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Old 26th September 2014, 22:25   #1
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Default Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

Dune Bashing is the weekend sport for off-roaders in the middle east. I am in Dubai right now and there was no better way to start the weekend than join a bunch of Pro dune bashing riders. Joined a team of desert riders Friday morning. Some of them so passionate about this sport that they have been religiously doing this almost every single Friday for the past 6 years! You are strapped in and still you get thrown around, you feel the G force as if in a roller coaster ride. It is risky, it gets scary and you know that it is unlike a highly controlled and calculated ride in an amusement park, it is absolutely RAW and it is SO MUCH FUN!! It's pure adrenalin rush!

Thanks to Vinod bhai for taking me on-board for his weekend desert ride in his FJ cruiser. He runs a garage in Dubai called 5 Star Garage and has years of experience with rides, be it bikes or cars, on-road or off-road. He started desert rides many years back on dirt bikes and later used to train people on that. Thanks to Deepu bhai and Prasanth bhai for introducing him.

The Rides
6 Toyota FJ Cruisers - 4.0L
2 Jeep Wranglers - 3.6L
1 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor - 6.2L... Sweet!
1 Toyota Landcruiser Prado - 4.0L

Interesting part - All had petrol motors! Petrol is cheaper here, so you usually find oil burners mostly in trucks and buses. All those mammoth SUVs seen here have petrol motors!

Initially I thought like wont the diesel motors with higher torque make more sense for off-roading. But once I got the hang of it, I realized that once you are stuck in a sandy incline or just sand for that matter, any amount of torque is not going to pull you out, unlike hard surface off-roading. You would just sit there spinning your wheels throwing up sand all over yourself. You need momentum to tackle sandy steeps, but a very heavy car is also not preferred. The torque of these big petrol motors are no less unless you compare it to that of oil burners of same size and are quite capable especially on loose surface.

These rides had quite a bit of mods and upgrades. The stock cars of the 10 mentioned above are quite capable off-roaders themselves. Mods and upgrades were mostly suspension and desert off-roading gear related and some other stuff too.

Unlike the usual car meets and hangouts where people stop for photo sessions, these riders just enjoy the desert ride and dune bashing. There are no photo shoot sessions and unless there is Go-Pro gear, there is really no way to take videos or click during the bumpy ride. However I kept my camera handy and have clicked as much as I could. I did notice that the unlimited Wrangler Rubicon had Go-Pro gear. Anyways their intention was just hardcore dune bashing. Clicks are mostly during short stops. The real action could only be experienced and not captured when sitting in those dune bash rides, especially when photo shoot was not part of their plan. Kindly excuse the photo/video quality as during ride, it was a real pain just to hold my head straight... holding the camera was not really a good idea

Meeting point - Had a quick chat and coffee at a filling station. There were other rider gangs too meeting up for their weekend ride. A group of Harley riders, a group of supercars, a group of superbikes, a team with a rally spec Pajero towed on a trailer for some desert rally event, and some other off-roading groups too. It was an energy packed start for the day!
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-meeting-point.png

Starting point - All cars were stopped here to deflate tires and do other prep. to start the desert ride.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-starting-point.png

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 27th September 2014 at 20:39.
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Old 26th September 2014, 22:32   #2
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Default Dune Bashing - Weekend sport in the middle east

The Rides - All lined up at the starting point to gear up for the desert ride. You can see tires being deflated.

That's Vinod bhai and his ride. I was in this FJ Cruiser.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-1.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-2.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-3.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-4.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-5.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-6.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-7.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-8.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-9.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-10.jpg

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 27th September 2014 at 02:38.
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Old 26th September 2014, 22:49   #3
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Default Dune Bashing - Weekend sport in the middle east

More pics
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-11.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-12.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-13.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-14.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-15.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-16.jpg

The arrow points to a gap on a rocky mountain seen at the horizon which is where we are heading for our first stop.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-17-start.png

The first stop. This is where the arrow pointed in the previous pic.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-17-stop1_1.jpg

The same point on Google map.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-rocky-mountain.png

Another group of desert riders at the same point.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-18-stop1_2.jpg

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 27th September 2014 at 12:37.
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Old 26th September 2014, 23:06   #4
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Default Dune Bashing - Weekend sport in the middle east

An ATV too.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-19-stop1_3.jpg

Resuming the ride.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-20-resume1_1.jpg

The descent.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-21-resume1_2.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-22-resume1_3.jpg

Other side of the mountain. They just love doing this... pushing it to limits till the car is almossst out of breath.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-23.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-24.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-25.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-26.jpg

Continuing the ride in search of more dunes.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-27.jpg

Riding on the edge shaving the tip of the dune. On steep dunes, this is kinda scary and if the rider is not experienced, you are in for trouble.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-28.jpg

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 27th September 2014 at 10:48.
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Old 26th September 2014, 23:47   #5
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Default Dune Bashing - Weekend sport in the middle east

Snack break.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-30.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-stop-over.png

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-31.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-32.jpg

Crossing a road to the desert further ahead. You can see other groups stopped here. From this point there were only 7 of us from the initial 10 cars. In the desert, among other off-road gangs we came across, there was a gang of dune buggies and an other gang of dirt bikers. Could not click them though, as we did not meet at any stop over.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-33.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-34.jpg

