Rocks and hard places: Dirtlogue 100 experience


With the off-road riding scene finally starting to pick up in India, it’s only a matter of time before more styles of dirt riding become available to enthusiasts. We’ve already experienced flat-track at a few venues across the country and places like CS Santosh’s Big Rock Motopark are excellent venues to hone your off-road skills. The latest one is Pune-based Dirtlogue 100 and it’s probably the first venue in the country dedicated to giving you a taste of the world of hard-enduro riding. 

If you’re not familiar with what this is, just type ‘hard enduro’ into the YouTube search bar and prepare to have your mind blown. Obviously, Dirtlogue 100 isn’t designed to cater to world-class riders, but it aims to let people experience the sport. Dirtlogue is the creation of Autologue design, in association with apparel brand 100kmph and Castrol Power1. It’s set up at Autologue’s property in Hinjewadi, which is outside Pune city.

Taking on the intimidating looking see-saw was a classic case of mind over matter.

The course has been designed by off-road rider Suraj Giri who also doubles up as one of the coaches at the venue. I clearly remember walking into the venue and feeling my stomach sink a little – this place is not designed to be easy! To be fair, there are two parallel courses planned, with one being far less intense, but the few of us who rode all jumped into the deep end; because why not!

The very first obstacle involves riding over a fairly substantial tree trunk laid flat across the ground. This takes significant commitment to the clutch and accelerator, as well as shifting your weight over the handlebar while standing up. Get it wrong and you’ll smack the bike’s sump guard right onto the tree, which, take it from me, is a sickening feeling.

Smoothness, vision and momentum are your best friends in a situation like this.

The course then takes you across all sorts of obstacles, including more tree trunks, large cement pipes, a long bed of car tyres and some frighteningly large boulders. There are also a few quintessential obstacles like the see-saw, where you literally ride up a giant see-saw and time it perfectly so that it tips over to the other side once you cross the balance point. This one was the scariest of the lot, but like all the other obstacles, the main thing is to listen to the coaches, trust the technique and control your pace. The whole course is slow, but highly technical and you’ll never leave first gear.

Dirtlogue 100 is now open to the public, and you can head over to their website for more details. There are subscription payment models planned, but it will cost you Rs 750 for four hours of practice or Rs 1,250 for four hours of training. You’ll need to book about five days in advance for a training session, but free practice will be available easily on the weekends when the trainers are available. The organisers have rightly made it clear that customers can only ride there if the trainers are available, and first aid medical support will be available on site.

Coach Suraj Giri demonstrates the one obstacle we chose to skip!

You can bring your own bike to Dirtlogue, but ensure that it has a strong bash guard installed. Dirtlogue currently has two bikes on hire – an Impulse and the Xpulse you see me riding. They plan to get a few more in the coming weeks and these will cost Rs 2,000 per session – any damage costs will be payable by you. Full off-road CE certified gear is mandatory

Founder Mukul Nanda tells us that Dirtlogue is set to grow, with more obstacles being added, including ADV-friendly ones. They are also planning to introduce weekend trail rides in the region with overnight camping included. This is a good idea because hard enduro may not be everyone’s cup of tea, something demonstrated by the number of auto journalists who arrived at the inaugural event, but never rode. 

It’s easy to understand why and I remember feeling like there was a swarm of butterflies in my stomach while lining up as the first outsider to ride the course. But once the lap was completed I realised that it’s not as scary as it looks and you’re rewarded with a huge sense of achievement at getting through. With the right guidance, there’s plenty of potential to improve your riding skills at Dirtlogue 100 and I’m definitely going back there to learn some more.

Photography: Kaizad Darukhanawala

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