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This #ThrowbackThursday, we take you along for one of the most enjoyable road trips that embodies the very idea of the ‘Thrill of Riding’
The Triumph Tiger is the motorcycle equivalent of a trusty horse. It will do everything you ask it to do, and exceed expectations every time. Whether it’s about crossing continents, going off-road through the foulest of grime or just a leisurely saunter around town late in the evening, the Tiger takes care of it all without the slightest protest.
However, bringing out the best from a big ADV is no easy task. And this is where the Tiger Trails comes into play. You not only visit interesting places, but also learn the nuances of off-roading from the master himself – Vijay Parmar.
The Triumph Tiger Trails was a four-day ride from Jaipur to Bikaner, via the varied treacherous, unforgiving, sometimes mellow terrain that Rajasthan had to offer, be it the Miyakor dunes, the vast salt flats of the Sambhar Salt Lake or the smoothest possible tarmac on roads carving through miles and miles of dry barren land. And the fact that for many of us, including me, this was the first time taking a Triumph Tiger off the oft-beaten path, and none of us could wait for the adventure to unfold!
Day one started with us tackling a bit of Jaipur city traffic in the wee hours, after which we got onto the arrow-straight blacktop to get to the Sambhar Salt lakes. On the way, riders brushed up on the skills involved while riding in a group. They rode in formation, gave hand signals when needed, and smiled and waved at the crowds who were obviously stunned to see that many Tigers out on the road.
After riding for 88km, giving us the requisite practice on group riding, we reached Sambhar Salt lake. This led into the next facet of our Tiger ride, where Vijay Parmar, our Adventure columnist, took us through a basic training course on how to ride on a hard surface. The participants were briefed on how to place themselves on the bike, hold the tank, the correct hand position, where to look and how to prepare themselves mentally when it comes to going off the road. The participants then practiced for an hour on the vast expanse of the salt lake, on terrain that was nothing close to the soft sand one usually gets to see in Rajasthan. And that was the plan. To sharpen our motorcycling skills on the different terrain that Rajasthan has to offer.
An early morning sunrise is one of the best things to experience in Rajasthan. The excitement, however, gave way to nervousness as we neared the Miyakor sand dunes. And that could be chalked down to the fact that most of the participants had never ridden their Tigers in the sand before. Couple that with Vijay warning us to “Never take the sand for granted” as we entered the desert, and we knew that we were in for a day of hard learning.
Now, the technique to ride on the sand is to go easy on the handlebar, look where you want to go, hold the tank with your knees and mainly, don’t panic if you feel you’re losing your balance and are about to fall. Just look where you want to go, and all will be well. After a good two-hour session (including Vijay’s demo in the sand), the convoy got busy trying to implement the tricks on their motorcycles.
As we had the whole day at our disposal, a quick ride to the Longewala War Memorial was planned. The roads to Longewala and back differ from those found elsewhere in Rajasthan. However, the lack of straights and variations in terrain along the way didn’t faze the riders at all. After a slow lunch at Ramgarh, we headed to the battlefield where Indian tanks beat back the Pakistanis in the 1971 war. That done, we headed for Desert Glamping as it was getting dark already.
The next day we had a long ride of 400km. Of course the participants were all ready, happy and excited to get back on the saddle after a day’s break. Once the group safely reached Bikaner, Triumph distributed certificates of participation while everyone shared their experiences and all that they learned during the Triumph Tiger Trails amongst the group. And this isn’t the end of the story. This where it all begins for owners of the Triumph Tiger.
The Triumph Tiger, of course, gets a lot of the credit. As the Tiger moniker suggests, it is majestic without being intimidating. The superb low-down grunt of the Triple along with the brilliant ergonomics kept us all going without any hiccups. We’ve said it earlier and we’ll say it again. The Tiger is one bike that can do most everything its rider wishes it to do. Especially in India.