The last time four-time motorbike stunt world champion, Chris Pfeiffer came to Mumbai, he ended up displaying his biking antics to a crowd of 400 plus at a mall in Malad. He made his way skidding, sliding and riding on a single wheel through the crowd. Though actor Saif Ali Khan only read about his stunt display in town much later, he was determined to learn Chris’ skill set on his next visit.
Moving on, a year later Chris has spent a day at the Pataudi house in New Delhi, where he taught the actor a few easy-to-do free wheelies. “I know that Saif is a crazy biker. I had been told about it. But meeting him was an altogether interesting experience. He was already aware of most techniques. We shared a lot of information,” says Chris.
The German-born biker, Chris taught Saif guerrilla and slide techniques. He also taught the actor how to get the appropriate wheel balance right, while performing stunts. “Saif told me he has been in a bad accident, so I taught him some safety tips,” adds Chris.
The 30-something biker is on a ten-city tour in India organised by Red Bull. Having already performed in Kolkata and Jaipur, Chris will now be riding through New Delhi, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Ahemdabad, Pune, Kochi, Bangaluru and Mumbai through the next week. Considered a successor to stunt bike legend Evel Kneival, for Chris, returning to a newfound audience in India is always a thrill. “The last time I came to India, I was blown over by the reactions. People cheered for me and after the stunt, they would approach me for advice. In fact I met a lot of kids who were interested in stunts and I was happy to take them through it,” says Chris. Chris’ 20-minute act includes freewheeling, body jumping, stoppie-in and burn-out (all biking stunts) at various parking lots and is preceded by a guerrilla act.
An extreme-sport enthusiast, Chris rode his first bike at the age of 5. Having won all major speed and stunt championships throughout Europe and USA, he soon graduated to freewheeling and stunt mania. “I got bored of speed. After a point, you don’t just burnout from exhaustion but also boredom. Now I perform some 80 shows across the world every year. I entertain. That’s what I do,” Chris says.
Though Chris won’t be a body double for a Hollywood movie, he's completely open to doing a Bollywood stunt. “It’ll be fun to do something for the Indian screen. Saif can be convincing,” he hints.