Moto Dangal: Unearthing India’s riding talent
Words by Anukraman Rathore
Images by Anukraman Rathore and Western Motorsports
Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it. Nothing can define a rider’s relationship with his bike better than these words of Richard Craig aka Evel Knievel. Moto Dangal, an enduro-cross format event was organised by Western Motorsports, a Jaipur based automotive adventure sport outfit that has been promoting adventure sports in North West India for ten years, and was supported by Rajasthan Tourism, Government of Rajasthan. The event saw 57 entries and ran 164 laps in total. In an enduro-cross event, it takes immense amount of practice, passion and technique to hold that bike straight when it comes to riding in challenging terrain involving mud, slush, gravel, jumps, rocks, ruts and gradients. Moto Dangal, is a competitive event. It had a special 500-metre track prepared for Jaipur bikers competing for glory.
Be it a beginner, novice, experienced or professional biker, all found a track that would unsettle their balance. They had to coax their machines to navigate these hurdles. They slipped where anticipated and flew where no one expected. It was all a game of speed control and tactful manoeuvring. Every obstacle of Moto Dangal, be it a ramp, slush pit or hairpin turn, treated every bike and participant without prejudice. Moto Dangal witnessed the professionals fall and fail and novices making it with their will and passion to tame the track. Excitement, childlike enthusiasm, anxiety, apprehensions, fear and thrill to compete were the common sentiments one could find written on the face of every competitor at Moto Dangal, during a walk-through inspection of the track along with race marshals. We wish, we could measure the adrenaline fuelled rush while the competitors took a walk on the virgin Moto Dangal track.The atmosphere at the track was electrifying. The competitors and their supporters started to enter the arena. Soon the registration desk was buzzing with competitors confirming their start up positions and with on the spot registration for the race. Registration desk officials were kept busy till the prizes were distributed and the event wound up.
Female biker participation not only out-numbered our expectations but also left us in awe with their choice of Royal Enfield motorcycles. Each of them took on the challenge with gusto despite their visible struggle. These female warriors on bikes not only won podium standings but also the respect of other competitors and organisers. Occupying the top three spots in the Women Moto class were Madhavi Pilania, Shubhashmita and Nupur Saxena. The Royal Enfield class was open to all makes and models of Royal Enfield motorcycles. In this category, Shah Rukh took the chequered flag ahead of riders Dinesh Jangid and Amit Shastri.
While motorcycle riders were expected, the event also featured a whole bunch of scooter riders. Gaurav Kavya astride his scooter, bearing competition number 22, finished ahead of fellow scooterists Md Asif and Asif Gaur. In the motorcycles up to 150cc class that was restricted for Hero Impulse riders, the podium stood thus – Ravikant, Md Saeed and Nitin Singh.Not satisfied with his second place in the 150cc category, Md Saeed then raced ahead of Abdul Rehman and Rohan to take the trophy in the motorcycles from 150-300cc class, which was also not open to Hero Impulse riders. He then followed it up with another first place finish. This time in the motorcycles from 300-500cc class (also not open to Hero Impulse riders). He was followed by Sugandh Arora and Deepender. In the Hero Impulse class we saw Md Asif and Abdul Rehman finish behind race winner Md Naushad. In the final category of racing, the Open class, Md Naushad followed his victory in the Impulse class with another triumph ahead of Asif Gaur and Md Saeed.Although this event was not part of any organised motorsport effort, the sheer number of participants and the bubbling excitement of spectators clearly indicates that motorsport enthusiasts exist in every corner of the country and are only waiting for a platform to showcase their skills. Platforms like Moto Dangal that offer them that chance.