My Experiences as an Amateur in Motorsports


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It all began when I saw the Himalayan rallies on doordarshan in the eighties as a kid. I got instantly hooked. It was fun watching those daredevils at full throttle going up and down the mountain passes in their Ambies,Gypsies and Fiats. My favorite was the Gypsy then. I was also very keen on doing this when I grew up. My dad also liked motorsports. He started to teach me how to steer our CJ 500 D as I was constantly begging him. And our driver taught me the rest of the things without my dad knowing. My dad had told me that he would teach me the rest only when I'm older. My dad never knew that I could drive at 10 years of age. I started to rip the Jeep through our backyard when my dad was away at work. He used to come home only on weekends and he left the Jeep at home mostly. There was a dirt road which we used for moving trucks with building material to build our house. Our house was still being constructed and the road was pretty much a slushy and it was fun to get all the mud on the windscreen while going pedal to the metal thru it. My mom never told my dad though she scolded me and told that she would inform my dad about my fooling around with the Jeep. I used to turn the Jeep in fast and it did sort of a drift. There were funny incidents too, Once I had to bail out of the Jeep after my mom came close with a cane to spank me while I was stuck in the mud and desperately trying to engage 4 Wheel drive. It was real hard to engage 4 wheel drive as I was just a kid and the levers were real hard to operate. I needed a wooden block to hit it into position. As I had no time to flee with the Jeep, I ran out leaving the motor running and my mom took the keys away. She told me"Let the Jeep lie there for your dad to see and let him see what you've been upto" I begged her to give me the keys cause if the Jeep stood there,I would be in real deep trouble. Finally after my crying and all she gave me the keys and I scurried along,washed and parked the Jeep in the porch like it was never out. I have to admit my mom was very tolerant on the inside for a devil like myself.
The years pass,my dad expired in 89 and we sold the Jeep in 91. We had no vehicle till 1994 and this time it was a brand new RX 100. I was still a teen doing 2nd year Pre-university(Pre-Degree in Kerala). After getting comfortable with the new set of wheels, I wanted to rally. I had seen cars and Gypsies flying through the nearby villages participating in the Eastern Rally. Me and a friend of mine followed the Rally through the stages on our bike. There was a lot of incidents. At one stage me and my friend saw a Gypsy go straight into a paddy field with crop after missing a 90 degree right and it was all mud there. We ran to help them,but in an instant they flung it into four wheel drive and after a frantic wheel-spinning got back onto the road through the tractor way. We were so happy to see it. This was also a night stage at some 12:30 A.M. We saw bike flying by with 100/90w halogens along with drive lights. And this was the time when I saw Jagat Nanjappa in the flesh. I had read about him and Anita in Auto India. He was my idol. He was such an amazing rider. He was never rash and always rode with such finesse in the special stages and it was easy to make out it was him when you saw the bike coming. While he was waiting for a start at a road section I even got an autograph from him which I still treasure with me.
[:D]I will continue with my experiences soon,hope I am not boring you all. Drive safe!
 
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I enjoyed your exp much ,

Some similarity and some difference

I started the car at 12 . by the time i was 13 i was able to move the car back and fro.

as your , my Dad too stayed away , and visited week ends .

i too was caught by my mom
The difference is she told to dad the same evening by phone.

I was waiting for a terrible week end. Even planned to run to grand dad house , wild plans were running in my mind.

The week end turned to be a sweet one , he never scolded me for this , but advised the bad effect if i ran through any one or dent or dash others car without license.

Still i am thinking that , is it right to dash with license :lol:

Waiting for your next write up!
 
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well, i started to drive at 6 years old in an M800 (the version that 350Z has) and my mom couldn't believe it! My dad had pretty much confidence that i could do it! I thrashed the car around and had loads of fun because i had seen all those stuff in games like NFS Porsche 2000.

i liked your write-up. waiting for the second part!
 
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Hey Jalex enjoyed reading your report , continue your report!

I too started driving my dad's TATA Sierra at the age of 12! As my dad is a civil engineer whenever we go at an open construction ground he used to give the car keys and tell me to go for a spin but not go more than 2nd gear!! He was very confident that i would drive it with ease which i actually did! Effect of playing too much of NFS!![evil]


After this i got my official driving lessons from my dad after completing 18 only again in my Sierra! I was the last person to ride that car in our family , we decided to sell it off after i finished learning to drive!
 
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Excellent write up jalex. You are not at all boring us. Waiting for the next part.[:)]
And ilango, I think you also could share your experiences.
 

