Almost daily i receive Bike stunt related queries from many. So i discussed with my friend Praneeth Ravi, Team Coordinator of India’s one of the prominent & Kerala’s No.1 Freestyle Motorbike Stunt Team, OUTLAWZ to bring out a detailed interview clearing all the doubts. I believe he covered all the common questions.
FEW WORDS ABOUT OUTLAWZ:
- One of the prominent & Kerala’s No.1 Freestyle Motorbike Stunt Team, OUTLAWZ based in Calicut
Jithumpa.com: Hello Praneeth! So, how are you & how is your team doing??
- Praneeth: Thank you, Aswajith(CEO-jithumpa.com). We all are doing fine by riding hard & staying safe as always. In fact, we are delighted to have this conversation with you.
Jithumpa.com: Are you busy with stunt shows at this point of time in Kerala??
- Praneeth: As of now, because of monsoon in the area & especially college vacations, shows are little less. But, some exciting Stunt Shows are coming up. We are practicing for it on full swing, & believe me; our upcoming stunt shows are going to be more than awesome.
Jithumpa.com: By the way, how many members are there in Team OutlawZ?
- Praneeth: Right now, we have around 15 members in Team OutlawZ, including both professional Stunt Riders & non Stunt Riders.
Jithumpa.com: When did your team originate & how was your team’s journey till date from then?
- Praneeth: Our team, OutlawZ, was started with a bunch of amateur riders in the year 2009. Since then, we have done Stunt Shows in various parts of the country & for very well known companies. Now we proudly stand at a position, where we have become professional Stunt Riders, and, people from various parts of the country & even some foreigners recognize us. We are very much grateful to God Almighty, for that & all those who support us. The journey was never easy. But the true hard-work from our boys has been paid off very well till now & still we continue to go up with the spirit, which will go forward till the end. As they say, once into Stunt riding, always in Stunt riding. In this course of time, Team OutlawZ has been able to persue many achievements with God’s grace & support from all our well-wishers, but may be because of our human instincts, the thirst for success, still continues in our hearts. We understand that, we still have a long way to go & we hope to do our best each time.
Jithumpa.com: All the very best for you guys in that. As, lot of people, including myself, want to know this, how did you guys learn Freestyle Stunt Riding? As far as we know, there is no training available at Calicut or anywhere in Kerala or nearby, especially, around when you guys started Team OutlawZ? Is there any kind of bike stunt training institute in Kerala ??
- Praneeth: Thank you, Aswajith for wishing us good luck. Going back to the time of Team OutlawZ’s origin, all our Stunt riders were self trained. We saw stunt videos of some of the great world class Stunt riders like AC Farias, Chris Pfeiffer, etc on internet & we tried to practice it. It took really long time for us to nail those stunts & rise-up to the professional level. We were also inspired by some talented Indian Stunt riders too. But, after the launch of our Team OutlawZ, many new riders came in, who were given training by our senior stunt riders. The same training system goes on in our team even now & will continue like that in the future too. And yes, you are very right. There are no stunt schools here anywhere in Kerala or nearby, even today. Even there isn’t much support from the public. By public, I meant, the people excluding our fans & supporters. If such people see us practicing, they tend to find us as if, some knuckle-head criminals are on loose. But, what is funny is that, those people too clap hands for us, while we gear-up ourselves & do our Stunt Shows.
Jithumpa.com: Isn’t it sad that Stunt riding is always seen as a black mark by the general public? What do you think?
- Praneeth: Yes, it’s very sad. But, you can’t completely blame them too. From their point of view, they too are right. It surely is dangerous. Rash street riders are the real ones who should be blamed. But, not only them, even the emerging riders too should understand one thing that, rash riding & stunt riding are completely different aspects. Doing rash riding is like being a terrorist who knows that he’ll die for sure, but wants other people to die too. But, being a Professional Stunt rider is like being a perfect soldier, who thinks like, even if they die, others should be happy & safe. We will blame this class of rash & reckless riders, who are responsible for getting the bikers this bad image in the eyes of law & general public. In our country, MOTOGP, F1 Racing, Rallies, Dirt Racing, etc are entertained & appreciated, & they are even allowed tracks or closed circuits for practicing. Stunt riding too is a motorsport like them. But don’t know why, it’s always being on the blacklist. Stunt riding is done on limited speeds of bikes, compared to racing. But racing events are the ones which use high speed actions, which inspire these rash riders the most. They race on their bikes on traffic or public places or streets. If the concerned authorities may notice, most bike accidents are caused because of rash riding or street racing & not much because of Professional Stunt riding. I’m not saying that it’s not dangerous, but it is much less dangerous than the earlier mentioned classes of riding. We are not asking them to allow us practice on roads or highways, but they can at least allow us to practice at closed areas or places meant for them, were there isn’t much public interference.
