Behind The Scenes (And Wheels) of the RFC Winner 2015: Force Gurkha


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RFC Winner 2015

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We recently got invited to a media preview of the RFC winning Gurkha , some time back we had also done a limited review of the production spec Force Gurkha , here are the details of the same - Force Gurkha Review

So when we got the invite to have a direct look and introspect the RFC winning Gurkha , we pounced at the chance. With this year's win, they have won the Indian version of RFC twice, and both times the first and second spots. The second year was especially extremely competitive as everyone learnt a lot from the first year experiences.

Yours truly also got a very rare opportunity to actually test drive the RFC Gurkha in the Force off-road track within their premises at Pune.

Here is the press release of the 2015 event from Force Motors

"PRESS RELEASE
Force Gurkha Sweeps the Top Two Spots once again at the Rainforest Challenge India 2015

Teams put up a tough fight at the RFC India 2015

Goa, July 31, 2015: Force Motors’ Team Gurkha once again claimed the top two spots in the extreme off–roading challenge the RFC INDIA 2015 held in Goa from July 24, 2015 to July 31, 2015.

This year, similar to the first edition of RFC India, Force Motors had entered three vehicles in this extreme off-roading event. Gurkha no. 101, was piloted by Tan Eng Joo and his navigator Tan Choon Hong. The duo; winners of the top spot in RFC India 2014, claimed victory again this year with 2163 points after six days of extreme off roading action. Malaysian Mervyn Wei Shiong and his navigator Hamizan Bin Abdul Hamid were in vehicle number 102 and clinched the second position with 2095 points.

The third Force Motors’ Gurkha competitor no. 107, was led by Sanjiv Singh and his navigator Jay Shridhar who due to some setbacks finished 13th position with 1313 points.

The trio of Force Gurkhas for the RFC India 2015 was specially modified to meet the demands of top notch extreme off-roading event. Every major driveline aggregate in these vehicles was from within the Force Motors portfolio and the success of the cars in the event is testimony to the fine engineering and proven reliability of the Force Motors aggregates and its team that supported the three vehicles at the RFC.

Managing Director Mr. Prasan Firodia said, “I am extremely delighted with the results. The main aim for sponsoring the RFC India was to encourage and promote off-roading in India. While the trend is still catching up, in the bargain we have proven the off-roading capabilities of the Force Gurkha. I congratulate the entire team for this success and appreciate their hard work and efforts. ”

The winner Tan said, “This year the contest was more demanding, with tougher courses and harsher challenges. I am glad that we could complete these stages despite having some minor setbacks along the way. Thanks to my navigator Tan Choon and the support team.”

Mervyn who piloted vehicle 102 stated, “I am pleased with the result. Although I would have liked it better if I finished first, I believe I lost to a capable competitor. As a team we put in our best and the results are for all to see.”

ABOUT FORCE MOTORS

Force Motors was established in 1958 by Shri N. K. Firodia, is a fully vertically integrated automobile company, with expertise in design, development and manufacture of the full spectrum of automotive components, aggregates and vehicles.

Force Motors (formerly known as Bajaj Tempo) started production of HANSEAT 3-wheelers in collaboration with Vidal & Sohn Tempo Werke Germany. The company played a pioneering role in the light commercial transport industry in India with iconic brands like the Tempo, the Matador and the Traveller.
Its range includes Trump small commercial vehicles, Trax multi-utility and cross country vehicles, Traveller light commercial vehicles and the Balwan range of Agricultural Tractors.

In 1997, fully aware of the strength of Force Motors, in terms of engineering infrastructure and capabilities, Daimler asked it to set up a dedicated facility for assembling and testing engines for Mercedes passenger cars to be made in India. Till date Force Motors has supplied over 50,000 engines. This portfolio has grown to include the front and rear axles of the C, E, S, M and GL class passenger cars and SUVs, which was added in the last two years.

In 2015, BMW assigned Force Motors to produce and test the engines for all cars and SUVs to be made in India. A state of the art factory has been built to the exacting standards of BMW by Force Motors in Chennai close to the BMW car factory.
"
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Behind the scenes of the RFC Winner 2015 - Force Gurkha

RFC Gurkha 2014 vs RFC Gurkha 2015

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Back in 2014 too they had swept the top 2 spots at the RFC details here - RFC 2014 link

So this time the challenge was bigger, badder and competition too was much more prepared compared to the 2014 event.

Specs of the 2015 RFC vs 2014 Gurkha

The major differences are :-

* Suspension Setup and front and Rear Axles (From Leaf Spring to Coil Overs)

* From 33 to 37 inch bigger/wider tyres

* Larger Wheelbase for stability and better approach/departure angles

Spec Sheet for Comparo

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The 2015 version dwarfs the 2014 Gurkha thanks to huge tyre up-size.