350Z

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Great and precise write up of your experience jalex. It is really nice reading it, Like others I’m too waiting for next part to be posted. All I would say now is wishing all the luck and success for you in coming future. :smile:

@Others, Could please share their general initial driving experiences in this thread.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
Thread Starter #9
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Thank you all very much,Its an honour. Actually its the first time I'm doing this sort of a write up,so please bear with me for the glitches. I guess I'll continue then.
Now I had witnessed what rallying is like,but I needed to learn more about it,so I tried to look around for a club. The year was 95 and I had learnt that you need a competition licence for doing Motorsports and that there are clubs which can help you in that direction. It was a little difficult as no one had any idea about Motorsports and all the info I got was through Auto India. Internet was also not there at that time let alone the fact that I had never even seen a computer. So I tried to get more info out of magazines,and while doing this I chanced to see a copy of a regional magazine called Auto Kerala and started buying it. In one issue I came across an article about a Motorsports club called I & Tee based at Cochin. They were making Expansion Chambers and did Rally assistance for the members. So I decided to go meet up with them hoping to join the club and get into Rallying. I call the Club,they give me an appointment. I go all alone to Cochin,I was just 18 at that time and the RX100 was my ride. I talk with the president and members of the club. Most of them were Mechanics in an around Cochin and were pretty good riders of the time. There were around 20 members and out of them around 12 were Riders and navigators,the rest were part of the service crew. They tell me that they offer training and give full service back-up and repairs minus Petrol and Parts to their members in rallies. They also tell me that I need a navigator and can arrange someone from among the members when I am ready to participate as I had no one interested or willing to navigate for me from my side. I join the club after paying a lifetime membership fee of Rs.3000/- which was the savings of my pocket money accrued over the years.
They also brief me about Rallying in general. After hearing everything I understand that it is a real tough sport and you not only need riding skills but good time management skills coupled with technical knowledge and a good idea about emergency repairs as well. They tell me that they conduct trials every sunday (when there are no events) at an open ground at Kakkanad which is a near Cochin and to be there the next sunday. I was so excited. I go for practice the next sunday. There were around seven bikes. They walked me around the course which was a loose terrain with gravel, and included an open rain water channel which was about two feet wide. There was also some standing water. I was a little afraid that this is a little tough as I had never ever rode on gravel or loose terrain. Also my tyres were the factory ones,an Dunlop Rib 2.50-18 up front and a 2.75-18 Dunlop at the rear. The other bikes were using MRF Nylogrips front and back and were wider with sizes 2.75-18 or 3.00-18 in the front and 3.00-18 or3.25-18 in the rear. Those bikes were also having uprated shocks in the back and were rally prepped for Group D or Group C classes.

(Now here Group D is the restricted class and bikes aren't allowed much modifications other than an upgraded headlight and tyre sizes should not exceed 2.75-18 up front and 3.00-18 in the rear. They are also allowed to remove the chain-covers and a handle bar of one's own choice with a cross bar welded for strength was also allowed. The baffle pipe of the silencer can also be cut short or slightly modified. The other mods allowed are that the carburettor should be standard but the needle and tuning can be set to any position provided all the jets are of standard size.The Group D bikes could only get an advantage of only around 5-8kmph in top speed over the regular ones after the allowed modifications; The Group C bikes are the real demons, Modifications on these bikes are more liberal- Tyre sizes of upto almost any width was allowed,provided they are manufactured in India and do not exceed 18 inches in height. Then expansion chambers are allowed,Porting and over size pistons are allowed.Chain sprockets can be changed,Light weight mudguards,indicators,change of seats are all allowed. Rear shock-absorbers could also be changed.These bikes could do some serious speeds too and were the real crotch rockets.The Group C RX100 was capable of around 125kmph.The later RX 135 did 140kmph. The Shogun 120kmph, The Shaolin 140kmph. Another fact is that the Group D class is for the novices and these riders can only apply for a restricted competition licence,and they have to atleast participate and complete three rallies in order to get a Full licence which enables them to rally in Group C modified class)

I watched some of the riders and bikes go into action,I was astonished to see them fly over the rainwater channel at full throttle after going over a slight crest. It was also awesome to see the bikes take hairpins and 90degree turns on opposite locks. I was waiting to go and was also pretty nervous. I start slow and try to get used to the track and soon realize that I might crash if I go faster like them. I also tried to bail out at the rain water channel as I thought it was going to end in touchdown bone and bike breaking situation,the other members shout 'fullthrottle' and I give the throttle a a full twist at the 11th hour and somehow got across hitting the channel hard and almost breaking the rear shockabsorbers. The channel was cut up in such a way that you dont have the option to ride slow through it but fly over at full throttle. It was something new for me. I also didn't know how to put the inside leg out and put pressure on the outside footpeg on tight curves to get around it faster. The other members told me to go a little more faster on every lap. I try that along with the tips they gave me and I find that riding fast is all about technique and not just twisting the throttle like I used to do on tarmac. I also learned that day how to jump the bike over a crest without crashing out. The practice really gave me a lot of confidence as well as a set of new skills. I was happy.

