As long as your nose is pointing in the right direction, you are okay. That’s the sum of it. But it isn’t easy. On the road, more so, but even on gravel, when the rear end begins to talk, you need to hold the conversation. Say something stupid and she’ll move on pretty quickly, and you know what happens next. You’ll have your hands in a mess and the steering wheel in a mind of its own. No one becomes Ken Block the first time the rear wheels lose traction.
Make sure you have a huge playground and nothing to hit before you begin to play. We had a huge quarry at our disposal. Next, find someone who knows what he’s doing. I invited my riding buddy Varad More (a.k.a. Speedy) to pilot the Royal Enfield Himalayan as well as our resident off-roader Ryan Lee to guide me in getting the slide right in the Polaris RZR S800. And here’s how I learnt the art of the slide.
Now the Polaris RZR ATV is a familiar concept from my BAJA SAE days in college, from where we took inspiration to build our own buggies. While we were restricted to using a 10HP 310cc lawn-mower engine, the Polaris has a thoroughbred 760cc motor producing 55bhp, making it a no-nonsense machine. This particular ATV had been used by Gerrari Off-roader Kabir Wairach in a few off-road competitions and hence came with spare wheels attached and a proper roof.
Meanwhile enough has been said about the Himalayan. The upright stance, longish wheelbase and the knobby CEAT tyres make it a nice starter pack for off-roading motorcyclists. The 32Nm of torque does help in swinging its rear on loose surfaces but holding a slide is a different matter requiring more power, as we were to find out.