My experience taking part in the Hero XTrack events at Kochi
Given the expected number of riders, we would only get 2 laps each. The group would have one lead instructor and another instructor at the tail.
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A week ago, my friend sent me the link to the webpage of the Hero XTracks program, which included all the details of the event to be conducted in Cochin on the 5th of February. The Wolftrails track is well known in the local offroading community. Since I have no real experience with offroading, I was keen to give it a go. Also, my past brushes with the Xpulse 200 had been less than impressive.
Would I enjoy motorcycling in offroad conditions? Was it possible that the Xpulse 200 would redeem itself in its natural habitat?
There is a straightforward online registration process to be followed on the Hero website. I have to appreciate Hero for providing elbow armours and knee guards free of cost, for riders to wear, during the XTracks event. This way, anyone with a helmet, can participate and experience the Xpulse 200, as well as offroading.
The event was scheduled to start at 8:00 AM. My friend suggested that we get there at least 20 to 30 minutes earlier than that, to avoid the crowd. It was a good thing that we did. By the time we got there, we found that we weren’t the only riders with the same idea!
There were several Hero officials and dealership staff who were tying up any loose ends, before the registrations began. Meanwhile, classic rock songs were being played on the speaker system, to keep us entertained. This is a company driven event and Hero is obviously spending a fair amount of money, to run this program across India.
Around 8:00 AM, we were invited to the registration desk. The riders were asked to fill out a form and submit it at the well manned counters. We were then given a large sequentially numbered sticker, to paste on the back of our shirts / jackets. This would be our rider identifier.
Next, we attended the track briefing, from one of the organizers. Sidewalls, a ditch, a jump, a whoops section and a tabletop, were all part of the track. Looking at the layout of the Wolftrails track, I wondered if I had bitten off, more than what I could chew! The instructor patiently explained how to tackle each of these sections, what gear to be in, what riding posture to adopt and so on. Those who had prior experience with the Xpulse 200 and offroading were asked to give the Rally Kit-ted Xpulse 200, a go. Newcomers were asked to stick to the base Xpulse 200.
Given the expected number of riders, we would only get 2 laps each. The group would have one lead instructor and another instructor at the tail. As with any group ride, we had strict instructions to not overtake them, under any circumstances.
After the briefing, those who didn’t have riding gear, borrowed the elbow guards and knee guards from the respective counter.
The organizing team took some time to sort out a portion of the track, that wasn’t set to their complete satisfaction. This took up around 10 minutes or so.
Entry to the event
Registration and feedback counter to the right. Food and helmet counters to the left.
A couple of bikes on display for a photo opportunity.
The bikes that we would get to ride.
Guess who was rider # 1!
The track layout.
The colour scheme of the bike does match that of my helmet. Just saying ….
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