Crossed yet another straight empty stretch of road and stopped. Remember the Scorpio ad which was shot in a desert with a convoy of bikes followed by the scorpio on a stretch of road towards the end of the ad? This is that road. That ad was shot when it was just constructed. The lamp posts and all were not there when they shot the ad it seems. And I am told that the lead biker in that ad is one of the dune bash riders in this group.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-35.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-36.jpg

Rhino rack with Sunseeker awning extended. Other side of the rack is equipped with Foxwing awning.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-37.jpg

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 27th September 2014 at 13:45.
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Old 27th September 2014, 00:00   #6
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Default Dune Bashing - Weekend sport in the middle east

The mighty Raptor gets stuck.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-38.jpg

Hooking up FJ Cruiser.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-39.jpg

FJ Cruiser pulling the Raptor out.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-40.jpg

One of the FJ Cruisers get a flat tyre.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-41.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-42.jpg

Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-43.jpg

This time FJ Cruiser gets stuck.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-44.jpg

FJ Cruiser hooking up to FJ Cruiser.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-45.jpg

Pulled out.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-46.jpg

And the ride goes on. This part was different fun as this stretch was done at higher speed.
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-47.jpg
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Old 27th September 2014, 00:19   #7
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Default Dune Bashing - Weekend sport in the middle east

Couple of short videos...



And finally back on road!
Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.-finish-point.png

The point of start to finish is done completely zigzag pursuing higher and adventurous dunes. After around 4.5 hours of some bad ass dune bashing, we hit the road, head to the nearest air filling station and inflate tires back to normal pressure, and call it a day.

And that's how we do dune bashing my dear friends... Hope you guys enjoyed the pics. Thanks.

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 28th September 2014 at 13:06.
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Old 29th September 2014, 11:25   #8
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Default Re: Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the 4x4 Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 29th September 2014, 12:19   #9
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Default Re: Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

Thanks, Ajay! The dune bashing is indeed quite a unique experience. I didnt drive myself - got a taste of it in the commercially organized runs in Dubai. What was most unique for me was the thrills, and the awesome capability of the vehicles - which incidentally, were all Toyota Landcruisers with couple of Pajeros and one Pathfinder. Thanks for the pics and the post, good reliving these memories
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Old 29th September 2014, 13:52   #10
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Default Re: Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

Thanks for sharing this amazing experience I can only contemplate the importance of GPS in sensing your direction once you are in the middle of the desert.

Also from the pictures posted, all the vehicles seem to be in top shape; very much a prerequisite to make it out of the desert in one piece.
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Old 29th September 2014, 14:41   #11
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Default Re: Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

Thanks for sharing your experience and I absolutely adore the Toyota FJ, specially in blue.
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Old 29th September 2014, 19:18   #12
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Default Re: Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

I know that 4-door black Wrangler. It belongs to a guy called Jacob right.

You should check out the other vehicles that he owns.
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Old 29th September 2014, 20:08   #13
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Default Re: Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anshuman_v View Post
Thanks, Ajay! The dune bashing is indeed quite a unique experience. Thanks for the pics and the post, good reliving these memories
You are welcome anshuman_v Couldn't get enough of it. Looking forward to more of such crazy rides!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolBlueBiker View Post
Thanks for sharing this amazing experience I can only contemplate the importance of GPS in sensing your direction once you are in the middle of the desert.
Anytime coolbluebiker! The fact is that I was the only one looking at maps and using GPS. Rest were hell bothered about their position. They just wanted more dunes to conquer and most of them were gurus with years of experience in dune bashing. So they must be knowing where they are going without even looking at the maps. They just choose a certain area each week and explore it. Only the last stretch, they followed a track and did a speed run. That part was like being in a rally car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolBlueBiker View Post
Also from the pictures posted, all the vehicles seem to be in top shape; very much a prerequisite to make it out of the desert in one piece.
You said it. Just what I felt when I was clicking 'em. Mirror finish detailing on desert rides!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience and I absolutely adore the Toyota FJ, specially in blue.
No probs BlackPearl! My first time in FJs and fell in love with the off-roading DNA of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roshan_cruise View Post
I know that 4-door black Wrangler. It belongs to a guy called Jacob right. You should check out the other vehicles that he owns.
Yep that's him. I just met him that day. But realized when we had a chat that we do have some common friends. He does have a great collection of rides. A hardcore automobile enthusiast! That was the best part of the weekend. Met a bunch of 'em who are really passionate about rides. Just look at the way they maintain it, that says it all. Always good to be in such a company.

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 29th September 2014 at 20:21.
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Old 1st October 2014, 09:31   #14
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Default Re: Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

Hi,

Thanks for sharing some great snaps.

I am landing in Dubai today for a 2 week holiday. Desert safari is definitely part of the agenda. Since you know a community that is involved in desert driving, can you share any known and reliable agencies that organise desert safaris.

I will be with family of 5.

Thanks
Srinath
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Old 1st October 2014, 11:36   #15
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Default Re: Dune Bashing in Dubai with the FJ Cruiser, Jeep Wrangler etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srinath34 View Post
Thanks for sharing some great snaps.
I am landing in Dubai today for a 2 week holiday. Desert safari is definitely part of the agenda. Since you know a community that is involved in desert driving, can you share any known and reliable agencies that organise desert safaris.
Thanks Srinath! I will try to find out some info. on that when I meet them again, may be this weekend.
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