Top 5 Things I Learnt From My First Track Experience At TVS Young Media Racer Program 8.0

  • Jun 2, 2024
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Being a street rider, here’s all that I learnt from racing on the track

TVS YMRP 8

Do you remember the first time you got on a bicycle? You didn’t know how to ride one then, but what you had was two wheels, some courage and a lot of adrenaline rushing through your body. The first time I got on a bicycle all I could see was an open sky, no obstacles around me and an open patch of road to learn riding. Being on the track for the first time, transported me back to being a 6-year-old Aamir, once again, with open skies and a lot of adrenaline.

Like my seniors, colleagues and friends before me, I too took part in TVS’ Young Media Racer Program 8.0, and for me, primarily a street rider, riding on a race track was a great learning experience.

Learning To Let Go 

One of the most difficult things to do on a track is letting your inhibitions go. Often on Indian roads, riders usually have to be constantly aware of any sudden obstacles on the road, or even vehicles coming in from the wrong side. This consumes a lot of your attention, leaving very little to focus on the way you ride. But on the track, you don’t have to contend with any of this, so you can dedicate all your mental energy to riding as fast as you can.

Pushing Limits

TVS YMRP 8

Now that you know there are no other distractions on the track, no oncoming traffic or obstacles, just you and the motorcycle, then you can focus on other things. What happens is that instead of focusing on hunting obstacles, you can comfortably pay more attention to the turning in points, apexes and exits to nail the right line through corners. This process really helps in getting in tune with the bike and aligning yourself with the reactions and responses of the two-wheeler.

Braking News

TVS YMRP 8

Getting off the streets and onto the track, one thing you unlearn and learn again is braking. We learnt that engine braking is the most crucial bit of track riding if you want to shed the bike’s speed in a controlled manner and effectively. Apart from that, another thing that we were explained by the coaches at TVS YMRP was that applying brakes should be an 80/20 affair – 80 percent front and 20 percent rear. The first thing is that applying the front brakes results in a lesser stopping distance as compared to applying the rear brakes. In addition to that, if you do apply rear brakes suddenly there is a higher possibility of the rear tyre losing grip, and you could lose control of the bike.

Body Posture Correction

TVS YMRP 8

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Something that I took very casually, riding on normal roads, is body posture. On the racetrack you understand just how much difference the right body posture makes in increasing your speed, as every second counts. We were taught the nuances of body positioning while cornering – how you slide your body on the leaning side to carry faster speeds through corners. With this, we were also shown how and where your hands and legs should be, for better control over the bike. Another important bit is to tuck in while on straights, to be more aerodynamic and increase speeds.

Room to make mistakes and learn from them

TVS YMRP 8

Unless you make mistakes, you don’t learn, and the nuances of track riding aren’t easy to understand just by theory. So riding on the track and having enough time and space to put the newly learnt techniques into practice was a big revelation that showed us where we could go wrong and how to improve on it.

After an entire day of practicing and learning new skills, and unlearning some mannerisms, we had our qualifying race. Everything I learnt helped me a lot in getting my lines right, pushing myself at the corners, and essentially trusting the motorcycle. Sadly, due to a misunderstanding with the flags that were being waved to the riders ahead of me, I reduced my speed and lost around 8 seconds of time. Due to this instance, I couldn’t qualify for the YMRP 8.0 championship, but I do take with me a life-worth of teachings that would also make me a much safer rider on the roads if put into practice well.

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