Motorcycles muscled up for race worthiness, with an eye on the big money, has turned a menace on city roads. Some mechanics, who are out to prove their workmanship, pimp up bikes. And, they pick youngsters as jockeys for drag races that have a history of fatalities. Residents in certain areas complain of youths revving up late at night disturbing the peace in their neighbourhoods.
“These illegal drag races happen in the underbelly of Bengaluru late at night and often involve big bets. Popular stretches are Davis Road in Cox Town, M.G. Road and in Devanahalli,” says Yashwanth Kumar, member of a local motorcycle club.
“The location is decided beforehand and often a small crowd gathers to witness the race. Some youths also arrange races to prove that they are the fastest,” Mr. Kumar adds.
Slim boys preferred
Interestingly, young and slender riders are often picked for the races.
“Thinner the rider, higher the speed, and consequently the chances of winning,” reveals Selva Kumar, a mechanic from Cox Town.
However, street racing is certainly not a thrill for senior citizens thanks to the cacophony created by the machines at night.
“Our teams have intensified action against rash riding and road racing. The number of cases booked last year had gone up and violators were penalised heavily. There will be no let-up this year,” says M.A. Saleem, Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic.
How road racing unfolds
Apart from young riders competing among themselves, serious drag races unfold where some city-based mechanics pep up two-wheeler engines to enhance speed.
A date is decided, location is picked and a small crowd gathers to watch the drag unfold.
Long stretches on city roads are chosen and races take place past midnight. Vehicles for race primarily comprise TVS Apache, Yamaha FZ and R15 and scooter model Honda Dio.
The betting money ranges from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 50,000.