When I experienced off-roading at Gurgaon
words, photos, video: Ambica Gulati
Nothing like off-roading is what I heard when I reached the muddy grounds near Westin Hotel in Gurgaon. For a first timer like me, this was a novel experience. I eyed the ups and downs made in the mud, the patch filled with water and the narrow round turn with suspiciousness. It seemed more like an army exercise than a test drive of the Ranger series, the new tyre by JK Tyre. Since I have driven only on man-made roads with four normal tyres, the Ranger was an education.
The track had been prepared by Terrain Tigers, a club of off-roaders who take weekend drives through natural, rough terrains around Gurgaon-NCR. And this track was for beginners, so I was told. The Ranger is suitable for all kinds of terrains, though normally off-roading has a different set of tyres because those tyres don’t last long when used on man-made roads.
The name of the game here is not speed but precision, slow and steady. There has to be no rush for you are not driving a straight patch but going through patches which may have loose mud, may be full of rocks and sharp and narrow bends might be around. The car tilts on one side, so the grip of the tyre has to be really good.
The team from Terrain Tigers and JK Tyre pointed out the deeper grooves and tougher sidewalls which make the Ranger A/T suitable for tough journeys. The Ranger series has a longer life.
The variant Ranger H/T offers high traction strength which is needed for wet surfaces, superior grooves, quieter running at high speed. And the most important is that it goes from 100 kmph to 0 kmph in just 4 seconds on dry land and on wet surfaces from 80 kmph to 0 kmph in 4 seconds. All these features make it apt for vehicles going for rescue operations in tough terrains and through narrow mountain paths. And the team elucidated that the Ranger Series has been tested globally by professional race drivers on various terrains.
Then it was time to test the control, stability, steering and handling. I must admit I did chicken out of driving the vehicle amidst all the male eyes. But Ouseph Chacko, Assistant Editor with Evo magazine, who is also an off-roader, drove me through the track. Slowly yet smoothly, the vehicle moved through the wet surface, then tilted to one side, went into a pit, came out through the steep rise, turned towards the loose mud hill, up it went and down and another turn before coming to a halt. In just five minutes, I experienced the thrill of being an off-roader and I am confident I can do this drive myself next time.
Check the video to see what this terrain offered and how important a good tyre is.
The tyres come in 10 sizes and work with most SUVs available in the Indian market, that is Audi Q-series, Land Rover Freelander, Fortuner, Nissan X-trail, Terrano, Pajero, EcoSport, Duster and more.
About JK Tyre & Industries
Pioneers of radial tyres in India, with the Ranger series JK Tyre aims to increase its presence in the fast growing SUV segment. The company will export the new range of tyres to international markets as well. The company has nine plants across India and Mexico with an annual capacity of around 20 million tyres.