Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Big Rock Moto Park Dirt biking adventure near Kolar-Part 2

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This is part 2 of the dirt biking session experience at Big Rock Motopark, Kolar. Read part 1 here 

The track we rode was probably 500 meters in total length. Josh showed us how to ride for first few laps and then he stood by the side, observed us and gave tips. We were getting used to the bike, learning to stand up, cut corners… Remembering to keep the arms in right position was a challenge, as we would subconsciously shift to conventional position. Also being in right gear is tricky- bikes have lots of torque and will ride without complaint even if we’re not in best gear for that speed. Couple of gears up or down, they will ride without problem. But for best impact- particularly during sharp corners, it is important to be in right gear. With heavy boots, locating and changing gears took some time to get used to.  After spending about 15 minutes on the track, we pulled over, had a short break and then headed out.

Next activity was a trip in the woods. We headed out into the forest area on our bikes. The ride lasted for about an hour. In the woods we did some challenges, such as riding down a steep slope and climbing up rapidly, negotiating muddy spots or tricky turns etc.  Some of the designated off-road spots were filled with water and couldn’t be used. The forest is pretty huge, mostly rocky. Few villagers greeted us and looked on as we rode by. Some obstacles were very tricky- few did fall down in their attempt to cross it. The mistakes as I observed were mostly changing decisions mid-way. While clearing an obstacle it is very important to have a clear idea on the line and technique how one should be clearing it and as much as possible we should stick to it. Hesitating half way through or changing decision/approach will create confusion to you and also to the bike. One of the participant was little short and was finding it difficult to manage tricky negotiations. I managed to clear all obstacles without falling down. Honda 230F dirt bike was indeed good at its job- it had original Pirelli off road tyres and with lots of pulling power, it could climb steep slopes with ease while maintaining superb grip during sharp negotiations. I am told the entire estate is about 45-50 acres wide. We rode around and eventually arrived back at the track.

 Here we took another break, rode around the track for another 15 mins. This time we were more comfortable with the bikes, I could feel the front and rear part of the bike behaving in two different ways while turning and we could cling ourselves to the front part and cut corners more efficiently.  Out of track and field, I enjoyed the field ride most.

At this point Santosh went out and got us lunch in his car. We had our last 15 minute session on the track. Josh rode on the other half of the track, which we were told is meant for advance courses. While Josh could jump over a ramp and stay in the air for a few seconds, most of us couldn’t manage that kind of expertise. By about 1 PM we were done and headed back to farm house for lunch.
We were not taken till the Big Rock. When asked if we will be riding on top of it, Santosh said it is risky and is only for advanced users.

So half a day experience (from 8 AM to 1PM) costs Rs 6000. For another Rs 4000, we could ride till 4PM. I didn’t find that deal tempting enough, so opted out. Others were keen but it rained post lunch. Santosh said it is not recommended to ride soon after rain, as rocks will be slippery and soil will be loose and won’t provide enough grip. So we all left the campus by about 1.30-2PM. I got a ride till Kolar in the VW Toureg!
So in retrospect, below are some things you should keep in mind while visiting BigRock Moto-park
1.       CS Santosh’s availability cannot be guaranteed. As he keeps traveling, it will be a bonus if he is around. Even if he is around, most of the teaching is likely to be done by Josh and others
2.       If you’re too small or too big, check with them if they have the gears of your size
3.       Big Rock Moto park has only 6 bikes, so they can't take large groups at this point. There're plans to expand
4.      All riders go together. So it is not possible to take good photo/video if you're one of the rider. Taking a friend along might help in the track, but again you will be alone in the woods.
5.      Some of the bigger challenges and climbing the rock are 'Out of Scope' for basic learners.

For Rs 6000, below are some other adventures you can try.
1.       Rent a BMW 320d or Merc GLA, Class or a Harley Davidson Superlow/Street 750 for a day and drive around in these mean machines
2.       Two sessions of paragliding (10 mins each)
3.       Four sessions of white water rafting in Kali/Badra river
4.       Go karting/Polaris off road ATV rides- multiple sessions
5.       Overnight stay in some Jungle Lodge resort
6.      Two sessions of Microlight aircraft flying 

But if you’re die-hard fan of biking and looking for biking adventure, there’re not many alternatives to try dirt biking. They aren’t available on rent as well. Last month when in Pune, I saw a banner on Mumbai-Pune expressway about a Dirt Bike venue in Lonavala- I couldn’t explore much. Down south there aren’t much alternatives, so if you’re keen do check out Big Rock.

Overall it was a nice experience. I liked the off road part a lot. We learnt that not just biking enthusiasts, rally aspirants come to this place for learning advanced tricks, bike companies visit here to test their bikes and so on. Santhosh has some plans to expand, add more tracks and all. Best wishes to him and his team.

Please wait while I process the videos of this experience.

Also read: 10 adventures you can try in Karnataka


rjk said...

hi Srinidhi,
are there any companies in chennai which rent out big bikes .

roshan jk

Shrinidhi Hande said...


Yes, On googling I have seen some websites offering bike rentals in chennai-mostly budget bikes- haven't tried any of them

Mats said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us Shrinidhi. How does one get in touch with Joshua to make these bookings?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

hi Mats

Buzz them on their facebook page, you should get a reply soon. Not sure if I can make his number public here. Mail me and I can connect you.