Will be continued till then Happy Motoring[drive]
 
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Hey thats a good experience in biking!
I have a fear to drive at corner like that , Only speeding at straight strech.

Same is not the case with car ! Though learning through motor sport club is different experience.

Waiting for your next report.
 
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Hey nice write up Jalex! Waiting for the next part!

Seems you have had great experiences in bikes! I have a Pulsar 150cc and i bend through the corners in full acceleration! The MRF Zappers give you great confidence in corners! But i try this only on Tarmacs , strictly no on the conditions on which you have tried! You must have great courage to do on those surface with the company fitted skinny tyres!!
 
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Really nice experiences of yours jalex, its touching and i liked it. keep them coming and add some pictures if available. [:)]
 
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After some practice sessions,I was told to get a shogun. It was cause I'm to rally in the Group D unmodified bikes and Rx 100s were not good for rallying without mods,the Group D RXs always suffered with suspension trouble. So I sell my RX 100 and book a new Shogun, I was told a month,but two months go by. I'm without a bike and I feel naked without any wheels. The only wheels left were my Atlas concorde 5 speed bicycle. A few more days and the dealer tells me that the Shogun is out of sale for Kerala and will only be available at metros due to the pollution norms and that it came with the catalytic converter. Unleaded fuel was not yet available in Kerala and the dealer told me that the cat con equipped shogun cannot be used in Kerala with leaded petrol even if I managed to get one somehow.He said it would damage the engine if I use leaded petrol.So he gave me an assurance that he will help hunt for a second-hand Shogun for me. So we start looking at options. I saw some 5 bikes bikes.The owners all were asking upwards of 36000 rupees,this was when I was almost about to get a new one at 40000 on road,I could have got one if it the booking was made earlier by a month. And the second hand ones I saw were all ripped and crashed with dented tanks and silencers. They all looked as if they had come after surviving world war III.
The shoguns were also sort of an expert's bike. You need to be a pro if you needed to rip it at full throttle. If you were'nt then crash is what you do next.[sad] Then the dealer calls me one fine morning,he tells me there is a bike that belonged to an engineer,wanna take a look? I said yes hoping that this is gonna be a good bike[clap]. I set off with the dealer to the engineer's house. On the way the dealer tells me that he's asking 40000 Rupees for it,and that he wont negotiate. I reply to him thats a bit too much? Well it was the time when a Maruti bought could get you 25000 rupees extra on the on-road price if you wish to sell it in one year. We see the bike,It was a black one and had just done 2300 kms and 8 months old and was like new. I started the engine and it sounded perfectly run in as well. I ask him for a test ride,he looks at the dealer and he says 'its ok he'll be careful'. I take the bike onto the road and feel that it is a bike that needs to be rode with more caution than the RX. It was like an untamed stallion. Well I am impressed and I ask the owner if it was possible to give atleast a couple of thousands off the price he was quoting[thinking],he says no. Well I thought. If it isn't this one,then I wont be seeing another bike like this again possibly so I close the deal and pay him the advance. I take the bike and the keys the next day.[thumbsup] A week later I head for Cochin and its practice day. Everyone see the bike and tells me that it is one great bike and was worth the money. I try the bike on the track and I find it very difficult to handle the bike on dirt with the stock TVS tyres. The tyres were good as bald even though they still were 90% new with almost all the tread there. Then the club secretary takes my bike for a run. On the second lap,down comes he with the bike on a tight turn. I was very disappointed. We take a look and we have one indicator busted,left footpeg rubber torn,gear lever and foot peg bent upwards,the left handle bar grip torn,the clutch lever scratched. Well we had removed the headlight fairing and so it was saved. The secretary was also fine,thanks to the Helmet, pads and gloves he was wearing.We do necessary repairs to the foot peg and gear lever and I continue another 5 laps and call it a day. We regroup at the club and after some discussions on riding techniques we disperse and I head back home.
To be Continued..
 
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Hey very interesting to read please continue Jalex!!

Very shocked to know that vehicles had a good re-sale value in those periods and that is mainly because of the long waiting periods i guess!! Do you have any pictures of the Shogun , upload them here!!

It surely does hurt us when somebody else damages our ride!!
 
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