Seldom do people engage with danger on a regular basis. An adrenaline junkie to the core, this riding champion is all set to embrace peril with open arms. National champions Vishwanath T K and his cousin Vijayakumar N C are two of the most famous motocross riders in Bengaluru. Ahead of the Super Cross Fest, which is being held in the Motorsports Club this weekend, we talk to racing genius Vishwanath who tells us what it’s like to patronize a sport like this.
“This may sound clichéd, but I have always been into racing. I’ve loved the thrill of riding a bike at crazy speeds and it excites me like nothing else,” he gushes. Like any other youngster, Vishwanath too faced opposition from his family. “My parents were dead against it, at first. Not only was it a risky proposition, but isn’t considered a propitious career option either,” he says. But, after realizing his potential, they came around. “I wish youngsters didn’t have to try so hard to prove themselves when they want to do something different. We need variety among professionals as well!” says the multiple award-winning champion.
Though he knew he wanted a career in racing, training was an issue at first. Vishwanath admits that infrastructure and supporting facilities are not top-notch in India but he was lucky that interest levels were spiking. “I trained with people from Japan, Australia and even Spain. They have some highly certified professionals who give us a fully rounded perspective into technique, safety, and style. It definitely looks exciting but is highly dangerous and several things can go wrong.” It goes without saying that Vishwanath has had his share of accidents and close shaves.
One of his most serious accidents was a few years ago, and he recollects how terrifying it was. “My front wheel got locked and I was speeding up. I remember how my bike was airborne and all I could see was metal before my eyes, flying around. I sustained some head injuries.” Not the one to give up, he switched from TVS to Yamaha after that episode, and has been with them ever since. “More than speed, one needs to be agile and tactful with motocross bikes. We usually average between 60 to 70 km per hour while on the tracks because there are steep slopes and undulations,” he explains adding, “But when on flat roads, I rev up to almost 300 km per hour, with no trace of fear or apprehension whatsoever!
He seems visibly excited about the racing event this weekend because his young son Prajwal will be racing for the first time. “I encourage my sons to do what they feel like and Prajwal is very promising. I am training him now personally,” he says adding, “By and large, Bengaluru has some of the best racers in the country. Not only are they passionate but also know the technical aspects of various bikes.” And will his love for racing ever ebb? “I don’t think so. I still check out superbikes and want to try more. My favourite is the Yamaha R1,” says this speed junkie.