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Behind the scenes of the RFC Winner 2015 - Force Gurkha

2015 RFC Winning Gurkha

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Shots from the in-house off-road test track at Force premises :-

This track was meaner than the track we tested the stock production Gurkha and needless to say more extreme. It would be a safe statement to say stock vehicles couldn't have cleared this track without incurring damage.



We were led to the off-road track, the travelers and Force One did the chauffeuring duties

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The track started with a deep ditch (60 degree decline +)

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It followed with a camel humpback climb - this was at least a 50 degree incline

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The winch in the 2015 RFC Gurkha was COMEUP make, Double motor, capacity: 8000 lbs (the 2014 version had a Warn unit)

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The humpback decline was easily over 60 degree, most of these were negotiated in first/second low. The climb done with rear lockers on as it was slippery and eroded slope.

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It followed up with severe articulation tests, look at the length of the coil-overs, despite this articulation available, we managed to scrap the tire against the wheel well in certain extreme terrain

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Behind the scenes of the RFC Winner 2015 - Force Gurkha

Further up was some odd off-road terrain turning in to a decline leading to a narrow gully

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Followed up with side wise gradient, 30 degree side wise gradient number is a more modest number compared to all the other numbers that the RFC Gurkha boasts impressively

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Massive articulation thanks to the huge coil overs and ably supported by the "indestructible" Dana axles

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Differential breathers are routed to a high point near the bonnet area from both axles

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Dana Axles with electric Eaton lockers, yes the cable operated lockers were replaced with electronic, probably a feature that will be optional in the upcoming production Gurkha. Notice the same tubular chassis as the production Gurkha, however mount points were reinforced and changed to accommodate a longer wheelbase and also to improve upon approach/departure angles.

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RCV joints from RCV performance to take the immense abuse and forces that a RFC event commands

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Coil-overs/Shocks from Profenders performance make way in the 2015 Gurkha, making a major difference with the 2014 version, we asked if we could see the portal axles making way for the 2016 versions[;)] The hydraulic steering pump from the Balwan Tractor was hosted behind what could be called as a the small red bumper/protective unit upfront. A very impressive 88 degree approach angle capability

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Massive Maxxis Trepadors giving it an undeniably glorious road presence, a wide 1 feet foot print for that crucial off-road grip

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45 degree inclines were a cakewalk in 2nd low for these Gurkha, the Gurkha engine was the same 140bhp unit from Force One ( unlike what some publications mentioned as 200bhp engine remap), the only minor tuning to this engine was to accommodate the massive tyres and corresponding torque delivery

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Humongous gargantuan articulation capability, we managed to scrape the wheel well even then :tongue:

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Yours truly warming up on a concrete articulation track before i took on the same course, first was an accompanied drive followed up with a self drive

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Front and Rear Axle ratio are 5.88 respectively

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Side gradients at 25-30 degree were more moderate

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Roll cage fitted on to the body

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This gauge might make way in the upcoming production version

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All the cockpit buttons, self explanatory, additional battery to aid winch operations.

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The same production spec snorkel

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**Special thanks to the marketing team at Force Motors for inviting us and giving us thorough access, special thanks to the head of the R&D team and RFC Team Leader for answering all our questions patiently.
Congratulations to the entire Force team for this amazing build and 2 consecutive wins - this is a great boost to the offroading scene in India!

 
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350Z

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Re: Behind the scenes(and wheels) of the RFC Winner 2015 - Force Gurkha

Note: Thread now live. Amazing coverage, Iron Rock. Thanks! [thumbsup]

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
Thread Starter #9
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^^ Indeed Sir, I have been lucky to have my hands on what can be called arguably one of best off-road builds in India (with all due respect to other participants who brought in some phenomenal builds ). Next year will be even more massive and competitive i am sure.
 
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Excellent stuff Iron Rock! I feel proud that RFC invited TAI for this demonstration event and moreover its comprehensively studied and laid out here on the forum by you. [thumbswink]
It makes me happy to see such off-road activities being conducted in India and RFC has come a long way in getting off-road junkies together for past few years. Its only getting more better, involving and intense every passing year!
I believe the last RFC event was organized somewhere near Goa, a place just 120kms from my place but still missed it. Look forward for the next year's event though [:)]
 
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Thread Starter #11
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^^ Thanks VJRoadie, just a small correction, it was Force Motors who invited us to have a look at the RFC winning Gurkhas
 
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Awesome pics!!!! Adrenaline is gushing through my veins i am shivering that was the effect no words to say. its an honour that TAI was invited to such an event. I am a great fan of 4x4 however have never participated in any event as i dont own a 4x4. its definitely a treat to watch though.
 

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