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Top 5 Things I Learnt About Offroading With Yezdi


I had the chance to experience the nuances of off-roading at the Jawa-Yezdi Nomads Trail Attack event in Pune, and here’s what I learnt

Jawa-Yezdi Nomads Trail Attack

I woke up with bated breath on a cool Sunday morning on May 29, excited at the prospect of getting down and dirty with Yezdi at the company’s off-road event called the ‘Jawa-Yezdi Nomads Trail Attack’.

The Yezdi Adventure was the steed that was awaiting me at the event. Having very little experience off-roading, I wanted to keep an open mind before going, and boy what a revelation the event was!

We’ve covered what the event entailed in our report here. As a novice rider being thrown into the deep end of mud-plugging, here’s what I learnt:

Fitness matters:

Yezdi Trail Attack Fitness Matters

Offroading is as physically intensive as road riding as you’re wrestling with the motorcycle. More so when a bike falls. Sure, we were taught techniques on how to lift a heavy bike using leverage and body weight. But despite all that, it still demands quite a bit of strength and energy. Moreover, moving a bike when it gets stuck on the trail is also extremely energy consuming. To help with this, we were made to do a few stretching exercises.

I won’t lie, the mental block that comes with being of a shorter stature also made me more apprehensive about learning off-road riding. However, as I progressed through the day with every drill, I was proven wrong. With enough practice, once you get the skills right, there’s a big difference on how you tackle some of these aspects of off-road riding.

The physics of off-roading is very different from road riding:

Out on the road, the contact between the tyres and the surface stays stable for most of the time. However, the riding dynamics change instantly, the moment you go off the road. But, us humans are a resilient and adaptive bunch. Trainers Sunny Dhore and Nilesh Dhumal (AKA Nelly) have mastered the art of off-road riding and they had quite a few nuggets of knowledge to share with us.

They taught us how to ‘hold’ the motorcycle with your legs while stand-up riding, which improves your control of the bike considerably compared to sitting in the saddle. Raising our elbows when gripping the handlebar gave us a lot more control over loose gravel compared to riding with the elbows down. These changes to the riding posture helped us get a feel of the loose surface a lot better, and also helped us navigate more efficiently.

Having company helps massively:

ADVs and scramblers are often associated with exploring the roads less travelled. The very thought of losing yourself amidst the chirping of birds, whooshing of the wind-swayed trees, clean air manufactured by the greenery might sound super alluring. That said, one mishap is enough to make the whole experience come tumbling down like a stack of cards. This is why the trainers advised us to always travel with company while exploring unknown trails. Bikes can fall or fail, freak accidents can happen, so it’s always better to have backup helping you out in case things go awry.

In the unfortunate event of getting stuck alone, you can still lift the motorcycle by resting your back against the seat and using your feet to ‘push’ the bike upward. Just ensure the side stand is up once the bike is vertical.

Momentum is paramount:

Yezdi Trail Attack Momentum

This is one of the biggest lessons I learnt at the event, and I learnt the hard way by falling down thrice. We went around a small trail followed by a steep decline and incline. The terrain was muddy, and some parts of the trail were loose as multiple motorcycles had traversed over them. I wasn’t prepared to come to terms with the change in orientation while going over such steep surfaces, and as a result, my throttle inputs were a little too muted. This led to the motorcycle losing momentum while going over the incline, which in turn resulted in the bike coming to a halt some ways up the slope  and tipping over. 

Our trainer Sunny knows how to throttle it out in style. He helped me wrestle the bike out of the sand, and despite the loose surface, he managed to bring the bike up, that too sideways, in style!

Lighter the better:

Yezdi Trail Attack Physics of Offroading

One thing I learnt at this event is that you don’t need a big, burly terrain tamer to take on the trails. A light motorcycle with enough low-end torque will suffice for most of your off-roading needs. It also makes manoeuvring easier in tricky spots. No wonder Dakar rally bikes displace only around 450cc, while packing enough wallop to outrun a cheetah in the wilderness. 

At the end of the day, the insights given by trainers Sunny Dhore and Nelly helped me gain a better understanding on how different off-road and trail riding are compared to everyday riding on tarmac. Understanding how traction behaves over different surfaces, and guiding the motorcycle over such terrain with the skills the trainers helped inculcate in me will help me stay more calm and composed when I come across challenges out on the streets. Learning off-roading will make you a safer, and a better road rider.

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