As a teenager Mohit Verma had a passion for driving his bike fast, do wheelies and other stunts. None of the three things could have done the youngster any good, till a sane advice from his immediate neighbour turned his attention towards rallying.
It was in 2009, that Mohit after training and practice got the first taste of off-roads in the annual SJOBA rally. And since then he hasn’t looked back.
“I was into all things about bike. Stunts on open public roads and wheelies in empty spaces were my forte. Then a neighbour who himself used to ride in the rallies as hobby asked me to pick the sport. He said why not drive the bike faster legally. I was hooked. After few years of preparations, I finally took the plunge in 2009 SJOBA,” the 25-year-old biker recalls.
The results also started trickling in soon. A third place finish in 2010 SJOBA was followed by overall first in Alpine category in Raid de Himalaya. Next year, saw Mohit winning swell with SJOBA overall winner’s trophy followed by a win in MRF Supercross and OYA Dirt Track Biking.
In three years, Mohit went from modified Bajaj discover 100cc to Unicorn and Karizma. Feeling confident Mohit got real and bought KTM Duke 390 in 2012.
“This bike has not only served me well but has also landed me a sponsorship from KTM. I was among the first in north India to start competing on KTM’s. It was launched in April 2012 and I used it during the J&K Mughal rally in June,” Mohit adds.
The 2015 has started well for the biker, who has a shop in Sector 28, Chandigarh. After a gap of one year, Mohit reclaimed podium at the 13th Desert Storm rally championship in Jaipur. Riding on his KTM Duke 390, the youngster clocked 2:4:58 hours to finish overall third place. Then in March he once again stamped his class in the SJOBA taking overall title. Over the years Mohit has had some close calls but the thrill of the ride beats everything.
“During the Raid De Himalaya in 2012, I rode three days with a hairline fracture in my foot. Then in my first Dakshin Dare, the terrain was new for me. It was Monsoon there and it was all slush. I fell of bike after every kilometre,” Mohit recalled.
Mohit said his next immediate aim is the 2015 Dakshin Dare, which he won last year. “And then off course Raid De Himalaya will be keep me focused,” the biker added.
For Raid De Himalaya, Mohit says he is trying to convince his sponsors to give him more powerful KTM 450.
“At present my contract is for KTM390. But over the years, I have felt that I lose on power especially as the rally reaches higher reaches of Himalayas. So I will try and get a 450 if possible,” Mohit added.