Published: 27th February 2017
Going wild with wheelies
What keeps a biker going even after he’s broken bones? Kovai’s stunt biker Sathyaraj shares his story
After winning the many National Drag Race Championships and having performed over 500 stunt shows for several motorcycle companies in India, Sathyaraj Arumugam, the 26-year-old adrenaline junkie and petrolhead is already a pioneer. His early memories of performing stunts goes way back to when he used to do stunts on his cycle with his friends. “When I was 14, my brother bought a Honda Unicorn. I really wanted to perform stunts on it, especially a wheelie. So, I asked my friends to teach me the basics. Whenever my brother wasn’t around, I would take the bike out for a spin,” says Sathyaraj.
A racer can’t do stunts, but a stunt professional could be a racer because somebody who does stunts has more control over his bike as he has practised to ride on one wheel
Sathyaraj Arumugam, Biker
It was only on his 17th birthday that the future champion got his first bike as a gift; a brand new Bajaj Pulsar 200cc came into his life. Within two months, he had replaced most of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts to harvest the machine’s maximum potential. With his previous knowledge of performing stunts, Sathyaraj knew exactly what to do with his machine and with constant practice and research, he started getting better and better at the stunts that he had primed himself to do.
Later on, he and fellow Coimbatore stunt performers, B Biju and P Prashanth, went on to start Throttlerz, a stunt riders’ group, in 2009. They had a great run, enthralling people across the city, as they performed daredevilry that was far beyond anything people had seen up until then.
One up: Sathyaraj Arumugam performing a stunt
Being able to finish on top in the races and delivering breathtaking stunt shows, the champion is well aware of the dangers he faces and is prepared to deal with them, he says, “Whenever I am performing stunts, I ride understanding that I might fall down, as one cannot learn without falling down. So, I am always prepared.”
Doing this for 11 years running, Sathyaraj feels that nowadays, with more bikes in the market, anybody who has access to money can buy a superbike. But in his experience, he advises those who want to race and perform stunts to start with basic good-quality motorcycles rather than opting for a powerful bike.
This expert rider is now preparing himself for the next race, the India Baja 2017 rally in April. He had recently chugged in second at the Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm rally held in the Sahara Desert.