion on all my rides now, be it the small Sunday morning ride or a really long cross country ride.
What do you normally store in it?
At any given time, you would find my laptop, a camera, a power bank, my wallet, my phone charger, and my iPad in my Boblbee backpack. And a xBhp print magazine!
Have you ever been in a situation where you were thankful you were wearing the Boblbee due to its spine protection? If so, can you please give us details?
Oh yes, just last month I had an incident while a car crashed into me while I was parked at the roadside on my motorcycle. I was thrown off the bike, but I didn’t suffer any injuries because my helmet and the Boblbee helmet absorbed most of the impact. It could have been much worse without these two, so yes I am thankful to Boblbee for protecting me from some serious injuries.
And also, I do a lot of long distance riding on motorcycles and it puts a lot of pressure on my back. So having a lightweight backpack saves me from a lot of undue stress on my back, which protects me from back illnesses or injuries that might arise in the long term.
What is it about motorcycle trips that excite you more than using another form of transport such as a car or push bike?
Well, traveling in a car or similar modes of transport is like watching a movie from outside on a TV screen. You are watching it, but you are not a part of it. You are insulated from the weather. But riding a motorcycle, makes you a part of the scene. You feel and sense everything. If it is hot outside, you feel hot and if it is cold outside, you feel cold. As a motorcycle rider, you are one of the most vulnerable entities on the road, so whenever reach your destination safely, it gives you an extra sense of accomplishment. And of course, riding motorcycles requires an extra level of attention and concentration, which is very close to being in meditation. And even a $100,000 car can’t match the fun a $10,000 motorbike can give to you.
What are some of your favorite places you have visited on your travels?
Besides my motherland, India, Australia is my all time favorite and that is why I have gone around that country 3 times on different motorcycles. And a lot of places in Europe, like Stelvio pass in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Transfagarasan in Romania, and Death Valley in USA.
What is your biggest “WOW!!!” moment from your travels so far?
The vast expanses of the Australian outback. Doing 300 kmph on the 280 BHP Ninja H2. Riding through a snowfall in Austria.
What would your ultimate adventure consist of and where in the world would it take you?
Where can we expect to find you next?
In front of my laptop today, on the road on a superbike tomorrow!
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