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Old 15th April 2015, 13:30   #16
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

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Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
Pickup Category - Isuzu D-Max
Whoa
The pick up category award went to a two wheel drive vehicle? This is just too silly for an event calling itself "Off road awards".

On slushy hairpins(not even offloading), this will just spin one rear wheel.
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Old 15th April 2015, 15:14   #17
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Here's a link to a the Car n Bike Show on NDTV about the Awards night:

http://auto.ndtv.com/cnb-prime-editi...rd-2015-360731
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Old 15th April 2015, 17:44   #18
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Hi there, no offence but seems like every one went home with some award

Regards
Anand
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Old 15th April 2015, 21:37   #19
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Quote:
The pick up category award went to a two wheel drive vehicle? This is just too silly for an event calling itself "Off road awards".
what's wrong - Pick up category award featured in "Off Road awards" or Pickup award going to a two wheel drive ?
Quote:
no offence but seems like every one went home with some award
Same thoughts , so either there were more manufacturers / models other than photographs & these are amongst finalist chosen in respective segments else everyone was rewarded something

Last edited by Turbanator : 15th April 2015 at 21:40.
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Old 16th April 2015, 08:17   #20
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Where are the pictures/videos showing vehicles tackling the course? And how did each perform? Were the monocoques tested at the rocky boulder section? I think not.

Please share more Tejas
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Old 16th April 2015, 11:33   #21
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Tejas
I would also like to know which sections the monocoques managed to clear.
Particularly the Yeti, Koleos & Santa Fe.
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Old 16th April 2015, 12:18   #22
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Hi guys,

UBS and me were jury for the "hard core offroaders", viz the Thar, Gurkha and Gypsy

Not for the others. And since we reached late we couldn't drive all the rest although they were at our disposal. But since i was interested in the Pajero Sport, i did check it out.

From what i hear, all the ladder on frame SUVs did clear all the sections.

Don't know about the rest, will try and find out and revert.
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Old 18th April 2015, 20:30   #23
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Nice Report Tejas. Thanks!.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
The audience did listen with rapt attention and i was glad that a lot of people came back and told me that what i said, needed to be said..
Umm.. Well, can I ask, what did you say that was so grim?

Quote:
The only issue i see in our country is that people are not willing to travel like they would in one of the big jeep jamborees in the US. Mostly it is the local crowd and few hardcore enthusiasts who come.
You are right. The reason is, our Jeeps are no where comfortable as the vehicles available in the US. Imagine traveling a 1000 kilometers in an old offroading Jeep. Well I've done it, and I know how it is.

Also, the event should be consistently "worth" traveling that far. With the Thar in the scene, and if more comfortable offroaders get launched, I'm sure this will change. Also, if consistently good events like RFC pop up, offroaders would definitely like to travel.
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Old 20th April 2015, 11:01   #24
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

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Nice Report Tejas. Thanks!.
Umm.. Well, can I ask, what did you say that was so grim?
Thanks.

Here is the speech that i had prepared a few days in advance. Ofcourse, i did cut down a bit of stuff here and there and forgot some and added some.
Ofcourse these are my personal observations:

Quote:
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

This is probably the first time that i’m addressing a gathering of fellow offroaders, professional media and manufacturers in the same room. For this opportunity i must thank Sirish and the entire team.

The offroad scene in India has never been at any higher point than it is currently and is set to grow exponentially. This is wonderful news for manufacturers, offroad trainers and offroad park owners. However, in my personal opinion the offroad scene is also at the edge of a cliff ready to come tumbling down at any moment.

What happened with the extremely unfortunate incident with Uber in Delhi and the subsequent knee jerk ban is what could happen with the offroading scene in our country. One unfortunate incident and BAM! A clampdown!
This ladies and gentlemen is the unfortunate truth and this is what i will be talking about today.

I’m not going to take too much time, in this short speech, i want to talk a bit about what is offroading and it’s brief history. I’ll talk about the current scene of offroading in India and i’ll talk a bit about my journey into this field. Why me? Am i self propagating myself? NO! Do i want to market my company? NO! With my story i want to make you fine folks understand the current scenario and make an appeal that if we do not band together NOW, this wonderful sport may get nipped in it’s infancy.

