Full throttle


Junior Ishan Grewal poses on his dirtbike. Photo contributed

Noah Baker, Staff Writer

Across the street coming from an open garage, the sounds of metal clanking and the ratcheting of the last screw on the bike sound across the block. Junior Ishan Grewal finishes, hopefully, the last change to the bike propped up on the stand. He flicks the throttle and the dirt bike roars to life, its engine falling to a rhythmic beat. Grewal high fives each of his friends and they all smile at the final touches, dabbing sweat and excited to ride the newly-fixed bike.

After school, Grewal looks forward to moments like these.

“I like school and all, but after school is where the fun’s at,” Grewal said. “I just go out and have fun on the dirt bike. It’s pretty much every day. I’m not able to go on the track every day, but I try to get on the bike to go do something with the bike to make myself better on the bike.”

Even when Grewal was a little kid, he enjoyed dirt bikes in as many ways as possible. 

“Ever since I was six years old and saw my first dirt bike,that’s when my addiction began,” Grewal said. “They look so cool, and as I got older, I was able to make money for myself and get dirt bikes. That’s where my passion grew, and now it’s to the point where I’ve been able to teach myself about dirt bikes.”

Grewal had saved up with his dad when he was ten for his first bike–a two stroke Chinese 50cc dirt bike. 

“Then, I went to a 125 on a CRF, the small little pip bikes, and then I actually got into a sport bike after that,” Grewal said. “That was just a project. We bought it when it was totalled, and me and my friends worked on it as a project. When I moved here I had my CRF pip bike that I sold and bought a bigger RMZ250.”

Here, Grewal has made new friends and made some of his favorite memories with them. He looks up to some of the friends who share his hobby.

“My friends–Robbie, Joe and Gabe–they all are a main influence on me because those guys ride dirt bikes with me,” Grewal said. “I know I’m better than Robbie though, but Joe and Gabe I want to be like them. They are way faster than me; they’re really good on dirt bikes.”

Grewal finds riding dirt bikes not only a hobby but as a way to hang out with his friends sometimes. The social aspect allows them to have fun doing what they love.

“My favorite [moments] are with my friends,” Grewal said. “When we are out riding together, those are probably my favorite moments. There was one time me and my friend Joe and Robbie went out riding together. My girlfriend crashed my dirt bike that day and that was pretty funny.”

Other aspects of the hobby help build Grewal’s appreciation for dirt bikes. He finds himself enjoying working on the mechanics of the bike more than driving them on some days.

“I can work on them: rebuild engines, drive transmission, problem solve. Sometimes I like doing that more than riding the bike itself because I feel like I get a better connection with the bike itself knowing how everything works.”

Grewal hopes to take his hobby into a professional and competitive direction with his friends.

“Next year I want to start doing motor cross with a couple of my buddies,” Grewal said. “I think it’s going to be a good year next year if I’m able to stay consistent with my practice. If I’m able to keep up on the maintenance, it shouldn’t give me problems. I hope to maybe get a sponsor for my race next year.”

Still, Grewal enjoys the thrill of the dirt bikes everytime he revs up the engine and rides them.

“When you hop on the dirt bike, honestly, I get this feeling that I’m in control of my freedom,” Grewal said. “You’ll turn that throttle and you’ll just be going full speed and there will be the biggest smile on your face wind rushing down your face. You’ll feel weightless; you just feel different. You have a really big smile on your face and you just feel out of the world.”