A Motorcycle is just not a machine to travel from Place A to Place B, it is so much more than that. I received a surprise invitation from Royal Enfield to experience the flat-track at BigRock Dirtpark at Kolar as a part of their SlideSchool initiative. SlideSchool is an initiative by Royal Enfield which is geared towards professionally training the motorcycle enthusiasts to ride on flat tracks. Flat tracking is one of the fastest-growing forms of motorsport globally, its accessibility and its
entertaining format are appealing to both participants and viewers of all ages and cultures. Flat track riding takes place on an oval track and involves the riders riding around the track over a set number of laps. The skill of flat track riding lies in the overall ability of the rider to control his motorcycle, especially when cornering, where the riders’ ability to slide the motorcycle sideways through the turn is a defining feature of the event.
One has to prebook their slots on Royal Enfield SlideSchool’s official website before heading on to BigRock Dirtpark centre. Currently there are 2 track locations offered by BigRock (BigRock works in collaboration with Royal Enfield) , one in Bengaluru and the other in Kolar. Situated 5 kms away from the highway, the BigRock Kolar welcomes you with a widespread land that has multiple tracks made for different conditions (off-road, flat track etc).
If you are a motorcycle rider, sessions like Slideschool helps you learn different techniques of riding on flat-tracks – using your motorcycle the right way, maintaining the right posture, position of your leg etc. For sliding session, you will be asked to ride on the customized Himalayan FT411, these are flat-track bikes and looks so different and sporty – so much well made for sliding. I was surprised and it took me sometime to get used to FT411 as by default it is not equipped with front brakes on handlebar. So every single time you have to control the pace of the motorcycle / or want to stop it you have to use the leg brakes and the tyres are so different.
Once i got used to this custom bike, it was a really fun experience to ride and slide. The Slide school instructor Mr Bheema, helped us with different techniques that are used to slide. Even before we started sliding, we got clear instructions to warm-up, how to ride, what to do and what not to do etc. In my case, I did lot of mistakes in holding the throttle, misplacing my legs on leg brake, riding posture etc. Got professional tips and instructions to work on it.
The fun part begins when you take your leg out and anticipate for the corners to slide. It all happens automagically, your body and motorcycle starts to blend with the corners of flat-track. It is a must-try thing if you are a biker, you would explore the unexplored. It is not a very tiring experience, it is more of a fun and adventurous experience – so a very safe place to get started.
There are different levels of training given – for beginners, intermediate, advanced etc and there many tracks. I also noticed many biking groups from Triumph, BMW Motorrad etc taking part here and different age-groups are allowed as well (including kids). It is a pretty well-maintained facility with a strict enforcement on COVID rules. The day ended with lot of take-aways and urge to do more sliding and explore the adventure part of motorcycle.
The Slide School is a great platform to encourage and grow the interest for flat-tracking in India from the grassroots in an accessible and sustainable manner. Royal Enfield plans to have many such schools across India and to build and nurture this emerging global sport in India.
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