At the tender age of 6, when most boys run around screeching, honking and breaking their imaginary bikes, Rafal Pasierbek was gifted a Polish WSK bike, the real deal, by his grandfather. The amazing ease with which this young lad managed the rather heavy bike when he couldn’t even touch the ground with his feet and with no previous knowledge of handling a bike, amazed his granddad. And thus began the beginning of an undying love story between this young boy and the two-wheelers.
Rafal Pasierbek popularly known as Stunter’ 13 is now a 28-year-old internationally known stunt biker. He says his love for the two-wheelers comes from the family as all members of his family have an intense passion for motorcycles.
A Bruce Lee fan, he was in the capital city recently for a performance as part of a show organised by a college on the sidelines of their college fest. A lover of nature and animals, Rafal says he is smitten by Kerala and its beauty.
“When I started with the stunts, the sport was still in the infant stage especially in Poland and the Europe. The bikes available were not fit for stunts. Now over the years the situation has changed and the sporting is getting recognized in many parts of Europe. So now it has become easier to get sponsors and also to participate in international events and the like,” Rafal says.
This youth from Poland has helped a great deal in spreading and enlightening people across the globe about this sport and how it can safely be practiced.
Rafal who grew up with an intense passion for riding and stunting never took his sport on to the streets. He was always careful to practice in closed parking spots and other secluded areas where there was no risk of hurting another person.
Asked how he ever thought of using the bikes for such stunts he says, “I used to watch videos of bikers from the US performing stunts on their bikes and that is what inspired me. Back then it was simple stunts that they performed, like wheelies, standing on the tank and so on. But now I have started doing my own stunts and try to create new moves and tricks.”
So how does his family react to his profession? “My mother says she is much at ease that I am off the roads than on it. There is 10 times more chance that you can get killed on the roads on any given day than in this sport. My uncle who too was a stunt freak very ironically met with an accident on the roads and not while performing stunts. I am not saying there are no risks involved while you are performing stunts, but at least there is no risk of you injuring anybody else,” Rafal says.
Rafal most often travels with own bike parts and he assembles them at the place of his performance. This way he is more comfortable while performing because he knows what he is handling. These bikes he says are not fit to be driven on the roads. He also has his own mechanic, his uncle Janusz Salera, who no longer can perform stunts owing to an injury he sustained on the roads.
Unlike most professionals who take it badly when others copy their styles and moves, Rafal is least affected in fact he is happy that others are inspired by him. So does he teach other enthusiastic motorcyclists? “Well as much as I would like to I am not that good a teacher. And most importantly to teach another person you need to be able to explain the techniques, which I can never do. When I am performing I never think, I do it on an animal instinct, I rely on my gut and nothing else. So it is very difficult to remember the steps that led to those tricks,” he adds.
For all those who might be interested, Rafal has posed videos of his stunts on YouTube.
Rafal for whom freestyle motorcycling is his passion and love plans on continuing with his profession as long as he can and is able. “For me it is unthinkable to sit idly at home not doing stunts. I take a break or chill out riding and doing stunts. I don’t need a break from that,” he quips.