So, coming to a bit of history,

Although the first offroad vehicle was invented in the early 1900s, the major push happened only during the second world war.

The US army made a huge order for offroad vehicles for the war effort and these came to be known as jeeps in the local GI lingo. The jeep was the backbone of the infantry and served in a multitude of rolls and was one of reasons for winning the war.

After the war, there were thousands of surplus jeeps and these were sold to the civilian market (CJ, civilian jeep) and were used for a variety of purposes from utility vehicles to recreational vehicles.

Through the late 1950s people offroaded in these jeeps for recreation and by the 1960s clubs started to form and the offroad scene started getting organised in individual pockets.

By the 1970s, the environmentalists started crying foul about the damages that vehicles made to the eco system by going just about anywhere and started pushing the government to lay down strict laws regarding public land use.

The offroad community started seeing red and united amongst themselves and in 1976 formed UFWDA with the primary aim to assist and represent member associations in issues as they relate to the use of motorized vehicles on public and private lands.

Over the years this association grew in strength with manufacturers backing them and they now have enough of a voice that the government must sit and listen to them. Sister organisations like Tread Lightly! and The Blue Ribbon Coalition also have made an impact and today these organisations are doing everything in their power to protect the offroading sport and the environment.

Now, let’s come back home. Jeeps were licensed by Mahindra and sold in the domestic market but their main purpose was more utilitarian rather than recreational. People like the jeep whisperer, Mr. Uday Bhan Singh and a few others must surely have done recreational offroading but it still wasn’t such a big market.

Just to clarify, im going to be using the word jeep a lot and that is to signify a four wheel drive vehicle rather than the trademarked vehicle. A bit of trivia: The word jeep, when spelled with a capital J signifies the company whereas when spelled with the lowercase j signifies a four wheeled vehicle and offroading is also referred many times to jeeping.

Now let’s take my story as an example. A city dweller from the erstwhile Bombay thought i knew a lot of vehicles and related activity. The only bit of offroading i had honestly seen as in old world war movies. Maruti had launched the Gypsy and was every kids dream at that time. One fine day in 1997 i gathered enough money to buy a used gypsy king. The first thing i asked the owner: what’s this second lever? He says never touch it! So i decide to go the showroom and asked a sale guy: he says it’s only for army use, you won’t need it. Hmmm. I’m not trying to show any company down here. No offence maruti.

So for a year i was king of the road and jumped dividers till one day i went with a friend for a hindi movie shoot and i saw the stunt guys actually using the “small lever”! Curiosity was piqued and i learned the basics from them and was hooked onto the sport.

Those were days before the internet boomed and we had the dial up modem that took forever to connect and had very limited info. So we used to scour the used book market and read up whatever tit bits we could find. This was my initiation into offroading and we did some mild offroading. Those days the locals used to find us rather crazy and it was good entertainment for them to see us city boys getting dirty and intact they used to welcome us and offer us food. This went on for a while and we had a small group of 4x4 owners that did mild offroading.

Come 2002 and i had to leave for germany and uk to do my masters and then i came back did another masters in periodontology and implantology and i had no time to pursue my passion. In 2007 i saw this site called teambhp and saw that many people are now offroading and my interest in the hobby renewed and i bought a mahindra classic. By now people had a jump of knowledge about offroading from my 1998 days i learnt a lot and i till today consider that portal as my alma mater of offroading.

But in a decade, things had changed. Villagers now no longer welcomed us with open arms and considered us a nuisance or a tool to extort money. Apparently some people went offroading in farms and destroyed crops. Villagers got angry, cops and forest officials started harassing us.

We realised that if we now needed to offroad we would need private land of some form of permission to offroad on public land.

The problem is that no one knows about any laws governing offroading or what is the procedure to get permission. The local forest officers don’t know. Infact few years ago at one of our events we had a big issue with the forest officials.

I would say we are nearly 40 years behind the west. What happened with them in the 60s and 70s is happening here now and today!

