CHENNAI: Kaali Mohan was 15 years old when he started working as a bike mechanic at Kullanampatti, Dindigul. Ever since his first brush with bikes, Mohan has dreamed of becoming a dirt track racer. Cut to present, Mohan works as a mechanic at a humble motorcycle workshop at Kavudampalayam in Coimbatore. But on weekends, the bike mechanic unleashes his internal adrenaline junkie.
The 28-year-old has been moonlighting as a dirt racer for the past five years. Mohan talks to CE about finding his calling and his journey, “When I was a mechanic in Dindugul, I used to ride bikes fast and involve myself in accidents. So, my former boss advised me not to take risks. But, riding fast where it matters is useful,” he says.
Eight years ago, Mohan moved to Coimbatore and started working as a mechanic to earn his bread and butter. After saving enough money, he bought his dream bike — a second-hand Suzuki Fiero rally bike, which was sold to him for less price by his friend’s father, Alagiri who was a racer himself. After that, he went on to restore it. “I am grateful to have such a good support system. My friends and the owner of my workshop supports me at all times. He even gives me time to rest and prepare for upcoming races,” he says.
Mohan has been part of the SMRC Coimbatore team for five years and has taken part in local and state-level events. “Jagadeesh Kumar, a fellow racer saw me racing at local events and has supported me ever since,” he says who won more than three local race held in Pollachi. Following constant success in motocross races, he was recruited by the TVS Racing team, and he went on to race at national events in the Novice 260cc category. “Winning doesn’t come easy. If the machine is good, so should the rider.
Anyone can participate in a race. But your fitness level is very important no matter what,” says Mohan who is currently leading in terms of points at the national level championship. He is fighting hard to win it.
The TVS team has been sponsoring him with both, equipment and monetary funds. “I want to upgrade myself to the thoroughbred motocross bikes — 300-400cc engine category,” he shares.
Mohan’s life hasn’t been easy yet, he puts a brave face, smiles and says, “I’ve always had to work on second-hand bikes and modify them to make them race ready. Upgrading the wheels, engine pistons and cranks cost a lot,” says the six-time race event winner in the Novice and Indian Experts category.
Currently, he is racing in the MRF MOGRIP National Supercross Championship which is one of the top motocross championship in India. Mohan is looking forward to make a mark of his own in this race.