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Skill on wheels

What started back in 2007 merely as a pastime for three teenagers has not yet caught the local scene like wildfire, but it is safe to argue that they have indeed given it a solid start. Motorcycle stunts are 'in' and HauntRyderz (HRz) is leading the way.

They are a group of passionate bikers, and the love for stunts brought them together. “We aspire to the day that motorcycle stunts will be seen as a sport in Bangladesh, not a 'circus routine'. One does not have to go as far as the western world to identify the merit of stunting as a sport -- even in India or Nepal, the subculture of motorbiking has caught the attention of the youth and the media,” said founding member Mithun Mridha.

He continues: “People wrongly identify us with adrenaline junkies who go for high speed races.” A founding member of this elite group of bikers, Mithun is familiar with the misconceptions people have about them.

All avid stunters will vouch for the safety aspects of motorcycle stunts as opposed to high speed racing, which has claimed the lives of many a youth in the country. “Stunters perform at speeds well below the 50 kmph mark, and with proper protection the chance of serious injury is minimal,” opines the veteran biker.

However, seeing HRz in action, it is very clear that this is not for the faint-hearted. A wheelie for instance, involves the rider lifting the front of the motorcycle off the ground by means of either power or use of clutching.

And of course as with all great things, there are many variations of the basic wheelie. The "circle" is a wheelie performed travelling entirely within a circle. While most spectators stare in amazement at the performance of these athletes of extreme sport, one can only assume the amount of hard work and perseverance that goes behind each stunt.

“Most parents find biking synonymous to being derailed. It took a while for my family to grasp the idea that stunting itself is quite benign,” he says. “But very addictive,” Lubab adds with a smirk.

Most youths of the country now have access to the Internet and social network sites like Facebook has brought an amalgamation of ideas like never before. Some of the newest recruits of HauntRyderz have come through this social platform. “I was inspired by StuntMania shown on MTV, and my passion fuelled by Youtube clippings and tutorials. I joined HRz in February last year and I have not looked back ever since,” said Lubab.

The youth of Bangladesh are redefining our identity as Bangladeshis and taking us to the next level. Groups like HRz hopes to achieve a new level of fame in a field that is still not considered worthy of special attention.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Stunts by: HauntRyderz

Disclaimer: The stunts featured on the pages of this issue of Star Lifestyle were all performed by trained individuals and should not be performed by amateurs without safety precautions and professional help.

The team at a glance

Mithun Mridha
Favourite stunt: Wheelie
“…to raise the front wheel off the ground and ride only on the rear wheel.”

Sharfaraj Khan Raiyan
Favourite stunt: Burnout
“…a burnout is simple. It involves the rider keeping the front wheel stationary through the full application of front brakes, while the full throttle and minimum application of the rear brakes allow the rear wheel to start rotating without the bike moving.”

Ziaur Rahman Siddiqui
Favourite stunt: Stoppie
“a stunt in which the back wheel is lifted as the bike comes to a halt by carefully applying brake pressure.”

Roisur Rahman Sajjad
Favourite stunt: rolling doughnuts.
”The same as the Stoppie, with the difference being that the bike is ridden for a while in that position, with the back wheel elevated.”

Kazi Shihab
Favourite stunt: Human Compass.
”a stunt which has the stuntman forming the centre of a circle while throttling his motorcycle so that it orbits around him like a compass needle at the North Pole.”

Anam Islam
Favourite stunt: Foot peg wheelie
”The same as a wheelie, except that the stunter is standing on the pinion-rider's footrest.”

Monirul Islam Rubel
Favourite stunt: Christ
“…standing on either tank or seat while assuming the pose of Jesus Christ.”

Favourite stunt: Chainsaw
“…the chainsaw is a form of burnout performed by the stunter standing beside a motorcycle lying on its side holding the motorcycle exclusively by the right handle bar then causing the bike to "orbit" around the rider while maintaining control during the burnout.”

Lubab Hoque
Favourite stunt: Highchair
“…the "high chair" is a wheelie with the rider's legs over the handlebars, while a "tank wheelie" is one in which the rider sits on the tank with legs spread. A "frog" is a wheelie in which the rider stands on the tank, and a "seat stander" is performed with the rider standing on the motorcycle's saddle. Standing on the windshield while riding the bike at 12 'o clock is called a "watchtower".”


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