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The Dangerous Art : Freestyle Riding

The finesse to defy laws of gravity and enact various tricks on motorbikes is the rare nurtured talent that not every motorcyclist manages to develop and perfect. No wonder, riders are willing to risk life and bones to perfect their stunting skills, often sacrificing most of their time.

Freestyle riding or motorcycle stunting is one of the most dangerous jobs around in the two-wheeled world. But it is still the most desired professions in the biking fraternity and undoubtedly one of the most respected ability in motorcycling culture. It is the skilful art of riding a motorcycle in such a way that differs from the normal style of everyday riding. It is the ability to ride motorcycles deploying various riding skills, accompanied by complex rider acrobatic positions and on most occasions, doing the same on one wheel. The finesse to defy laws of gravity and enact various tricks on motorbikes is the rare nurtured talent that not every motorcyclist manages to develop and perfect. No wonder, riders are willing to risk life and bones to perfect their stunting skills, often sacrificing most of their time. It’s the passion for riding and mastering the craft that keeps motivating and inspiring stunters to keep investing in the game.

Talking about motorcycling stunting in our country, it has still yet to come of age. In the west, freestyle riding is appreciated and encouraged to such a level, that a stunter can easily earn a good living by showcasing stunt shows for enthusiasts and taking part in stunt competitions with the help of sponsors. But here, stunting is not like other career options, where all the hard work, talent, commitment and effort will guarantee you five figure plus salaries. It’s actually hard to even consider stunting a sport here in Nepal. It has no official sanction, no true governing body and little recognition beyond the budding stunt p e r f o r m e r s . Sadly, motorcycle stunting is also usually dismissed as an act of hooliganism in our society and could-be professional stunters are discouraged from an early start. Hence, the stunting career of most Nepalese bikers starts with a burn out, continues to a pop up wheelie and ends with a standing stoppie. Well, many may also argue that the major Indian bikes available to us here makes it impossible to imitate the various popular motorcycle stunts that bikers from western countries perform on their high powered superbikes. But now it’s high time we ignored the myth and looked down south to India where our desi friends are already performing almost every stunts, you name it; on the same low powered Indian bikes.

Stunters need to stop nurturing the attitude of putting themselves way above their real abilities and rather develop the humility of focusing on continuously raising their capabilities.

So practice, patience, dedication, knowledge and promotion are the key to foreseeing a good future for motorcycle stunting in this little nation. Stunts are very difficult to execute, and equally dangerous. Stunt riders here need to develop the patience and long term commitment to perfect their stunts. Just practicing over the weekends will not help if one wants to take freestyle riding seriously and make an impact. Motorcycling stunting is also a very expensive indulgence unlike other forms of motorcycling. You are more prone to crashing frequently while stunting, and repairing your motorcycle as well as paying up your medical bills can be a very expensive proposition. It’s high time that bikers here realize that it isn’t just the adrenaline rush that guarantees the development of a true stunt biker. A biker has to be ready and willing to invest a lot towards time, money, personal fitness and dedication for the game to come out as a real survivor of this life on one wheel.

With thrill comes the high risks. Stunt riding comes with the prospect of numerous spills and broken bones, because a promising stunt rider will keep chasing the next stunt idea popping in one’s head and never be content enough. A stunter must invest in safety gears like a good helmet, leathers, gloves, knee, arm guards, etc and make full use of these protections while stunting. It might look good and heroic to have your happy handsome faces posing without helmets on the camera, but life isn’t indeed B o l l y w o o d every time. An unexpected crash can always leave your image scarred for life, and posing for photographs will be an activity you will never love again. Also one has to make sure about the environment where one practices stunting. Always stunt in an empty neglected stretch of space where traffic flow is the least possible and is not populated with people, for your safety and for the people around you. You really don’t want to be assumed to be a fool because while practicing stunts before mastering it, you will always look like an idiot. Along with personal protection, dedication to safe stunting will also help in ensuring further positive promotion of this overshadowed sport and possibly grant some slack by the government authorities.

No doubt that there has been growing interests of Nepalese bikers in motorcycle stunts lately. But the bitter truth is that we are still yet to see stunters who can creatively and confidently play with his motorcycle on one wheel and leave us truly drooling and wonderstruck. The major problem here is that, the stunters need to stop nurturing the attitude of putting themselves way above their real abilities and rather develop the humility of focusing on continuously raising their capabilities. Only then, maybe we will have our own local Chris Pfeiffer and AC Farias. Anyways, with the rising dedication and the few companies like Yamaha willing to promote freestyle riding, the day shouldn’t be very far. So, with all this above in mind, go ahead and try pulling off one of those one wheeled trick. But please do it with safety precautions and under proper guidance! Prevention is always better than cure…

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