5th July, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR: To ride a motorcycle while standing atop was among the many exploits that earned 49-year-old Nadarajan Periasamy the title ‘King of bike’ by the local motorcycling fraternity.
His motorcycle exploits have not only earned Nadarajan a name in the Malaysian Book of Records (MBR) earlier, but have also drawn rave reviews from a local Tamil daily recently.
Nadarajan who hails from Air Hitam, Bahau in Negeri Sembilan has also been featured at the ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’ museum.
Nadarajan’s love affair with the motorcycle began when he started indulging in ‘motorcross’ activities with his son, Velu. The duo started serious training in 2005 as they geared for competitions slated for 2007.
“We went for training at the Batu Kawan Stadium in Pulau Pinang every weekend. Both of us had a Honda 750 cc motorcycle. My motorcycle’s registration number was PBU 21 while Velu’s motorcycle registration number was PPA 21,” Nadarajan told Bernama here.
However, the dream once shared by the father-son duo was shattered when Velu died in a road crash on Jan 16 in 2006. He was just 19 years old then.
For Nadarajan, his son’s demise reshaped his ‘love’ for motorcycles.
“He was my only son and he was very close to me, even though my job forced us to keep travelling right from an age when Velu was young till he turned 19.
“My world was shattered and the future became bleak with his demise,” Nadarajan recollected.
“My wife mourned his loss for one year. We consider ourselves fortunate as we have another child, a daughter by the name of Nishaanthini,” he said.
Nadarajan said his late son studied at a college in Pasir Gudang, Johor where he stayed with Nadarajan’s cousin. The accident took Velu’s life at night, when he went out to purchase goods.
“His motorcycle hit a pothole and he fell down. A nail got embedded at the back of his head,” said a distraught Nadarajan.
Nadarajan was in Pulau Pinang together with his wife and daughter when he received a call from his cousin who asked for Velu’s medical card registration number.
“My cousin said that Velu had met with an accident but stated that his condition was not serious and there was no need for me to come down to Johor Baharu.
“But not long afterwards, my cousin called me again to tell that Velu wanted to see me as well as his mother and sister. When we arrived at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baharu, I almost collapsed seeing of our many relatives there,” he said.
Nadarajan later learnt that his son had died in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
He later decided to donate his son’s organs; eyes, lungs, heart and kidneys.
Nadarajan said two months after the accident; he received an invitation from Lions Club in Johor Baharu to attend an organ donation function held by the association, where he met a Malay man whom he suspected of having received his son’s eyes.
“I was not told who received my son’s organs, but I suspected the man had received Velu’s eyes. My wife also thinks so,” Nadarajan said.
Not only Nadarajan, his wife P. Samundeswari and daughter have also pledged their organs after their death.
Velu’s death had a significant impact on Nadarajan’s life.
Nadarajan was a motorcyclist since he was 15, who shied away from the machine soon after his son’s demise.
About a month after the fatal accident, Nadarajan had a dream in which his son asked him to continue what they’d once started.
“I dreamt of my late son and in the dream he asked me to continue from where we had stopped. But I couldn’t take part in the competition as it warranted the participation of both father and son using two motorcycles,” he explained.
Nadarajan later sold his motorcycle and that of his son to purchase a Honda Gold Wing 1500 cc.
Initially he had kept the bike at a friend’s house and had used it for training only during the weekend at the Batu Kawan Stadium in Pulau Pinang.
He kept the training hidden away from his wife, but when she later found out and raged about it, Nadarajan persisted to create something of himself while riding the motorcycle.
“I wrote to the Malaysia Book of Record (MBOR) in 2007 but was rejected as they thought that what I had wanted to do was merely a stunt,” explained Nadarajan.
But that did not deter Nadarajan’s spirit.
In 2006, he rode atop the motorcycle while standing from Seberang Perai, Pulau Pinang to Batu Caves, Selangor. He continued over to Maran (Pahang), before returning to Seberang Prai.
Armed with a newspaper cutting about his exploits, Nadarajan made another attempt to get recognised by the MBOR.
But once again his application was rejected.
Nadarajan then took part in the 21-day ‘Jelajah Merdeka’ that covered Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
“Datuk Yazid Othman, the Malay Journalists president invited me to participate in the programme which is part of the ‘Kembara 1 Malaysia’ project.
“My exploits on the motorcycle had attracted his (Yazid’s) attention, who later told me that he will meet Datuk Danny Ooi from MBOR. Later, the MBOR asked me to submit another application,” he revealed.
Nadarajan made his mark in the annals of MBOR on Sept 15 in 2007 when he created a record for the ‘Longest Time Riding Honda Gold Wing 1500cc motorcycle.’
His ride began in Gelang Patah, Johor and through the North-South Highway to Bukit Kayu Hitam in Perlis. The 933 km stretch took him 10 hours and 45 minutes to complete.
“My (late) son Velu was the inspiration. He had actually planned to create the MBOR record with me,” said Nadarajan who was 44 years old when he created the record.
His wife and daughter who had initially objected to Nadarajan’s efforts finally relented as well.
“Initially they followed the convoy up to Rawang and later changed their minds to wait for me at the Juru Toll Plaza, before following me to Bukit Kayu Hitam.
“My efforts received professional assistance as there were doctors, physiotherapists and police escorting me, along with the patrol cars from the convoy.
“I am grateful to the police for their support, since the record took place during the fasting month,” he said.
He went on to make more records.
The second record – ‘Riding For 12 Hours Non-Stop On Honda Gold Wing 1500 cc’—at the Sepang International Grand Prix Circuit was made on Dec 26, 2010.
“I travelled twelve hours non-stop from 6 am until 6 pm, completing 165 rounds of over 875 km,” he said.
The third record, ‘The Furthest Motorcycle Riding Standing Up’ from Komtar in Pulau Pinang to Pattaya, Thailand was made on Feb 12, 2011 while covering a distance of 1,410 km in 16 hours.
He said that the feat was recognised by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and his exploits were documented in the Ripley’s Museum in Pattaya, Thailand.
His next record was for ‘Riding The Motorcycle Standing Up’ from Komtar in Pulau Pinang to Hua Hin, Thailand on Dec 2011.
Despite reaching 50 years of age in November this year, Nadarajan has no plans to stop what he is doing. He wants to create a world record in 2013 since the memories of his late son have further ignited his motivation. He also wants to prove that many things can be done with the motorcycle if the intention is noble.
“There are people who think that the motorcycle is for the Mat Rempit (speed fiends). This concept is wrong and I want to prove something to the young people,” he said.
Nadarajan also gives motivational talks, yet due to his inability to speak no other language than Malay; he only gives such talks in Tamil schools.