He was born with a disability but turned it into his strength, braving several hurdles to chase his passion of superbikes.
Rohan Singh has a congenital birth defect that stunted the growth of his left arm beyond the elbow but he worked hard to set aside the disability to ride some of the world’s fastest motorbikes.
The 26-year-old law graduate from Ranchi is now one a talented motorbike-rider, finishing daunting races and conquering daunting terrains across the world.
He developed a passion for motorbikes as a teenager and worked for more than a decade to adapt to riding the two-wheelers.
“Initially I used ropes tied to my hand but it resulted in a badly bruised hand. Then I tried my hands on a cooker rubber gasket, but this method failed badly during the rains,” he says.
Rohan says he uses “small left elbow” to grip the motorbike’s clutch – an idea that came to him at dinner when he moved dishes with his stunted arm. “I failed the first time and similarly I failed the next three times. But after that, there was no looking back.”
In 2014, he took up the challenge of becoming a certified member of the United States-based Iron Butt Association by covering 1,600 km within 24 hours. He set off from Ranchi on an Austrian motorbike, KTM Duke 390, at 3 am and hit Delhi by 9: 30 pm the same day, covering around 1,400 kilometers in 17 hours.
He says he could have easily covered another 400 kilometers but stopped in Delhi for he had won the challenge and ‘did not need any certification for his skill.’
The following year, he rode six days from Ranchi to Hyderabad and back, travelling around 3,500 kilometers on his Italian motorbike, Dukati Monster 821, gifted by a friend.
Ask him about his dream ride and he says it’s the Mustang Valley, Nepal. His dream is to participate in the International Isle of Man TT Race, the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world.
Rohan is a law graduate from the prestigious Nalsar University in Hyderabad, is a skilled cyclist and drives the car regularly.
“Four wheels move body, but two wheels move soul,” he says when questioned why not he is into car racing. Disabled people should accept the way they are born, he added.
He says he often faces extraordinary reactions when people realise he is a disbled motorbike rider. “Once another biker was riding next to me and as soon as he saw me, he was like “Oh shit! What’s that? That guy doesn’t have a hand!” and he fell down and I had to go and help him.”
Rohan attributes his achievements to his parents who never made him feel he was different. “They raised me like a normal child and never stopped me from taking any challenge. As a kid I often faced rejection by other children who be afraid of me as I did not have two hands. As days passed by, I developed positive feelings about myself and proved that I was better than others,” he says.
He says motor sports can be more rewarding than cricket as it has thrill, enhances concentration, self-control and capacity to develop strength over natural factors.
Rohan is the pride of his friends, who don’t stop saluting the positive energy and determination in him. His fellow riders, Sandeep Kapoor and Ganesh Reddy call him a great inspiration.
He is quite popular on social media too. His admirers call him a Superhero and Superhuman. Rohan’s penchant for biking has inspired several youngsters to take to the sport in Ranchi.
Rohan and Ranchi’s most-famous resident--cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni--have one thing in common: An enviable collection of motorbikes. While Dhoni has the costlier ones like Harley Davidson Fat Boy and Kawasaki Ninja, Rohan is not far behind with the Suzuki GSXR 1000, considered the world’s fastest-accelerating motorbike.
“And I have a Royal Enfield too..,” he gently smiles.