Jithumpa.com: So, you guys always practice & perform stunt shows with all safety precautions?
- Praneeth: Absolutely yes. We always see to it that, both our riders & the audience around us are always safe. We always use safety gears while Stunt riding. Also, before each show, we again cross check all the stunts we perform so that we get it done safely during a show. It’s a must in our team to use helmets while riding. We are dead against rash & unsafe riding. Let me again remind it, that, all stunt riders are surely meant to be brave hearted, but not stupid. As we all know, stunt riding is not only thrilling to watch & perform, but also dangerous too. So a professional rider, while performing, always sees to it that he & more than that, the people around him are always safe & sound. As we, OutlawZ, always say & believe, Stunt riding is an art of riding, which when did with proper safety measures & perfection, yields a spectacular & thrilling experience. Also to mention, we do our stunt shows only on the allotted areas, with the permission of the concerned persons & authorities.
Jithumpa.com: That’s good. And, coming to the technicalities, what all modifications are required for making a normal motorbike to a stunt bike?
- Praneeth: In a perfect stunt bike, you need to put-up handbrakes, wheelie-bars, crash cage, tank customization, stunt foot-pegs, sprockets, free-flow exhausts, etc. One thing I would like to point out is that, there is a wrong belief among the new comers & others that, after fitting a motorbike with all these modifications, one can easily do stunts. But, that is completely irrelevant. According to us & our experience till now, all these modifications are to be done step-by-step, as they advance their stunt levels. More than a bike, it’s the rider who plays a vital role in stunt riding. Otherwise, it’s like gearing up yourselves & getting onto a F1 race car on the track, while at a stage, that, you have just got a learner’s license & learning how to drive.
Jithumpa.com: Thanks for these info. Now, the most asked question by our website followers, how to learn stunt riding & how to form a well established team?
- Praneeth: Oh. The most demanded question I guess. You know, these very same questions come, even to our official facebook page too ( http://www.facebook.com/OutlawZStuntZ ). As I told earlier, our senior riders were inspired by the videos of many well known stunt riders & that was how we started it. But, to be frank, from our experience, just imitating stunts like that from videos or merely getting narrations on websites or from someone online, it takes a very long time getting it done perfectly & safely. Also, one will have to bear more pain from bruises or fractures since, they might not do it the correct way, it’s meant to be done. So it’s always better to learn stunts from an experienced stunt rider you know personally, so that you get to know properly how to & what to do, clearly. In that matter, our Indian Stunt community has always been generous. We all share the common stunt brotherhood irrespective of our teams or region. As for us, we believe that we have & we assure we will, always help out everyone coming to us, in all possible ways to advance in the path of Stunt Riding. Rest is the rider’s hard-work that counts.
Jithumpa.com: But some people can’t have direct contacts with any experienced stunt riders, because of certain reasons. What can they do?
- Praneeth: Yes, we understand. Some might be in remote areas or faraway places. They can’t get in continuous contacts with any experienced riders or stunt teams. For them, we have an opportunity too. We, Team OutlawZ, conduct yearly national level Stunt competition, named Stunt Wars, which is one of its kind championship in the country. More than a championship, it is an annual stunt meet, where all the well known Stunt Riders along with their team, gather & perform together. By this event, not only the stunt riders get to know each other, but also others who seek knowledge about stunt riding also get help from various experienced riders. Preparations of Stunt Wars – 2014 are going on now. Also, this time, we are planning on including a special surprise element in the event.
Jithumpa.com: Wow! Glad to hear that, & excited about upcoming Stunt Wars – 2014. Wish you guys all the very best for it. We all will be waiting for it. By the way, does Team OutlawZ have sponsors?
- Praneeth: Thank you, Aswajith. Yes! We do have sponsors for our team. Vega Helmets India is our official Helmet Partner. Some more brand sponsorships are also on the way. Also, we get time-to-time sponsorship contracts with almost all prominent motorbike manufacturers in India. Lately, we have been doing stunt shows for TVS Motors for their TVS Apache RTR Series Promos. Some more shows are on the way even with other Motorbike brands too.
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