words: Saikat Roy, Pictures: Saikat Roy
Although off-roading is a very popular activity all throughout the world, Bangladeshis have only started to go all-terrain recently. In this feature of Club Drive, team Turbine went on an off road drive with 4×4 Club Bangladesh and decided to have a brief discussion with Mr. Asad Moyeen, one of the founding members of this club, about his and the club’s experience.
Well, the first time I did off-roading was in the tea gardens of Sylhet very early in life. I was only 12 back then if I can recall it correctly. The first car I’ve taken off road was an old land cruiser FJ40. We had it in the garden. It wasn’t in it’s best shape though. Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun and the experience taught me how to go about it in a vehicle that was almost falling apart.
Maintaining an off road vehicle is definitely not a simple task. Not in the beginning at least. It’s no less than a headache to find accessories and equipment needed for off roading. Even the mud terrain tires cannot be found locally due to low demand. However, once you have it all imported and installed, the vehicle is all set up and ready for the abuse it’ll go through.
When it comes to 4x4s, durability and ‘longibility’ of the car completely depends on how well you can maintain it and is perhaps the most important part of owning a 4×4. Since these vehicles regularly come in contact with mud, dust and sand, the slightest negligence will directly affect the engine, brake and suspension performance of the vehicle.
To be honest, the most fun I have is in my little Suzuki samurais and Maruti Gypsy King. Second to that is the Defender 90 soft top in my opinion. Light weight and excellent gearing make these vehicles really competitive offroad.
In Bangladesh, the most common difficulty we face is probably the lack of land or designated trails for off roading. When Club 4×4 BD goes for an off road drive, we are usually on private lands or in the public under construction roads. Although they are a lot of fun but due to rapid developments and progress of the country, such lands and tracks are always changing and we always have to be on the lookout for new places to go. Club 4×4 BD have only recently become active and caught on since I originally started the club back in 2008. It’s a fun sport that’s also relatively safe compared to other and I hope it has a great future too.