They say you cannot achieve
anything in life without a lot of pain. Hence the adage, “No Pain, No Gain”. In
the world of two-wheeler stunt riding, there is a lot of pain, yes extreme physical
pain at times leading to fatal consequences. But finally when a stuntman
perfects the art of stunt riding, it’s like poetry in motion! Call it insane,
call it madness, call it a sport, but it’s definitely something that gets your
There are several motorcycle stunt
championships across the globe, but none of major significance yet in India.
Energy drink Red Bull brought two-time European stunt champion and Red Bull
athlete Aras Gibieza to India to perform in nine cities in the months of April
and May 2016. Red Bull has in the past done similar exercises globally with
other stunt riders like Chris Pfeiffer, Aaron Colton and Shadi Al Dhaheri.
Stunt championships like Stunt
Grand Prix have been drawing stunt riders from across the world to compete for
the coveted world championship crown. The Stunt GP is the biggest and most
professional event of this type organised in the world, claim the people behind
this show. In the 2015 Stunt GP, Marcin Glowacki of Poland came first. Other who walked away
with prizes included Herczeg Balázs of Hungary,
an old school rider aged 39 years old and Pawel Karbownik of Poland who was
placed third. Sarah Lezito of France was the only girl at StuntGP 2015. She was
among the top ten in ranking. She is perhaps the best girl stunt rider in the
The western world is
considered the Mecca for stunt riding and the various championships it hosts.
There are events like the XDL Championship in Indianapolis, Stuntrider German
Championship, Stuntriding World Championship, European Stuntriding
Championship, Stuntwars Competition in US, Stunt Riding EuroCup, SBF European Stunt Competition , Bulgarian
Stunt Competition etc.
There are many motorcycle
stunt riders of repute in the world. Names like Rafal Pasierbek of Poland and Robert
William 'Robbie' Maddison are household names in Europe. Rafal has won the XDL
Championship while Maddison in April 2015 achieved the feat of riding a
modified dirt motorbike on a wave near Teahupoo in Tahiti, after two years
preparing for the event.
Motorcycle stunts come with
their set of risks and injuries. Recently, one of Australia’s foremost
motorcycle stunt riders, Matt Mingay, was injured in a horrifying crash in a
Stadium Super Trucks race in Detroit. Surgeons performed more than five hours of
surgery to insert a prosthetic chin and to rebuild his jaw and mouth
In other instances stunt
riders have been paralysed or have been grievously injured as a result of stunt
riding. On being asked whether he has experienced any kind of misadventure while
performing his stunts on motorcycle, Aras Gibieza told Motown India in an email
interaction, “Yes, I had some broken bones because of which I couldn’t compete
According to a blog written by
Jesper Bram, legendary names in global motorcycle stunts include men like Gary
Wells who set 110 world records and Indian Larry who was originally known as Lawrence
DeSmedt and got his Indian name
because he rode through around the streets of New York on a chopped Indian
motorcycle. He died of injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash during a show
in 2004. Other biggies include Doug Domokos, nicknamed “The Wheelie King”, Putt
Mossman, Frank Mackewich aka Fearless Frank who was also known for his death-defying
stunts, Hurricane Hutch, Robbie Knievel and Eddie Kidd,.
kinds of motorcycle stunts
Apart from motorcycle stunts
involving jumping off cliffs and jumping over cars and buses, motorcycle stunt
riding, often referred to as stunting, is a motorcycle sport characterised by
stunts involving acrobatic manoeuvring of the motorcycle and sometimes the
rider. These stunts include wheelies, stoppies, and burnouts.
Wheelies again may be
different depending on the stunt, like a simple wheelie where the front of the
motorcycle is lifted off the ground, or a circle wheelie, or a high chair
wheelie where the rider's legs are over the handlebars. In a "tank
wheelie", the rider sits on the tank with legs spread. A frog wheelie is
when the rider stands on the tank, and a seat stander wheelie where the rider
is the rider standing on the motorcycle's saddle. A wheelie where the person is
standing on the windshield while riding is called a watch tower.
