I have two options to hone my off-roaring skills. The first is to ride 700 kms to Bangalore and sign up for a proper off-roading session at a dirt track. The second is to watch a ton of YouTube videos and ride to a nearby mine to try out some shit. No prizes for guessing which option I prefer.
For now I’m trying to master the art of throttle and brake control. The way I’m doing it maybe highly unscientific and frankly I don’t care. I find the mine perfect for this. It has long straight dirt tracks and then sudden steep hair pin bends wide enough to be forgiving if I misjudge a turn. The deep ruts running through the middle of the track can make things interesting though.
First I ride a section of straights and hair pin bends while putting the Tiger in road mode. That means ABS is turned on and traction control in the road setting. The aim is to ride the motorcycle standing on the pegs as fast as possible without the traction control and ABS kicking in. Then I put the motorcycle in off-road mode and ride the same section. Off-road mode means the ABS is switched off and traction control in the off-road setting. This way I get a sense of how much the electronics is helping me. This is important because although electronics tries to prevent me from doing stupid things, it can’t stop me altogether. So it’s crucial to understand how much help I can expect from the electronics in the motorcycle and use it to make up for my lack of skills.
The advantage of monkeying around alone in the mine is that if I fall down there isn’t anyone to laugh at me. But on the flip side, if I fall down with the heavy adventure motorcycle on top of me, there won’t be anyone to help me either. 🙂