What i also realised is that not only doesn’t anyone know about laws, the offroading scene itself is unregulated. Safety and other concerns were grossly neglected. I know the importance of education and decided that if i need to pursue my passion, i need to educate myself. To my surprise there was no offroad school in our entire country at that time. I reached out overseas and found the I4WDTA which is the International Four wheel driver trainers association. I trained with them, studied offroading for another year and a half. Had to undergo train the trainer and international paramedic exams before i could even apply for membership. The examinations are extremely tough and the passing rate is only half. We were evaluated at a ex tank training facility in northern germany for 3 days after which we sat for a 4 hour written and 4 hour gruelling practical exam. I was very fortunate that not only did i clear, i came our top of my class and the only person in Asia to qualify.

So, once i get back i realise that people think they do not need education and safety practises were mostly non existent. Ofcourse there a few clubs with stringent safety protocols, by and large there was no set rules on the whole in general.

So i reached out to senior fellow offroaders nearly two years ago. I personally visited and interacted with most whenever i went lecturing to various cities and we decided to band together and form coalition. A national association of offroaders that would band together to safer promotion of the sport. Offroading in india is seen mostly as a rich mans sport and most people think it’s rallying. Which it is not! I think offroading is the cheapest motorsport that one can get into and especially at any age. Infact mid life crisis is one of the main reasons.

This is where we need the support of everyone. We are laying down rules and guidelines for offroading but we need the support and backing of manufacturers. SIAM is a strong organisation and together we can speak to the government to frame laws and guidelines for safe and sustainable offroading. It is not a easy process and realistically would take decades for us to see some real results, but we must start now before the law enforcement starts catching every jeep for a simple thing as oversized tyres or a paint change.

Lastly, as an offroader i appeal to the manufactures to give us a little leeway. You’ll advertise that your vehicle can do wonders in every terrain but if we change the tyres our warrantee gets void.

To summarize, i think we need to work toward the following points:
-set down guidelines for safe, sustainable and environmental friendly offroading
-set up laws that allow offroaders to access public land
-allow offroaders to modify their vehicles within reasonable limits without
-set up offroad insurance guidelines with insurance companies
-manufacturers to please give a little leeway with warrantee issue
-lastly, to work towards promoting education in the field of offroading.

Thank you very much for your time and together we can bring the current situation from the brink of the precipice . Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
You are right. The reason is, our Jeeps are no where comfortable as the vehicles available in the US. Imagine traveling a 1000 kilometers in an old offroading Jeep. Well I've done it, and I know how it is.

Also, the event should be consistently "worth" traveling that far. With the Thar in the scene, and if more comfortable offroaders get launched, I'm sure this will change. Also, if consistently good events like RFC pop up, offroaders would definitely like to travel.
Correct! Comfortable and capable offroader is a dream!

I'm not talking events, i'm talking about expos where there is limited offroading. Ofcourse combing the expo with the RFC is a masterstroke by Evo.



PS: To all: Evo hasn't paid me for any article. Infact i write for autocar india which is a competing magazine. All views and observations are mine.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 20th April 2015 at 11:04. Reason: added PS.
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Old 21st April 2015, 07:18   #25
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

It was nice to read. BTW I think the awards was a scam. Is there any car that did not win an award? It looks like the award category was expanded so that nobody goes home without a trophy. Anyway I'm not complaining.
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Old 21st April 2015, 14:41   #26
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Tejas, that was a hard hitting speech, I wouldn't call it grim, you spoke of the reality. If there is a fatality someday, I don't see how Government would react any different than they did during the Uber incident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Whoa
The pick up category award went to a two wheel drive vehicle? This is just too silly for an event calling itself "Off road awards".
Yeah, I am wondering how it outperformed say Bolero Pickup 4WD in offroad category. What was Isuzu pickup competing against?

Another missing name is Grand Vitara, winner of multiple Raid de Himalaya and Desert Storm somehow is not even in contention for any award. Very surprised at that.
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Old 24th April 2015, 12:41   #27
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Default Re: Report: 2015 EVO Offroad Awards & Expo, Pune

Doc, your speech hits the nail on its head, bang on especially the Uber incident scenario which is hanging large on the community. If am not wrong, MGE does not conduct their great escape in Coorg, due to a stray incident like this for which they were denied permissions later on.

The expo concept is a good marketing aspect, it just needs to pick up. If the cards are played well, these expos can be great selling platform for all the various accessories vendors. Eg: The Comic Con concept which has picked up well within 3 years of its inception.

Great write up..
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