In the highly competitive automobile industry in India, team TVS Racing has emerged as the undisputed two-wheeler leader. TVS Motor Company is strongly committed to Motor Racing, in India and has been responsible for growing interest and enthusiasm for the sport in this country.
The beginning of racing at TVS
It all began way back in 1984 when Sundaram Clayton Limited (A TVS Group company) introduced its 50 CC mopeds in the arena of road racing, notching up unbelievable speeds of 105
kmph. Since then, there has been no looking back for TVS Motor Company. TVS Racing was established in 1987 with the objective of improving the performance of its bikes. Over the years it has provided valuable data, design inputs, development of reliable motorcycle models, excellent vehicle dynamics & handling etc. The true evidence of it is seen in today’s TVS
Apache and Star.
The Evolution of Racing at TVS
The next significant stride TVS Racing took was in 1986-87 when TVS introduced
100 cc AX 100 model
Motorcycles into road
racing. These bikes during
its time were undisputed in
the Indian soil as it had
power up to 16 bhp as
against a mere 7-8 bhp in
In the year 1989, TVS Racing for the first time actively participated in off
road racing events such as Motocross, Dirt Tracks, Rally etc. This was a logical
decision by TVS Racing especially since they wanted to showcase their technical
prowess to the public across the country. This was also the time when off track
racing events started gaining its popularity in India.
TVS Racing put their own
bikes including imported
Suzuki machines to rigorous
test by participating in all
major motocross and rally
events and thereby gaining
experience to take home as
feedback. In 1991 TVS
developed their first
Motocross bike fitted with
an indigenous engine to
participate in the Expert
Class Group B bike category,
which is more popularly
known as Shogun. The Shogun
Engine was modified to
participate in other classes
of race and since then there has been no looking back
for TVS Racing. This bike
went on to become the
undisputed winner for over
10 years by winning all the
races in its class.
1995-96 saw the introduction
of two more Suzuki bikes by
TVS Racing and this enhanced
its competency levels by a
series of winning streaks at
the Championship level. The
year 2000 saw the
introduction of higher
classes of races including
up to 250 cc categories.
Since this introduction, TVS
racing has emerged
victorious in all classes
and has kept the National
Championship ever since.
Today, under the upto 180 cc
bike class category, TVS Fiero has taken a dominant
position in the Fours Stroke
Category in all recent
With high involvement in
motocross TVS Racing
has extracted a major
advantage from this sport by
using the racetrack as a
testing opportunity for
their motorcycles. Testing
of these motorcycles on
different terrain and
varying temperatures has
helped the company to test
and develop its motorcycles
faster than if the motorcycles were tested on the
street, giving the technical
department valuable feedback
and data to help improve on
It has to its credit an astonishing over 90% success rate in all leading
racing events in the country
since 1987. Some of the
major successes of the team
Win in Raid De Himalaya
National Road Racing
Championship - won
continuously from 1995 to
MRF National Motocross
Championship - have won in
all leading classes for last
Gulf Dirt Track 2002 won in
foreign open class and 2003
won in Indian
Over 90 per cent victory in
270 races participated so
Perhaps the biggest triumph
for TVS Racing was its
participation in 5
events last year of which
they emerged champions in
two of them; Lake Cross 2003
and 2004 and Fox Hill Super
Cross 2003 and 2004 held in
Sri Lanka. The year 2003 saw
TVS’s ace rider C.
Vijaykumar emerge victorious
and 2004 had Syed Rehman of
TVS Racing winning against
leading Sri Lankan racers in
Honda and Kawasaki bikes. In
addition TVS rider C.
Vijaykumar has earned the
distinction of being the
sole representative of India
in the Asian Championships.
What is Motocross all about
Internationally Motocross is an outdoor dirt bike competition using long courses
over natural terrain with some manmade jumps. It is seen as a family sport with
parents assisting their young children teaching them the basics. Motocross
involves racing in what are called Motos. More popular variants of Motocross
include Supercross and Arenacross, which cater to professional racers, larger
audiences, TV, and endorsements conducted inside a stadium. In India, Supercross
is construed as motocross and vice versa as it has been the practice since the
The popularity of the sport can be dated back before World War II in some parts
of Europe and due to the war the flurry of enthusiasm came to a standstill.
