'Boots are everything'

Alish Abdullah is India's only woman super bike racer. She has been racing since the age of 11 and finished third in the JK National Superbike Rally Championship in 2009. The 24-year-old biker has now swapped two wheels for four - she now is a racing car driver - but still is passionate about biking. "I don't ride on the roads and only on the track and it's now more for fun," she says. Her father R A Abdullah was a seven-time national biking champion. She learnt to be a racer from her father and it was he who gifted her a superbike on her 18th birthday. "It was this huge 240-cc bike and my love for racing and bikes comes from my father." She tells Aabhas Sharma about the gear she uses while riding her superbikes:

Your helmet?
Arai helmets, as they're the best equipped for racing. The price range starts from Rs 36,000 and goes up to Rs 55,000. I have a couple of helmets from Arai and they're safe and reliable.

Biking gear?
Dainese. It's the only brand which I have used. They're safe, comfortable and looks stylish as well. I actually wear a Dainese racer suit, gloves and boots. The suit comes equipped with knee guards, chest protection guard and elbow guards as well. My suit also comes with an air bag which helps avoid any serious injuries during a fall. The complete suit - equipped with all guards and air bags - costs around Rs 2.5 lakh. As a racer, you can't take chances with your safety, so even while the gear is expensive, you have to make sure you get the best.

Where do you buy your gear from?
It's difficult to find good gear in India, though things are now improving. I get all my gear from Singapore.

Do you go on leisure long rides on your bike?
Not at all. But I do advise people who do to make sure they're wearing proper gear. It's good to see riding clubs mushrooming across the country. I always tell riders that boots are the most essential piece of gear you should have. Even if you're riding a bike in the city, avoid wearing flip flops.