MODERN-day daredevils can be found both on and off the track. For them fear is not an option. The St Ann-based Untouchable Riders are one such group.
Founded in 2006 by stunter, racer and businessman Halquin 'Pugu' Rodney. The crew, now comprising of over 30 riders, (nine of whom are female) came together out of a shared desire to have an organised group where local riders could share interests, ideas and skills.
"It's not easy. Practice makes perfect, and having a good bike is very important. You definitely have to be brave and love the sport enough to dedicate yourself to it. Eat and sleep the sport or you're not going to be a good stunt rider," Rodney told Auto.
Inspired by motorcycle riders in his own family, Rodney began stunting in 2005 and began racing at Dover Raceway two years later, walking away Champion in Motorcycle race A (MCA) class in his first year competing. While he continues to do well at Dover, he says he prefers stunting to racing.
"A racer and a stunter are two very different riders. A racer goes harder and faster on a bike that is modified for speed and power, for the stunter the challenge is going slow and the bikes are modified to allow for slow stunts. If you can master the slow stunts, like the circle wheelie, for example, then you'll be unbeatable in any competition," said Rodney.
According to Rodney modifications necessary for slower and safer stunting include a bigger sprocket to increase compression, thus making it easier to do a wheelie. An extra brake is put on the left handle of the bike. A wheel cage, wheelie handle bars, and stunt cages are also added to protect the bike while stunting on the ground.
The 'Untouchable Riders' have regular meetings and training sessions are offered by Rodney to anyone interested in learning how to ride, but only serious riders are taken into the crew. The crew can often be seen performing gravity-defying stunts at events ranging from motorsports to street dances.
"We are booked to perform at shows every week, sometimes twice a week, because it's just something Jamaicans really enjoy seeing. Especially, when we get overseas riders to come in and do some stunts as well," Rodney told Auto.
The 'Untouchable Riders' is one of the crews competing in Sunday's 'East & West Bikini Bike Fest' set to start at midday at Di Ole Marina in Port Antonio, Portland.