After the World War II the sport gained more popularity but speed, nimbleness
and durability was lacking in the machines. It was in the 1960’s that saw its
popularity spreading across the globe especially in the US where new dimensions
to daredevil riding and mechanics were added.
Motocross in India
In India Motocross is practiced as a dirt bike competition using relatively
short courses inside stadiums with mostly manmade jumps. Clubs with licenses in
motorsports usually organize these shows in tie up with large organisations.
Audiences are larger and professional racers promoted by two wheeler companies
participate in racing. Earlier small clubs practiced the sport with
participations from local and privateers as corporate participation was not
available. TVS Motor Company was the first two wheeler company to involve in
Motorsport in India in a big way by way of both participation as well as
sponsorship. The sport received a major boost in the country with professional
riders and efficient motorcycles being available for competition. As a corporate
entry TVS M enjoyed dominance in both on road and off road races of two wheelers
in India for over a decade. It was in the late 90’s that Yamaha joined the
bandwagon to compete with TVS M.
Apart from Motocross / Supercross there are also Dirt track race, drag race,
hill climb, rally etc. Dirt Track racing is conducted on flat dirt surface.
There are no jumps in dirt track however, it has bends and curves. Drag race is
a straight stretch of road and usually winners are judged on the basis of
timings achieved for a particular distance. Hill climbs tracks are very rare in
India and two wheeler rallies are rare compared to motocross events in India.
As on today TVS M and Yamaha are the only two companies that participate in this
sport in India with professional racers. Few individuals and local racers too
participate in races held locally. The organizers normally hold local class
races to encourage local participation. In terms of sponsorship MRF spends the
most with the title of national motocross championship credited to them. The
national dirt track championship title is credited to Gulf Oil. Other leading
sponsors include, Kalyani Brakes, Indian Oil Corporation, BPCL, Gulf Oil, TVS
Motor Company and Yamaha.
TVS M is the only company that views the sport as a direct arm of their R&D.
Yamaha Racing in India is being promoted by a Bangalore based dealer with
support from Yamaha Singapore. The Indian arm of Yamaha’s involvement is very
minimal. Yamaha too have a professional racetrack just outside Bangalore city
for their racers to practice. In the recent past Yamaha’s involvement in the
sport has been increasing with more support pouring in from Singapore.
Controlling body of Motocross Events
A Central body called The Federation of Motor Sports Club of India (FMSCI)
controls motor Sports in India. While the actual sports events are organised by
various clubs in the Country, the guidelines, technical regulations and common
organising conditions are formulated, co-ordinated and implemented by the
Federation. They work under the aegis of Asian Motorcycle Union (UAM) and
Federation Internationale de Motocycliste (FIM).
The Asian Motorcycling Union (UAM) was formed in 1998 as the governing body for
all motorcycle sports in Asia. The mandate to promote and develop motorsports in
this region is given to this body that comprises 18 member countries including
Malaysia, Macau, Iran, People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Hong
Kong, Korea, Kuwait, Indonesia, Mongolia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri
Langka, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. The Federation Internationale
Motocycliste (FIM), Switzerland, grants the sporting powers to UAM.
Leading organizers and Championship in India
MRF National Motocross Championship - This championship is by far the
most prestigious of all two-wheeler races in India. It was first started in 2000
and is organized by Sportstrek, headed by Mr. Shyam Khotari. Mr. Khotari has
behind him years of experience in racing and conducting these races. He was a
key racer for TVS Motor Company in the past and has won a lot of accolades for
the company. In all the years TVS racing team has been dominating the races in
most of the 6 championship classes.
Gulf Dirt Track Challenge - This National event started in 2002 and in
the last two years both TVS and Yamaha have shared honours in the two
championship events. This event is organized by Sportscraft headed by Shrikant
Karani, a veteran motorsports enthusiast.
In addition there are many other motocross events that are conducted by lesser
known clubs and organizations in various towns. These events have always
attracted a sizeable crowd ranging from 15,000 to 20,000 spectators.