Then there are also several
bar tricks too like Ape Hanger, cliff hanger etc. Common ones are the Stoppie where
the rider lifts the rear wheel of the motorcycle. There is a Biscuit Eater where
the Stoppie is done with the rider's legs over the handlebars. Burn outs are
also very popular among motorcycle stunt riders. Acrobatic stunts include Hyperspin,
Switchback, Christ and De activator.
motorcycle stunt riders
As far as motorcycle stunt
clubs in India are concerned, there are more than a dozen in the country. Names
like BanDit Bikers, Outlawz, Polacafe, Devil Roadiez, Ghost Ryderz, Team RPM, Throttlerz, Team Coasterz, Freaky Bikers, Stunt
Infected, Team Insane and Steel Silencerz are some of the many stunt clubs
spread across India. Besides these clubs there are several individuals who on
their own do stunts just to earn a name for themselves in the world of
“Yes you have thousands of
stunt riders and enthusiasts in the country and some of them are riding really
well. So at least a few of them should be reaching the top level globally,”
says Red Bull athlete Aras Gibieza.
Anam Hashim, a very popular Indian female motorcycle stunt rider says
stunt riding is not considered a serious sport in India. “My advice to
youth interested in stunt riding is to urge them to follow their passion but
learn under the guidance of experienced stunt riders. Private companies and even
the government should work hand in hand to encourage this sport. It is
important that aspiring stunt riders do not stunt on main roads and disrupt
public activity but have a safe practice arena with appropriate permissions and
safety gear. In the near future, I intend to work towards setting up a
federation for stunt riding in India and promote the sport through exclusive
events,” says Hashim in an email interaction with Motown India.
Hashim says that while there
are a lot of stunt riding groups and initiatives, there is a dearth of
established training schools or federation focused on stunt riding in India. As
of now, most of the aspiring stunt riders learn by experience, videos and
observing experienced riders. “I hope we can soon change that,” she says.
Hashim owns a TVS Scooty Zest
110 cc and TVS Apache RTR. She used an Apache during her training and she
stunts on it as well. She has conquered the world’s highest motorable road,
Khardung La Pass (18380 feet) on a TVS Scooty Zest 110. “Riding to Khardung La
is not an easy task but it is also every rider’s dream. TVS Motor Company came
to me with an interesting proposition to fulfil my dream on a Scooty Zest 110
cc. All apprehensions vanished during my week along with the TVS Scooty Zest
110 cc which I rode through Pune and on the ghats of Lonavala. Riding to Khardung La tests both the rider
and the machine so I had to prepare well for it. I gym regularly and maintain a
strict diet which was an advantage,” she points out.
“Post Khardung La, my relationship
with the TVS Scooty is a special one and I sometimes stunt with it. I aspire to
stunt on a BMW bike someday,” she adds. Now TVS Motor Company has launched
Season 2 of ‘Himalayan Highs’, inviting
entries from women riders across India to ride to Khardung La Pass on TVS
Scooty Zest 110
“The image of stunt riding is
really pathetic in a country like India. When you pursue something you love,
either it destroys you or it takes you to the pinnacle of success. In the beginning we used to see stunts in movies
where people used to do wheelies and stoppies.
As for the international videos on stunting, well even today we find it
difficult to achieve those levels. But watching that was kind of madness and
our brains were blow away by the stunts people performed,” says Bunty Godara of
a little known club in New Delhi that goes by the name of Mototycoonz.
Speaking to Motown India, Bunty confesses that people
do not take stunt riders seriously. “They think we toss around motorcycle s and
jump on them. But when people perform motorcycle stunts in movies, the crowd
cheers for them. And when we do that
individually, people think we are mad. When stunt riders from abroad come to
India to perform they are treated as ministers. When we perform, they simply
treat us as we are some vagabonds,” he says.
Bunty is happy that after a
long time TVS Motors sponsored him and his boys. “We got a brand new Apache.
That was a great feeling. There was a
time we did not have our own motorcycle and we used to pick up one that belonged
to a family member. Now we do our stunts
on our bikes and we are not scared of anyone,” he notes.
Manninder Singh of Mototycoonz
says he was inspired by his elder brother who used to do stunt riding. Singh
once took his brother’s bike without his knowledge at night and the police
caught him doing stunting on the roads. He had to cool his heels for the entire
evening in the police station.
When his brother died in a
road accident, Singh was pressurised by his family to quit doing motorcycle
stunts. But he refused. “I have not learnt anything else in my life, except do
stunt riding. This is my life. As long as there is life in my body, I shall
continue doing stunt riding,” he signs off.
It is this undying spirit that
motivates hundreds and thousands of boys and sometimes even girls to pursue
motorcycle stunting in India. It is now time for the sports authorities in the
government and even the corporate world to provide a right platform for them to
hone their skills further and make it a right career for them.
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